My motto for this surreal time in our lives to myself or anyone I speak with is: pace yourself.
In early March I had been at a conference in Houston (traveling through two airports) just when the rumblings that we were going to need to be more careful with handshaking had begun. Most thought it was just hype. No urgency, little concern.
By March 12th I had been sent home from work sick- still believe it was just a regular cold as I never got a fever or the cough. Since that time most people have also been sent home. Now that we're in week 7, just pacing myself has kept me sane (-ish 😜).
Here's what I mean by that.. be concerned when things warrant it, laid back when they don't. Rise to the occasion if I'm needed, let things go when I'm not. I check in with my friends that are essential workers or having a hard time but don't get dramatic- not helpful. I'm working during the day and zooming most nights, but if I need to handle something I do it when the timing is right not necessarily by the clock on the wall.
People are anxious to get back into their routines, their offices/jobs, get their hair done and be served a sit down meal- I get it. I do. Not everyone thrives in their homes all day. This is where my gift for calmness kicks in. I can live like this for a very long time. Don't want to, but I can. And I know we all have different lifestyles and concerns but in order to not drive ourselves nuts we need to find the pace that works for us. Here's a couple of things that have worked for me or that I'm at least trying to practice:
- Meditation: I am a regular meditator but I've been even more diligent about checking in with my zen while this craziness is all around us. Normally I use Headspace but I've been grateful that this Oprah & Deepak Hope In Uncertain Times one is now free to use. If you're tense- or even if you think you're not -deep breaths make everything better (of course away from others). 😌🙏
- Weekdays: Staying away from junk food (chocolate, sugar, chips) or alcohol during the week. And in bed by 11. Find what feels good for you so you're not beating yourself up but still staying as healthy as you can.
- Zooming: I'm on video-conferencing during the day for meetings and co-worker communications but now I am keeping in touch with my family and friends most nights as well. To keep things fun my family and I are doing theme calls (above was hat day). Take advantage of the tech that makes it possible to see people even when you're not seeing people.
- Music: There is a singer I adore 😍who I see once or twice a year when I visit my sister in WI but now he's doing Facebook live shows so every Saturday I make myself an adult beverage, grab a little organizing project to do and sing and dance around the house and rock out with Phil Calkins.
- The other thing I've been really enjoying is cleaning to Parisian tunes. Makes me feel like I'm somewhere else even while folding laundry. 🎶
- Flowers: We need live things in our life so if you don't have a pet or person in your space grab some plants or flowers to pep up your place. It's a small expense (esp. at Trader Joes) for a much more happy day. 🌺😊🌷
- Love List: No need to wait until Thanksgiving! Make a list of the people you love and pick a couple to check in with each week. Doesn't need to be long talk, but call them and tell them you love them. Priceless! 🥰
- Forgive Everyone: Good idea even when not in a pandemic but especially great reminder- life is precious and most folks are doing their best. If this was actually the end of the world what would you want to have had said?
These days I am not even pretending to play a doctor on Twitter- I really have no idea how the rest of the year is going to go. But I believe it's going to be a lot longer to get back to some sort of normal then most think; I'm guessing at least a year. So I'm doing what I can: being in touch with those I love, keeping expenses low, trying to be understanding of others moods and concerns, and mostly taking care of myself so I can take care of others when needed and others don't need to take care of me.
This pause is a great time to declutter the rest of your home, reevaluate your lifestyle (mapping helps 😉), get back to essentialism, and rejoice in how grateful we are to be alive and well and living through this unprecedented time.
And if that's too much to contemplate- no worries... just pace yourself however is going to work for you. Because I know it feels sad but it could be so so much worse. All you need to do is live through this pandemic. Not perfectly, not even gracefully on days that's not possible, but just get through it.
This isn't a sprint, isn't even a marathon, this might be our new way to be in the world. Instead of running yourself down find what will make that ok for you. For me, I've found to make JOY out of this situation I need to pace myself.
Stay healthy, well and joyful 🤗