So, once again it’s high time I updated the blog. Usually I try to include pictures, but I’m going to skip that this time, fyi.
I actually started to write something a month ago, but clearly that didn’t happen. I’ve had a hard time deciding what I wanted to write. I figured I’d be saying something about reverse culture shock and what repatriating is like. Maybe a few conversations about mask wearing culture, hahaha.
The world has changed a lot and these days life is any number of things; strange, new, the same, boring, stressful, you name it. For me it’s been a time of recovering from major surgery, getting ready for and making an international move back to the U.S., repatriating to life in the U.S., still recovering from surgery, and trying to figure out what’s next. I guess the whole world, literally, is doing that last one, now.
It’s been an interesting time because when I came back it wasn’t really known that the virus was a problem here in the States. I was low key worried about telling people that I had just moved back from Korea. Jokes about how lucky I was to have “escaped” quickly turned to sarcasm about such “luck.” I do think that if I were to get sick that I’d be better off where I was three short months ago. But it was time to come home, and if I had gone through this in Korea I’d be living alone and my mom would be alone. So…there you go. It’s nice to not be stuck at home alone during a worldwide pandemic and lock down. Shout out to all those who are!
Now I’ll do something that I don’t usually do here, and that’s put on my ‘therapist’ hat. Side note, if you didn’t know, although the past five years I’ve been teaching English in Korea I have a license to practice mental health counseling in FL, USA. What have you been doing to stay sane during these times? I encourage anyone reading this, if you aren’t already doing so, to find some hobby to give some of your time to as you are able. I love to binge watch shows on (insert your favorite streaming service here) as much as the next person, but it’s really not healthy.
Here are a few things I’ve been doing; for the fun of sharing, but also to encourage and maybe give you some ideas if you haven’t already explored them by now.
- I know a lot of people have been baking, myself included. The online bread group I have been a part of for the past few years increased membership by about 20K people. My bread skills have leveled up by a lot!
- I’ve been breaking out the watercolor paints and colored pencils more often. I haven’t done this since before my surgery in December.
- Walking. This is a tough one. There have been a lot of days I just don’t want to and I don’t. But I need to. Not only b/c it is beneficial to my physical recovery post-surgery but it’s beneficial to my mental health. I’d be lying if I said I did it daily, but that’s the goal. Right now I manage about twice a week.
- QiGong and Energy Medicine. I’ve been trying to be more intentional about practicing and using these tools that are both beneficial to my mental and physical health, and also free!
- Reading. I’ve read about 13 books so far this year. If you want to you can find me on Goodreads for the list.
- Writing. While I’ve been neglecting the blog a bit, I’ve been trying to take in as much as I can learn about becoming a better writer. Right before the outbreak here I signed up for a MasterClass membership, and I love it. No they aren’t paying me.
You don’t even have to do all the things you might want to every day. Divide your time and be gentle with yourself. I’m speaking as much to me as I am to you.
Now, I don’t have children, and I understand that puts me in a different position than some of you. I naturally have more time that I can give to myself, I get it. I still want to encourage you to find time for yourself somewhere. It’s important. Give yourself ten minutes, at least.
Okay, therapist hat, off.
Focusing on letting my creative juices flow has been beneficial. I encourage you to do it! If you aren’t sure where to start, do a YouTube search and find some tutorials in whatever area you want to practice. If I can do it, so can you!
Until next time, take care of yourselves!