Detours from home: Learning to take it easy even during a pandemic

Ayvee Callao

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Detours from home: Learning to take it easy even during a pandemic
It’s okay if you can’t cross off all of the items in your quarantine to-do list

[Editor’s note: Detours from home is a Rappler column where readers can share about the new things they have learned while in quarantine. A Caviteña shares how apart from playing the kalimba, she learned something more important. You, too, can share your own Detours from home story.]

When I first found out that the entire Metro Manila might be put under lockdown, I panicked. I immediately packed my things and booked a Grab from Mandaluyong to Cavite. I didn’t care if the fare was around P1000. I wanted to be home.

Thankfully, after a few minutes of too much thinking, I realized that I shouldn’t panic but instead, think carefully about each situation I might encounter. I went home through my usual route. I rode the train and took off at Pasay station where my 3-hour bus ride to Cavite is waiting.

During the first few days of the quarantine, I started listing down the things that I must do. I remember telling myself that this was the perfect time to try that infamous skincare routine. The perfect time to go on a diet and workout everyday. The perfect time to read as many books as I could.

But as the days went by and as I heard one bad news after another, I somehow felt unmotivated to do the things I promised to do. I only felt anxious about what could possibly happen in the next few days, weeks, or even months.

Moving at your own pace

So, what I really learned during this quarantine period is this: we should know how to slow down.

We should learn how to not put too much pressure on ourselves even if it seems like we now have all the time in the world. Are you too lazy to workout today? Are you too sleepy to do that 10-step Korean skincare routine? It’s fine. Take your time and don’t force yourself. Remember to take things slowly and move at your own pace. After all, we should take care of our physical as well as our mental well-being.

We often take our mental health for granted. So, if you feel like you are being too harsh on yourself, please slow down and breathe. It’s okay to take a rest.

Reviving old hobbies

When I tried slowing down, my mind became more relaxed. I felt more motivated in discovering or rediscovering the new (and old) things I can do during the quarantine period. Now playing the kalimba has never been this therapeutic. I just learned how to play Captain Ri’s “Song for My Brother” (Hello, “Crash Landing On You” fans).

When I saw that there was a container full of Ferrero chocolates in our pantry, I immediately searched online and looked for what I can do with our soon-to-expire chocolates. Baking is also one of the things I used to enjoy when I was younger. My mom frequently baked for us. I was always the “saling pusa” [extra] back then that’s why I eventually became familiar with it.

And voilà! My own version of chewy Ferrero Rocher cookies.

REVIVING OLD HOBBIES. Being in quarantine made me go back to baking and playing the kalimba. Photos by Ayvee Callao

I was really happy that my cookies turned out pretty good even if I haven’t held the whisk for a long time. It also felt therapeutic to rediscover this hobby especially because I really wanted to do it and not just so I could post photos on social media.

Making self-care a priority

I still haven’t done some of those things that I’ve listed down. But you know what? I’m still happy. 

It’s okay to not discover new things for now because we are all experiencing a pandemic after all. If there’s anything that we should be discovering and rediscovering during this time, it should be how to take good care of ourselves, that alone is enough. –

Ayvee, who lives in Cavite, loves to explore new places with her family and friends. One of her ultimate travel dreams is to personally see the Aurora Borealis and tick it off her bucket list. 

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