• claugalde

First Things First: Viva la quarantine!

Hello!... I salute you from my fourth week of voluntary quarantine. I hope that you are doing the same and that you are reading #FIRSTTHINGSFIRST from your house.

Through these days of social isolation, I haven’t been the most active person in the world, tbh I haven’t done A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G, literally. Pajamas all day at all hours is my dress code, Netflix is controlling my life and sleeping is in my top number one. Since all of this started, I couldn’t help but panicking and asking myself if I had to run to the store and buy toilet paper given everything I saw and heard on the news and social media. In addition, living this episode of the history of humankind far from my country, my family and my friends hasn’t been easy. 

After these past weeks of emotional -and social- numbness, I’ve decided that I can’t continue like this. At the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat and actually no one has been through something like this before. Motivation and pressure to turn this crisis into an opportunity are endless. Historical figures such as Isaac Newton and Shakespeare made a productive time out of their respective quarantines. On one hand, Newton with 23 years old made one of his greatest discoveries: The Theory of Gravity, and poor Shakespeare (who faced twice in his life living in isolation due to sanitary conditions!), took advantage of that time to get inspired and write Macbeth, despite the fact that theaters in London were closed and the forecast didn’t seem very encouraging.

The uncertainty generated by being in quarantine has forced me to not stop worrying and overthinking towards all the challenges that will exist once all of this is over. Maybe this time should be to prepare and not just a well-deserved rest. That’s why before keeping on wasting my quarantine seeing life passing by, these are the #FIRSTTHINGSFIRST that today I promise to do and I hope you do too:

1. Having a routine… But a healthy routine to take care of my mental and physical health. Being stuck to the sofa binge-watching ‘Money Heist’ three days non-stop, feeling tempted 24/7 to open a TikTok account, spending hours watching memes to clear my mind, thinking that the tachycardia of homemade carajillos counts as cardio and that being bored is the same as being hungry, are not healthy routines. Waking up early even though every day feels like Sunday, working out from the coziness of my home and without saturating my Instagram stories, accepting that eating fruits and veggies also makes me happy, drinking more water, etc. It sounds simple, but sometimes the simplest for some might be the most difficult for others. I made the following list of what seems obvious and what -at least- my daily routine should include:

  • Wake up every day at 8:00 am

  • Have a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • Write a line for everything I am grateful for.

  • Work out for 30-60 minutes.

  • Drink at least 3 liters of water throughout the day.

  • Work on my to-do list in a quiet place in my apartment.

  • Go out for a 30-minute walk.

  • Take a course online.

  • Do some leisure activity for 60 minutes maximum (Netflix, social media, etc.).

  • Write my to-dos for the following day.

  • Sleep for 8 hours.

*** I hope these inspire you to make your own list as well! 

2. Acquire a new skill… The other day I received on WhatsApp this message saying: “If you don’t get out of this quarantine with a read book, a new business or more knowledge, you didn’t lack time, you lacked discipline.”  And I agree, because before I used to complain about not having time, and now I can’t complain about the same thing, so it all comes down to my willpower.

The internet is full of opportunities to take online courses for free (I’ll be sharing some tips in my Instagram stories), it also makes it possible to have information immediately on the topics that interest us and that will help us acquire a new ability or even try something you’d never imagine to be good at. In my case, I always thought that my culinary talent was reduced to making sandwiches and quesadillas, but these days, despite not being very productive, I can brag about knowing how to make homemade pizza and pasta, so thank you YouTube!

3. Be more grateful… Staying at home is a luxury and a responsibility. Doing it for the thousands of people who don’t have this option and who must continue to put their health at risk on a daily basis, for my family, for my friends, are enough reasons to be thankful for having the opportunity to decide to stay at home today. Although sometimes I’m just fed up of being locked up, I must remember that it is a privilege to be able to do it. Just as it is to look out the window and see an impressive postcard of the Helsinki spring, living in a country prepared for any crisis, being with who I want to be, and being able to see the faces of my friends and family even if it is on FaceTime.

Today it’s not enough to only feel grateful, but it is also necessary to show it, so thinking about the others is a good start. Helping my neighbors, leaving the house with all security measures, consuming local to the best of my ability and spreading content responsibly on my social networks, without causing further panic and confusion in people, etc. 

4. Always see the good before the bad… Although I’m used to being a constant pessimist and I always imagine the worst-case scenarios, as my mother used to say: “Mijita, every cloud has a silver lining”, and yes, mothers are always right. Always keep in mind that this situation is just such a small part of my life and just like everything, it shall pass. My attitude is something I can control, and it only depends on me. A negative mind isn’t going to give me a positive life. I have to be aware that the comments I make, how I talk to myself, the people I follow on social media, what I want to hear and watch, are just things I decide to do to feel much better.

5. Press the reset button without fear… Starting over again as many times as needed is not bad. The world will never be the same again, and today -more than ever-, I must be resilient. Adapting myself to the digital, changing my priorities and rethinking what I do for a living could mean the great reflection of this quarantine. 

These are the five #FIRSTTHINGSFIRST to not letting chaos win, to be motivated and scream out the window to my Finnish neighbors: Viva la quarantine!

Don’t forget to #STAYATHOME and that the first 9 of every month there will be a new post… God willing! Hahaha

So now you know, if you want to keep reading this first-time experiences diary, remember: when was the last time you lived something for the first time? Until the next post!

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