I returned from my trip to Antalya on Friday, March 13th. On the same day, schools were closed and the Corona virus days started. I guess it took me longer to get used to the process, coming back from traveling. Although writing was in my mind all the time, it was only today that I could fınd the necessary time and motivation to sit down and write.
The fact that my previous articles are still being read, motivated me and I decided to share my tried-and-tested methods to beat these tough days. So, here is everything I tried on Corona days and found helpful.
The experts I follow on social media are providing useful information about physical and mental health for this period. Except the most important facts about virus developments, I try to follow these recommendations and implement them instead of watching the virus broadcast, of which the accuracy is not clear at this stage. My favorites are Dr. Osman Müftüoğlu and Dr. Buğra Öktem; they share a video on Instagram every day. It feels good to find their support with me these days when we tend to feel lonely, and to see the benefits by following the advice.
On these days, when we can move less than normal, I try to consume sugar and flour as little as possible. I eat delicacies with sugar and flour only once a week and chose something that is really worth it. I try to prepare delicious and healthy food to keep the immunity of my family at a high level. I make sure that the recipes are not difficult to make and time consuming; except when we prefer to spend time in the kitchen.
After staying at home for about ten days, I realized that living every day the same way like Bill Murray’s character in the movie “Groundhog Day” (which I love very much) makes me feel depressed.
So, I started writing goals every day, as I normally do. I am not teaching at the university this semester and my only job is to write. So the goals I write on my calendar are mostly what I want to do with my daughters, home or myself. Nevertheless, having new goals and getting them done in order every day gave me my life purpose back.
The fact that everyone is at home has narrowed my private space. Unlike other family members, I was confused for a while because I normally work at home. But after a while, I managed to set up a routine. Being able to create a routine made me feel comfortable. In general, one day goes like this: I get up at about the same time in the morning, I take care of my daughters until their school starts. When they sit down for online teaching, I have an extended and rich breakfast. I read the news while having breakfast. Then I go on a walk almost every day; there is no collective space on my route and I am not approaching anyone, I just listen to the music I love, doing my walk. Getting fresh air and moving makes me feel good. When I get home, I take a shower and do the daily chores. Having a late breakfast allows me to skip lunch. I drink my Turkish coffee in the afternoon.
If I can find motivation afterwards, I sit at the computer and write as I do today. When the kids’ school is finished, if the weather is sunny, we go out to the balcony. They rest by eating their fruit on the balcony or do their homework if any. In this period when young people are forbidden to go out, the only place where they can find the sun, the fresh air and the real connection with the outside world is the balcony. In the evening, we always have our dinner on our big table in the living room and chat together. My older daughter, who is preparing for a central school admittance exam goes back to learning after the meal. My little daughter continues to hop around. Even though the school of the children is closed, we make sure they go to bed not too late. We try to spend time some quality time with my husband.
Another thing that I found benefitial is exercising at home. During the day, we turn the dining table in the living room into a table tennis table and we play table tennis. We do yoga and exercise with remote connection. Many experts organize free lessons and upload videos during this period. I can say that I exercise more than normal time. My favorite is Pamela Reif, who shares free and very good workout videos on YouTube; I choose one of the programs according to my situation according to different times and levels. Sometimes we do it together with my daughters. I especially see the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga. Yoga Sala, where I normally go for yoga classes has live yoga sessions every day; they share the daily program on their Instagram account.
I try not to go to bed very late at night. Even if I’m not going to work, it feels good to sleep and wake up early. I listen to the experts, going to bed around 23:00 and sleeping 7-8 hours in order to get the most benefit from sleep. I haven’t been sick so far and I feel strong. I find that good sleeping habits make me more resilient and tolerant.
I do my shopping from the neighborhood. This way, I minimize my carbon footprint and I support the small businesses as much as I can. Either I go to collect or order home.
There are many publications, seminars and trainings for free. Whenever I see one that I want to join, I take notes in the form of a meeting on my calendar. So far; I had the opportunity to listen to a great whiskey talk from ‘Meleklerin Payi’, caught a free seminar called ‘Science of Happiness’ from Edx (They have put the video on their Facebook account, you can watch it if you are interested) and watched a free show from Cirque de Soleil. If you have the time and the motivation, you can attend free online courses from Edx, Coursera or Khan Academy given by instructors at the most prominent universities worldwide.
Every time I go out, I visit my mom and dad who live very close to our apartment. They are both over sixty-five years old, so it is forbidden for them to leave their homes. We chat through the window. They sort out their needs by ordering home, but their main need is to see us and chat with us. Sometimes they feel really down, therefore we try to keep an eye on them at all times.
It also feels very good to talk to friends and find longing. Some days we schedule to talk to friends who live in different parts of the world. There has hardly been any opportunity to do this before. We learn what is happening elsewhere and give each other hope.
This period will surely end and these hard days will be left behind. I think that; the healthier we can be out of this period, physically and spiritually with our loved ones, the better. That is why I wanted to write about what is working for me. I hope it helps you too. Maybe, just like in the movie “Groundhog Day”, if we can turn into a better version of ourselves who cares about the rest of the world, this virus nightmare will be over when we wake up one morning. Take care and stay safe!