Updated: Mar 18
Disclaimer: photos of the city taken on Saturday March 14th, before the lockdown.
A week has passed since we got the news of Spain entering the state of emergency due to the current COVID-19 situation. It wasn’t a shocking news as we were looking at what was happening in Italy and we knew the lockdown was the only way to prevent spreading the virus more and more.
On Saturday night, knowing that we wouldn’t be allowed outside for a long time, I went on one last walk by the sea to watch the sunset. It felt very strange, many people were outside enjoying their last moments of ‘freedom’. Who knows when we will be able to go to the beach again? …
Sunday was quite a weird day. Many people were still going out as they understood the lockdown was starting on Monday, so the police already started to go around and tell people to go home. There was no running by the sea or exercising on the beach allowed anymore. That was it: everyone inside!
Before the official lockdown announcement, people went a bit crazy and did some panic buying, clearing the toilet paper shelves of the shops (we are all still wondering WHY TOILET PAPER ?!). Quickly, the shops became empty as everyone was stocking up on food. But a few days after the state of emergency announcement, it was almost back to normal.
Adjusting to the current situation
It took me time to adjust to this surreal situation: working from home most of the time, the idea of having to stay home and work remotely didn’t scare me as it’s already part of my daily routine. My main concern was not to be able to go outside for my daily walk by the sea, to get some fresh air and get my 10 000 steps in after spending the whole day sitting and working on the computer. Thankfully, I’m lucky to live with a former personal trainer so she’s keeping us fit during the lockdown as we can’t go to the gym. Every morning at 7.30am my flatmates and I are on the rooftop terrace to do our daily bootcamp: best way to start the day (even if some days I am grumpy and not really into it, let’s be honest!)
As the days went by, we noticed more and more policemen around our square, controlling the whereabouts of people walking: if you have to go to work, you should present your work contract or a certificate from your boss; if you are coming back from the shops, you have to present your receipts to make sure you really went food shopping. If you’re walking your dog, they might ask you the document of the animal to make sure it’s yours, as some dog owners are now renting their dog so people can go on a walk!!! No jokes!
What I should have done differently
I think my biggest mistake during this first week was to spend way too much time on social media: as many people found themselves without jobs, they were so much more active on Facebook and Instagram. I’m a bit addicted to YouTube and watching stories all day long, so content creator and influencers posting twice as much as usual didn’t help me to put my phone down. One week in, I’ve decided to not turn on my phone before 12pm every day, so I can concentrate on other things in the morning without watching the news nor everyone’s accomplishments during the quarantine.
I don’t know how you felt when you started seeing everyone planning to make the most of it and taking the opportunity to do things they never have the time to do, but it made me feel super anxious, overwhelmed and sad.
Well yes: my life isn’t really different because I still have to work online part-time for my clients, and the other part of the time to work on my business, so really no more time than usual to start learning how to sew or learn a new language. I was feeling frustrated because I also wanted to be home and not work and have so much time in my hands to do so many different things.
And then I realized the problem wasn’t not having the time, but more not managing my time wisely. As every bit of ‘free’ time I had, I was spending it on social media looking at everyone living their best lockdown lives (because of course, most people are posting about the benefits and what they are achieving, no one talk about their mental breakdowns or their 3-days in a raw in the same pajamas ahah).
Learning from my mistakes
My goal now is to work on my business in the mornings (writing blog posts, editing photos, planning my social media posts and do some online courses), work for my clients in the afternoon, watch a few episodes of The Handmaid’s Tales with my flatmates (we started it yesterday and omg it’s so good!), and read before going to sleep. And let’s not forget our daily morning flatmates rooftop bootcamp.
Focus on the positive
One thing I really love about being stuck at home is that it gives us the opportunity to spend quality time together: playing games, doing crafts and having home-cooked dinners. Food has become the thing we look forward to the most as we can’t go outside, so cooking and eating is becoming our number one activity. So far, we’ve made French toasts, cinnamon rolls, an orange cake, veggie lasagna, Brazilian risoles, beetroot humus, red pepper and Parmesan dip, veggie curry and fish cakes.
I’ve also loved noticing a rise of solidarity during this difficult first week: at 8pm, every night, people go out on their balconies and clap for all the medical staff and other professions doing such a hard job. As we are young and healthy, our elderly neighbour has been asking us to do her shopping and pharmacy runs as she’s scared to go out at all; and it makes us feel useful.
How did your first week of lockdown go ? How are you feeling ? I’ll leave you with an Instagram post that I really needed to see when I was feeling low and unproductive. Hope it helps!