Covid-19 Restrictions, Mental Health and Time
Ongoing, holding on and not enough.
I like to think that I've been coping well enough with how the last year and a half has been going, as I've certainly been enjoying being able to work from home and the extra time and money gained from not having to commute by train every day, but the easing of restrictions in the UK has made me realise just how much I've missed out on in that time and why I'm missing it even more so now.
Being able to see my friends in-person again has been wonderful. Yes, we haven't been locked down the entire time since March of last year, but going months at a time without being able to see them in any other way than on a screen for that time is still jarring to look back on now that I can hang out with them again every week.
That retroactive realisation of how much I missed being with them has unquestionably brought my mood down recently and makes the time between seeing them now - they're not far away, but not easy to see during the week while still working full-time hours - feel that much longer. Then there's the restrictions still in place when we do meet up...
We're a pretty chill group and like taking things easy and going with the flow, which might make coping with any obstacles easy, right? The thing is, our usual 'routine' pre-pandemic would be to book a movie or two to see, spending the rest of our time wandering around various parts of London and talking, drinking and eating wherever we felt like at any given moment.
While most places have now opened up and those activities can be done again, there's still the fact that none of us have been vaccinated twice yet - one hasn't even had their first jab at the time of writing this - and, while we might know how we're all looking after our own health and trust each other, there's millions of others in the same area of the country that we obviously can only make general assumptions about.
Cinemas are right out now - myself and two others used to have Odeon Unlimited passes to see as many movies as we wanted for £20 a month and none of us is signing back up for that or anything similar soon. We're planning on waiting until we've all received both jabs before going back with any regularity - Black Widow may be the only exception those who haven't had their second jab by then will almost certainly still skip it.
As for eating and drinking, we're all aware that restaurants, cafés, coffee places and the like are all doing their best to stay as clean as possible, but even they can't account for their customers potentially being anti-vaxxer 'Covidiots', so we're still not going to be sitting inside anywhere - long may this warm weather last! Hell, sitting outside is ruled out too if there's too many people, we're still regularly buying stuff to takeaway and then finding a quiet area in a park to sit together.
What I've described above might seem fine to most, or even overly-cautious on our part, but we want to stay as healthy as possible, while also doing as much as possible to avoid making things harder for everyone else. The problem I have - and at least two others in our group have admitted - is that going out just isn't as relaxing as it should be anymore.
Yes, the sunshine and warm weather right now is great, but we're almost looking forward to it getting cooler and darker again so we can all gather as a group at someone's place and just hang out without wondering if anyone else is infected and/or unvaccinated. Right now, there's just a constant low-level concern that something bad could happen to any of us without any warning and without any intent on anyone else's part.
So many people are ignoring basic public health measures and/or social distancing that it seems ridiculous, especially as those people are almost certainly the same kind of person that were complaining about restrictions and lockdowns in the first place, their ignorance keeping the problems going and their arrogance meaning they insult others who are taking precautions.
As you'd expect, finding quiet areas in London can be quite tricky, so we tend to plant ourselves for the day where and when we can find one, but things still aren't back to normal and won't be for a long time. For a group like ours, who just want to chill out and relax, we're aware that things most likely won't be right for us until Summer 2022 at the earliest.
So what does this have to with this site? Well, I started this 'blog' to help me work through my backlog of - guess what? - movies, games and TV shows that I both hadn't seen yet and had seen before. Like I imagine a lot of people have, there's a core group of media that I enjoy watching repeatedly as a kind of comfort blanket, but does mean that I struggle to commit to anything new.
There's also another thing I do, which is that I tend to not be able to stop thinking about something until I've written it down - effectively flushing the thought out of my brain and removing it from my 'mental system'. moviesgamestv.com has definitely helped me with that and I've already tried various pieces of media I probably wouldn't have before.
I didn't start writing any of these reviews to become an influencer, to get a job or to make any kind of impression on anyone at all - I know very few people read this site, but am happy that anyone does! Everything I write here is effectively a form of self-therapy for me and it's just a very nice bonus if even one other person enjoys something I've written.
The problem I've had over the last month or so has been a lack of time. Part of it is due to trying to spend as much time with friends as possible and part is due to the downturn in mood mentioned earlier making me more easily tired, distracted and basically making everything I do take that little bit longer. As a result of this, I'm going to have to change the schedule again for the sake of my mental health.
I don't want to rush out anything just for the sake of it and am coming to the point where I'd have to watch, read or play something then write it up almost immediately to get it published if I wanted to maintain the current schedule. I really don't have the mental energy for that at the moment, so the Monday + Thursday routine is going in the bin to be replaced by a post every Friday, starting from July 2nd.
That way, I still get to flush out the thoughts rattling around inside my head about a piece of media, but also gives me much needed time and breathing room to not feel like I have to get through something just for the sake of having two posts per week. I've got enough stuff already written to get me to the end of June, but would've really struggled from next month onwards if I didn't change things up.
I'm not sure how long the once-a-week routine will last, although I'm pretty much set on it lasting until at least the end of this year - whether I extend it into next year will depend on how my mental health is doing when the new year arrives. I know almost nobody's going to see this, but for those who do, there's your explanation for why it'll be a little quieter around here in the near future.
On the plus side, here's a list of the reviews to come for the rest of June: each new episode of Loki; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; X-Men: Days of Future Past; The Adventure Zone: Balance, "Petals to the Metal" story arc; Child of Light; Mass Effect Remastered (from the Legendary Edition release); and another chunk of Dragon Age: Origins! I'm glad to have an outlet to express what my thoughts about all of these - if any of you like what I write, then that just makes me even happier!