slightly frantic quarantine thoughts

Without going into long explanations, I just need to put pen to paper, and I figured I might as well do it where the internet can see it.

Slowly but surely, the lockdown is starting to get to me. My brain is gasping for air a little.

The thing about me in this weird time of isolation is that I don’t really have the ‘boredom’ problem many people are facing right now. I’m on my way to a postgraduate degree through a distance learning based university, which means? You guessed it, the show must go on. I have plenty of deadlines coming for me in May, and alongside that, a lovely side dish of trying to get myself qualified in a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course so I can (hopefully) start working online as soon as possible. This is because I’m out of a job and an income for the foreseeable future, and unfortunately, I’ve reached that point-of-no-return in adulting where ‘no money’ is just not an option.

Before I digress, the problem lies in the fact that even with all this free time, I’m dreading opening my laptop to even glance at the work I need to get done. I read a few lines, get frustrated and stressed, try not to cry, close my books and lie on the couch for an hour. Because I have the time, right? I’m spending over 4 hours a day staring at social media, according to the analytics on my phone. I have every minute of every day open to do and achieve so much, but the pressure to do so is hampering any hopes I had for productivity.

I’ve been trying to establish a balance between getting work done and resting and taking care of my mental health, but the two suddenly feel like they’re at war with each other. The idea itself of how much time I have on my hands is overwhelming and I’m feeling days slipping past where I seem to achieve nothing, regardless of whether I spend hours and hours in front of my books or the entire day on the couch. I’m struggling to find the words to explain what’s going on in my brain, but essentially it’s as if the prospect of everything I could and should be doing, is contributing to my inability to focus on actually doing them. If that makes sense.

And even as I’m writing this, I can feel myself exaggerating. Yes, I have had days where I’ve ignored all my responsibilities entirely. But most days of the week I put in a solid four-ish hours of work towards my two goals. It’s just that four hours a day doesn’t feel like enough. It doesn’t feel like any more than what I would be putting in on a normal day where I’d have to split my day between that and my job. And that’s the kicker. I feel like with all this time, I should be doing so much more, but I find myself incapable of more and that weird guilt and frustration is what’s eating at my mind this week.

Where is the line between ‘make the most of your time’ and ‘dude chill it’s the apocalypse just watch a movie’? Should I be doing more or should I be cutting myself slack? Do I even have time for slack? What day of the week is it? Does anybody know anything anymore? Basically, I’m not sure if I should be forcing myself to work harder, or try to cut it out of my mind and actually rest when I’m resting, instead of fretting about Africanisation of the media whilst staring at pictures of oozing cheese on Instagram. You know?

I’ll figure it out.

As a closing note, I want to point out how aware I am that my problems, in comparison to others’ in the world right now, might be laughable. But we’re all facing our own various struggles at the moment, and this happens to be one of mine. Thanks for hearing me out on this.

Stay safe, bibliophiles.

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