It's hard to believe that just 2 weeks ago life was perfectly normal. As a long time homebody, not a lot has changed for us since the spread of COVID-19 rocked everyone’s world. We’ve been “sheltering in place” for 14 days, which became mandatory in the state of Oregon 4 days ago. We are only leaving our home to go for a walk or bike ride (remaining off any playground equipment, and at least 6 feet away from anyone else) and one of us goes to the grocery store every 7-10 days. I have to admit, even for an introvert who has worked from home for 6.5 years, it’s a lot to take in. Here's how we're getting through it:
FOLLOWING A ROUTINE.
Everyone responds differently in crisis. So if routines aren't your thing, don't force it. Personally, routines help me feel like I'm still in control when things are chaotic. However, my husband loves to just wing things. So to blend our two styles, we're trying to keep things as normal for the kids as possible, but not necessarily having a strict timeline for the day. Here’s how our days look lately:
- We wake up at a reasonable time, but not as early as we typically would. So for us this is in the 6-7am range right now, as opposed to 5-6am normally.
- We all make our beds. Accomplishing something (even something small) first thing in the morning helps to set us up for a productive day ahead.
- We eat a nutritious homemade breakfast all together
- Cory and I make a realistic to-do list for the day
- We all get ready. For the boys this pretty much just means putting pants on (Any other boy moms out there? Why do they hate wearing pants?), we all brush our teeth, we shower semi-regularly, I put real clothes on and a little mascara - it’s amazing what a difference this makes for my mental health.
After that, there’s no real order or timeline, but we make sure to do all of the following:
- Get outside! Rain or shine.
- Self care & stress relief (here are the things we try to incorporate, but your list might look different):
- Diffusing essential oils (lavender and copaiba are my current faves)
- Binging Netflix (guilty!!)
- Keeping up with my morning and evening skin care routine
- Dipping into my DIY self-care kit
- Home school. Our kids are 4 and 6, so we’re only doing about 2 hours a day of structured “school” (based on the pinterest board I created), and mixing in real life skills (cooking, gardening, chores), and hands on PE, STEM, art, music, and fine motor skill exercises.
- Alone time - As I mentioned before, being home is pretty normal for us. We’ve been working at home together for about a year and a half now, so we’ve gotten very used to being around each other 24/7, but for many of you it's very new to be around your significant other and/or kids all day, every day.
- Work. Yes, we’re still working. As long as we can get supplies in, we’ll still be making products and running Urban Oreganics. We are fully sanitizing our home/studio regularly and we will continue to mail out packages since USPS is deemed an essential business. While we are sanitizing any glass items we send out, the virus can live on cardboard for 24 hours. Please carefully handle your packages.
- Chores. Just to be safe, we've temporarily paused our house cleaner. No one comes in our home except for us right now. So on Thursdays (the day our house cleaner would normally come, we’re tackling the deep cleaning as a fam) + keeping up with daily chores so it doesn’t build up too much.
- At the end of each day we try to stick to a normal-ish bed time and routine (brush teeth, read books in bed, have the kids asleep by 7-8pm), which gives us a few hours to ourselves before hitting the sack.
In addition to the routine helping to reduce my anxiety right now, it will also help our family transition back into normal life whenever that may be.
- Don’t forget to date your spouse. Normally, Cory and I would be go out on dates (without the kids) 2-3x a month. That time alone together is so important for our marriage. After the kids go to bed we’re making sure to still give ourselves that time. We need it now more than ever.
- Limit time online. I get it… there’s not much else to do right now. But it can be a black hole if you let it. Set a timer for yourself and don’t let social media or the news take over your day.
- Give yourself grace - this is uncharted territory for all of us. Being around the same people 24/7, working from home, possibly homeschooling children, cooking every single meal, etc… it’s a lot! You don’t have to be super mom right now. You just have to keep you and your family healthy (and happy).
- Don’t drink too much alcohol - I made that mistake one night, about a week ago. 3 cocktails with dinner and I sat up all night over-analyzing every possible scenario and ended up crying myself to sleep at 5:30am. Anyway… take it from me, drinks are fun… until they aren’t.
- Don’t Become anti-social. Yes, we have to physically stay away from friends and family. Stay on top of scheduling FaceTime calls, writing texts/emails, sending photos, etc.
- Grieve. Allow yourself to grieve what you’ve lost: income, vacations, gatherings, graduation, wedding, etc.
If you do decide to knock a few projects off your list, be responsible about taking extra trips out in public. Try to use what you already have. The two main projects we are hoping to knock off the list while we’re stuck at home:
- Raised garden beds. This has been on my list for 2 years. And now it’s finally happening. We have supplies being delivered to us from a local construction company (supporting a small business) that is deemed essential and is remaining open.
- Painting our bathroom cabinets. We’ve had the paint sitting in the garage for months. We have the supplies. No reason not to do it.
HELPING OUR COMMUNITY.
Now more than ever, it’s so important for us to take care of each other. Here's what we've been doing so far:
- Donating to our local food pantry & adding non-perishables to our neighborhood Free Little Library
- Donating to Marley's Monster's Go Fund Me for Reusable N95 Mask Covers
- Collecting and dispersing funds from and to our customers on Instagram
- Leaving supplies/food for others - not stock piling!
- Offering to shop for elderly neighbors
- Giving blood
- Giving things away on buy nothing group that could be helpful to others - we don’t meet up in person. Just leaving it on our porch for pickup.
- And most importantly... STAYING HOME!
- Buying gift cards from local small businesses
- Prepaying for services from local small businesses
- Shopping online at small businesses
- Sharing, liking, and commenting on small business' social media
- Deleting unused apps or services
- Minimizing food waste
- Cooking meals from scratch
- Investing in reusables - while they will be more money up front, they will end up saving hundreds of dollars.
While we have no idea how long this all will last, we're just continuing to keep things as normal as possible for our kiddos, keeping ourselves busy, and making sure to give back to those in need. How are you creating a new "normal"?
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