Life on lockdown: Day 30

I must say that this quarantine is breaking me down. I have not left the house since March 14, and my city has been on lockdown since March 20. The extended community quarantine will last until the end of April, but who knows what will happen by that time? I feel like the world will never be the same once we all go back to 'normal'.

I deactivated my main Facebook profile two days ago and I hope I can keep it that way until the pandemic sorts itself out. I still have another account just to update my blog pages. I feel like spending too much time on social media drains me out and it's also a lot of mental noise. I get my Covid-19 news updates from the DOH Viber group.

Taking a leave from Facebook helped ease my anxiety a little bit. It's great for connecting with friends and family, but right now it can be a cesspool of fake news, political arguments, and baseless commentaries. I decided to focus more on myself and hear my own 'inner voice'.

Killing time is a challenge. I want to write, read, watch TV series and movies that I've been meaning to see - but I seem to lack enthusiasm for such things right now. I recently started painting again even if my abilities are that of a total beginner - but I find that when I paint, time seems to disappear and I fully focus on what I am doing. I realized I love painting, the colors, how you can create shapes out of seemingly chaotic brush strokes. I took a painting class for beginners last year, and I only used my paints and brushes again right now.

Here are some of my 'quarantine works' so far. I only have one canvas left, so I cut out old folders and cardboards for practice. I post them on my Instagram (@malditanglibrarian) just to have a record of them to see if I ever improve in the future. I will try to finish at least one painting a day. I usually just follow Youtube tutorials on painting, and right now I am following the channels Will Kemp Art School and Priya Art Studio. I'm still at the point of following tutorials to learn the technique, and I hope to eventually stop copying others and create my own works from the images in my mind.

I used to like writing stories, but I've been drained of inspiration for the written word for months. I thought this might be a good time to write that novel or those short stories brewing in my brain but the blank page only triggers anxiety. I miss that free flow, zen-like state. I seem to achieve that more when I'm painting.

One thing I really miss is the gym. I go to Anytime Fitness, and I've been a regular since May 2019 and have lost a significant amount of weight (along with a plant-based diet). I'm just worried that the weight might creep back up because I'm not as physically active as I used to be. I still try to work out - there's an old stationary bike that I dragged out of storage into the living room, and there's now a ton of useful exercise guides on Youtube. It's always a challenge to exercise at home due to all the distractions, I miss the gym because being in the place gives you focus. One advantage of the quarantine is we hardly eat out anymore, and it's cheaper and healthier to just make your own food at home.

Though it can be depressing, I think we just have to make the most of this time. It's rare in our busy world that most of us just stop - pause the work, the usual social gatherings, be with ourselves. I find myself getting used to the silence in the streets. I hope the world gets better, and in the future I also hope to look back at this time as something that was enlightening.

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