Finals in three months. Graduation in six. An internship at DBS and the start of my master’s degree in the next eight. I’ve always liked to plan. Usually, my plans aren’t very detailed, but they help me mentally prepare for the inevitable that is to come. No plan could’ve prepared me for the pandemic, though.
I reacted to COVID-19 the same way a lot of people did: a combination of anxiety and concern. As social distancing and isolation became the new norm, social media outlets and influencers used this opportunity to promote an image of productivity and staying active at home. Overnight, people around me became gym enthusiasts and chefs, and many of my friends jumped on the bandwagon. On the contrary, most days I would wake up, feeling dull and uninspired. I tried making a timetable to give me a sense of direction during the day, but scheduling only added towards the unhealthy pressure of being productive. Getting through the day was tiring enough— heck, it felt like an accomplishment.
At first, I thought that quarantine would be the time to do all the things that I wanted to do. But we are truly in unprecedented times. After all, we are living through a pandemic, trying to survive in the midst of a global crisis. The whole world has come to a crashing halt.
I stopped planning and started to enjoy the things around me and feel good about myself, even when I’m not doing anything productive. I have filled my days with Animal Crossing, sleeping more, and watching Grey’s Anatomy and K-dramas. As every day passes, I adjust and recalibrate at my own standards.
All of this free time is a perfect opportunity for me to slow down. I’ve come to realize that the only way to truly better myself isn’t with a timetable or a bucket list. Instead, it starts with doing what is good for me in the long run, and that includes having a rest, mentally. As the wizard herself, JK Rowling, once said: “Sometimes getting through something is more than enough.”
Written by: Hans So