For most of us, this self-isolation period is riddled with anxiety, delirium and endless snacks. Being inside all day has forced the majority of us to become more creative, more frugal, more patient, more grateful and has seemingly spurred a lot of new bakers! While this practice of social distancing is hard, there’s comfort in the idea that we’re all struggling in some way at the moment. At GRAZIA, we thought it would be nice to peek into the lives of other Australian women going through the same thing. Each day, we’ll bring you the honest tale of a woman, just like you, living her best inside-life from her little spot in America, The UK, Singapore, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. We’re all in this together and some shared tips during this shared experience might be the little pick-me-up you need today to shift some of that stale energy.
I live in Mallorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. I am in the North East right by Sa Font De Sa Cala beach. The main town nearby is Capdepera. For over two weeks, we have been on strict lockdown, which has meant we are not allowed to leave our casas unless we are going direct to the closest supermarket, pharmacy or hospital essentially. It is very lifestyle and community-based here so we normally would be spending a lot of time with our friends, at the beaches or exploring the many beautiful walking tracks. I also love to head into the CBD – Palma, to enjoy a good restaurant and shopping. The normally busy CBD is deserted. The island is a ghost town at the moment.
I am a big fan of a sleep-in. Ask anyone, I am not a morning person. So I have been waking up at my leisure, no alarm clock, a total luxury. Tea first. I catch up with my family and friends back home in Australia. Then I do a mix of tending to my chickens, work, cooking, art, organising the things you always say you never have time for and, oh, and making sure that if the weather is good, I spend some time outside in the fresh air and the sun. We are lucky enough to live on 15,000 square metres with a sea view. We also have a big herb and veggie garden which we have been seeding and tending to during this time – sometimes I even have the motivation to go for a run around the property (that’s probably a pretty loose use of the word “sometimes”).
We usually finish the day on the couch with the fire on watching something on television. Currently, my boyfriend and I are into streaming the new season of Ozark with a glass of Vino Tinto and, later, a homemade limoncello. (This is evening ritual added to your daily routine when you date an Italian.)
The most challenging part of self-isolation is being with your thoughts. There is a lot of time to worry and to overanalyse the future and the now. It is important to work through some of the thoughts and use this time productively, but also, its essential to keep busy and know that a lot of what you may be thinking is probably just in your head and won’t actually turn into reality! My mumma always says, “Cross that bridge when you come to it, Doll”.
I’m most worried about my family and friends who live in cities and I am far away from. I feel so blessed to live in a place surrounded by so much space during this time.
Within 24 hours, what was normally a buzzing island gearing up for the upcoming summer tourism season, became a complete ghost town. There were no planes in the sky, no one walking on our street, no one at the beaches, no restaurants open, only some supermarkets and pharmacies. Most hotels who were closed during the off-season and would normally be opening now, will not open at all this year. We need to support small business during these tough times. The other thing is, online, I have seen visuals of many locals caught by the police and fined for breaking the restrictions in place. I find it baffling that so many people have a complete disregard for both their own and other people’s safety and wellbeing. En Casa people!
My three tips for managing cabin fever are:
Don’t see it as a stop or a pause, see this forced isolation as a pivot; An opportunity to re-think, re-strategise and re-calibrate your life both personally and professionally. I have been using this time to plan the next chapter of my biz SPEAR, doing things I “never have time for” that should put me in good stead for when its back to business as usual.
“Just dance, gonna be okay”. My boyfriend and I have music on all day and when a good track comes on you will find us having a spontaneous 30 second boogie together. It shakes out the restlessness, boosts the endorphins and puts a smile on our faces – it feels good to be a little silly!
At the start of each day make a list with your planned activities. I have found it really helpful to think at the beginning of each day how I can spend my time and writing myself a list (I love a to do list!). Before I know it, the day is over and I’ve enjoyed it!
I will you never complain about anything again. But one example would be, “Oh that’s such a long drive” – Mallorca is quite expansive, so you usually have to drive a little bit to do anything here. Just to be able to drive somewhere without the fear of getting in trouble would be a welcomed opportunity right now. I plan to think twice before complaining about the commute again!
I wouldn’t say I was ever ungrateful… but I was finding sometimes the idiosyncrasies of island life made this city girl a little crazy. There isn’t a decent local florist (and if you find one they love a purple lime green wrapping combo – chic), a good nail salon nearby or a shopping mall. All that aside, I am so grateful for the life I have chosen to live in Mallorca; the space, the land, the water, the people, my life here in totality. The second I get a little frustrated by something small in the future, I am going to remind myself of what I actually need versus what I just want and of how magical this place we call home is! We spend a lot of time travelling all over the world for our jobs, so it is a total luxury to live here and live this slower paced life when we aren’t on the road.