Staying Home Amid COVID-19

Don’t wish for it to be over

Photo by Tani Olorunyomi on Unsplash

In South Africa, we started our nationwide lockdown on Friday 27 March at 00:00. It was to carry on for 21 days until midnight on Thursday 16 April. That was 3 weeks. All we could do was go to the shops or go to the doctor pretty much. If you were not essential services, you stay home.

Companies had to adjust quickly and send staff home to work from home. Restaurants, bars, public places were the hardest hit. Everything had to remain closed.

Two weeks in, everybody got into their groove, not too much bitching and moaning going on anymore because it was the same for everyone, the rich, the poor, black, white, coloured, indian. No-one was exempted. This made it more bearable.

On Thursday 09 April, we heard that the president would address the nation in the evening. We were all eagerly awaiting news from him. He started with praising the public response and cooperation, the healthcare workers’ dedication and commitment. Then he said that’s it’s too early to tell whether our efforts to curb the virus has been successful and imposed a further 2 weeks of lockdown. The lockdown will now extend to 35 days, until the end of April. There were mixed emotions. We had one week to go and all of a sudden the 3 weeks had started all over again. Businesses who were suffering were now pushed into a further 2 weeks.

About a month ago patient zero arrived on our shores. Who would have thought? I bet these are the words on everyone’s mind. How did this thing come out of nowhere and so quickly disrupt my existence to the point of some losing jobs and later all hope?

Who allowed that to happen?

Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

As you are now confined to 4 walls with your partner and children, you have never spent more time with them. You’re not sure if you want to anymore. Your spouse is driving you crazy and you wonder, where were the days that you could drop your kids off at school or the daycare centre and get on with your life? I want answers you think. Someone must pay for this.

After all the ranting and raving and punching pillows, you know it’s not going away. No use fighting it any more. You always said you would build the dollhouse, well now is the time. Might as well keep you busy and not just with trips to the fridge.

Your kids will grow up and you will never have this time with them again. You won’t have all this time again to start that side hustle that you always dreamed of. Everything is going digital anyway. Maybe it’s time to offer those online piano lessons. Or to learn code, or to take up cooking lessons. 
 
First, you have to start with a plan. Work out a daily schedule for the remainder of the lockdown and include everything, even trips to the fridge. 
Read, meditate, catch up with friends and family via FaceTime. Call your parents, every day. They are the most vulnerable.

On the other side as well, it’s a great motivation to re-adjust your budget and expenses and save. You just realised you can do without all that eating out and daily Starbucks coffee. Put money away for a rainy day, because although the rainy day is here now, you will be better prepared for the next one 
 
Only hard cash is king. Make sure you have at least 6 months of expenses saved up. Yes, we all thought that day would never come. Well, all we can do is ride the wave, make adjustments and come out of this strong and ready. I will and so can you. We can make money again, find other jobs, but we can’t bring back life.
 
Good luck and all the best during these turbulent times.

Just remember, this too shall pass.

Blessings.

Love Lives Here

In the heart of a beautiful woman, you.

I just felt that today I needed to speak to the women in the house.

Ladies, wherever find yourselves. Will you do me a favour? Just for today, put yourself first.

Take some time out, go into a quiet corner and reflect on where you are today. What are you grateful for? What do you have going for you? A job that you like (that’s rare), your studies to educate yourself in order to become something better. A husband or partner who loves you. And lastly your kids whom you wanted to drop off somewhere more than once, but since there’s a law against that.

The burdens are heavy. Our mothers have carried those same burdens. With so much grace. Here we are, living in an age of microwave dinners, workplaces with child care facilities, being able to FaceTime your mother whenever you need to and still, we are not happy.

Something is sapping all our energy. Self-doubt and worry make us lie awake at night. Woman. Listen. For once, make it about you.

There is a beautiful saying — Love Lives Here. Let here be wherever you are.

Fellas, if you are listening. She may appear strong. For you. But inside she is falling apart. Especially when children are involved. Be committed. Stay committed. She loves you. Give her that honour.

She needs to know that she is your everything. Tell her that you love her. Often. That you appreciate everything she is doing for you. Do it today. Pick up the phone. Now.

Ladies, go to work every day determined to give it your all. Change your attitude towards your situation. It will never be 100% perfect. But if you go in with a smile, you will get through the day much easier.

Where do you see yourself 6 months from now? Will your situation still be the same? I hope not. We either progress or we stagnate. Start today to lay the foundation for a better future.

Become financially independent. It gives you options. Spend less than you earn. Start saving 10% of your income. Tackle your debt one at a time. Pay off your credit card.

Start taking care of your health. Start exercising. Eat better food. You can’t do anything if you don’t have your health.

Practice kindness. You just have to look around you to see where the need is. It is everywhere. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. That someone else is you.

Give yourself permission to start enjoying your life. Don’t wait for him to organise a date night. Just do it and send him a meeting request. Buy your own flowers.

Be the strong, independent woman that you know you can be. With a soft heart. Many things may have happened to warrant a hard heart. But you are not going to let those things overshadow the good that is still in the world just waiting to be discovered.

Be open. Let the light in. Let Love Live Here.

Make The Tough Decisions Today and You Won’t Regret a Thing

When things are not going well we are quick to come up with every excuse and justification for not taking action or doing the right thing.

Most unpleasant situations are our own doing. We know the right thing to do, but take zero action and then we wonder why nothing is happening.

We blame our past, the present and everything in between. It’s time to face some hard truths. Let’s start by asking yourself some tough questions?

1. Are you healthy?

The other day I had a slight headache because I was fasting for the day. I told the person I was with and immediately came out a whole bag of medication. She had a pill for everything. I was very surprised because overall she seemed healthy.

Don’t feel the need to be dependent on anything. Nothing that some exercise and fresh air won’t fix.

2. Healthy Eating

Are you able to go to the shop and choose exactly what you want to eat tonight? Do you have a choice of getting the healthier, slightly more expensive options? All the fruit and vegetables you need?

For some people, it is pap (South African mielie meal porridge) once a day only. If you’ve never had to go to bed hungry, you have nothing to complain about.

3. Healthy Body

Are you able to, if you wanted to, take a brisk walk around the block? Are you able to get out of your car, or get off at the bus stop before yours and walk the last 20mins?

Some people don’t have that luxury. Are you able to if you wanted to? That’s the answer.

4. Healthy Mind

Are you able to look around you and count all your blessings? Your spouse, your children, your co-workers who make you laugh.

If you wanted to, can you switch off all electronics and noise and just sit all by yourself, with your own thoughts without wishing you were somewhere else?

Can you decide to stay in and work or read a book, without having the feeling that you need to be somewhere or that you are missing out on something?

5. Healthy Spending

Are you able to say no to the impulse of buying another pair of shoes or another kitchen appliance you don’t need?

At the click of a button you can buy anything online and if you pay a little extra it can be home before you. Knowing that this service exists, knowing that you have the money to buy whatever you need, but not doing it — that’s a winner.

You will never regret it. Not making that purchase. This strong resolve will show up in all areas of your life. People will wonder how come you’re so lucky, you have everything going for you.

They don’t know that in the quiet moments when it’s just you and you, you make the tough decisions. It takes nerves of steel, but you’ve gotten better. Practice makes perfect.

6. Healthy Relationships

Are you able to walk out on an unhealthy relationship because it’s toxic and it’s affecting every area of your life? Are you saying no to verbal and emotional abuse even though you will return to an empty house tonight and there is no one to split the bills with?

You don’t need to sell your soul just because the lights are on when you get home and the bed is warm.

We’ve all made mistakes. But when you know better, you have to do better. 

You owe it to yourself.

Good luck with your journey.