20 May 2020

My Life in Quarantine

It's the end of May, and in Italy shops and gyms are re-opening. People can go out wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. Life is slowly getting back to normal. But before I also go back to my pre-quarantine life, I want to share what it has been all about in the past few months for me - self-isolating and growing. Although every person's quarantine has been different, we've all lived and are living an unparalleled situation affecting the whole planet, at the same time. To me, it's all been about self-development and staying present. Read on to find out what I've been up to. 

- Smart working
I am grateful to say that I've been able to work from home. My interpreting job at the fashion school has continued online, which led to some uncomfortable, out-of-the-comfort-zone software use at first, then experiencing remote simultaneous (and occasionally consecutive) interpreting. I have also been doing some translation work and language teaching, so not much has changed in my working life - I'm just doing it all from home. And since I'm an introvert I don't mind it...

- Learning about fashion, business and marketing
Don't worry, I won't turn my blog into LinkedIn - but I have to say that quarantine has pushed me to learn more about my fields of specialisation. Because my main job is connected to fashion and marketing, I decided to follow some online courses. First, I took a course on management of fashion and luxury companies which was really interesting. It did take quite a bit of commitment, as it consisted of videos, some reading and interactive exercises. After having finished the course, I got myself a book on the history of fashion, Moda by Sofia Gnoli and started watching fashion programmes such as Franca on Netflix (currently looking for more) to continue learning about fashion. I also took an online introductory course to marketing, which was useful and interesting but much more technical than the first one - I can't deny I preferred the luxury and fashion one. After the courses I started translating a course on brand development so I could apply content from both courses straight away. What should I watch and read next? Is Dragons' Den a good idea? 
- Going for walks in the countryside
Before thinking I have been irresponsible, please know that I live in the countryside and the closest beings I got to in nature were my kittens Ellie and Milo. I made it a habit to go for walks in the morning and in the evening before dinner. It's so grounding and allows me to think big and see things in the greater picture. Do you get these feelings in nature?
- Practicing Mindfulness
While I love practicing mindfulness even normally, being home full time has allowed me to dedicate more time to meditation, working out and being present. My practice starts in the morning, as usual, with a guided 15-minute meditation. If I'm feeling lazy I follow a shorter meditation, but I usually try to do at least 10 minutes every morning to start the day feeling fresh and positive. I also like to do another specific guided meditation (such as positive affirmations or meditations for surrender) later on in the day but it depends on my mood and needs. Then, I go for a walk in the afternoon and just breathe in the fresh air, pay attention to colours, nature and noises. This might seem boring but it's a very simple mindful exercise you can do at any time of the day. My personal preference is to do it in nature. Before dinner, I do a short workout, which of course is not as effective as the gym, but it's still very useful, and allows me to connect to my body. In the evening, I try to read a little bit before going to bed, though I don't always manage to. I usually spread reading throughout the whole day and while it might not be as fancy as doing yoga, it's a simple activity that helps you ground yourself.
- Reading
One of the best things about quarantine is that I have been getting back into the habit of reading, which I'd been neglecting. I'm currently reading Como fuego en el hielo by Luz Gabás which I left unfinished last year and I'm loving it. I'm also thinking of reading more books in Spanish so feel free to send me recommendations! Here are the other titles I read:
La tentazione di essere felici by Lorenzo Marone
The Summer Garden by Paullina Simmons
Acciaio by Silvia Avallone
Como fuego en el hielo by Luz Gabás
Next: Le assiaggiatrici by Rosella Postorino and Avrò cura di te by Massimo Gramellini and Chiara Gamberale

- Watching Netflix

Ellie (who loves to follow me wherever I go)

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