What a week. In just a few short days we went from hearing that Italy was shutting down due to COVID-19 to shutting down ourselves.
People are panic shopping and buying everything… but mostly the toilet paper, hand sanitizers, canned goods, pasta, and oatmeal… at least that’s how it’s looking at my store.
A friend in Denver said her grocery stores might be closing down. Ours are restricting hours. I saw that Amazon.com has no delivery windows available to deliver groceries. People are stealing masks and gloves wherever they can find them, from hospitals to vet clinics.
People. Stop. We are in this together.
The concern to close things down and practice social distancing is to “flatten the curve.”And it’s working. So what does that mean for us?
I think that means we have to do what the CDC and WHO instruct: we practice social distancing (all of my sky-high anxiety days that kept me from leaving the house have been preparing me for this!), cover our mouths when we cough and sneeze (can we please do this regularly anyways?), we apply for unemployment if we’re losing hours due to the virus (check your state’s website), we DO NOT go to the doctor’s office or ER when we have the sniffles or something we can manage at home (unless you’re part of a high-risk group or having difficulty breathing), and we STOP HOARDING TOILET PAPER.
I’m just so salty about this toilet paper thing, guys.
So what does this all mean? Well, it probably means you’re going to be spending a bit more time inside than usual, either because you’re working from home, have reduced hours, or are practicing social distancing. It also means you might be going stir-crazy soon. Here’s a list of things I’m doing to keep myself occupied, positive, and somewhat sane during all of this:
- Be mindful of news consumption. An overexposure to news is part of the problem right now, in my opinion. I’m not spending hours watching it, listening to it, or reading it. I’m staying up to date using credible sources, sure, but I’m not glued to it. An overabundance of information may seem like a good idea. It might make you feel more in control (knowledge is power!), but with all this news, you’re getting a lot of emotion. I don’t know about you, but as someone with anxiety, I can only handle so much in one day. So I’m walking away from it and only checking in every so often. I’m also primarily sticking with WHO and the CDC for my information.
- Find the good news. There IS good news, but it doesn’t seem to be what is getting reported. I highly recommend following goodgoodgoodco on Instagram. Find other accounts that make you feel good right now, and share that good news with everyone. We need it right now.
- Check in with others. Conversation and connection is important. I’m checking in with friends, family, all of you… now is the time to connect and show some love and support for one another. We all need the kindness and comfort right now.
- Get up and get dressed. I don’t know about you, but when I sit around in my pjs with my hair and makeup undone for too long, I start to get really down. I feel unproductive. The temptation to stay in my jammies all day when I know I’m not leaving the house is very real, but I feel better when I get up and get dressed.
- Cook something. I know the grocery shelves are pretty empty these days, but don’t let the fear of there not being food keep you from eating. I went to the store to pick some things up on my usually grocery run and realized a lot of what I would normally buy is gone. Now is a good time to experiment with some new foods and flavors. In general, please just make sure you’re eating. When I get super anxious, eating is so difficult, but it’s so important, especially during stressful times such as these. Get yourself some nourishment and make yourself a comfort meal or treat that will make you feel a little better. Things always seem a bit better with something in your belly.
- Order local take out. Again, the shelves are sad-looking, and if you don’t have a ton in the house, now is a good time to support some local restaurants. Small businesses are struggling through all of this. Order from your favorite mom and pop restaurants. Call it in and pick up to take home and eat in order to practice social distancing.
- Find something new (or a feel-good favorite) to watch on streaming services. Now is a good time to watch those movies, docs, and series you’ve been putting off. Or throw a favorite on repeat. If you’re looking for some ideas on what to watch, check out My Social Distancing Watch List.
- Clean out/organize the closet. Time to hit Poshmark with all those clothes, accessories, and home goods you have no need for! Make a little extra cash and use this time to clear out the clutter. Make sure to visit my Discounts + Referrals page to get a code to save on your first purchase if you want to do a little thrift shopping too!
- Do a deep clean. On a related note, now is a great time to declutter and clean your space. If you’re working from home, it’s good to have a designated workspace that is clutter-free. In the midst of this virus, it’s an even better idea to get your spring cleaning done. RockItMama has a great free Spring Cleaning Checklist download you can snag here!
- Do that house chore/project you’ve been putting off. I’ve been putting off cleaning out and reorganizing the medicine cabinet/linen closet… it’s time. We’ve all got that one thing we’ve been putting off for forever, I’m sure, so now might be the perfect time to finally check it off your to-do list.
- Do a digital clean. Now is a good time to unsubscribe from those junk emails, organize your folders, Dropbox, digital photo album, and Pinterest boards!
- Get crafty. Remember how coloring books for adults were blowing up not too long ago? It’s time to pull those off the shelf! Maybe you’re like me and have some yarn in the back of the closet, a calligraphy set, or a candle-making kit tucked away somewhere. It’s time to pull those things out and get creative. No art supplies? Pull out some paper and a pencil and learn how to sketch or doodle. Make a run to your nearest *open* craft store and grab a few things to take home and tinker and create with.
- Learn a new hobby. Use this time to develop or refine a new skill. Udemy and Skillshare are great places to look for inexpensive and even free classes on everything from developing organization habits to photography skills. YouTube is also always an excellent place to find how-to videos for free.
- Write. I’m always an advocate for writing. Maybe for you this means journaling, blogging (if you’re thinking of starting a blog, heleneinbetween has TONS of free recourses), or some other form of written expression. Writing, whether it’s journaling or creative writing, is so cathartic and therapeutic.
- Listen to something new. Time to pop in those AirPods and catchup records you missed out on (honestly, I’m rocking some T-Swift Lover as I write this because I never listened to it in its entirety… 10/10). It’s a good time to check out some binge-worthy Podcasts too (for my favorites from 2019, see my Best of 2019 + 2020 Goals post. I also have some book recommendations there). And that brings me to…
- Read something. As a society, we’re quick to head to the couch to zone out and watch TV, but work those imagination muscles! Pick up a book. I’ve got a bunch on the shelf I’ve been trying to read, and you better believe I’ll be diving into them now. If you’re like me and have a hard time focusing on reading, download Audible or Libby and listen along to the audio version as you read. This is one of my favorite ways to read to keep my mind from wandering.
- Get outside. I know you might think social distancing means don’t leave your house, but that’s not true! (If you’re on quarantine, then yea… stay inside). Some fresh air and movement is good for you. Get out and walk around the block, mobile order your Starbucks and walk to pick it up, walk to a local park, or do something that takes you outside for a little bit each day (again, unless you’re on quarantine)!
- Workout. You might be a little wary of the gym right now. I for one think that going at a time when it is not as busy, wiping things down, and keeping a distance from others is still a safe option, but you might want to be even more cautious. Totally valid. You can workout at home without any fancy equipment. There are a lot of resources online, including Pinterest and Youtube. I particularly like MadFit for equipment-free home workouts and Yoga with Adriene for yoga workouts.
- Meditate. Meditation looks different for everyone, but however you do it, it can be a great tool for your mind and body. Try out a guided meditation video or try out the Calm App or Headspace.
- Practice self-care. Whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re carving time out for yourself. All of this stuff falls under the self-care umbrella, but maybe you need a little more right now. Maybe you need that nap, that cookie, that face mask and bath bomb. Whatever it is, make sure you are taking care of yourself during these hard times.
The bottom line here is to keep living your life as normally as possible, but with a little added caution. Keep positive, practice social distancing and heightened hand-washing and hygiene habits, and take care of yourself mentally and physically. Just as important, take care of one another. We’re in this together, and we’ll need each other to get through it. That means leaving items on the shelves for your neighbors and friends. It means helping someone who is struggling. It means sharing *valid* information and resources. And, for God’s sake, it means not buying 500 rolls of toilet paper.
(I will not let this go.)
Sending you all love and well-wishes more than ever ❤️