Amsterdam is quiet. Very, very quiet. To be standing here on a deserted Dam square -usually thé busiest and most crowded tourist spot in Amsterdam- is nothing anyone could’ve ever imagined. I have been staying at home for days and it was the first time I went out again just to shoot these photos. Ever since the outbreak of the Coronavirus I have been in a daze. I’m in disbelieve what is happening to our world, our society, mankind, and our crashing world economy. It’s like a bad movie from 1990. Up until now, I have been silent about it on my social media and here on TC Style Clues. Mainly, because I needed time to digest our new reality. A reality that hit everyone extremely hard. The Netherlands has been on a “semi-lockdown”. Meaning that almost everything has been closed down. Schools, restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms, stores, and small shops. Churches and synogogues, beaches and recreational areas are also locked down. Big events, parties, and festivals have been banned until June first. We have been told by our government officials to stay home and only leave our house for a short trip to the supermarket, a walk around the block and/or some form of exercise until further notice. Out on the street, groups larger than three people are prohibited unless you are a family. We have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from anyone in public. The city is so empty. I have never seen anything like it. On top of that most of us have to deal with losing our income. All of a sudden people are out of a job. The emotions that come with all these severe changes can even get to the best of us. I am not going to sugar coat it here. Life feels difficult now. Scary and uncertain. So what do we need at the moment? Well, first we need to stay calm and keep it all together. Staying healthy, running our household, handling our finances as much as we can, taking care of our loved ones should be our priority. With that in mind here a few tips that have helped me cope with our new reality the past few weeks.
I was wearing: Vinyl PU trousers: Femme Luxe Finery: here – Sweater: Zara – Sneakers: Nike
tip1: Accept what we can’t change.
For days I was in disbelieve watching the news 24/7 and refreshing news feeds on my iPhone every 15 minutes to check the latest updates. With the virus spreading more and more, I have felt anxious and imprisoned. I started feeling better when I tried to accept the situation for what it is. I can mope because I can’t go to a party, have dinner in my favorite restaurant or see my friends, but it will only make this even more difficult. Acceptance will give you immediate peace of mind. Once I started to accept the situation it made this trying time so much easier to cope. We can’t change the world’s health crisis, but we can change the way we look at it by accepting this crisis and make the best of it. I am letting go of trying to control the situation that we have no control of.
I have lived by this quote every day since our lockdown. Like the famous scientist, Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”. Enough said, my friends. Adapt! Let’s do this.
tip3: Pray or meditate
No matter what your religious or spiritual believes are. Taking time to pray and/or meditate is healing for the soul. You might be glued to the TV watching CNN or your favorite series. It’s easy to get caught up, but don’t forget your faith and what it stands for. After binge-watching the news, I started turning the TV off for most of the day. Meditation while listening to feel-good music has been doing wonders for my mental health.
tip4: Getting back to blogging
I finally have the time again to get back to fulltime blogging like I used to do. Being able to connect with you all in the coming months is something I am really looking forward to. If you don’t own a blog, I encourage you to start one. It’s very deliberating and fun to get your thoughts off your chest, share your views about any topic you choose with like-minded readers. Become creative at writing and editing posts. It’s great to have an online space. It’s so much fun setting up your blog and making it look pretty. My friends from Kotryna Bass Design sell the most gorgeous blog templates to get you started and excited. You can also reach out to them to have them create your own blog design. Check their web design store here. Seriously, my blog has been my baby and after 8 years of doing it, I still love it.
tip5: Reaching out to people
We need each other now more than ever. We won’t be able to do it physically during social distancing, but we can still support each other online, on our social channels, Whatsapp convos, face timing and even an “old-school” chat on the phone. Now, I have the time to do it. This crisis has put us in a feeling of “we’re all in the same boat”. Making it easier to connect with friends I haven’t spoken to in years. we are all going through this at the same time. A lot of us are feeling lonely during social distancing. It’s okay to tell the people around you that you are feeling anxious or worried, or even alone. Another thing you can do is make a video call and leave the camera on for a few hours while both of you on the phone are doing your daily chores like cooking, cleaning or even drinking your tea. It will create a small sense of “being together”. You can also do this with your grandparents. They will feel connected and not so alone.
Don’t make the self-quarantine or country lockdown an excuse to lounge around and eat potato chips and chocolate all day. I have been really bummed out because my local gym has been closed down too. Get that but moving and join your favorite fitness guru on YouTube. My personal favorite is Joanna Soh. Find her quirky videos here if you want to check it out md start some serious moving. If your country rules allow you to go out for a short exercise, go out for a daily walk, run or bike ride. I’ve been doing all three of them. Preferably in the sun to get my much-needed dose of vitamin D.
tip Rediscovering an old passion
I used to be a singer when I was younger. It’s never too late to learn more and improve my ability to sing better I thought. I actually started taking lessons from an amazing singing coach a few weeks before the Coronavirus hit Europe. The great thing is, my teacher gave me tons of homework to keep me busy for months ahead. I can make the most of this time now. You can look at online courses. Think photography, cooking classes, or learn a new language. Or how about watching makeup tutorials, dance classes, or picking up a book and start reading again. Now is the time to do it. Schedule one or two hours and stick to it. You will be proud of yourself later.
tip8: Cleaning out my home
Re-organizing your home clears the mind and gives a sense of control. You might not be able to control the world situation, but you sure as hell can keep your place under control. Start your Spring cleaning, clear out closets and drawers, buy fresh plants or flowers or pick flowers in nature if you are short on financial funds. Play feel-good music while doing it.
tip9: Going on “date night” with my love
I have been working from home, staying inside as much as possible to put in my two cents of the virus to stop spreading. My babe Elleon and I have been together for almost a year now. One of our favorite things to do at the end of a long day has been going for a drive on the freeway, listen to our favorite songs, hold hands and talk about our love and life. Thankfully we are still able to drive here in the Netherlands. The roads are completely deserted, up to a point, it almost looks creepy. Elleon still works outside the home, so in the evenings I doll up, wear something cute, do my hair and makeup and off we go. We take shorts rides no longer than an hour on the freeway. Continuing our small date outing keeps the magic in our relationship. Something Elleon and I have vowed to always do for each other. After we get home we fix something to eat, snack on cookies -our favorite- and watch documentaries on Netflix or Youtube. We are both intrigued by conspiracy theories and UFO sightings documentaries. Very interesting.
tip10: Taking it one day at a time
It breaks my heart that there are people suffering out there who are getting sick or their family members passing away. It’s a horrible time full of uncertainty and there is despair all over the world. Right now, the Coronavirus seems like a never ending situation. We have no grip of what will be happening tomorrow, next week or a few months from now and that infuses us with worry. Don’t forget it’s okay to feel down or even sad about it. Everything is temporary and in time we will be looking back at this confusing time with mixed emotions. Telling stories about it to the next generation. I have always been a person who loves to plan things ahead. Like planning a trip, attending a fun party the following week or business ideas that I want to get done. I need something to look forward to and that just seems impossible right now. Lately, I have been taking it one day at a time and practicing how to live in the moment. By looking into the future – weeks or months- we can feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Life is a series of small daily moments. We can make the best of our days to be aware of these small moments and try the live in the “now”. Wake up, make the best of it, go to sleep and tomorrow we can, and will do it again. Stay safe everyone and take care of eachother!
Thanks for stopping by my friends.