I cannot believe it has been just over a year since I began working from home, wearing a mask in public, and self isolating with my partner. So much as changed. The year has felt excruciatingly long, and yet it also feels as if time has not passed at all. I know I’m not alone in how I have felt during the pandemic, and I’ve written a couple of pieces already discussing how I was personally trying to get through such a weird time. I wrote about 6 ways I was coping through self isolation, and I also collected ten things that were getting me through the pandemic in another post. However, this post is really just to take some time to reflect on my year in self isolation during a world wide pandemic. I hope you’ll get yourself some tea and settle it with me while I get some of these thoughts out.
Before I begin I would also like to give a content warning. I will be discussing my mental health, my body and weight, and other things that may be triggering. If this isn’t something that you have the mental space for, that’s completely okay, and I will see you on the next blog post. There’s nothing but love here for you so take care of yourself first.
The State of My Mental Health
I haven’t exactly made it a secret that I have been struggling with my mental health. Other than the pandemic taking its toll, my doctor and I have been trying to find a new medication combination that works for me after an increase to my mood stabilizers that wasn’t quite doing the job. I have some hope that I can cut back on my medication once life gets back to some kind of normal, but right now, every day is a choice. I have to make the choice to crawl out of bed, even if it’s 30 minutes after I was supposed to login for work. I have to make the choice to take care of myself by eating, taking my medications, doing my skincare routine, taking a shower, and moving my body in ways that feel good. Sometimes I don’t choose to do those things, and I have found that it makes my depression so much worse. So here I am: making the choice to keep going and pushing through.
I’m still seeing my therapist once a month. I have been doing really well with my anxiety with all of the above considered. My coping mechanisms are starting to become second nature, but sometimes I have to take a step back and consider how I want to handle my anxiety in certain situations. I’m really proud of myself and how far I’ve come. The fact that I’ve been able to keep my anxiety mostly in check during the past year is something I’m really thankful for. So yes, there have been many downs in the past year, but there have also been ups. I’m getting through it; I’m working through it. It’s going to be okay.
The State of My Health Journey
I have not been to the gym in a year. This definitely sounds like a first world problem, and I know it is. The reality for myself and many others is that the gym wasn’t there just to lose weight, build muscle, etc. The gym was my special place. I could let everything go. I could lift through my anxiety. I would leave feeling so light, like the world was finally off my shoulders. And working out with weights, helped me want to eat in a way that was good for my body. Without the steady routine of lifting at the gym and doing hour long boot-camp group sessions every Saturday, I stopped doing almost any activity and have gained weight. I tried to walk daily which worked until the snow and ice overtook the sidewalks. I also tried to incorporate more yoga into my day during work breaks, but all it took was a few weeks of nonstop work meetings and low energy days for me to stop doing yoga too. I was doing really well with Ring Fit for awhile too, but even that slowly died off leaving me with regained weight and a huge loss of self confidence.
Things are finally starting to look up for me though. I have slowly transitioned back into cooking more often. I have stopped skipping meals due to busy work days by adding healthy and easy snacks to a basket in my office. I finally got my hands on a bench and weights (an adjustable kettlebell and adjustable dumbbells – what a score!) and I am so ready to get back into lifting. I am going to start slow because I know with not having a routine for so long and only working out sporadically that this is going to take some time to get back to working out 4 to 5 days a week and lifting the same weights I used to. I’ve decided not to weigh myself for the time being and instead focus on how I’m feeling, because ya girl has been feeling really shitty lately. I am continuing to practice forgiveness for myself and am eager to get back to taking care of my body in a way that makes me happy.
The State of My Home Life
You probably already know that my partner and I bought our home in September 2020 during the ongoing pandemic. It is only within the last month or so that it has started to feel like a home. After waiting for 6 months on a couch we ordered, we finally decided to cancel the order and give Costco a shot. After a small error with our order, the couch came within a week. I promise when I say that the couch was not only comfortable as hell, but that it made our house feel like a home, that I’m not saying that just because we had been sitting on the floor for the past 6-7 months. My partner and I also re-arranged the office, and it’s no longer cramped with three computer desks. Alec and I are finally starting to visualize making the spaces our own. I completed my vision board back in February and honestly, I can see it starting to happen for us. It makes me so happy and excited to make a home here.
We have also added to our family. We had been talking about adopting a second dog for awhile, and several months ago, we decided to start seriously looking. It was especially taxing on me because it was extremely hard to get a response from the shelters and rescues, and when I did receive a response, it would only get my hopes up until I was told that my family was not chosen for the adoptable pup. I had to take a break for awhile because one dog in particular really got to me. I couldn’t help but visualize our life with these pups. In January, I spotted two beagle-dachshund puppies up for adoption. I called and left a message early that morning to ask after the female, but also said that we would be interested in the male as well if she wasn’t available. A few hours later, I got a call back that the boy was available but that he had a disability; he was completely blind in one eye and half blind in the other. He would need medication for the rest of his life. I knew this was something Alec and I could handle, and after a conversation with Alec, we put a deposit down on him. We drove two hours that weekend to pick our new furbaby. Odin has quickly adapted to our family and is a happy addition. See the photo below of Padme and Odin in their natural habitat.
The State of My Work Life
I am still working from home and as of now, there’s no solid plans for returning to the office. Myself and most of my coworkers are hoping that working from home will become an option now that we know it can work for us. Thinking of going back to the office honestly makes me anxious. Being around so many people in an enclosed space with distractions galore just makes me want to runaway. Obviously, I want to keep my job so whatever happens, I will have to deal with it. I plan to continue to mask up and keep my distance as much as possible, but I have my fingers crossed that remote work will become an option for everyone.
I mentioned in my mental health update above that work has been busy to the point where I have been forgoing eating and taking my medication. While the stress has been mostly manageable, I have had a hard time being able to take care of myself with back to back meetings and just trying to get as much done as possible every week. I started self isolation with setting alarms to eat, take my medication, and stretch or walk. The last few months have been really difficult so I’ve simply ignored my alarms and kept working. I am trying something new with the help of my dear friend Heather at Just Geeking By. I downloaded a reminder app that she recommended and uploaded some cute images with affirmations that remind me to eat, take my medication, and take breaks. I’ve been doing this for just over a month now, and so far it’s been working for me.
The State of the Blog, YouTube, and Patreon
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you know not much has changed other than three written posts have been condensed to two per week to make room for sharing my YouTube videos every Friday. I’m still putting out content that I love and care about. I’m even trying my hand at new things when I can like talking about my filming setup and some new Sims 4 content. I hope you all are enjoying it because writing has been the one thing I have been trying to keep up with. Some days it’s really tough, but other days I bust out three or four posts at once because the words are just flowing through me so easily. I’m also still working on the rebrand but nothing has been solidified; I’ll let you know when I have more information on the rebrand. And YouTube has been fun for me. I’m still playing through Haunting Ground on YT, and we’re about to hit the halfway point I believe. I have also really been having fun building in the Sims 4 and posting the speed builds with a little voice over. I have some ideas up my sleeve for future builds that I hope everyone will enjoy so stay tuned!
As for Patreon, I won’t lie. When I started Patreon, I was just fine with having one or two patrons and still generating content twice a week for them. I have lost a couple of Patrons in the last few months, and it has sucked the air from my sails so to speak. I don’t blame them in anyway. If funds are tight, or if they just aren’t enjoying the content, it’s totally valid for them to leave. Seeing people leave has made me re-think having a Patreon. I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet, because I still have a patron, but I think it’s time I rethink my content for Patreon. I’ve been brainstorming a bit and once I begin streaming, I think some changes will come to the Geeky Gang. Hopefully they will be welcome changes that I can build a community around.
Thank you for reading about my reflection on my year in isolation. I hope you are doing well and taking time for self care. Much love to you! See you soon!
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