We all had such high hopes for 2020, right? We were all kind of hoping that it would be the year everything got a bit better but now we’re living in the start of a disaster movie. In the UK, we’re battling with a Prime Minister who is two weeks behind where he should be and still not willing to do what he needs to. Yes, the economy may take a hit but why are there so few people who see that as less important as saving lives? The economy can come back, we’ve seen it. You know what can’t come back? All the people who have already died. But now that most of the world is practising social distancing or self-isolation, there has been a lot of talk about how to fill your time. Most people appear to have high hopes for their time stuck inside. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people mentioning King Lear as though they, like Shakespeare, are going to pen a masterpiece that is still performed/read hundreds of years later. Well, if their plans go anything like mine, the next few weeks will be pretty unproductive.
It started last week when I started working from home. Before that point, I think I’d been in self-denial about how serious the situation was. I’m one of the vulnerable that people keep banging on about but I was still catching the train to work every day. It was one of those situations where I couldn’t stop to think about it or I’d just never leave my house. Now that I don’t have to, the opposite has happened. All I do is think about it. Okay, not all I do but it’s obviously taking up a lot of space in my brain. Every day, I see pictures of packed Tubes and see Instagram posts of my ex-colleagues going round to their friend’s house. It’s frustrating. Then there’s Boris Johnson and co. who are clearly hoping that they may get rid of a few of the people on benefits. Or at least that’s the only reason I can see for their inaction.
But I won’t go on about that. Basically, my mind is busy. So, when it comes to reading and blogging, it’s been bloody difficult. I barely finished my last read for my review on Monday and, to do so, I wasn’t able to get an audiobook done. I also didn’t have time to watch a film this weekend. Then I couldn’t be bothered to watch it on Monday. Which is why I didn’t post anything yesterday. I’ve just been feeling so tired. It’s clearly a side-effect of corona anxiety or something. I can’t get in the right frame of mind to complete a task. I’m back to the days of finishing work and just collapsing in front of Netflix or something.
Which goes against the idea that I had in my head for how self-isolation was going to be. I bought a load of books that I wanted to read and was all set to power through them. Now that I’m actually stuck inside, it’s the last thing that I want to do. But I also want to carry on blogging. For one thing, it’ll give me a sense of normality in these really weird times. I’m used to spending my nights in front of the computer typing nonsense to post on the internet. It’ll make me feel productive and useful. It will distract me and keep me from checking Twitter all of the time. So, how am I going to manage it? Well, I’ve been coming up with a plan.
- Stop putting pressure on myself – As I said, I had such high hopes of filling every spare second with reading. That was clearly never going to happen but it won’t stop me feeling guilty. Every time I neglect my book in favour of watching some shitty TV show makes me feel bad and that just slump worse. So, I’m going to stop trying to post two reviews a week and just upload when I finish. Easy breezy.
- Pick the right books – This goes for films too but I’m going to make sure I’m reading the books I really want to read. If I’m not feeling it, I’ll put it back on the shelf and try something else. When it comes to films, seeing newer releases is going to be more difficult and the idea of watching all of the Netflix and Prime originals I’ve been avoiding doesn’t make me feel excited. So, again, I’m going to watch what I want and review that.
- Rely on audiobooks again – You may remember that January became my unexpected audiobook month because I was in a massive New Year slump. I’ve got plenty of long audiobooks in my Audible library, so maybe now is a good time for that? I can listen while doing other things, which means I don’t have to restrict myself to bedtime. Because bedtime means falling asleep mid-chapter.
- Stop reading in bed – I’m not talking about before bed because that’s just a good way to fall asleep. I’m talking about during the day. On a weekend, I end up sitting on my bed to read, which inevitably turns into lying down. This inevitably turns into me napping. Not good. So, I’m going to find an alternative.
- Read more in the morning – I’m hoping that this will stop the pattern I’ve been falling into on a weekend. I tend to turn the TV on and have it playing as I do other things. I’ll clean or take photos while it’s on in the background and then, once I’m finished, I’ll just carry on. If I start my day reading or listening to an audiobook, then I start my day with reading at the forefront. It will hopefully get me motivated to keep reading later.
So, there are my tips for how to get better at reading during self-isolation. What are your tips for getting through this troubling time?
Also, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting/joining a book group. If anyone would be interested or knows of one then get in touch. Let’s get social in this time of distancing.