HOW WE'VE COPED WITH COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Can you believe that it has been almost 4 months since that Friday the 13th that appeared to change the globe? Well, we, Jenn Wendy and Emilie Leneveu from Blog BOQ, have decided to tackle our thoughts in a co-writing piece on COVID-19 and how we have found ways to celebrate this time, what we've struggled with, and what we hope to see in the time after the Pandemic.
Jenn: I've found this time to be both difficult and motivating. I don't know the last time I had an unlimited amount of time to myself to rediscover my hobbies, relationships, and myself! I am a social butterfly with the people I've made strong bonds with, and being away from them has been difficult for me, but I know that it's for the best while we all wade through these uncertain times. Like, did you know I really love just walking in nature for an hour straight? I didn't because I never had time to appreciate those moments. I also really enjoy cooking and creating new meals because it challenges me!
Emilie: A friend recently reminded me that consumption for the sake of consumption is not an effective way to spend our time. This is something I've tried to apply to my new daily life by remembering to prioritize self-care, things that make me happy, and appreciating the little things.
Jenn: I agree with the consumption for consumption sake. I struggle to not purchase just for the purpose of buying. I support local with my whole heart, I've found myself buying things "just because." Although I'm supporting local, I'm trying to remain aware of my spending habits and the rush of just buying. I'm trying to focus my time on creating and making an environment I want to be in. I'm sure we've all fallen into the comment section on a post where negativity just breeds, and I've tried to be mindful of how I'm spending my time.
Emilie: If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I've been able to get quite a bit of knitting done in the past couple of months, coping with COVID-19. For me, this hobby is a form of self-care that is meditative, shutting off most of my mind to the outside world. On the notion of mediation, I recently took part in a Mental Health Summit that included a meditation practice workshop. I found this workshop taught me something new that I want to share with you: meditation does not mean turning off your thoughts completely, it simply involves learning to focus and practicing discipline.
When it comes to hobbies like knitting, this is a great time to perfect the little things (it's also a great time to learn how to make bread, but I am far behind Jenn on the baking scene). That said, it's also a great time to not sweat the little things. A few weeks ago, I thought I'd re-learn how to pearl stitch to put a pattern together for my next blanket. Getting a bit frustrated while practicing, I quickly reverted back to a simple stitch. I did, however, finally learn how to properly bring in the second ball of yarn to a project. Previously, I was simply tying the ends of yarn together, when in fact, you are supposed to knit three stitches together using both ends of yarn. I started a new blanket this week and applied this method, and to be honest, I'd rather just tie the balls of yarn together... This new method scares me, what if the three stitches were to come undone? Are there now two 'loose ends' instead of just one little knot that can be relatively easily concealed? This knitting tale has taught me two new things that can be applied to our current situation:
1) Just because you have time, doesn't mean you have to be busy. Take breaks, no matter how long.
2) Sometimes workarounds work better than the 'proper way', and we ought to question 'proper practices' (there's a Japanese proverb here somewhere...)
Jenn: Meditation and moments of peace have been my saviour in all of this. I get caught up in social media and forget how to bring myself down. I think we're all spending a lot more time on our phones, scrolling, wishing we were crafting these beautiful things, but it's good to remember that we don't always need to be creating if it's not self-care for us. I've seen a BIG spike in bread making, which is so much fun and neat to do if you have the patience for it, but I won't lie, I've thrown an entire deflated pile of dough into the compost and made a scene in my kitchen! Find things that set your mind at ease or productively challenge you (we're not all Canada's Next Top Chef), and remember it's about the process, not the end product when creating! I say that a lot while working with kids.
What I hope to see when this is all over, which... who knows when that will be. It feels like it won't ever end. But, when we can go back to being in crowds, I think we'll see a much more cautious society. It's hard to remember this isn't just impacting a few places, it's the entire world. I predict people will be wary of concerts or sporting events because I feel like we've developed a sense of "otherness" during quarantine, which is to say we're a little untrusting of people outside of our homes because we don't know their hygiene practices.
I hope to see that people reconnect with loved ones, take time to be in nature, and don't immediately return to the world we left that was full of greed, pollution, and buying from big corporations. I want to see the farm stands packed! I want to see people supporting local and choosing them before Amazon. I just really want to see our world heal. That may be nieve because there are still a lot of issues in the world that time home during a Pandemic can't solve, but I want to be hopeful. I also want to see more respect for front line workers and people who risked their health to be out there while some of us got to be at home with our family.
Emilie: We hear a lot about this "new normal" or what a return to "normal, normal' will look like - confusing, right? I sincerely hope that when we do begin to regain a sense of normalcy through in-person social interactions, we will remember the importance of protecting our land and its ecosystems. I also hope that this Pandemic has shed enough light on workers' rights issues and more extensive problems revolving around the distribution of wealth. While I am not negating our current systems, I see so many gaps in some services, notably mental health resources, and yet so much overlap in others. In our "future new normal" (working title) I look forward to fostering local partnerships and rectifying wrongs from the past.
Thanks for reading through this! It's been a weird time, and we have encountered a lot of tragedy across Canada during the past two months, but we've also seen a lot of love and support. Support for local restaurants with Take Out Wednesday, online markets, the switch to curbside pick up and drop off, staying in touch over Zoom, playing free games online with each other, birthday parades. Those are just a handful of the things we have come up with to stay connected, and it's truly amazing.
-- Jenn Wendy & Emilie Leneveu