It’s unbelievable to me how much life has changed just since last week, let alone March 1, and yet, this is the reality of our situation: Worldwide pandemic, numbers soaring, people hoarding toilet paper (still confused by that), working from home, kids out of school, every day life pretty much at a standstill.
Hey, anxiety! I see you!
On Monday, I asked everyone to think about ways we can take care of ourselves during this crisis. I’ve been thinking about that too. It’s slightly hilarious in a very non-funny kind of way that all of the usual things I do to take care of myself — monthly reflexology appointments, bi-monthly acupuncture appointments — have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
I find that my self-care bandwidth has significantly shrunk. I mean, I still have a book going — taking the time to read every day is always on my list — although it’s somewhat hard to concentrate on the words. (Just finished my 13th book incidentally.) And I’m doing my best to stick to my morning routine of waking up with Eric, journaling and then getting ready for the day — dressed in my work clothes, with shoes on. Whether I head to the car or my reading retreat to get to work doesn’t matter. It helps me feel grounded.
As I was thinking about what to share today, I remembered a day last week when I was feeling really hopeless and out of sorts, and I went into my retreat, grabbed a stack of photos and some scrapbook pages and got to work. I didn’t have to think; I just slapped pictures on pages and got them into their respective books. (No embellishments, no writing.) Took less than an hour, but I felt so accomplished and so much better afterwards — because that was one less pile in my retreat, because now I only have Abby’s school photos to deal with and I am DONE, because soon I will be able to pack up the rest of my supplies and drop them off at the Goodwill and never have to think about it again.
(Wait, is Goodwill open?)
Maybe you don’t have scrapbooks to catch up on, but maybe you have a drawer that’s driving you nuts, or a kitchen counter you could scrub. I have heard many times of the meditative power of washing a sink filled with dishes. Seems like a weird self-care idea, I know, but we’re going for whatever makes us feel better and more sure of our surroundings.
On the physical activity end of things, Eric and I have started taking nightly walks after dinner. Every night he says, We can leave whenever, and I say, Nah, I don’t want to, and then I hear him zipping up his jacket so I get my shoes on. I really don’t want to, which is why I go — I need both the routine and the movement. With so many other routines out the window, it’s nice to have something to look forward to.
One more idea that I’m stealing from my dear friend Shannon: Movie marathon with the family. I like this one because it takes zero braincells on my part to watch a show in my living room. And I get to be with everyone I love while I don’t do anything! How is that not a win?
Um … that’s all I got. To review: Read, keep up routines, check off a chore, take a walk and watch a movie. And one of those I stole. OH WAIT! Play with kittens, that’s a good one, soft fur, purring and stress relief, I can’t believe I didn’t think of that earlier.
All right, your turn. And if you don’t have the bandwidth for this either, that’s fine, update us on how you’re doing. I really, truly appreciate all of you who checked in this week.