It’s Been A Covid Minute

Adeles Covid style with beanie + singlet

The past few weeks have been a MINUTE.

Covid came and visited my house and in the end, was a welcome visitor. Presenting as a head cold, which I thought I had duefully earned from staying in damp clothes on a cold Sunday morning after doing a triathlon. After two negative RATs and a week of self-isolation, I trotted (drove) down to the local PCR testing location and got the furry caterpillar up the nose test. Enter another week of isolation.

During isolation, I did that thing that seems so hard to do in our so-many-messages everyday society…I listened to my body.

What did this mean? I rested. Truly rested. I turned off notifications. Actually, turned off my phone. I wrote out a to-do list for things to do when wouldn’t be sick, closed the door to my home-office and turned on Netflix. Aaahhh, Netflix. Now, let me tell you a little trigger story about Netflix. Well, about TV in general.

When I was about 10, me and my brother came home from school one day and the TV was gone. G-a-w-n. Gone. Dad had done his impetuously dad thing and sold it. The corner in the loungeroom was empty. This meant for the next 5 years or so, we didn’t have a TV to while away time. Dad hated coming home from work and seeing us (what he saw as) mindlessly tuned in to whatever the ‘idiot box’ was saying. Looking back, we didn’t watch that much TV, it’s just that Dad couldn’t stand the disconnection it created in the home, so the TV went bye-bye. (Poor man, imagine him raising children in todays device-ridden world?).

For the next few years it was sport, books, talking, music-listening and playing outside. Pretty good things, generally speaking. It gave me an alternative view of the world and an ability to disconnect from mainstream propaganda and typical viewing habits. For years as an adult, I’ve gone without a TV but then last year a friend gave one to me. Turns out, I love TV. I’m not connected to commercial stations and only have Netflix as a streaming account. (Actually, that’s a lie, since isolation I now have Binge and Stan.) For the first time ever in my life, I live streamed the Grammys and the Academy Awards. I got to see the dresses, the face-slaps, the emotional speeches in REAL time. It was glorious. I mean, I was dosed up on ibuprofen/paracetamol and codeine BUT STILL, it was amazing.

I also totally let my mind and nervous system rest by switching off and diving into Season 2 of Bridgerton. It was released on the Friday, I got Covid on the Sunday, and by the Tuesday I had watched the whole thing. By Thursday I had watched all of Season 1 again and by the Sunday I had watched all of Season 2 again. Too much? Who cares. I was also reading two books but mostly I just slept, watched telly and realized that from years ago I had internalized this idea that TV is bad. Turns out, I actually love the entertainment, the production value, the dramatization of word to screen and the COSTUMES. Bridgerton alone has 7 5 0 0 costumes. Christ, that is astonishing.

I also watched a lot of 90s rom-coms. Nowadays, it’s hard to come across the sort of silliness and whimsy that is in movies of this genre. Audiences have evolved to a point where most offerings now are dark notions, murderous and/or psychotic. It’s not really my cup of tea, especially when I’m recovering from the pandemic virus thing. I like watching things that are safe and restorative. The 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice, for example. The Wedding Date, as another.

Point being, I unplugged from the world and created a new one of safety, restoration and harmony. For many reasons, not all of us can do this, and the last thing I want here is for anyone to feel judgement when they read this. Judgement is the other global pandemic going around so please don’t pick that up here, my darlings.  This is a good news zon, here’s why.

For the last few years, I’ve been slowly weaning myself off the addiction I’ve had to adrenalin and cortisol. I used to be someone who was a committed people pleaser. There’s enough fight or flight activation in that behaviour alone to induce premature aging at 25. On top of that, I worked in events management for the better part of a decade. Events delivery has got to be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet, barring brain surgery. Throw into the mix some staggering personal trauma, months and months of endurance training, years of obligatory international travel and my body had reached a point where it didn’t know how to exist UNLESS I was in fight or flight.

Cut to the good part where I am able to be at home with rest. I am able to welcome it. My lifestyle doesn’t feed on demand and doesn’t seek to be pushed to the brink anymore (mostly). I’m by no means perfect. I’m still unlearning deeply embedded habits like overscheduling and saying yes to everything. But the fortnight of covid-induced isolation was a fabulous marker for me in my journey of self-healing. Due to my still overdeveloped attachment to fight or flight, the first two weeks of lockdown two years ago were frightening for me. This time around the (self-induced) lockdown was glorious. Peaceful. A signifier of having changed.

I figured out I love watching telly for the pleasure of it and that not all TV watching is bad. I reflected on my goals for the year. But mostly, I just rested. Rested. I listened to my body. I surrendered to it’s needs.

The rest time has allowed me to wonderfully prepare for Aesthetica going full-time and for me to consider further what goals I have but mostly, how I will go about achieving those goals. Arriving at them in a state of (mostly) rest and fulfilment is the mental picture I keep close at hand.

Indeed, there are some exciting things on the boil for Aesthetica, but mostly, there are some exciting things on the boil for my nervous system. I don’t intend to cook it to oblivion like I’ve done in the past (I’ll save that for my regular cooking). How nice that I have the awareness and acceptance to prioritize this now.

It’s true that as a small business owner, the health of the business is connected to my health. I don’t have paid sick days or annual leave. But guarding our health is not just a truth for the entrepreneurial, it’s a truth for anyone that has a body. Our personal health is directly connected to the health of our lives in general, yes? And our health is directly connected to what permissions we do or don’t give ourselves. What lifestyle changes we make. The jobs we leave. The people we let go of. The habits we form. This easter, if anyone needs permission to prioritize your personal health, consider the reading of this blog post to be your permission slip to do things differently.

Much love, Adele

 

 

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