After a few days of living here. Breaking news! We have a lockdown! A lot of questions, things to learn, to do and to practice. Even more time for all of this. Now, everything is closed.
I’m lucky, my flight was one of the last ones from Poland to Portugal. If my arrival was a few days later, I wouldn’t be able to come here because they were cancelled.
Some people could say it’s like dreams coming true. No social interactions, no school, you don’t have to meet people you don’t like, you can stay in your room and no one can blame you for this, because that’s the right thing to do these days.
Then after a while you feel back pain from sitting on the same chair for a few hours. You start missing your friends, family, even people you used to have short talks with on your way to school or work. You realize you don’t have as much freedom as you had before. That’s when our mental health is letting us down. We can feel lonely, lost, stressed, confused not knowing when and how the restrictions can change. I am lucky because I have my flatmates who are working with me. I am happy I can talk with them and have fun, I know some people who are not that fortunate and it has reflected on their sanity.
How can we defeat(survive) this misery?
How can we start a new routine? It would be great if I could do it from one day to another and done, we have a new routine, but we need time to get there. A schedule is very helpful for me. Waking up at the same time every day, getting enough sleep, working, but having a break is important as well (we all have to be careful with spending this time on social media because you might stuck there for too long).
It is easy to get distracted at home. Noises from neighbor’s house, people talking on the street, vibrating phone with new notifications or household duties keeping your mind from working. It all can try to knock you off your rhythm. That is why having your own space would be very helpful. For me good headphones and space are the best solution.
Before lockdown started, we set the rules. At least one, short meeting at 10 in the morning to say what we did and what are we going to do this day. It helps me a lot not to get lazy and do my work every day. Regular hours of work, lunchbreak at 12 and regular Portuguese studying is something I wanted to start with to stick to my daily routine.
In my case, being closed in our flat after only a few ‘normal’ days in Portugal is like ups and downs on rollercoaster. Mostly, I am trying to be positive and keep thinking that we will be able to meet with other people soon, go back to our Portuguese lessons at school and visit new places. There are also worse days that I miss my family and friends but thanks to technology, we can have video calls.