To say things are strange, or stressful, or out of control right now is the cliche to end all cliches. We all know that- doubly so for those everyday heroes who are caring for others right now.
The majority of us have probably had one of those moments when it’s really hit home. You might have a loved one who’s missing out on a rite of passage like a graduation, or prom, or bar mitzvah, and it’s dawned on you that moment in time will be lost. If you and your loved ones have managed to stay well (fingers crossed!), but you hear of an acquaintance or neighbor who’s fighting the virus, it can be a kick in the gut that puts us totally off balance.
We don’t have much control over circumstances like these. All we can do is wash our hands, stay away from each other, and do as many good deeds as possible from home. Fortunately, home is where we often do have some semblance of control.
So in the spirit of staying grounded and taking care of yourself- we’d like to list a few things that we think will help you reclaim a little control.
We can’t always take complete control of our thoughts, sometimes they just pop into our heads without our permission. We can control how we act on them. We’re big proponents of journaling around here for many reasons, but self-control is at the top of that list. It helps us map out our feelings, take a good look at our thoughts, and understand ourselves so that we can better manage our words and behavior.
Have you and/or your family slipped into some bad habits during this time? It’s easy to get lax on bedtimes when there’s no school. It’s equally as easy to slide into a routine of eating whenever you feel like it all day instead of actually sitting down for a meal. If you’re working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of getting into email correspondences from bed in the morning instead of at your desk like you usually would. You need a routine to restore order!
So gather everyone around and create a household schedule: work hours, housework hours, hours for prepping and cooking meals so you can sit down at the table together, etc. Just be sure to do it together, so there’s no ambiguity, and you’re all on the same page. Or the same schedule. You know what we mean.
While you’re scheduling, block off a little time each day to do what makes you happy. Get out for a walk, tell everyone to scram so you can soak in a bath with a good book for a while (here are some of our recommendations), chat with friends, or indulge in your guilty pleasure of choice (we’ve heard there are SO many things worth binge-watching right now). Don’t feel like you need to get all productive or meaningful about it. Cleaning out closets does NOT qualify as you-time, no matter how much you like to be organized.
Want to feel like you’ve really accomplished something? Work up a sweat. There’s something really gratifying about waking up just a little sore after a vigorous workout the day before. You’ll feel like you’re taking care of business on all fronts, and it’ll help you reclaim some of your control. Yoga and Pilates are gaining popularity right now because there are so many free workouts online for practicers of all levels. Whatever you prefer is fabulous, as long as it gets your body moving.
If ever there was an excellent time to get adventurous with your food, it’s now. If you don’t fancy yourself a foodie, learn a little bit about different foods and incorporate ingredients you’ve never cooked with before. Learn how to bake bread, make your own cheeses- we’ve heard learning to brew your own beer is a lot of fun.
Hate to cook? May we recommend that you order takeout from somewhere you’ve never tried? If you’ve never indulged in a spread of Ethiopian, or haven’t tried Indian food, get international.
However you choose to do it, pamper yourself with some gourmet meals at home. You may decide it’s better than going out anyway.
However you’re livin’ at home right now, we hope it’s to the fullest. Don’t forget to spread some comfort whenever you can, take good care of each other, and don’t be afraid to spoil yourself a little.