Reading During COVID-19: A Just Another Day on the Island Feature

Reading During COVID-19: A Just Another Day on the Island Feature

Hey fam!

It’s been a couple weeks now since we introduced our little Untalan clan to the blogosphere, and thank you so much for the warm welcome! I appreciate all of your positive comments and helping me to encourage my mom and brother to continue this feature with me. Trust me, your feedback helped a lot!

It’s also been about a month or so now since social-distancing has been in effect around the world, and while the goal of this post isn’t to get anyone stressed out or anything, we wanted to talk about how our reading habits may or may not have changed since this pandemic.

Just Another Day on the Island is a bi-weekly discussion post featuring the thoughts and ramblings of the Untalan Clan (aka, Leelynn’s mom and brother). We talk about books, family, and other things that come to mind. This feature officially launched on March 25, 2020.

I know there’s probably been a lot of people talking about what they are doing during the pandemic, or how they are trying to cope with quarantine. This may have been over discussed, but I was curious to see how my family is doing with their hobbies if they were able to catch up with them. Let’s see what they had to say.

How has your reading changed during the COVID-19 Quarantine?

Roxy: I have read three books thus far and I am finding it quite relaxing and enjoyable to catch up on my reading again.  I had forgotten how much I love doing this, especially if I like the book.

RayGil: My reading has not changed during the COVID-19 pandemic since I am not much of an avid reader; however if my mom (Roxanne) would like to read to me I would be glad to listen to some novels and expand my mind into the fantastical worlds described to me from my mom. I miss my mom reading to me and my sister like the Harry Potter series when we were younger!

Me: I feel like my reading actually decreased since the quarantine. As much as I wanted to read a lot more at home, I still have to check in with both of my jobs and I am still in class right now so it’s not like I have more time to devote to reading, but I also feel like I’m just running out of time in general. It’s a weird feeling. Maybe it’s more like I start a lot of books, but then don’t end up finishing them until way later on. I finished a book yesterday, and I’m hoping I finish more today – either the day that I write this or the day that this posts – but we will see! I sill need to do some homework!

What kind of hobbies have you started/increased during the quarantine?

Roxy: I started playing TTRewritten (Toontown Rewritten) with my son.  This was formerly a Disney game that I created when my son was 4 years old.  However, I just learned that Disney took the game offline. Some wonderful computer wizzes recreated the game for FREE and my son stumbled on it.  He shared it with me and since this stay at home quarantine, it was nice to be able to get on this free game and play with my son now that he’s 15.  He said he didn’t really remember the game because he was so young.

Additionally, I’ve caught up with my reading.  I try to read daily if my eyes aren’t tired. I read so fast that since I started, I am already on my 3rd book.

RayGil: Playing Toontown Rewritten with my mom has been the main activity that has increased due to COVID-19; since we now have so much time at home we are determined to max out our characters. 

I also now get time to binge and rewatch a bunch of cartoons like: Steven Universe, Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts, Danny Phantom and others. (Which are all great cartoons by the way. Another good one is Hilda on Netflix, short because it’s new but really fun and charming.)

Me: Ahhhh, I remember the Toontown days. I remember getting to stay home from school so I could play with my mom. That was our bonding time, and it was so much fun. But anyway, I think as far as hobbies are concerned… besides reading and blogging I’ve been watching a lot of TV. I don’t know if I’m really happy about that but it did allow me to watch some cool movies again like Big Hero 6. I’m endlessly crying about Tadashi though.

How do you feel your mental health has been holding up during this crisis?

Roxy: I think my mental health has been ok.  I had been stressed out a bit because my employees wanted to go out in the field despite my directive not to — to protect them from catching COVID-19.  They have good hearts and just want to help our community, but at the same time, as directed by our national council, all employees were to work remotely during this time.

RayGil: My mental health hasn’t really been affected by the pandemic as I don’t get the same feelings of isolation as others. For one my mom is always home with me, I enjoy staying and home and don’t need a lot of socialization from friends–it’s kind of exhausting, and all of my really good friends moved away from me a while ago so keeping in contact virtually is normal.

Me: Well I think I’ve been pretty transparent on my blog when I’ve said that I don’t think my mental health has been well at all. I feel like to people that I’m not really open to, I can put on a brave face, but I think the people that I talk to often know that it’s been hard for me. I think it’s been hard for me to feel productive, which I know that it’s not the same kind of situation that we are used to so of course my productivity level isn’t going to be the same as normal. But I don’t know. It has also been hard not talking to my therapist about the other issues that I feel like I’m having, so that makes it even harder.

Is there any kind of advice that you received during this time that you would want others to follow or think about? What is that advice?

Roxy: The advice I received was to first, protect our employees.  Second, that we can only do so much so not to stress out about it.  Finally, to take care of your mental and physical health daily.

RayGil: The only advice I would want others to follow is to just listen to what medical professionals say, how to stay safe.

Me: Make sure you keep the line of communication open with your support system as much as you can. It may feel like you don’t want to bother them with your problems, but you aren’t. They probably want to make sure that you are doing okay and if you aren’t, they want to know about it so they can do what they can to help you. This is such a hard time for a lot of people, and since we aren’t able to see each other in the traditional sense, it’s even more important to check in with your people as much as you can. Now, that may have been some advice that I received from the Shine app that I mentioned yesterday. I don’t remember when I heard that advice, but I remember it because it’s so true.

It’s a tough time, fam. We need to stick together, okay? Just know that if any of you ever need to talk, I am here for you. Message me, DM me, etc. I’ll be here, and don’t worry about ever feeling like you are a bother okay? Because you definitely aren’t.

Did you also catch the little bit about us as a family reading Harry Potter back in the day? Well, who knows? I may try to convince my mom and brother to reread the series again and we may talk about it. Let’s see. Or, if there’s any other series we should read that you recommend, let me know in the comments. I’m okay trying to read different stuff with my family and talking about it on this platform.

10 thoughts on “Reading During COVID-19: A Just Another Day on the Island Feature

  1. I love this feature so much, Leelynn! I was smiling so much at the answers about you all playing Toontown with your mom hahaha. (also, I had no idea they made a rewritten version 😮!) I’m sorry it’s been especially tough for you lately 😕. Your advice to continue to communicate with people was really good (and this was my first time hearing about the shine app!).
    Your family is lovely, and it’s great you all can support each other in these times. Thank you for sharing them with us haha, stay safe 🙂!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Belle you’re the freaking sweetest! Thanks so much for reading this and enjoying it 🙂 I know at first my mom and brother weren’t sure if people would want to hear their thoughts but I knew they would. They always have great things to say as well and I think it’s fun to hear from the three of our different POVs. I think it makes it more fun that way.

      Right?! My mom told me that recently and they are working so hard to bring our characters back up to the levels that we had before the original was shut down. I can’t believe whoever rewrote it ended up making it free! That was super nice of them.

      Thank you. Yeah, I feel like I hide it well everywhere else except for on this blog or on Twitter. It’s easier to be transparent with people there because I don’t feel like they are forced to like me, if that makes sense. So they actually care? It’s weird, and I don’t know if I’m saying it correctly but that’s what I think anyway. I know I need to do better at keeping up my communication with everyone, and I just need to work better at that. If you do end up looking at the Shine app, let me know 🙂 I know it helps me but I know there are others out there that may help in different ways.

      Stay safe too, Belle ❤ It's been insane lately and it's hard to keep track of everyone, but I hope that you are doing well and that your loved ones are safe also.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, no problem, Leelynn 🤗!
        I guess rewritten games are just a thing now and I love it?! Idk if you ever played Club Penguin, but they have a rewritten version of that too, and it’s completely free! Everything that originally cost money to ~ members ~ is available to everyone 😄.
        And I can get what you mean! It’s like people here or on Twitter aren’t family or lifetime friends, and they aren’t obligated to care about or console you? So, when you’re open about something, and they listen or reach out, it’s because they’re genuinely interested and not motivated by social responsibilities 😅? Anyways haha, I’m glad you’ve found a safe place here and on Twitter ❤️.
        (I just downloaded the Shine app, and I love the whole check-in thing so far, but I’ll definitely keep you updated 😄!)

        Like

    1. Thanks Jordann. It’s hard sometimes you know, being vulnerable online where anyone can read it. I feel like I needed to be transparent as much as possible though if I was going to ensure that I could make my blog as real as I want it to be. I appreciate your kind words, as this was one of the posts that I was worried about because of what I shared.

      I’m hoping we can both get back into reading more, or at least find a groove to deal with everything that’s going on right now. I don’t know if things will ever go back to “normal”, but at least we can figure out how to cope. ❤

      Like

  2. I love this feature that you have on your blog! And honestly it’s so awesome that your family are happy to participate in something like this too. I feel like my family wouldn’t take it seriously or would take it so seriously the fun would get sucked right out of it 😂 That ToonTown game sounds like so much fun! I love Disney 🥰

    I also really get what you mean with your productivity. It has been so difficult to feel motivated and to be productive. I have such a hard time with that self-motivation on a regular basis and so to face this because of WFH for 3 months is quite a challenge. It’s slowly starting to really affect my mental health more but I’m still trying to do a little something every day. I know we don’t talk a lot or every day but if you want to, I’m here to listen ❤ Big hugs, Leelynn!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Dini ❤ It's one of my favorite features ever honestly. I'm so glad I finally got my mom and brother to do this with me. Trust me, it took a little convincing but the end results are so worth it! I think they are pretty glad that people are responding so positively to these features so let's keep that momentum going! Oh gosh! I feel like sometimes we are more on the not being serious about it because we are all pretty lazy at heart 😉 And yes, I'm saying this to see if they are going to respond to my comment haha! Oh gosh if you end up signing up, you should let them know! They are always looking for more people to join their team 🙂

      It really has, and I feel like I just don't even want to sit in front of my computer and do anything anymore because I just am tired of feeling like I'm not doing anything. But then I don't want to do anything because I feel so wiped out from this situation! It's such a weird feeling, Dini! You know, I feel like we are going to be WFH for even longer than what we are anticipating, and I hate that I feel like a Debbie Downer but with more people not taking this seriously and still getting together in groups and people are still getting sick and the numbers don't seem to be going down where I am specifically, that I just am really planning on staying home until maybe even July or August. It's a long time, and even just being home for a month has made me feel like… wow why did I ever want to work from home before lolz. You know that you can always message me on Twitter or even WhatsApp okay ❤ We have each other even with our time difference. I hope you know that, friend 🙂

      I love you, Dini!

      Like

  3. I love this series! My mother used to read the Harry Potter series to me, too! Or the early books, at least. And when I was older, we would take turns reading until we got through it finally. Roxy, you should totally read Nevermoor to the kids. It’s like Harry Potter for this generation. And you’re never too old to be read to, as audiobooks prove time and time again. 😉 This recommendation is totally not just because I think everyone should read Nevermoor … but okay, yes, also a little that, too.

    I love that you guys are bonding over ToonTown! That’s such a neat find. My household is still operating under business as usual, but we’ve been thinking we should choose an MMORPG that we can all play if we do end up stuck in the house together. So I’m glad to hear that y’all were able to find something!

    Your advice about communication is key, Leelynn! Especially lately, in these times. It’s so important to communicate with the people around you and your entire support system, especially since a lot of people are feeling stressed or depressed about COVID or just going through difficult times as a result of it. It’s important to have that support system. :3

    Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with for the next post!

    Like

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