March 15. I was out bar hopping with two of my coworkers. We had just gotten done with our last day of work until April 1st. We were happy, we were cautious, we were a little bummed about two weeks off from work but we were thankful for the opportunity to take a break for a bit.
April 1. Well.. that sucks that we aren’t back to work yet but hey, at least we aren’t furloughed!
April 20. WELL WE’RE FURLOUGHED. Man, that really sucks. I really thought we would be back to work by now. Everything is closed, I have no motivation to stay positive or even look forward to anything because now it truly seems like this is going to be our normal for awhile.
May 1. Nothing new. Still doing nothing. I have grown into my couch potato life. I guess I will binge watch everything.
June 9. FINALLY A RAY OF HOPE! The Safari Park (where I work) is opening back up on June 20th! That must mean I am bound to go back to work soon.
June 10. I finally have motivation to work and make a difference in how I want my life to turn out going forward.
Since June 10th, it seems like more things are looking up (in terms of things opening or seeing some of my friends being able to go back to work!) and I wanted to do more with my time after having a few months of doing nothing and gaining weight. I really didn’t like feeling unproductive and I was hopeful that with the news of the Safari Park opening that I would be back to work in no time. However, it is now August 16th and I still have no start date for work, but I am still trying to be productive because I still want to feel purpose in my life!
Needless to say, these last few months have probably been the same roller coaster for you too. Nothing seems to be constant and as someone who used to live in a rather unknown future back in 2018, I’m not a fan of this new normal. It raises more unknowns for me and that makes me nervous.
Now, I’m not about to spend this whole blog complaining – that’s not really my cup of tea nor do I think you want to read someone whining! But I wanted to share a little bit of what I am doing to find more constants in my life while also fostering productivity versus wallowing in a pile of blankets, Doritos, and self pity on the couch. I’m hoping by sharing this with you that maybe you can start to find a sense of productivity and start living your best life – even if it is in quarantine.
The first and most important factor for me being productive has been this blog! It’s not exactly a secret that between March and June, I haven’t been writing a whole bunch. Maybe one or two here and there but definitely not enough to call myself a blogger and that bugged me. I have always talked about “ugh if only I had more time then I could really turn my blog into something special.” Well I was literally given all the time in the world with this quarantine and I did nothing with it! Early on, I tried working in my bedroom just on my bed, or at my dining room table next to my living room TV, but soon I found that both places seemed to encourage laziness as opposed to progress. I found myself spending more time napping or binge watching a show than actually working. And doing that for three months really took a toll on my physically and mentally because I truly felt like this would never end and I would be stuck inside for another three months doing NOTHING. However, after I got news of the Safari Park opening, I kicked myself in to high gear and told myself that it was time to make up for lost time. I mean with it opening back up that must mean I would be back at work soon, and that gave me a new spark of motivation and productivity! It helped me get out of my funk because it felt like things were looking up and it was something to look forward to each week to see if I would be scheduled for a shift.
So I told myself to dedicate at least three hours a day to work in my office and get work done. If you’re in a productive place then you are more likely to do something with your time there, right? That’s probably why a lot of people find that working from home is hard because there are so many opportunities to procrastinate. But one of my goals has been to find success in blogging and influencing and ever since I set my mind to it, I have been able to work with so many new companies and brands! In fact during this quarantine, I have been able to work with more companies on a sponsored level more than I have all of last year!! The results for which may be rather small but I am still really proud of myself because without making the initiative then this would have never happened. Every step forward, however small, is still a step forward. And if I can keep finding success, then soon the small steps will start getting bigger and bigger! For that reason, I am motivated more and more to keep working and working.
The second thing I have tried to incorporate more of is being physically active. Ya’ll I am not going to lie to you. From March 15th, I have gained TWELVE POUNDS!!! I’m not trying to get pity points here because again, that’s not my jam. But that SHOCKED me to look at myself in the mirror and not like what I see, and honestly I was NOT about to let the “Quarantine 15” take another victim. I have always looked at myself with kind eyes, but that was my first time looking at myself and understanding what it’s like to tear yourself down. I looked at my pudge, I looked at the cellulite that looked like it was getting worse, and clothes that used to fit no problem – well, now I was having a problem. So a change needed to happen.
Physical activity is not just good for your physical health, but also your mental health. And with my job at the Safari Park being as active as it was, I was never concerned about gaining anything but muscle. But here we are! I’ve lost muscle and gained weight. And I needed a little boost in my self confidence since I was really taking it out on myself for having gained weight to begin with. So I have started taking my dog on longer walks and runs, and I have committed my mindset to focus on getting up and moving as opposed to focusing on the scale that seems to be taunting me from under the sink. Although I am still recovering from a hamstring injury, I have also been able to do leg strengthening workouts too. But I would much rather put on my music and run – my mind gets distracted and before I know it, I’ve ran 2 miles and I’m sweating my butt off. But maybe that’s because it’s been super freaking hot in San Diego lately too.. I’m taking workouts slowly because I don’t want to get injured again but so far I am happy with myself in getting up and active more than I had been!
Lastly, and this one might be the most important of all, is keeping myself to a schedule! A lot of people have been joking lately that they are bummed that they wasted money on buying a 2020 planner this year. And I get it, because I mean, what are you going to write in it? But keeping a planner has made me HELLA productive. I wrote in a previous post about the importance of writing even the smallest things down in your planner, even if you write it down after you have already done it! There’s just a sense of accomplishment from checking something off your list! But because I am trying to be a better “influencer” and I am trying to do more with this blog and be better at posting for my page and small shop, I actually break EVERYTHING up to make it something I can easily cross off. Post on my small shop Instagram? Check. Post a look on Pinterest? Check. Post a Disney Bound on LikeToKnow.It? Check. Etc etc etc. I have around 8-10 different things that I want to post per day on all my social media platforms. Keeping myself fully accountable for what does and does not get done really pushes me every day to wake up and get to work that way I can have a whole list of things that got done as opposed to looking at a blank piece of calendar paper. I don’t know about you but seeing a blank page would make me feel like such a lazy lump.
I also don’t normally schedule anything too far in advance because I don’t really need to, but obviously for things like appointments and collaboration deadlines, yea I make note of those dates. I have also found that I really love looking up “International/World ‘whatever’ Days” well in advance that way I can make fun content that relates to that day! But keeping my planner next to me all day, I can easily add and check things off of my list and stay on top of being productive. Even if you don’t have a lot of social media posting to do like me, I still write down more mundane tasks like “clean the kitchen” and “do laundry” because I feel like sometimes when I get caught up with work or sucked in to binge watching, I forget to do the small things that are still very important to life. Giving yourself that sense of purpose to finish things REALLY helps get out of a funk!
I wish I could tell you that I am going back to work soon, but honestly I’m not hopeful that it will be any time in the near future. Especially with California having an increase in cases and places beginning to close again as a result of that. But I’m really trying my best to not focus on the things that I can’t control and to keep my productivity train chugging right along. I have plenty of things in my life that I can control and to keep me busy. I can work on making this blog better, I can work on gaining a better presence on social media, and who knows, maybe I can turn this into a full time job. I mean, it’s doubtful but that’s not going to stop me from trying! More realistically though, I just want to create a productive space for myself to read more, to run more, to stay on top of cleaning my office and room, and more normal everyday things like that.
So I encourage you to try. If you’re like me and you are either furloughed or out of a job – keep trying to live a life you want to live! Whether that be trying to get another job, creating a job for yourself, or just working on yourself for the better by taking time for you and your mental or physical health – TRY! Never settle for being okay with just watching TV or playing video games all day. Maybe you’re okay with doing that, and honestly maybe you need that right now for your mental health, so I am specifically talking to those who are having a really tough time with being happy or positive right now because they feel like tey have lost a sense of purpose. I promise you that you can turn it around for yourself. You can still have an amazing life even if you can’t go do a whole lot of things elsewhere. If you need to get a planner to keep you in check like mine does for me, then I highly recommend that too because mine has been a blessing to keep me hoping for more! Because it helps me keep on track with blogging and being physically active, as well as getting so much other stuff done! It also has helped me feel like I am doing more with my day than just binge watching TV. It continually keeps me wanting to write more in it and work harder to fill it up even more. Whether that be blogging, posting, running, or figuring out cool new pictures to take to edit into something amazing, I am trying to make the most of my time.
Don’t let this quarantine get the best of you, because YOU are better than THAT! And like Walt Disney used to say “Keep Moving Forward.”
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