Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee
Low-hanging fruit is the tastiest
I’ll admit that I was kind of looking forward to lockdown. I thought I would have ample time to read the copy of Crime & Punishment that has sat beside my bed for nearly eight months; dinner each night would be whipped up from fresh ingredients and seasoned with love and care; and I would develop my Spanish skills so much that I could watch Élite on Netflix without subtitles. What I didn’t realise at the time was the same obstacle that meets everyone trying to keep up their New Year’s commitments by the end of January: lockdown doesn’t make you a new or better person. Instead, you’re the same person – you’re just inside more often.
It’s incredible how time-consuming doing nothing can be, and so I quickly realised that self-improvement is not an appropriate pandemic hobby. The existential ennui gradually but surely overwhelms; new habits are discarded; the horizons of your world shrink to your dwelling, with the occasional trip to the shops to provide a sense of adventure.
So I’ve learned to aim lower, and try to pick the low-hanging fruit. It’s a cliche, but making your bed every morning really does make a difference, both to your room and your mental health (my mother is incensed that 24 years of nagging have only been taken to heart during a public health catastrophe). Drink lots of water. Start to forgive yourself for the small things, and you’ll be better equipped to handle the bigger problems.
Lachie – Editor, WhyNot EC
Proving the essentials
Once the COVID tsunami hit, some of us became desperate for air and just a moment to regain our bearings. In the aftermath, I found myself thriving at work, contributing to recovery plans and helping rebuild our connections to young people and the community on our digital platforms.
I wake up every day to prove I’m ‘essential’.
I try my best to give 100% of myself to every Zoom meeting, phone call, email and piece of work I’m creating. Whilst I’m exhausted and at times overwhelmed, I say nothing (is this survivor’s guilt?). I’m still blessed to be afloat, working full-time and making my mark.
As soon as that first wave crashed onto the shore, my routine suffered, disintegrating quickly. Once the general public’s panic subsided, phase two was to get used to the ‘new normal’. My new normal is nothing like my old one. I’ve done about 4 workouts in the past 2 months. My boyfriend and I have tried cooking a few vegetarian dishes, but in reality my diet consists mostly of avo toast, leftover easter eggs and whipping up a 5 minute mi goreng when I remember to eat again.
My flamboyant blue couch is my oasis for 14 hours of the day. In my down time I make my way through anything that could be categorised as trash on Netflix and the words ‘skincare routine’ are no longer in my vocabulary.
My lifevest is the reminder that this is all temporary. When we come out of it, we’ll have a new sense of gratitude for the things we couldn’t do. I am fortunate to be safe, healthy and to have the technology that keeps me connected with my friends and family. What I’m looking forward to the most is a day at the beach and a swim in the ocean.
Pinky – Editor, WhyNot EC
You won’t find answers here.
I think Covid-19 is so challenging because there is no right answer for getting through it that is applicable to everyone.
I’m a very pragmatic person and the fact that I constantly have to weigh up the pros and cons of every movement, decision and actions, keeps my head in a constant state of disbalance.
I am in an incredibly privileged position. Myself, my friends and my family are all currently healthy (enough), I have a roof over my head and I have a job that I can do from home that has meaning to me. There are certainly elements of this crisis which have played into my personal and professional favour and I will sound like a dick but at times – I’m really happy.
But then the seesaw dips in the other direction and I’m overwhelmed with anxiety about the future and riddled with sadness at how rough others are doing.
I know this isn’t helpful in anyway, and I’m no influencer, but you won’t have all the answers to all the questions thrown up by this crisis. I don’t. The Prime Minister doesn’t. No one does.
I’m not a “take each moment as it comes” kinda guy but I’m slowly starting to see the benefits of approaching life that way.
Angus – Editing support consultant, WhyNot
The ‘New Normal’
If you asked me five months ago what my new year’s resolution would be, I would’ve excitedly told you I’ll be exploring the world more, checking off new destinations on my ever-growing list and maybe a hot summer island getaway, surrounded by pina coladas.
Well let me tell you, there’s no escape, I’ve been caught in the rain.
My reality has been (speaking as if I haven’t expanded my home cocktail menu)enjoying these summery cocktails whilst on multiple zoom calls from the comfort of my cosy two-bedroom apartment, wearing track pants waist down.
This doesn’t sound too bad right? Alcoholic beverages, WFH and loungewear…
But in reality, everything has been flipped on its head, nothing is ‘normal’, there are constant changes and I’m a bundle of anxiety. Definitely not pleasing my Libra star sign.
Overwhelmed. Stressed. Unstable.
Three feelings which have been niggling around.
Supported. Valued. Grateful.
Three mind-sets which have helped me overcome.
So, I’m latching onto my community of support who make me feel ‘normal’ during these uncertain times.
Natalie – Female Tony Stark, WhyNot EC