Since I work from home already, I admit I kind of thought social distancing would be pretty easy for me. Turns out not so much.
After a couple of days of not being able to get out of my own way, I realized that I am actually out in the world a lot more than I realized. Gym and yoga six days a week, popping into the shops I manage social media for, the grocery store, coffee shop…I was not nearly the shut-in I imagined myself to be. I miss my life, and I’m sure you do too.
I have quickly realized that none of us has this locked down, pardon the pun, this new normal is far from normal. But, we can do our best to create a routine and take care of ourselves so we don’t sink into worry and sadness.
Confession — I am a bit of an anxious person. I’m like that duck you see gliding across the water — to the outside world I’m a cheerleading positive person who will support you through anything. But below the surface, those little feet are going a thousand miles an hour, and my brain is closer to Chicken Little than calm yogini. Without my routine, I’ve been spiraling a bit. So it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, thank you, Nina Simone and I am not spending another day on my couch, unshowered, scrolling through Instagram (well, I’ll spend SOME time doing that — it’s part of my job) but I will be productive. And clean. Look, none of us knows how long this stretch will last, so we need to gather some tools for our toolbox. And by the way, I am not being paid by anyone to promote any programs or sites listed here.
So this is going to take some organization. Are you up for that? Left to my own devices I’ve been snuggling with my cat, Mr. Bear, and just in general not taking good care of myself — mentally or physically. Thankfully, we live in the age of the internet and we can find almost anything there. So take advantage of it for good, not just time killing. Here’s a good source for various online organizing tools, or maybe you are just fine with a good old-fashioned to-do list. I do find something very satisfying about crossing things off with my pencil.
Maybe you’re working from home, maybe you’re not. If you’re home and have tasks for work, set a schedule like you would if you were at work. But make sure to schedule in breaks to get up, stretch, drink some water, take a short walk. Plan a longer walk before or after work.
If you are working, that naturally gives you some structure. If you’re not, it can be a little more challenging to be firm with yourself. Again, make a schedule, create a to-do list. There are things we all need to attend to.
This might be a good time to download some books you’ve always wanted to read or download Duo Lingo to learn a new language! Maybe your spring cleaning starts now. I hear people spring clean, I know it’s a thing. I might have to look into it.
Normally I encourage people to shop locally, but with so many small shops closed, maybe you can order some craft supplies online and start some projects. YouTube has lessons on EVERYTHING!
I got an Instant Pot late last year and am planning to finally make yogurt in it. Greek yogurt! When I wasn’t campused it seemed too time-consuming, but now is a perfect time to cook and strain.
And what about knitting? Haven’t you always wanted to make a hat? You can order supplies online and get all your Christmas presents made!
Weather permitting, get outside and take a walk, making sure to keep a safe distance from people of course. Fresh air is invigorating and makes you feel so much better. It wakes everything up and vitamin D is good for you! Of course, as I write this it’s pouring outside, but there’s always tomorrow…
I normally take a few yoga classes a week, and after washing my mat (I did it in my front loading machine) I fired up a great practice on YouTube with a teacher named Adriene, but there are many to choose from! Interested in other kinds of workouts? You can find anything on YouTube, like this guy offering workouts with no equipment!
This is a really stressful time for everyone. The unknown can be scary. I know, I’m worried too. Every ache, pain, sneeze has me on edge. So I am limiting my exposure to news, stay informed and aware, but don’t marinate in it. Make sure you change the channel, literally. Watch some “Schitt’s Creek” on Netflix, or “Modern Love” on Amazon Prime. Just make sure you put something other than news into your head. To that end try Headspace — they are offering free meditation sessions. It really helps!
Use technology to keep in touch. Don’t just text, talk to people. FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom. A little face time can make a whole lot of difference in feeling less alone and connected.
This won’t last forever. We will return to our normal lives in due course. Perhaps with a new appreciation for each other, for the freedom to give a hug or share a park bench. Until then, we are going to feel sad sometimes, anxious and untethered. Life as we know it is on hold. Reach out with technology, try something new at home, but most of all, be kind and patient with yourself and each other.