Self-Care Sunday #24: Dealing with the Mind-Fuck Boredom of Self-Quarantine

The world fucking sucks right now. When I look outside and see the barren streets, I feel like I’m in a post-apocalyptic setting straight out of one of them book things I love to keep my nose in. Schools, jobs, and everything else have gone on lock-down to try and contain the chaos of COVID-19. Sometimes it feels so fucking surreal to me. Oh, and it’s also depressing as hell.

As a supremely introverted person, there are times when I wake up and feel like I’m suffocating in a space that has always been my sanctuary. It’s been a place to come back to. A modest building I can return to for a cup of cocoa and comforts in ways that only home can provide. My mind has been exhausted from the worry of what comes next. My body is beaten from walking through the same five rooms over and over again, and my depression and anxiety has been taking full fucking advantage of it all.

Even so, I won’t leave my house because I don’t wanna be the goddamn vector for this virus villain. I refuse to carry it to others who are far more immunocompromised and at-risk than I am. While I can be pretty self-evolved at times, what justification is there for being selfish enough to lead others to slaughter?

There isn’t.

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So, as a human who likes to go on walks at the park or visit book stores and libraries (which are also on lock-down) as a part of their self-care shenanigans, how can I take care of my mental health during this shitstorm of uncertainty? And according to Madame Gabs crying every day in a fort made of my humongous stack of library books doesn’t count. Which is damn rude.

I do things like build forts out of my walls and walls of unread books.

There are a lot of other people who’d tell you that self-care during a time of crisis is wrong and selfish. I only agree with this sentiment if the routine involves going outside of the house and putting others at risk (BY GOING OUTSIDE). Aside from that, self-care is super important right now. We have to take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally because when the brown clouds of this thing finally clear, we are going to have to find a way to start living again. To pick things up and try and move forward with whatever pieces are left. I dunno about you, but I want to make sure I’m prepared for it. As much as I can be.

And no, I don’t mean that I should go out there and hoard a bunch of stuff that other people need because that’s just as selfish and fucked-up as going outside to begin with. Get your ass back in the house and stop looting all the pasta, Betty.

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So, in an attempt to hold on to the remnants of grey matter that isn’t devoted to things like maintaining a decent GPA or remembering to take my heart meds (I suck at this, btw), I’ve been trying to find ways to keep myself occupied with things that help me relax. When I’m fed up of it or it stops being therapeutic, then I move on to something else. This is even more challenging when my ADHD decides to wake the fuck up and have a never-ending rave. I’m glad it’s having fun. Someone bloody deserves to.

For today’s post, rather than sit here in my battered computer chair and chat about something motivational and inspiring (too damn exhausted for it today, yo), I wanted to show you a side that I rarely reveal on the blog space (yay professionalism-ish): my IRL personality and five different ways it’s coping with self-quarantine.

Spoiler alert: It’s really not.

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05. Books, Books, All the Bloody Books

Today, I shamelessly admit that I have about 1,000 unread books on my shelf (it’s more like 2,000, but hey, tomAto, tomAATo). I’ve finally started to read through them now that I have all this extra time inside my house. When I don’t read them, I take amateur pictures of them or, as mentioned above, I build things out of them. My current project is a cat throne for the King of the World, Sir Khebbertons I.

04. It Ain’t Clean if It’s Not Mr Clean

I don’t know if that’s actually the saying, but while I was cleaning my kitchen earlier, I remembered the old Mr Clean commercials and… oh, fuck it.

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My OCD tends to manifest itself in times of great stress. I will clean every room and every surface multiple times until I can break my brain away from it long enough to find something else to obsess over. This is great because my house is germ-free and smells like pumpkin pie (one of my favourite candles). On the other hand, this sucks because when the house is exceptionally clean and nothing else is working to occupy my attention, I don’t have anything to do except to sit in my book fort and ruminate over the shit that’s stressing me out. Either way, the cleaning bit is fun, though.

03. Living Up to that Anti-Social Blogger Nerd Name

I’ve been blogging a lot more than I initially planned when I returned at the beginning of March. My goal was to share one post per day because it would help prevent burnout and wouldn’t interfere with my schooling. That went out the door rather quickly, didn’t’ it? Since school is on Teachers-Learning-To-Tech vacation, I had the extra time to write more. Blogging has been a saviour for my mental health because it allows me to creatively express myself, which sometimes is just getting out all of my pent-up frustrations (like this hot mess of a self-care post). I don’t share those posts because, well… Y’all will probably think I’m weirder or something. I mean look at this post. It’s mad, I tell you! MAAAAD!

Caffeine probably doesn’t help it.

02. Writing and Drawing and Chasing the Kitty

Aside from the blogging shenanigans, the self-quarantine has given me a lot of time to focus on all my writing projects. I’ve one contemporary that is inspired by the first woman I ever loved (it’s sappy and I hope it’ll make everyone cry). Then there’s an oceanic Polynesian-inspired fantasy thing. I also have a poetry manuscript that has been finished for ages, but I keep adding to it because, why not? Additionally, I’ve gotten back into writing Skip Beat! fan fiction and making all the fans of those stories writhe with impatient glee and it’s sadistically satisfying.

When I’m not writing, I’ve been working on my art. It’s a growing passion that I don’t give a lot of attention to because I’m insecure about my abilities right now. Hopefully in the future when I’m feeling less negative about it, I’ll share some stuff with y’all. Lastly, I chase my cats around the house. We play tag, seriously. I have to get my exercise in somehow.

01. ALL THE VIGI GAMES EVER!!!

Video gaming is my number one form of self-care while I’m stuck in this house of cat hair and hot cocoa. Madame Gabs has a bitching awesome gaming machine that I have been taking full fucking advantage of. Games allow me to completely escape the reality of what is going on. While I don’t ignore it all the time because that would be unhealthy for a number of reasons, I do find that stepping away for extended periods has been a marvellous way for me rejuvenate my mind and my emotions. It keeps the depression and anxiety at bay whilst giving me some of the strangest fucking dreams around. For example, last week I had dream about Claptrap in space while my cat and a horse were talking about humans being dumb on the bridge of our ship. NO JOKE! I blame the heart drugs…

Borderlands 3 came out on Steam last week and that’s been my main obsession. I fucking love this franchise and it’s so much fun to play! I’ve also been playing Metroid: Samus Returns on my Nintendo 3DS, and Octopath Traveller for the Nintendo Switch. I’ll be starting Hyrule Warriors later today. If I didn’t have video games, I honestly would not be keeping it together at all.

Contrary to how this post may make it seem.

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Those are a handful of ways of that I have been participating in self-care while being stuck at home. Other smaller things that I like to do once in a while is make some chai and listen to music, dabble in HTML (so fricking therapeutic and relaxing, OMG), outline BookTube videos I’m too chicken to record, wordsearch puzzles, and waste time on Pinterest/Tumblr. Oh, WASH MY HANDS LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER. (Yay, germaphobia)

Remember to do some self-care of your own. In your house. Where it’s safe. By washing your hands. And STAYING INSIDE. At the very least, stay the bleeding hell away from other people.

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end of post banner 2020

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20 thoughts on “Self-Care Sunday #24: Dealing with the Mind-Fuck Boredom of Self-Quarantine

  1. Right on point today, it is so important to take care of ourselves mentally during this time. Being able to do things to take our minds off of what is going on for even a few moments can help us stay calm and sane.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If your town isn’t in complete lockdown or very crowded you could probably go outside for a bit, as long as you are keeping your distance to everyone else. Of course keeping your distance may be difficult or impossible depending on where you are ( I’m in a rural location so for me it is easy) but also on what time of the day it is. Perhaps an early morning walk would be an option?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I live in a metropolitan area where going outside will definitely result in me being around lots of people. I do have an exercise bike, which my doctor said is okay to use. As long as I don’t exert myself too much. I’m hoping it will help alleviate some of my stress and help me relax. I usually go on a drive in the middle of the night when the streets are empty. I don’t leave my car except to get into it and get back into the house, so it’s been a decent reprieve.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Please don’t hate me for leaving the house today to go for a walk. I keep my distance from people, don’t step foot in public places like stores and campus, and only take the trails less travelled by. Today I got 10,000 steps (using the Fitbit again) and honestly, I felt much better than I’ve felt in days! I’ve also been gaming a lot lately and spent the majority of the weekend playing Pokémon on Nintendo Switch. When we first got the switch, I didn’t think we needed it but now I’m grateful that we have it.

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    • I think leaving the house and staying isolated from the people around you is okay, but the folx who are going to parties for spring break, or do stupid shit like lick a toiled seat (oh yes, this is a thing) to show they aren’t afraid of the virus are the ones who really piss me off. Getting out and walking when you can is actually probably a good thing because it helps to limit the impact of stress, which if someone is super stressed, it weakens their immune system. So, if you gotta leave and you’re being smart about it, I think that’s perfectly okay. It’s the immature and callous ones I was mostly talking about in my post.

      Video games have been a total saviour and I’m so grateful for all the consoles in our home. It’s been helping us to stay sane and distracted.

      Hope you guys are coping alright. Sending warm thoughts to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Gawd. No, I’m not one of those people. I don’t party, I don’t do drugs, and I don’t lick toilet seats. Never been to a night club and have never gone on spring break vacation. There is a term for these people who don’t follow the rules regarding COVID-19. We call em’ Covidiots.

        Sadly, the campus shut down and put more restrictions on things, so I can’t really go there now. It’s cold AF outside so I didn’t leave the house yesterday, which isn’t good. I noticed that my mood is shit when I don’t leave the house at all.

        OMG yes. Video games are great. I’m almost done one of the games I started a few days ago. Technically I’m still in school but it feels like a total joke at this point, since my exams were cancelled. I have paperwork for one of them but the entire course is hands on, so these assignments don’t really reflect what we’re learning.

        Thank you, please stay safe and healthy as well! 🧘‍♀️🌱

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  5. Books and games and Internet – reading lots of blogs and no more news than I have to. I’m 60 and hubby, of course, has ESRD so he’s in high as hell risk of dying if he gets it. Yet we have to go to his 3x a week dialysis treatments. However, we have a nice little park right down the street so we are taking at least a little walk outdoors where there is grass and trees and dandelions and clover and things – which helps me stay sane. Otherwise, I’m with you, head down in a book or in a game. And still somehow I have this vast and growing pile of magazines and things I need to go through. I’ve been doing some spring deep cleaning here and there as well. Okay, maybe I clean when I’m obsessing and upset. A lot. Thank you so very much for having the decency to self quarintine even though you’re not in the danger zone, thank you for being considerate of those of us who are. Here in Las Vegas, I’m still seeing a lot of people out and about, shopping and who knows what. I figure that’s on them – we’re finding out now that younger people can get sick enough to be hospitalized. Karma works. And all of yours is good, good, good. Blessedbe and be well. Go read some of those books and tell us about them! I’ll be waiting eagerly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Books and video games have been a lifesaver. I think I’ve read like 18 books already this month and read like almost 30 books in February. Most of them were manga or comics, but still. It’s the most reading I’ve done in ages, lol.

      Young adults are actually the ones who seem to be catching it the most in certain areas, which shows you that just because someone is young doesn’t mean they are invincible. But try telling the college kids partying it up that. sighs

      Take care of yourself and your hubby too. Sending warm thoughts, my friend. ❤ And I’ll definitely review the books in the coming weeks. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ah, young, dumb and full of … I remember much the same attitude when AIDS became so prevalent in the gay community. Even after we knew how it spread, the young men went right on doing what young men do. There is an age, which no doubt you remember if I do, when you are quite sure you are indestructible. Sigh. I hate to break it to them, but one reason the death toll is so heavily skewed towards older people it that in countries that are long since out of respirators they are not doing triage. The younger people who are more likely to survive get the respirators, while the older people are pushed out into the hallway to die. It isn’t that young people aren’t getting sick – it’s that they get the majority of the care and treatment since old folk with underlying health issues are more or less considered half dead anyway. You know, people like me and especially my hubby. But young and dumb never think about that. Because they’ll neVEr be all old and decrepit like us. I remember that. LOL.Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. Be safe and be home 😀 and keep reviewing books!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh man, I remember when I was much younger I definitely felt invincible lol. But then I grew up and realised not so much. Yet it has made me stronger, which I’m grateful for. 🙂

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  7. I’m living my life like I’ve had for the last years. I’m a social misfit so there’s not much difference. But I can see how it affects others, this social distancing and quarantining. My husband has to work, he can’t really be sick or his work will fail with him. He’s a personal care assistant and the guy he works with is very dependent on him. He has three assistants and they barely manages as it is without any pandemics. So, I’m grateful if people would stay away. Unfortunately people don’t. We went to the grocery store the other day and people cough and sneeze and it’s like they have forgotten what it might do. I had to go, my parents are isolating themselves; my dad having COPD and can’t really afford to catch even the regular flu. So we buy food for them when needed.

    The thing here is that our government has just told people to stay at home if they have a cold or slight symptoms of a cold. That’s all. Schools are open, restaurants, shops, everything really. Gatherings are allowed up to 500 people. Even ski resorts are open and people go on ski holidays. Why would you even think that is a good idea?! That only shows how little people take this seriously. The first week perhaps two, people worried but now it’s like they are numb. No one cares. “As long as we wash our hands.” Yeah, I wrote it in another comment to you (I hope you didn’t get angry at me, it wasn’t my intention.) but people think that’s enough. They really do. That’s all they do. Wash their hands.

    I can related to the washing of hands by the way. I’ve gotten better but I had a really bad episode when I washed my hands 10-20-30 times a day. This time I stop myself when I’m home because I know I can get out of hand quickly. I need to tell myself that I am safe at home. I wash whenever I get home if I have been out or when the kids and the husband gets home but that has got to do. But it’s hard. It’s so damn hard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, people in the States are just so disrespectful of the situation; not all of them, but most of them are, especially the college kids. They cough and sneeze all around them, their kids do the same thing and then run around and touch everything with their gross hands. It’s been difficult. I don’t even leave for grocery shopping, Madame Gabs takes care of it since she has a really healthy immune system. But she’s also very careful when she does it so she doesn’t bring anything back home to me.

      Our schools and a lot of our government stuff has shut down. The only that’s really open are restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores–stuff like that. And even then, they’re all doing curbside pickup for food, so no one dines in the restaurants. Which is a good way to provide food but also limiting the chances of spread this thing around. But our president is different. He thinks that we should go back to normal since the economy is getting fucked up, and that it will all sort itself out. Which is such a terrible way of thinking and dealing with this. Hoping it will go away won’t actually make it go away if people aren’t willing to do what’s necessary, you know?

      I’ve always been a heavy hand-washer and overall sanitary person, but this situation has totally exasperated it, so I completely understand. My hands are always pretty dry because I’m so paranoid about staying germfree.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You would probably hate living with me. I’m an Oscar, you’re a Felix. (See The Odd Couple)

        OTOH, my wife washes her hands so many times it is almost impossible to get a fingerprint off her. That’s a real issue among nurses because they have to be fingerprinted for their licenses.

        With my wife off saving the world as a triage nurse now, I’m usually alone. Most of the things that keep me happy are either unavailable or I have temporarily lost interest in them.

        If I were to publish what I’m really thinking and feeling right now, it would probably swing between deep depressive darkness and 24/7 naked-in-nature. (Maybe even some NC-17 stuff. I always wanted to try my hand at erotica. Boredom leads to fantasy…) I don’t think anyone here wants to hear about the inside of my brain right now. Or at least nobody would admit to it. So I try to keep posts as light versions of what’s really going on inside my head.

        Liked by 1 person

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