Chill Out with Charlie: The new not-so-normal

By Charlie Emilia

This millennial content creator, social media geek, part-time healthy person and now first-time mom is coming back to her original roots as a writer. Formerly a radio show, “Chill Out with Charlie” was a peek into my life and what I had going on. Since leaving the airwaves, my journey has taken an extreme turn. For updates on what’s been happening, sit back and chill out with me as I navigate these new paths in a whole new way.

I can’t say there isn’t anything normal about my new routine – or rather, what makes my routine so abnormal is that I don’t have one. For example, I get up when my body wakes me up – that can be 4:00am, or whenever my baby decides she wants to. Sometimes, I get up when I’m in the mood, because my partner lets me sleep in. We are both on-call, so I have to head into the office sometimes, and I can work from home at other times. Sometimes, we both have to be at work and my baby has to stay with her grandmother. No two days have been the same and I secretly love it.

One of my fears used to be that I would lead a completely mediocre life and have the same schedule every day. Nothing is the same and I am basking in the chaos of it all. Now, don’t get me wrong, it took me a few days to get my bearings about me. I needed time to process what was going on. I spent a few days in fear, sanitising my home, although I’d taken everything down and cleaned it the month before. I was afraid to leave my home, because people looked like giant walking viruses to me and I was scared to let my baby even step foot out of the house.

There was no need to preach to me, since I was already social distancing like a champion! However, during that time, a lot of my dreams became shrouded in fear and it took a few bouts of sleep paralysis for me to see that what I was doing could happen, but it was sustainable in the long run. In order to collect myself, I distanced myself from social media. I couldn’t keep consuming each and every piece of information that came out, and I asked my partner to limit how much was shared with me during this time.

In my search for a calm port in the storm, I encountered a lot of “toxic positivity”. The term was first coined by Dr. Allison Niebes-Davis, PhD. and recently popularised by author and speaker Luvvie Ajay. It is essentially the concept that, no matter how dire your situation, you should always have a positive response to what’s happening. Honestly, I’ve never been able to pin it until now – I don’t have a degree in psychology, so I don’t feel badly – but it makes a lot of sense. Let me explain.

When someone is toxically positive, they tend to compare every bad situation going on to something even more extreme. Most of the time, it is something so extreme it shuts you down emotionally and closes you off to wanting to share your feelings with people. For example, if you complain about not wanting to cook, someone will emphasise that there are people who are starving and don’t have anything to cook. Well, thanks for diminishing my issues, Karen!

Yes, it’s important for people to look on the bright side, and you shouldn’t wallow in negative feelings, but burying someone’s emotions under a sea of guilt doesn’t help solve that person’s problems. Be receptive to hearing what they have to say, listen to them and in the event there’s a way you can help, then offer your assistance. People sometimes just need to vent. Let them vent and you’ll see how well you can help them once you’ve listened to their problems.

Feel free to follow me on Facebook.com/LikeCharlieEmilia or my Instagram Chvrl13. I’m open to questions, comments and any concerns you may have about your own health; but please remember I am not a doctor. My column is strictly for entertainment, and although I may try my utmost to give accurate information, it should in no way replace a visit to your healthcare provider.

Until next time, ‘Stay [home] safe!’