How a 26 year old is dealing with this pandemic within a communist dictatorship aka. Venezuela

You may already be going out to bars or restaurants with a limited number of people. Hell you might be taking camping trips, going to the beach or getting on domestic flights to visit other cities within your country.

But I'm in Venezuela. An oil rich country that is currently forcing all of its citizens to get on all nighter, I repeater, all nighter long lines just to fill up gas on their vehicles with no guarantee that there will still be gasoline left for them when it is finally their turn at the gas station.

No restaurants are open here. Some are open until maximum 6 pm. The ones that are open are filled with the "enchufados" aka. people who decided to join corrupt business endeavors no different to what the government has done which is to basically steal money from the country.

We can't go to the beach without countless national guard and police road stops forcing you to return or blackmailing you to pay them in order to pass. The smaller groups of people getting by this are on the richer side of the population with some sort of contacts/benefits that help them get through.

My mom cries as she makes dinner because she's nostalgic of the country this once was. One where she remembers well that even the poorest person had enough money to live a decent life. Now even the wealthiest middle class is having to rethink the way they make an income and people who had decent jobs and a good education are selling what they can to survive.

So what does a 26 year old do in such a depressing environment that has worsened due to the pandemic situation?

Well, I suppose what was working for me a few months ago no longer works today. I was staying busy before and had a very consistent routine scheduled week. But the less external stimulation I had due to less opportunities to live something new, the less motivated I became to be productive. So did I give up on everything? Well, I did give myself a month off my podcast as a sort of "vacation" to rest from the busyness of four months of a podcast launch.

But then I realized that having too much time off isn't good for me either. I became lazier and more prone to sadness because I didn't have a purpose to fulfill every day like I had with the podcast. So as I've slowly progressed to building a routine again and working on the next season of my The Heart Picker.

Now here is what I have come to learn. It's okay to be less productive every day. It's okay to put in less hours than what I am used to. It's okay to be gentle with myself and not give myself a hard time when I do less than what I would like to do. That doesn't mean giving up and becoming lazy. It means trying my best and patting myself on my back for what I did get done versus beating myself up for what I didn't.

We all need more self kindness during this time. It is normal that after having little exposure to anything new for over six months now, I am going to feel less motivated to work.

That, my friends, is self love. Recognizing how you're feeling and knowing when you need to push and when you need to be gentle. This is what this pandemic is teaching me and this is how I am surviving it in a country where I will say that things are far worse than a lot of places.

It's okay to do less. It's okay to not have a 5 AM morning routine. You're not a robot. You are human. Find your own balance.

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