Things are wildly uncertain right now. Covid-19 has dramatically altered our way of life and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I will admit, it has been challenging navigating the uncertainty, and I wanted to share what has helped me function under these circumstances. Over the past several days, I have found myself in a cycle of emotions from being okay to sad, angry, and of course, scared and anxious. It is perfectly normal to feel all of this and more. It is surreal to me and difficult to comprehend all that is happening. Self-care has never been more critical.
Like many, my husband and I are both working from home, luckily we each have a work-space that allows us to accomplish what needs to get done. We drafted an outline of a daily routine where we have time to get our work done, but also support each other in the process. This has helped get us into a rhythm. We have adhered to the social distancing rules and have only left the house for quick and necessary errands twice. Going outside feels very uneasy to me. I have supported small businesses during this time, too, in any way that I can, and I have plans to do more.
I quickly realized the need to set boundaries for myself and try to keep parts of my regular routine for my sanity. I wake up around my usual time and get ready for work as if it was a typical day. I keep the same general workday schedule and take breaks as needed. I eat healthily throughout the day and make sure to hydrate. It is easy to get stuck in a rut in your PJ’s on the couch glued to the TV and social media, but that won’t help ease the anxiety. So much of this is out of our control, and we must focus on what we can control, such as what we consume for media, how we follow the social distancing recommendations, our kindness, attitudes, and happiness.
I have found time for things that I have wanted to do. For example, I called a local knitting shop (Lucky Cat Yarns in Melrose, MA), and the owner was more than happy to put together a beginner’s kit for me and deliver it. I am excited to learn to knit. So far, I have my cast on, ready to go. I also registered for a free online course through Yale University and another through Mindful Learning Online. The Yale course is titled “The Science of Well-Being.” I am looking forward to these opportunities. I also have plenty of books to read and journaling to do. I plan to utilize Broadway HD’s 7-day free trial and watch Broadway productions that I have wanted to see.
We have also made time to play games with friends using virtual platforms (Zoom meetings and Google Hangouts). Google Hangouts is free, however, a paid Zoom subscription has a higher video quality and worked better for us. We did a first run playing Monopoly and have identified other board games to try since Monopoly was a success. It was a great time killer and fun to see friends while still adhering to the social distancing requirements.
So many businesses are getting creative using online tools to stay connected to existing customers and attract new ones. Take advantage of this! There is no reason not to get a workout in. Local studios and instructors are offering virtual workout opportunities. For me, getting back into an exercise routine has provided me with a much-needed distraction and boost to my mood. Being a Broadway star at heart, I am loving “567 Broadway.” Lots of ways to take center stage (at home) and dance to my favorite show tunes and learn new choreography. So much fun! It is really important to keep moving during this time. It will make you feel better. Trust me!
You may have already seen last week’s bonus blog post loaded with free resources and ideas for things to do. Check it out here in case you missed it. I will continue to share resources on my Facebook page, Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret. Be sure to follow along.
All this uncertainty has forced us to slow down and live in the moment. We really cannot worry about the future, and have to take it one day at a time as we navigate these unprecedented times in modern society. Be grateful for what you have and find the bright spots in all of this.
“In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be quite apparent if we under reacted or did too little.” – Dr. Peppard, Superintendent in Chicago.
Comment below and tell me how you are doing. How are you practicing self-care? Have you tried anything new? What do you have planned?