Coping in Quarantine

By now nearly all of us are experiencing some level of restriction in our lives due to the corona virus. Some states are recommending people stay at home as much as possible, whereas others have very strict rules in place about going out in public. Here in north Texas, our "shelter in place" restrictions have been extended until May 20th. That was hard news to hear.

However, this is the situation and I can get frustrated or I can choose to find ways to make this manageable for me, not only so I don't lose my mind but so these 2+ months of my life are not wasted. I don't want to zone out in front of the TV for the duration of this and come out with nothing to show for it.

So, I wanted to share some of the things I am doing to ensure that my life in quarantine is as meaningful as possible.

The first thing is that I am waking up to work at a normal time for me, which is between 5 and 6am. I wake up, have my breakfast, wash and dry my hair and style it and while I don't "get dressed up" to work from home, I put on clothes and try to avoid anything that is too much like what I could slide right back into bed wearing! I feel like this makes me feel like I am going to work as normal (I work from home as a general rule anyway), but this allows me to be presentable and if required to get on a video conference call, I can quickly slip on a sweater or some other top that I would normally wear to the office.

This brings me to another thing I have found I enjoy: video chatting. I have done this a little with some friends and my sister and I feel like it prevents me from feeling overly isolated. When you video chat, you can get that somewhat better connection than over a phone call - you see their eyes, their expressions and even their surroundings. I enjoyed chatting with my sister the other day and getting to see her growing baby bump on video!

I also work out everyday as normal, and if anything my fitness level has only increased. Yes, I am fortunate to have a fully equipped home gym in my garage, however, home workouts can easily be achieved if you're serious about it. Body weight workouts can be super effective, as can resistance bands (which you can still order on Amazon), and dumbbell workouts as well (also orderable). Take some of these and put them into a high intensity circuit and you also have your cardio exercise if you're not able to run outside.

I try to cook the meals we normally eat. We have always mostly cooked at home so I cannot relate to the people who say they feel like they've cooked 300 meals already this month. I cook lunch and dinner every single day so that hasn't changed. However, I have done my best to keep the food as normal, that way when we sit down to eat there is nothing weird or lacking in it. Getting groceries has been a bit more challenging, however, in this case the early bird truly does get the worm. You gotta wake up early but it can be done!

I am putting additional passion and effort into my hobbies. I have been writing more, and doing more French lessons. I am hoping to be able to do video guitar lessons as well (especially now that they have extended the dates on this). If I emerge from this next month with some decent writing and greater proficiency in French I believe I will feel this was time well spent.

I also feel that it helps to stay focused on other people more than myself. Yes, I have hardly left my house more than two or three times in a full month and I am getting a little stir crazy. However, my mom and brother-in-law are literally on the front lines of this working in health care and are potentially putting themselves into harm's way. My husband has had no change to his work life either, working each day at the airport where heaven only knows what he is coming into contact with. There are homeless people all over this city and country who are not able to shelter in place in such comfort as I am - I saw a photo of homeless people sheltering in place 6 feet from one another in a parking lot and that made me so sad. Millions of people are losing their jobs, small businesses and even larger ones are folding under the pressure of this, and some people don't know how they will pay their bills. There are people out there with huge problems right now.

So I try to keep my life as normal and happy as possible, and remember every moment that I am so incredibly blessed.