Traveling has always been my personal means of escaping the hassles of work and naggings of life. Weekends were my ‘me time’ – a time to recharge, to eliminate the toxins of my life, to connect with nature. But the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has left me constrained within the four walls of our house, surrounded by concrete buildings, chained by regulations forbidding any geographical movement.
My mind has become a gruesome battlefield for almost four months of quarantine now. Undesirable thoughts have been hovering around my head – the uncertainty of work for a breadwinner, anxiety of getting infected, horrors of losing my loved ones, and probability of surviving through this pandemic in this city which has the highest number of covid-19 cases in the country.
I never thought adulting could look this hard. For an overthinker, each day gets more and more tiring and difficult to pacify the ramblings in my head – of trying to see the silver lining when the horizon’s not even clear. Struggles of mental health are real. And the bad news is that: I don’t have the weekends to look forward to anymore.
Getting through these unprecedented times
But for almost four months now, I get to play with the terrible cards that I have. I am blessed to wake up every morning, to still do work despite the economic challenges, and spend quality time with the family. While this pandemic kept me from physically traveling, it allowed me to discover more places, learn new cultures, and get more productive with life – by watching Kdramas.
Petty for some, but the stories aired on Netflix, Viu, and iflix kept me sane these days. These feel-good Kdramas helped appease the tensions within me. They brought me to places around the world and gave me an opportunity to understand other people’s perspectives. Each episode gave me something to ponder and reflect on. It helped me deviate from the path leading to stress – of fake news and political savagery.
What life has taught me this Quarantine
Like how others keep themselves busy with cooking, gardening, crafting, and getting fit, watching Kdramas kept the nagging thoughts in my head at bay. More than anything else, this quarantine made me realize how important it is to constantly check our mental health – and of our family members and friends too. With higher screen times these days, it’s easy for us to be devoured by media and fake news; which in turn could trigger the underlying battles that we have kept to ourselves. We have to learn to be selective with our battles – and the things that we feed our minds.
The coronavirus pandemic has greatly changed the way we look at our lives right now. And I guess we’ll never be the same person again after this. Life is truly unpredictable. But we have to continue betting our aces no matter how terrible our cards are. We have to keep going. Mind over matter.
And I look forward to the day when all of this is over – when borders are opened, when flights are already allowed, when I get to meet and hug my friends once again, and when I can travel to destinations that I only get to see in Kdramas right now. I hope to get there soon. In the meantime, let’s keep fighting. Aja!
This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project”. The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit, “Write to Ignite Blog Project” aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented by Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet and Teleperformance.