I’m sure I’ve said it plenty of times before- on here, on social media, in texts and phone calls- but I, like many others, have been struggling at times with the current quarantines/shelter-in-place being ordered across Massachusetts (and the rest of the country) as we try to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and slow it’s spread.
I’ve never been afraid to do things on my own- be it traveling, dining out, seeing a movie, etc.- but not even being able to do those things, either solo or with friends/loved ones for the time being- and spending most of my time alone in my apartment- has caused a bit of cabin fever. I have occasionally gone a little stir crazy from time to time.
I miss seeing the people I care about face-to-face. I miss giving and receiving hugs. I miss going out to eat- and although I have been working remotely since this pandemic reached it’s critical point- I even miss commuting to/from my office sometimes. If there’s any silver lining to this coronavirus situation- it’s that I know I’ll never take those little things for granted ever again when this finally passes.
Of course, my grief over the things I’ve (temporarily) lost has been compounded by the fact that this pandemic struck and spread just days after I lost something permanently- my best friend Kelsey- who I still have not been able to properly mourn. Planned trips to Nevada to see her family and say goodbye have been delayed- which, while understandable given what’s going on- has been devastating and both emotionally/mentally and even physically taxing.
I digress. As sad, frightening and uncertain as things can be as we take it day by day and move forward- I’ve been finding ways to occupy my time and my mind when I’m not working so that I can not only stay active and in motion- but I can develop new skills (and sharpen old ones) while simultaneously creating content for Coffee & Chiffon, staying productive and making happier memories to look back on when I’m reflecting on 2020.
These little “To Dos” and reminders have been helping me through this strange time- and I thought I’d share them here for anyone else looking for some inspiration, as well.
Get Some Fresh Air / Get Moving / Take a “Safe” Stroll – Being cooped up in the same place for hours/days at a time with no sunshine or fresh air isn’t just bad for your health- it’s bad for your emotional and mental well-being, too. While you don’t need to run a marathon by any means- opening your blinds/curtains each day to let the light in, cracking a window to get some fresh air circulating around your space- or taking a quick walk (while practicing social distancing from others, of course-) is a nice daily refresher to get your body moving and strengthen your immune system.
I have large floor-to-ceiling windows where I live, which I’m incredibly grateful for since I can get a lot of sunlight in each day- but I also try to go to less populated (if not abandoned completely) locations to get a 30-45 minute walk in each day. It feels incredible, especially after sitting and working for 8 hours on weekdays.
And if you’re not entirely comfortable with being outdoors right now- and it’s understandable- there’s plenty of easy workouts you can find on YouTube and across various streaming platforms to get your blood circulating from the comfort of your living room/bedroom (I personally love a good kitchen dance routine while I’m cooking.)
Learn Something New / Get Creative / Start Cooking – I’ve opted to make the most of my time in quarantine by trying my hand at new skills. Troy had gifted me with a pass to MasterClass at the end of last year, and I’ve been taking the most interesting courses and participating in some fascinating seminars that are taught by the best and brightest in certain fields. Whether it’s a cooking class by Gordon Ramsay, a filmmaking course by Martin Scorsese or Scientific Thinking by Neil deGrasse Tyson- there’s a little something for everyone and the classes cover a broad range of topics/subjects.
I’ve also turned to Pinterest and PureWow when I want to get the creative juices flowing for different DIY life hacks, crafts and recipes. In the past couple of weeks I’ve prepared some great meals using whatever I could find in my kitchen cabinets- and have considerably condensed the clutter in my closet via Pinterest suggestions.
Speaking of which…
Tidy Up! – There’s no better time than now to do a full top-to-bottom cleanup and clean-out of your place. Go through your closet and put aside things you no longer wear that can be donated once this pandemic is over. Scrub your counter tops and wash/change your sheets. Wipe down those surfaces you might have overlooked- like window sills, refrigerator shelves and around corners. Dust hard to reach places and disinfect as much as you can- doorknobs, remote controls, table tops, etc.
It might seem daunting, sure- but I promise you’ll feel so much better. I recently cleaned nearly every square inch of my place and it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.
Pamper Yourself – A couple of times a week I like to take some time to give myself an at-home spa treatment since my hair stylist, manicurist and esthetician are closed for the foreseeable future. It could be something as basic as wearing a sheet mask during my lunch break or re-painting my finger nails to things that are a little more time consuming like an in-shower scalp treatment or a mild peel.
Regardless of how minor or complex it is- I always feel refreshed when I’m done. It’s like a little reward to myself for making it through the days without going completely crazy.
Revisit a Favorite TV Show/Movie – I am always looking for new things to watch/binge, and given we all have plenty of time to catch up on those shows we’ve been stock piling in our queues- I’ve gone through quite a lot of movies and series in recent days. Sometimes, though- it’s nice to re-watch the classics. I’ve been starting up “The Walking Dead” from the beginning (how are seasons two and three SO good?) on Netflix- as well as “Angel”, the spin-off of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” on Hulu.
I’ve watched both series no less than a hundred times, but they’re comforting favorites I like to go back to.
Unplug and Unwind – The news and social media can be, well- a lot- these days. It was overwhelming BEFORE coronavirus and even more so now. If you don’t have the motivation to work out, clean, or take an online course- it’s completely okay. Don’t feel guilty or beat yourself up about it. If you need to unplug, kick back, read a book or take a nap- that’s fine, too.
Do whatever you need to do to feel safe, secure, calm and healthy.
I know those aren’t necessarily groundbreaking pieces of advice- but I think they’re worth sharing, regardless!
Despite how challenging things are right now, I think we all know what we have to do to get through this- stay home, stay considerate, conscientious and compassionate of others- wash our hands frequently- and take this one day at a time.
And if I can manage to do that without losing my mind- then I know all of you can, too.
If you’d like to weigh in with your own tips/tricks that have been helping you through quarantine- feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line!