Well, what a time to be alive, eh? I haven't posted a new blog in weeks. Partly because I suddenly had everyone home from school and work all day. Partly because I needed to give my brain a break. I needed to try and process all the things happening around us and adjust to our new normal. My kids are now doing school from home, like so many others, and we're all here, 24/7. My house is very lived in, there are almost always dirty dishes, and quiet time has become really difficult to get around these parts. I'm also suddenly teaching my one yoga class online. Which was weird at first, but I'm starting to get used to it.
And while all of these things could be seen as "bad," that's not how we're choosing to see all of this. Instead, we're looking for the good things. Yes, the house is messier than usual, but we're all here, healthy and safe. Yes, we spend a lot of time in our PJ's or sweatpants, but the weather is getting nicer and we have a backyard we can spend some time in. No, we can't really go anywhere and sometimes that feels suffocating, but we've spent more time together as a family doing puzzles, playing board games, watching movies, going on walks around our neighborhood, and talking. No, we can't just go visit our loved ones, but once this is over, they're gonna get giant hugs, homemade treats, and lots of love! We're slowing down and overall, it isn't so bad. I've gotten my personal yoga practice back! I'm doing yoga almost everyday now, something I lost before explant and was hoping to get back. I've also been reading books, cooking without recipes more often, and meditating.
And I feel like we are incredibly fortunate. So gratitude has been something I have been practicing every day. So many people have lost their jobs and loved ones. Or they're still working, but in dangerous conditions that weren't considered dangerous before. But I don't say that as if some of us are winning at the stay at home thing. No. One upping isn't something I'm fond of under normal circumstances and I'm not going to entertain that now. Instead, I'm holding space for everyone. No matter if you're struggling through this, breezing right by with no issues, or somewhere in between. Because this is a human experience. And human experiences don't seem to come with a rule book. They're messy, difficult, crazy, and trying. But hopefully something beautiful comes out of it in the end. What that is? I'm not sure. We'll get there when we get there, I guess.
What I do know is there are a few things that are helping me and my family get through this. I'm going to share in hopes that it will give you some ideas and help you too!
1. Move! It's so easy to just move from my bed to the couch and only get up to use the bathroom and get snacks. And some days, that is exactly what we do. But most days we're trying to get up and move around. That may be to clean up around here, do some yoga, go for a walk, get stuff done in the yard or around the house that we've put off... anything to just get moving and not sit still for too long.
2. Unplug from the news and social media as much as possible. I know it's important to stay on top of what is happening, so checking in is totally fine, but we haven't been drowning ourselves in it. I try to check in once a day just to get as much actual info that I need, and then I step away. Don't get me wrong, I'll still scroll Instagram or Facebook for funny memes or articles about anything other than what's going on lately, but I intentionally pass up anything that will fuel anxiety or upset me. I'm also really careful about where my information is coming from, especially now.
3. Eat healthy foods most of the time. So even when times are normal, we don't subscribe to eating perfectly all the time (minus the plant based thing for me). That's no fun and just creates stress that undoes all the good stuff we're doing by eating healthy anyway. So we've been indulging in treats, but we've also focused a lot on getting in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and nuts and seeds, and drinking plenty of water. Not only will this help us feel really good, but it gives us energy and it helps keep our immune systems healthy!
4. Take supplements and vitamins. We do this on the regular anyway, but we've made sure to take them every day right now, ya know, just to make sure we've got our bases covered. It doesn't hurt anything right? But it certainly helps keep us healthy! And in the event we do get sick, hopefully it helps minimize the severity. (Make sure you talk to a professional if you aren't already on supplements and you want to start taking them. Even though all natural supplements and herbs can be wonderful for you, they can also interact with certain medications. So be smart here!)
5. Activities are not always centered around devices. We use devices for sure. Phones, video games, tv, all of it. But we try not to use it as a crutch for all forms of entertainment. Some days are device heavy because life. But we're making a conscious effort to step away a lot. Sure, we've had to get creative, but we've had fun and bonded as a family. Also, the kids are doing school completely online so by the time the school day is done, they are looking for a break... and so am I!
6. FaceTime/Zoom with friends and family. I know this isn't the same a one-on-one interaction, but it does help us stay connected and see the faces of those we love. It reenergizes us and helps us keep from missing those we love so badly.
7. Don't stay up too late and don't sleep in too long. We don't have a super strict bedtime/wakeup time schedule by any means, but we are making an effort to get to bed by 11pm and up by 8am. Getting enough sleep also helps with the immune system and keeping the body healthy.
8. Shower/take a bath. This one doesn't happen everyday, I'll admit. But most days, we make an effort to wash up and put on clean clothes. Even if they are just yoga leggings and a t-shirt. This is refreshing and signals the start or end of the day (depending on when you like to shower/bathe).
So there ya go! It isn't a perfect list, and it won't work for everyone. We're all different and in different situations, but hopefully this helps even if it's just a little. Hang in there, ya'll! We'll get through this someday, and when we do, we'll be so grateful for things we once overlooked and took for granted. Cut yourself some slack and know that you are doing the very best you can with where we all are right now, and your best won't look like my best. But that doesn't mean one is "better" than the other or the right way to do it.