It seems like everyone’s a runner under quarantine. Now, it’s forced us to learn how to run too. And it hasn’t been easy.
So this is what the cat feels like.
There was a time—we’ll call it B.Q. (Before Quarantine)—where we envied the lives of our two indoor cats.
‘Oh look,’ we’d say indulgently as we watched Hugo Cat gaze out the window at a pigeon across the street. ‘He wants to go outside.’
We’d chuckle. And think it was cute. And wave a feather in his face to make him feel like maybe, just maybe, he had gone outside and just didn’t know it.
‘She’s so lucky,’ we’d grumble at the sight of Poe Cat getting comfortable for her 12th, or 25th, nap of the day. (Though, if your life is pretty much comprised of naps, isn’t it all just one big sleep? A question for another time.)
We’re the first to admit that it’s hard to look at our cats and not give in to that little green monster. And by little green monster I don’t mean your cat, Snookums, who you forced to dress as half an avocado last Halloween. I mean envy.
If you’ve ever been owned by a cat you know what I mean when I say their lives can be quite jealousy-inducing. While you might wake up on an average Tuesday with a commute and day’s worth of work looming ahead of you, the most pressing event Mr. Fluffy McMeowington has on his schedule is to spend 10 minutes batting at his toy mouse trapped beneath the refrigerator. After which he’ll wait until the rescue team (a.k.a. you) gets home to begin meowing endlessly until you retrieve it for him.
On Friday’s schedule? While you’re off trying to make an honest living, Mr. Fluffy McMeowington is busy losing his toy mouse under the fridge again. See you back here next Tuesday, human, same time, same place.
Gaurav and I have fallen prey to feelings of envy many a time. We’ve wished we could take naps whenever we want. Pop in for a snack when the mood strikes. And hang out at home all day without ever having to leave. In short, we believed that the cat’s life was indeed for us.
You know where this is going, but I’m still going to spell it out for you: IT’S ALREADY HAPPENING. Fast-forward to the time of A.Q. and our lives have achieved what we lusted after for so long: they’ve taken on an uncomfortable cat-like consistency.
Sure, we still have work to keep us going, but there are times when we look around our flat and pose the sobering query, ‘Is it too late to take a nap?’. A valid question, considering there’s not much else to do. We look forward to each meal with the same eagerness our cats exhibit whenever we get out their kibble jar. G&Ts have become our equivalent of catnip; treats we’re somehow still surprised to know we can have on a regular weekday and for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
In much the same way I imagine it is for our cats, time seems to have become meaningless. Night and Day are the only two consistencies. Most mornings it takes us about a minute to remember which day of the week it is — and the majority of the time we later find out we’ve guessed wrong.
Weekends? What are those?
The other day, and I really, really wish I was kidding as I write this, Gaurav and I sat with our foreheads pressed up against the living-room window for fifteen minutes and watched an interaction between two delivery men — one of whom was delivering donuts, but not to us unfortunately — with the sort of rapt focus reserved for things like chocolate giveaways and new Star Wars movies.
As if this isn’t bad enough, Hugo and Poe have taken to looking at us lately with expressions that say, ‘Ye should have stayed quiet, stupid human, for ye knew not what ye asked for.’ (Yes, I imagine they speak like cranky old knights from the Middle Ages).
Apparently life as a cat isn’t quite as luxurious and easy as we once believed. Now I can empathize when I see Hugo gazing longingly outside because I know exactly how he feels.
Then Gaurav waves a feather in my face and for a moment I feel like maybe, just maybe, I have gone outside and just don’t know it.
Our new vlog where we get tipsy on gin & tonics and talk about 5 great books to read during isolation.
It’s been two weeks since self-isolation began. Three days since a total lockdown was put in place. And here we find ourselves living in close proximity to our significant others 24/7 with no end in sight. Suddenly, all those jokes we used to make about…
The world has changed a lot in just a few weeks, hasn’t it? Only weeks ago it seemed like most people were still commuting to office, still stopping off at the local pub, still hanging out with friends and taking trips. Now, suddenly, we all find ourselves isolated at home, many having lost jobs and income in the process.
While the UK government seems to do a fair job of offering monetary support to those who are currently unemployed, one of the toughest parts of not having a job can be emotional. Trust me, I know. Much of my (Katie) work is dependent on people traveling, being able to travel myself, or simply having access to a local post office—a current no-no.
So what do you do when the daily purpose of a job is suddenly taken away? Here are a few tips on how to prevent that feeling of aimlessness when you’re at home all day.
Exercising during quarantine doesn’t actually translate to doing home yoga in your flat. Yes, there are some pretty severe restrictions on daily life right now, but one of the allowances given by Boris Johnson is that locals can leave their flats once a day to exercise—be that going for a walk, a jog, or riding a bicycle. Just be mindful of staying far away from others, get out earlier rather than later, and don’t touch anything while on your walk or run. Also remember to keep an ID with you in case you get stopped by police, and never go out with more than one other person (groups of more than two are not allowed).
That being said, here are two of our favorite free yoga and Pilates workout channels if you’d rather stay inside (or really hate running)!
Yoga With Adriene: We love this channel because there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner, looking for ways to ease/manage anxiety, or if you’d like a longer, more strenuous yoga workout. An added bonus is the adorable pup that makes the occasional appearance in the videos!
PsycheTruth: This channel offers a huge variety of yoga and Pilates workouts. Our current favorite is this short 20-minute Pilates workout which really targets your entire body and we guarantee will leave your muscles burning!
2. Don’t stay in bed
Depression and anxiety are definitely spiking right now and not having a job to wake up to can be detrimental to mental health. If you’re feeling aimless even getting out bed can seem like a monumental task. The thing is, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you’re unable to go outside for a walk and all you feel capable of today is curling up in your comforter. That’s fine. But try to take on the small challenge of moving from your bed to your couch. Hey, you can even take your comforter with you. But as long as you do this one small movement every day, you’re doing something good for yourself while also keeping your bed as a sleep-only space.
It might feel like your life is completely lacking in structure right now, which is understandable, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some sort of schedule. Aim to exercise every day at the same time, eat your meals on a schedule, and make your small move out of bed and to the sofa within a certain time frame. In fact, setting an alarm to get you up at the same time every morning is a great way to instill a little structure in your life and put some control back in your hands.
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but daily meditation is an excellent way to unearth positive feelings and give yourself a sense of purpose. We tend to complain about how busy our lives are and how hard it is to fit in things like meditation, but now that you do have the time why not give your mental health a little at-home TLC. Headspace is an amazing meditation app that has a lot of free options, or you can pay for a subscription if you’d like access to more meditations. It’s our go-to meditation app and we’re definitely using it a lot these days!
5. Have fun
I know, I know, it’s easier said than done, but this is really a case of ‘make the most of a bad situation’. Remember that you’re not alone in this, thousands of people are going through similar circumstances and we all need to find creative ways to still enjoy life while in quarantine. Stay connected with friends and family and schedule fun virtual activities to do every week. You can do live yoga classes together and discuss them after, do stay-at-home quiz nights via video chat, or plan karaoke nights where you take requests from friends and vice-versa (like we did last Friday night on Instagram)! This will not only help you, and others, stay connected, but it’ll give you something to look forward to every week too.
6. Shift your focus
A great way to instill a sense of purpose is by reaching out to help others. Crises like the one we’re experiencing are the most harmful to vulnerable communities, and local organizations need our help more than ever. Donations to food banks are especially vital at the moment as they have seen an increase in need while food sources have depleted at the same time (a good reason not to panic buy). That’s not the only way you can help though, many organizations, like the Kath Duncan Equality and Civil Rights Network have set up WhatsApp groups in various boroughs and need people to volunteer time for tasks like chatting on the phone with others in isolation, walking dogs, or doing deliveries to people in need.
7. Talk to a counsellor
There are a lot of strong emotions floating around right now, and it’s completely valid to feel overwhelmed, afraid, or anxious. These are natural reactions given the uncertainty we’re facing and how quickly things seem to have escalated. If it’s affordable to you, check out online counseling through sites like BetterHelp. A counsellor can help you talk through your emotions and find healthy ways to approach quarantine life.
What are some of the ways you’re coping with staying at home? Share your tips with us below!
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