Man, oh man. These are certainly some crazy times, friends, and it’s really got me thinking. With so much more time on my hands, and fewer distractions, I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate and reflect. I’ve had time to create art, to connect with people through video chats and postcards and letters. I’ve had the time to take walks around the neighborhood with my boyfriend and our pup, to write, to think about things big and small. I’ve stopped to appreciate the flowers springing to life throughout the strangely quiet city. I’ve spent lazy time simply listening to music and sitting with my fur babies, feeling the breeze blow in through my open window.
One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about is how much we all took for granted–all the things we thought were normal, steady certainties of our lives that we didn’t give a second’s thought to, or I didn’t, at least. Seeing a movie at the theater, grabbing lunch with a friend, going to concerts, popping into the bakery for a coffee and pastry. All the little things, the possibilities, the things we may not have even done often, but knew we could do.
I think for a lot of us, life feels odd right now. There’s so much uncertainty, confusion and fear in the air. When will this be over? Will life ever return to “normal” again or is this our new normal? It seems like every social media post, every conversation, every news story seems to be about this one thing. It’s hard not to focus on it, and on the fear, but there are things we can do to try to make the most of a scary situation.
If you’ve read any of my posts before, you probably know I’m about to give you a nice little list now.
A friend and I were talking earlier today about how when we are busy and stressed, we feel less creative. During the last few weeks, I’ve had a surge of creative energy and I’ve spent hours upon hours writing, painting, making candles. I’ve seen so many others sharing their art on social media as well. Being creative, using your imagination, having the freedom and control to make things exactly as you want, is liberating and is a beautiful way to escape your home and mind without going anywhere.
With gyms and yoga studios and sports leagues all taking a hiatus, stress levels rising with the growing concerns and being cooped up in our homes, it’s more important than ever to exercise. There are so man ways to do this, from online home workouts to walking around your neighborhood to exercising in your local park or hiking in the sunshine and fresh air. Whatever your thing is, exercising is a great way to keep your immune system up and stress level down!
With so many restaurants closed, many of us find ourselves cooking every meal. While my boyfriend and I love to cook, I know we are starting to miss our nice date night dinners out. Cooking has also been a fun activity for us to do together, though. We’re enjoying finding new recipes, thinking of creative ways to combine the odds and ends we have in the fridge and making them together while dancing around our kitchen. Our pup is also thoroughly enjoying helping us clean the scraps we drop on the kitchen floor.
Self care is important during the best of times, but especially so now. This looks different for everyone. For some it might be taking a bubble bath, doing a face mask and painting your nails. For others it may be lighting some yummy scented candles and journaling. For others it may be meditating or praying.
Whatever makes you feel your best, allow yourself the time and space to do it. You deserve it.
You’re doing this one right now, so give yourself a pat on the back for that one! Reading is one of those things so many people say they love to do, but never have the time. Take advantage of your new free time and escape your home by getting lost in a good book. Our bookclub just read several good ones, so if you need any recommendations, feel free to ask in the comments below! We have continued our meetings via Zoom, and I’m so grateful to the ladies in the group for their participation and sharing their time with me. Socializing looks different right now, but I love connecting with people any way we can in this new world we’re finding ourselves in. Which leads me to…
Connect with loved ones:
It’s funny, while we can’t physically come together, it seems like the whole world is coming together from afar. From nation-wide concerts in Italy to virtual family game nights to video chat happy hours with friends, we are all finding creative ways to stay connected to the ones we love. Now, more than ever, it feels like people are reaching out to one another, talking to friends and family more regularly, and generally supporting one another during this crazy time.
There has never been a more convenient time for spring cleaning!! With all the germies going around, and so much time spent at home, it feels great to give everything a good scrubbing. If you’re going to be at home anyways, you may as well have a space you can enjoy! Maybe even take it a step further and pick up a home improvement project you’ve been meaning to get to for the last however long. Paint a room, do a DIY fix-up of an old dresser, hang some pictures on the walls–the possibilities are endless! Consider supporting a local artist and purchase cool new pieces to make your home feel cozy and beautiful.
Be in nature:
Personally, I find nature one of the most therapeutic things in the world, and with spring just starting to peek through, there’s no better time to head to the park, go on a hike, or just sit outside on a porch, balcony, or yard. Whether you’re dipping your toes in an ocean or lake, appreciating some newly blossomed flowers, or sitting quietly with your eyes closed to appreciate the silence and sounds of the birds singing, nature is one of the most healing places we can be. One good thing that has come out of this turbulent time is that the world seems to be healing in our absence. With less people traveling in their cars and so many of us staying at home, the air is clearer and waters are cleaner, so that’s something, at least!
Last but not least, take some time to just be. Breath deeply, meditate, reflect, pray, whatever it is that brings you calmness and peace, allow yourself the grace to just be.
Sending you all my love today and always, my little chickadees!