Saturday, August 1, 2020

What Have You Done to Keep Yourself Sane During This Pandemic?

Memories of being at Great Ocean Road in Melbourne, Australia back in 2019 that I cherish especially right now!
Let's face it: we're all having difficulties adjusting to the new norm of living life during lockdown. The coronavirus outbreak has cost us our loved ones, our past lifestyles, and possibly our sanity. This global pandemic has led us to reflect on what we need to do moving forward. Things are probably not gonna be the same in the coming future. We are constantly sanitizing ourselves, wearing facemasks, and practicing social distancing from others. This may or not drive you crazy, but without a doubt, it has impacted everyone else's lives, one way or another. Many have lost their jobs or have been laid off due to this impact. Many are struggling financially due to unemployment and have us worrying what this pandemic will be moving forward. Our nightlife has been greatly impacted. Just a simple thing like going to the supermarket, getting a haircut or just going to work has been difficult and scary to do because of the lockdown. So many places have closed and gone out of business as well.
Poured my heart and soul into making pastries that others will enjoy like these cream cheese brownies!
Some have gone into depression, and it has greatly affected their mental health. Many have found other outlets just to keep themselves sane. Some have even taken their businesses online, and finding new ways to get themselves more involved on social media. Some have taken a break, and have finally focused on their well being. Whether or not you're learning or earning during this pandemic, know this, whatever you're doing is valid. Just make sure you're keeping yourself sane, and you're wearing facemasks, constantly sanitizing, washing your hands, and avoiding crowds. So now I ask this: What have you done to keep yourself sane during this pandemic?

Making cakes for clients has shown me how much I missed being in the kitchen, especially since lockdown started.
Whether or not you're learning or earning during this pandemic, know this: IT'S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. Acknowledge your weaknesses. Take a break. Reflect on what you've accomplished. Pursue something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done due to you being busy previously. Find something or do something that sparks joy in your life. If you're struggling financially, it's okay to reach out to people and ask for help. Don't be embarrassed because one way or another, we are all struggling and facing problems that might not be so different from yours. It's important to talk about problems you're facing, and it's also important to be open minded and accepting towards people's different problems and situations, and not be so judgmental about it!

My client was Japanese, and I wanted to show my skills of writing with chocolate with this special occasion!
We live in a society that's often harsh, cruel, judgmental, materialistic, unforgiving, and inconsiderate to different people's struggles and situations. This pandemic should teach you to be more caring, understanding, open minded, and accepting. We can't get through this pandemic without each others love and support. Send good vibes, and stop being such a complainer about petty issues in your life. Find groups of people to voice out your opinions. Find people who validate you and support you, regardless of whether or not they come from the same school, company or social class as you. During this time, learn to be patient with certain things. If there are certain people who make you feel like crap constantly and are making your mental health worse, then there is nothing wrong with cutting them out of your life. Everyone has to be more open minded and accepting these days.

I will forever be thankful for the online dance classes the studio and dance teachers provided for me! So much happiness!

So one thing I've been doing this whole time during lockdown was focusing on what makes ME happy. What sparks joy in my life within my abilities. Four things are constant in my life, and have always made me very happy, patient, and positive: cook/bake, dance, travel and going out to meet with friends. Since I'm not able to do the last two due to lockdown and the pandemic, I decided to focus my energy on the first two. It's the least I can do for myself to keep me sane during lockdown. Luckily because of internet and wifi, I am still able to keep myself busy and active through online dance classes as well as watching Youtube vids about baking, cooking, and pretty much anything I enjoy or makes me laugh and smile.

I'm happy I was able to brighten up someone's day with these red velvet cupcakes. I wanted them to experience it!
You need that to keep yourself sane because being stuck indoors with no exploring, going out, social distancing from others as well as majority of the places in the city closed, you need to be creative with how to find happiness whether it's with family or online. Thankfully, dance classes as well as one on one dance sessions with teachers have kept me active and fulfilled. One thing that this coronavirus outbreak has taught me was to make sure I know what's important in my life, and that's my physical and mental health, as well as be thankful for the family and friends that I have. Practicing social distancing, wearing facemasks, and constantly sanitizing and washing your hands may be the new normal in the coming future. But that doesn't mean you can't be happy. You just need to be creative with how you approach it.

These cookies were definitely the ones that started it all! The cookies that me fall in love with baking!
Lately, this lockdown has taught me to use my abilities of cooking and baking to make people happy by being more active in making products and selling them out there. Thankfully, my friends have been so loving and supportive towards purchasing and even advertising what I make to other people. I constantly want to thank them for all their feedback as well as never ending support. Cooking and especially baking has been one of the things I have been able to do since I was a kid. I grew up in a household where cuisines were limited. I wanted to taste the world and not just be locked down into one cuisine. Thankfully when I was a kid, my brother's wife, back when she was his girlfriend, introduced me to various desserts and cuisines. I loved it so much, but I knew that it wasn't always gonna be made for me, so I knew I had to learn to make a lot of it, so that I could enjoy it whenever I wanted. That love for food goes with sharing it to others as well. I wanted to show and share to people that good food and pastries take time and effort, but the taste makes all the difference!

Looking at the moon at night or the sunset in the afternoon made me appreciate the beauty of life!
During this lockdown, I hope you have reflected on what you have done with your life, where you have gone and explored, what your relationship with people are, and maybe unlocked a new skill as well. This pandemic has shown us how short life is, and that as much as possible, try to live each day by doing as much as you can to make yourself happy and fulfilled, regardless of what that is. Do a dance class that you've always wanted because you thought it looked fun and exciting. So what if you can't dance. If it's your first time, it's completely fine. Being able to develop a new skill takes time and effort so just learn to be patient. YOU ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS.

Thankful for my friends who have been helpful, loving and supportive even if just online!
Wonderful moments! Chatting with friends online has made me laugh and be full of excitement even late at night at 3am!
With rates of people positive for coronavirus constantly rising, I'm just thankful to be alive and that my family and friends are all safe as well. The pandemic has shown the many flaws our government has, and how inconsiderate many people have been. It has also shown just how important our medical workers are, and that they deserve the most respect, better pay and benefits since they are one of the most essential workers out there, risking their lives to help save those patients who are infected. When will this end though? The future remains unclear. All I can think about is trying to keep myself safe and sane by constantly expressing gratitude, and avoid going outdoors with lots of people too much. Keep praying and hoping that a vaccine will be found soon. I still have high hopes for the future. I'm hoping when all this is done, you would pursue the dreams you've always had, and never have second thoughts with going to the dream destination you've always wanted to go to. If anything, this pandemic has shown us how short life is. Keep motivated, count your blessings, and be thankful for everything you have. The future may be unclear now, but know that we'll be able to survive this.

Me at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Japan. Last trip before the pandemic started. I am hopeful for a better future now.
*My Instagram profiles are @yrwinty for my day to day life and experiences and @cremedelayrwin for my pastries provided! Be safe out there, and we'll survive this. Cheers!

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