Lifestyle

My Infectious Thoughts on the ‘C’ Word (The One That Went Viral)

So it’s been just over 10 days since the Coronavirus outbreak swept through a number of major cities throughout Australia but everything that happened before then seems to be a distant memory, what with every single media outlet, newspaper, and person that you come in contact with talking about it non-stop. Of course it’s imperative to have an open conversation about it – what it does, how it affects people, what the key symptoms are, and what you can do to prevent its spread. But holy guacamole, it’s getting a bit ridiculous with the information overload that is vomited in your direction, not to mention that some of the ‘facts’ that are plastered all over the web are completely wrong and mythical.

This is my way of spilling the tea, sis… except it’s three-quarters of a bottle of wine. Because dealing with the wave of changes that keeps being shared with us every single day has made my body tense up and go into a flight-or-fight response that has left it in a series of tangled knots that needs some assistance from YOU – my friends, my followers, and my audience – ASAP. Think of it as my own form of damage control that is a quintessential key towards surviving this pandemic, before it’s too late.

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For those of you who don’t know, my primary job is working in the Disability sector as a support worker. This means that I’m out in the field for a solid 8-10 hours every day… I say “field” but I’m basically driving from one end of Adelaide to the other, whilst doing a number of tasks including showering (personal care), driving clients to and from appointments (transport), helping with clients’ rehabilitation via exercise or social outings (social support), and cleaning their homes (domestic services). I am fortunate enough to be in an industry where we are considered to be ‘essential workers’ but despite that, I have lost a significant chunk of my shifts that were cancelled by clients who were prioritizing their health and safety. I am 110% on board with the reasoning, but the fact that I quickly lost over a majority of my weekly shifts in a span of just four days sent me into a massive overdrive, where I felt physically sick and overwhelmed about how I was going to get a decent paycheck to keep up with the bills, the rent, and among other things, simply surviving. Luckily, I have been blessed with one of the most supportive work places who let me have a cry about this state of limbo that this stupid virus has sent us all into and they were able to sort me out with a bunch of one-off / last minute shifts that could not have been snapped up any quicker!

However, as you can imagine, this is not an easy job. There are so many challenges to navigate through and when you’re working with vulnerable individuals (including children and adults), and when you have to deal with a sudden death or a major change that disrupts your everyday routine in a manner that you couldn’t have possibly prepared yourself for, it can ripple through your ability to maintain stable mental health and wellbeing. Plus, with the social distancing or rather, physical distancing, it has been overwhelmingly tricky to maintain this when working with clients, who take offense at me taking a further step back / away (when it’s completely unintentional on my part) – all because I’m trying to keep both parties (themselves and myself) safe.

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Since the news of the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia broke out, I have been on edge about how it was going to affect my daily lifestyle and work ethic. Undoubtedly, there have been a number of significant changes that have come into effect (not by choice) but that needed to be adhered to, and quite quickly! It has now reached the stage where you pretty much need to be prepared for any last-minute changes that will throw you into a state of instability at a moment’s notice and somehow, we will be expected to just deal with it. There is so much uncertainty and unpredictability that is currently plaguing our lives with absolutely no regard for our ability to comprehend and analyze whatsoever. Nonetheless, I feel like I (and many people in my position) are forced to run on adrenaline and just face everything that is thrown in our direction with a sense of stride and strength. While this seems to be the ultimate go-to for most of us (at least in the moment), I can’t help but feel like there is a lot that requires time and energy to unpack at the end of the day, so that you can move forward in a healthy and realistic manner. My physical and mental health has unsurprisingly plummeted a bit, but thankfully, I have a supportive partner, loving parents, and some pretty amazing friends who are constantly staying in touch to keep my sanity and wellbeing in check.

I guess the point of this article is to air out the frustrations with this silly virus and how it has quickly impacted everyday living, but also, to remind people to stay kind and work together (as much as physical distancing allows us to) during these dire times. We haven’t had to deal with something this major (possibly ever). It has paralyzed our planet. It has forced us to slow down and stay in. It has adversely affected the future of local businesses thriving in a world where social connections are drastically reduced.

So while we are in this mode of the #isocalypse, take that time to reconnect with yourself – your mind, body, and soul. Take the time to continue socializing with your near and dear loved ones through the power of FaceTime or Skype or whatever other form of technology that can allow you to feel connected from the comfort of your own homes. Have a Netflix party. Buy and support local – be it food, drink, flowers, environmental-friendly home accessories, skincare, virtual sessions and/or services, art – literally anything that will keep our beautiful businesses afloat AND add to the value of your lifestyle whilst being homebound. Do whatever it takes to stay in your PJs while still kicking goals.

And if you absolutely need to venture out, can you please just remember to be kind? It has been an awful couple of weeks as it is, so when you throw in a mix of abuse and bad behavior – be it on the roads, at the supermarket, at the petrol pump, or simply on the street – it makes this stressful situation exponentially worse to deal with!

Hold your loved ones tighter than ever (whilst still practising physical distancing) and don’t forget to remind them how much they are loved and adored during this difficult time. At the end of the day, we are all in this together and when we get through this (we will!), we’re going to have the biggest party celebration at some of our most favourite spots all over the city and state and resume to #bookthemout more than we could possibly imagine!

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I’ve probably rambled on for far too long so if you made it this far, I sincerely and genuinely thank you. Thank you for listening / reading. And thank you for indulging in my very non-relatable photos of my bottle of wine (courtesy Down The Rabbit Hole) and skincare routine (courtesy Fae and Wildling) that helped me regain a sense of calmness and tranquility for a short but sweet moment, when all I wanted to do was crumble like my Lush bath bomb (which was a rather poignant and beautiful sight, I won’t deny this!)

SO what are you doing to make the best of this situation?

Feel free to DM me on Instagram or pop your comments below this post to let me know how you’re going!

And I can’t say this enough – wash your beautiful hands (but don’t forget to moisturize, particularly before going to bed). Stay safe, look after yourselves, and don’t forget that we are all going to get through this together (with a ton of physical distancing and social connections)!

With love and light,

Tema xoxo

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