get me out of here

Open me up and pour the vaccine directly into my blood stream, like who has got the connect for the vaccine? Let me know.

Welcome to Lost in the Source. I am your host Lola and right off the bat, I just want to apologize because you know what I said, I was going to do something and I haven’t been doing it. I said I was keeping to a fortnightly schedule and I just, haven’t been doing that. And honestly I haven’t been doing it because it’s been hard, man, not like recording the podcast, but just doing anything has just been really, really difficult. Like I am so fed up of locked down and like I say this with the mind of knowing that my experience of lockdown hasn’t been as bad as other people’s experience of lockdown, like I know that some people have lost their jobs. Some people have had to, you know, worry about their kids and, you know, dependants. Some people have had COVID and have had to like been in hospital on ventilators. Some people have lost loved ones in this time. And so I just know that like my experience of lockdown, even in like the top 10 worst experiences, it’s not up there, but I am just ready to just not be here anymore. For those who don’t know, I was really sick at the beginning of 2020, it wasn’t COVID, but it did mean I wasn’t working for two months. So like from January to March, I wasn’t working. And so in that time I was kind of quarantine and not really. When I say “not really” it wasn’t like an official quarantine I didn’t have to quarantine, but I was so sick that I couldn’t do anything but stay in my house. So I’ve been in my house since January. And sure, I work remotely so, you know, and I had been working remotely at that time so, you know, I was used to being in my house, but now there’s a difference between choosing to stay in your house and being forced to stay in your house or feeling like you’re forced to stay in your house. I just I’m over this so much. Like where is this vaccine I’m ready! Baptize me in this fucking vaccine already like just open me up and pour the vaccine directly into my bloodstream. . Who has got the connect for the vaccine? Let me know. Like, I’m just so ready to not be here anymore. And it has affected a lot of the work I’ve produced. It has affected even how I viewed the work I produce, so like I actually recorded this episode two weeks ago and it wasn’t about what I’m talking about now but I recorded this episode two weeks ago and I was listening to it back and I was transcribing it and I was just like, this is boring, like, who cares? This is so rubbish. I have just kind of generally felt like a lot of the content, a lot of the stuff I’ve produced just, I don’t know, I haven’t really been in it. And so I haven’t released a lot of it or I haven’t the stuff I have released I’ve had to just like, make it relevant to me, just so that at least I can be engaged while I’m doing it. And it’s funny, cause I was talking to my colleagues about this and they all feel the same. We’re a small team, we’re a team of five, including my manager and pretty much they all felt the same too. Like they just, everyone’s just like in this slog and it’s just really, really strange to me that, you know, I mean , I’m grateful that my manager is super understanding and so he cares about like your mental health. He cares about like how you’re looking after yourself, which is great to have a manager like that. But it’s really interesting to me how a lot of companies are just expecting everyone to go on as normal. Just like we’re not in a global pandemic and people aren’t losing loved ones left right and center and you know, this is just business as usual. Very few accommodations have been made that I’ve seen personally, like on a, just on a general level, not speaking from personal experience, just generally very few accommodations have been made for like, what does work look like? Does it look like, you know, significantly reduced workloads? Does it look like , you know, adapting, what we consider work? Does it look like ensuring employees have enough time and rest , for just rest, you know? And of course they can’t think like that because it’s all about making money.

So many people have become richer in this time. So many companies have made a lot of money in this time. Even if they’ve seen a loss compared to other years, they have still seen like large, large gains. It’s all about making money and when it’s all about making money, who cares if your workers are, you know, if your workers are unable to work, for whatever reason who cares, like who cares if we’re in a global pandemic, just instead of working from the office, just work from home and do exactly the same thing at home. And I don’t know, even just thinking about that just feels really morbid. You’ve got companies who are like, you know , putting spyware on their workers’, computers to monitor how they’re working when they’re working from home.

And it’s like, yo people have children, man who are also not in school. People have like other things to care about, other people to care about things to do. Like it’s just so I don’t know. It’s just, uh, it does a number on you. It really definitely does a number on you. And it has been making me feel a little bit jaded.

It doesn’t help that I haven’t really been able to see many of my friends. One of my best friends gave birth, got pregnant and gave birth during this time and I saw her once and this is like someone that I went to school with, I was her maid of honor and I’ve just like, we’ve been knowing each other since we were 14, that’s over a decade and I’ve seen her once in this time and I’m just really sad about that. I’m sad that I haven’t seen the baby yet. All of this stuff is why it’s been difficult for me to release podcast episodes recently. I’ve just been really trying to focus on the things that really, really make me happy as in like things that aren’t work related.

I do consider this podcast like work so just trying to focus to make time and space and room for things that aren’t work-related because also in this time I have taken on more responsibility at work, which I like, I’m not even complaining about that because it’s stuff that I care about just generally, but you know, it just, your girl is spent basically is what I’m trying to say.

So today I was going to talk about the vaccine passport things. I was going to talk about the vaccine passport, and I know that that doesn’t sound tech related, but the company’s that, you know, make the software for the vaccine passports, they’re tech companies. So I was going to talk a little bit about that and just like, you know, kind of do a little mythbusting, dispelling, but also give my opinion on a few things and what have you. I’m not going to do that. Today I’m going to talk about mental health - oh and the, the episode I recorded , two weeks ago, it wasn’t even about that. It was about something completely different, but yeah - today I’m going to talk about mental health. And I’m going to be talking about some of the things that have been personally bringing me joy during this time. So yeah, that’s all we’re going to do. Let’s take an auditory break and we’ll be right back.

Okay, so basically I’m going to go through a few things that have been helping me during this time but before I get into it, I just want to also say that like I am in a position that I can do these things safely without compromising too much. Some of you work multiple jobs, some of you work jobs that just don’t care about you and I mean, no job really cares about you, but as in really don’t care about you and is abusive. Some of you have like kids and like other responsibilities and all of this stuff. So take what I say with the smallest pinch of salt. Like, I don’t know your living situation so who knows if this is even helpful to you, but I hope it is helpful to someone listening. So let’s get into it. The first thing I’ve done that has helped tremendously is embrace the bare minimum. When I say embrace the bare minimum I mean that for real, like for real, for real, I take that to heart.

That is my mantra. That is just how I live my life these days, the bare minimum. And when I’m speaking, not necessarily like in my relationships, in my friendships or like my familial relationships, but I just mean like in my work, in how productive, so to speak, I am , that kind of stuff . And so what that might look like is me getting one thing done a day or like two things done. So one thing for work, one thing for the house that might look like me, reorganizing priorities so that I’m not overworked and overwhelmed, things that didn’t used to overwork and overwhelm me before can do so now so it’s about adjusting my expectations and also the expectations of the people around me. As I mentioned before, my manager’s super considerate and my team is super understanding. So doing that kind of work of readjusting things , they don’t take it as a slight. And because we don’t really have that many deadlines, it makes things easier. If you’re working in an environment that’s like deadline focused, that’s going to be a lot more difficult. So yeah, embracing the bare minimum, if I can wash the dishes and get a blog post out, that’s a good day. That’s a, in fact that’s better than a good day, that’s a fantastic day, okay. Also like I have meetings every week, multiple meetings a week, so, you know, hey, well done me.

Another thing I have been doing is multitasking and I don’t mean starting a bunch of different things and not finishing them althtough I do do that too, but I mean doing more than one thing at a time, usually something I enjoy with something that is not necessary that I don’t enjoy, but that’s a little more difficult for me to do. So typical example would be , I need to wash the dishes. So if I need to wash the dishes, then I’ll watch something on my iPad. Or I might call a friend video call a friend so that I have someone to talk to while I’m washing the dishes so I’m not thinking about the dishes, or listening to something I really want to listen to, that kind of thing. And just like kind of habit -not habit stacking cos watching TV is not really a habit, but you know, let’s just call it habit stacking for now, but like - task stacking so that I’m mixing enjoyable things with things that are just more difficult for me to do these days. And so that I can still get things done in a productive (I don’t like the word productive) way essentially.

Another thing is focus time. I think this is the third thing, focus time, which is used in conjunction with rescue time, which is an app I’ll talk a little bit about later, but focus time is basically a block of time, could be 20 minutes, usually minimum half an hour for me, but it could be half an hour, it could be an hour where I’m just doing the thing. I’m literally just doing the thing I need to do. So if that’s banging out a blog post, if that’s recording this podcast, whatever it is I need to do, I just block out that time and I do it. And I don’t just do it out of my own gumption and motivation because what is motivation who has that anymore? But I do use an app, rescue time, and I’ll talk about that a little bit in a minute.

And then the last two things are kind of related in a way. The last few things are about like keeping engaged with myself. The first thing is reading for fun, which is engaging my mind and working out, engaging my body.

So reading for fun for me, I started last year after my exams and I just haven’t stopped. I used to love reading as a kid and I did English literature in uni as my first degree so I’ve been reading, but then I just stopped reading for a really long time. And so it was really nice to get back into it, get lost in the stories. I’ve been reading a of fiction, usually if it’s fiction, then it’s like black romance , black, contemporary, romantic novels. So most recently I finished the anthology ‘Who’s Loving You’, edited by Sareeta Domingo. It’s got stories written by loads of different people Kelechi Okafor, she’s the only one I know off the top of my head but there’s a bunch of authors. And then before that I read ‘Open Water’, but I’ve also been reading a ton of non-fiction too. So most recently non-fiction stuff I read, ‘The State of Affairs’ by Esther Perel, which if you’re interested in like infidelity and relationships and marriage, that’s an interesting one to read. I read ‘Sister Outsider’ by Audre Lorde. I read ‘A Fatherless People’ by Dele Ogun, which is about Nigerian history. I read, ‘Natives’ by Akala, which I quite enjoyed. I read ‘All About Love’ by bell hooks , basically I read books now for fun and it engages my mind in a really low stress way.

I use audiobooks as well, so I can listen while I’m doing other things, which is just really nice. And then engaging my body, actually before I get to engage in my body, another thing I do to engage my mind is just daydreaming. I can lose hours to daydreaming, if I let myself, I literally just sit and stare at the sky or stare at the wall or stare at the ceiling and just think and daydream. And I’ve realized that helps me process a lot of my thoughts, but also it’s just a really nice escape to get lost in your own mind, I love that. It’s another way to express my creativity that doesn’t necessarily manifest to something tangible, but I find that it does manifest in my relationships, especially from processing something.

Those are the ways I engage my mind and then engaging my body working out. In the last year, I’ve worked out more than I’ve ever worked out and people who know me know I do not like working out, working out is not something I enjoy. However I realized it’s only because I was doing the wrong kinds of workouts. I don’t enjoy being out of breath, the sensation and feeling of being out of breath is not something I find fun, it’s not something I crave. However, a lot of workouts online are all about becoming out of breath, like kind of like HIIT. High intense, low interval, whatever that HIIT workout stuff is called/ cardio, it’s all about working up a sweat, which actually I don’t mind working up a sweat, but that’s what it’s all about. One time I did Chloe Ting’s workout, this workout was 10 minutes, me and Chloe, we can’t run man, because four to five minutes into that workout, I was done. I felt sick. I felt I was going to throw up so me and Chloe, we can’t go together. But now I got some weights, I do strength training outside on my balcony now that the weather is getting better and I love that and it just like makes me feel good. It makes my body feel good. After I just feel alert and just like ready for the day. So yeah, finding a workout that was for me, has been like unlocking a gem.

Then there are some apps that I use to help me kind of keep on top of things, cos I’m bad at that. My calendar, if it’s not in my calendar, I’m not going to remember, so that’s just that. And you know, I don’t have any calendar recommendations you use whatever feels good for you.

A task list. I was using Todoist at one point but that’s too deadline focused for me and it just doesn’t work. Now I use Google tasks, but again, it’s just a list, if it’s just a note pad then it’s a note pad, just somewhere to put things you need to do. I don’t really attach dates to them unless it’s like compulsory for me to do something by a certain time or day then but if not, then there’s no date when it gets done is when it gets done.

And then rescue time, which is what I use for my focus time. It’ll basically block out all distracting websites so you will have to do the thing that you say you’re going to do, or you could just not do it, but it puts you in a frame of mind of like, okay, I’m going to do this thing so let me just do it. And you can block out the websites for any amount of time that you set, as I said, I usually do minimum half an hour, maybe sometimes longer.

Those are the things that have been helping me get through, helping me get to the state I’m in currently, which is a little bit more healthy than I was a week or even two weeks ago, even three weeks ago and I’m starting to kind of feel a little bit better. I get back into the swing of things and feel good. Oh, And keeping my space relatively neat is and clean is really helpful but also really hard.

I hope everyone is doing okay or as okay as you could possibly be doing. Try and find time for yourself, even if it’s just to breathe, even if it’s just a walk. I’m not a motivational speaker, so I don’t know what to say. Just try and find space and time to feel good, man. It’s really a lot out here, but yeah, if you enjoyed this episode, like share subscribe, I’ll see you next time.