Earlier this week, many officials in different states around the US have ordered their residents to “shelter in place” for at least the next three weeks. These instructions are meant to place effective barriers between ourselves and the threat of spreading COVID-19. It is basically a protection, an isolation to control the outbreak of the virus. We are asked to stay at home and leave only for essential trips or activities and it is unclear when this mandate will be lifted. And even after the order does lift, we may have to continue to distance ourselves until we feel it is safe to resume our normal lives.
But how are we all responding to the outbreak? How are you? Are you stressed and overwhelmed? I know I definitely am! So much I had a small fever the first few days I had to stay at home and I am now covered in fever sores around my lip as a result of the stress and anxiety I have been feeling. I have also been eating like the world is going to end tomorrow. I have had a knot in my stomach for days and days… The list goes on and on.
Photography has always been one of my de stressers but now I cannot even leave the house to go for a walk with my camera! I know I all I need to do is hold it to feel something is right in my world, yet I don’t have the will right now to pick it up. I am cooped up, sad, irritated, worried, and basically overwhelmed. This, in turn, is leading to less photography. Less photography makes me sadder, more irritated, worried… You know, a vicious cycle.
So I have decided to embark on a little self healing project around the house, as it seems we may be here for a while. I am going to use my photography as a stress management tool but I am going to focus it around what I see in front of my eyes NOW. In my house.
- I am going to photograph the plants in my house. The plants outside my house. Flowers, trees, pots, orchids in pots – you name it. Whatever is green or blooming, I’m going to shoot it.
- I will photograph ordinary objects around the house such as my coffee pot, the kitchen window (here’s looking at you @debbie-candeub), my laundry. Anything ordinary that brings me joy when I look at it if I am carrying my camera. Well, maybe not my laundry then…
- My cats. They are weird, predictable most of the times yet no so, intelligent… But mostly they’re just there, waiting to be photographed. And fed. The latter first, if possible.
- I will shoot my children (not literally, although this lockdown brings out the worst in everybody!). But not in a posed, “sit here, smile now” kind of way, just doing what they do all the time: being themselves. Or at least I will try – you never know what gems I might get.
- Lastly, I might try to go back to shooting some self portraits. It’s been so long since I have done any of those. I am older now and SO much heavier than before but I really do not care. I need to find the beauty in myself too if I want to move on with life.
I am tired of feeling overwhelmed by this crisis. I am going to treat myself to free self-therapy, despite the fact that I really do not feel like shooting anything at the moment. Because it is time to heal my soul with something that I know works.
Stay safe and healthy, friends. But, most of all, stay sane.