If you wish to skip my corona-rant, please start reading from the third paragraph.

It’s getting increasingly difficult to stay focused on the positive when we’re constantly being bombarded with discouraging figures, prognoses, and tragic news reports of lives lost to this vicious virus that’s currently sweeping all over the globe.

Not any less discouraging is the immense stupidity that since the birth of mankind has remained a dominant trait in the human race. I’m still deeply puzzled by how “stay home and avoid contact” can be misheard as “please go out and act like an idiot – preferably in large groups”. But then again what do I know? I’m sure those who defy the guidelines know better than all the experts combined, so just go ahead and screw it all up for all I care. I just hope that the virus will catch them and render them bedridden so at least then they’ll be forced to stay at home! (In order not to have my blog censored for inappropriate language I shall avoid airing any of my opinions pertaining to a certain White House inhabitant’s handling of the situation.)

Aaaah, it felt good to get that off my chest. Now we can talk about how I’m trying to make lemonade out of this truckload of lemons that is the coronavirus.

First of all, I’ve used this time of isolation and distancing as a clean slate for starting new habits (and trying to fight a few bad ones). With everyone’s daily routine disrupted by these conditions, we’re all being given a chance to take a long and hard look at how we spend our day. During the past few weeks, I’ve made great effort to maintain a healthy daily rhythm since the day otherwise can go by in a blur without me noticing and then leave me with a feeling of not having accomplished anything of value.

To make myself feel better in these times, I make sure to spend lots of time on things that I enjoy. That includes reading, listening to audiobooks, watching Korean shows on Netflix, studying Korean, cooking, and taking long walks. I usually walk in the evening and keep my distance. Besides, my black face mask works wonders in making other people avoid me, so I still consider my daily walks safe.

I love how much time I have for cooking and experimenting with new recipes these days. Spending time in the kitchen cooking up delicious stuff is one of my favorite ways to distract myself from the world outside. In a situation like this one I find it very helpful to keep a daily schedule with relatively fixed times for meals. It helps in breaking up the day and having a good daily rhythm.

With all this time for reading, it’s amazing how fast I consume literature. I just love that feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing that I’m feeding my brain something useful instead of wasting my time mindlessly scrolling facebook or instagram. I’ve become so much more aware of not spending too much time on news sites and social media since I find that they all contribute to making me feel worse. I limit my news consumption to the bare minimum to stay updated and use social media sparingly and mindfully and remember to log out of my account every time I’m done.

I’ve set a study schedule for myself where spend at least 3 hours (usually more) studying Korean. Not all at once, but over the span of a day I find that watching YTN news, reading a chapter in a book, studying with a few TTMIK lessons, listening to a podcast, and watching a drama episode while looking up unfamiliar words may quickly amount to more than 3 hours.

Finally, I’ve gotten into the habit of calming myself daily with ASMR videos on youtube. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response and is the scientific term for a calming and relaxing pleasurable feeling that may be brought on by certain sounds like the tapping sound of a keyboard of the sound of whispering. They come in a ton of varieties, and I won’t recommend any, since your preferences may be different from mine. But if you need to calm your mind and possibly even help falling asleep I recommend that you look into ASMR.

I cannot wait for the world to return to normal but until then, I’m trying to live the best life I can while engaging in activities that make me happy and keep me both physically and mentally fit.

How has the current corona crisis brought on changes in your life? Have you changed anything in your daily habits (except hopefully staying at home)? Feel free to share in the comments.

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