Quarantine in Paris : how am i coping with covid19 lockdown
" If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you" - Ernest Hemingway
When i moved to France in summer 2011,about 8,5 years ago,i was 21 years old. The feeling was surreal. There were so many information that i tried to proceed once at a time. From moving miles away from my family to figuring out how to survive in a country that doesn't speak english, doesn't eat rice as their main meal, doesn't drive in the same side, has four seasons instead of two, bref - nothing alike my natal country.
Moving forward in 2020, it feels like my adaptation capacity is challenged once again. We are hit by a global crisis, economic and health, like my generation has never known before. Little things you take for granted - like a freedom to grab your favorite coffee whenever you like - is not free anymore. Today, March 27th 2020, Paris is in lockdown for the 10th day. We are living an intense time. You can only go out for one hour, one kilometer away from your home, once a day. If that is not hard enough, you should write a consent letter stating when you were born, where do you live, the hour you leave house and why. IF a police stop you and you don't have this letter, you will get a fine up to 1500 Euros.
So, how am i coping with that? i am taking this moment as a time to live mindfully. To hit pause from doing my daily routine mindlessly, to look around at my circle : which person that keeps you close despite the distance and the lock down? and to organize my time, cause now i have it.
You might have heard this term or even read the book. Basically it teaches you to invest on your self development in the morning before starting your day. I tried it sometime last year and although i can feel the benefit of doing it, i just stopped. Why? for excuses such as i wanted to sleep more, i stayed out too late, the morning was too cold, i didn't have enough time.
"Luckily" the confinement happens at the end of march, where the sky starts to turn blue. So with a friend, we decided to give it a try.
Turn out the key for me is : HAVING A SPACE TO DO THAT.
So i'm creating the space like the above. I would meditate for 10 minutes, listen to an audiobook while stretching, exercise for 20 minutes and sometimes, journaling. It's been only the 5th day but it such a wonderful experience of getting to know myself, i'd love to do more. Generally, by the end of this practice, i would gain some clarity of what i want to do or an energy boost that i need before sitting down and working from home.
Good to know if you want to try
Meditation app : Headspace
Audio book : Miracle Morning
Podcast : Jay Shetty
INVEST ON MY APARTMENT
The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”
~ Joshua Becker
About two years ago, i tried the Marie Kondo decluttering method. It is amazing to see that we actually don't need to swap places in our drawer between winter and summer clothes when everything fits in one place.
Then, a year ago, i started to become more environmentally conscious and replaced little by little things in my home with something more durable. As a result, my apartment, even in its messiest state, (so far) never too overwhelming (but maybe that is because i don't have kids).With time, i realized too, having less and having a neat, beautiful apartment sparks joy. Tidy space creates peaceful state of mind.
So i take this quarantine moment to continue decluttering and organizing my apartment. I listed things that need to be improved (like maximizing the dressing space, installing a curtain, cleaning my basement storage), calculated the cost and take the list out one by one, day after day.
Here is a little list that i did during my decluttering and producing less waste journey :
Decluttering guide : Konmari by Marie Kondo
Replacing one-time-used equipment such as :
Filtering tab water by BRITA
Producing my own hand dishwasher soap with Dr.Bronner
Trying soap bar, hair conditioner bar by Lush
Having Stojo collapsible cup on-the-go
I work in the central of Paris, in a street busts with good addresses for food. From Street Thai cuisine, hippiest pizza place, healthy Hawaiian bowl to up- class bar and cafes. Having so many options, me and my team dedicated one day in a week to try new places. So meal-prepping is a challenge cause i know i will find what i need near my office.
I have researched about this for a while. Finally, i have time to apply my research and apply easy meal preparation guide. Basically, i chopped all the spices and freeze them so i can take out when needed. Also, i combined fresh ingredients with cooked-ready to eat ingredients. So when i am lazy,i would just reheat my food. The fun part is the dessert. Me and my team exchange recipe (bye diet) and snap pictures of our little conneries that day. I made fondant au chocolat, banana cake, cinnamon rolls, apple tart and we are just the 10th day on confinement.
Finally, being quarantined is not that bad. i have more time to invest in me, to organize things and keep close with my friends and colleagues. I just hope we will be better, more energized, filled with positivity when this all over. Fashion industry is changing and people will consume differently. But changing is one thing that is certain in life. So having to adapt and readapt is actually a good exercise.
Stay positive, brighter days are coming.