Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Lessons/Advice from Sheltering In

For those of you new to self-quarantine, sheltering at home, or whatever you’re calling it during this pandemic, welcome to my world.   I have been unemployed for several months now so I’ve learned a few things.  Now I only have four-legged kids at home, so my experience may be a little less stressful than those of you quarantining in a small space with multiple children!  But here’s what I’ve learned, good and bad, about being home day after day.

First, the day will go by much faster than you expect.  Even after months of this, I’m surprised how it can suddenly be 3p and I haven’t even had lunch.  You hop on the computer in the morning to check email, and then for me, start looking for a job.   If I find something of interest, I customize my resume to the job description, draft a cover letter and apply online for the job and suddenly 3 or 4 hours have gone by!  Now for those of you with kids, you may have a different experience.   Maybe time will drag by and you’ll be like how can it only be 10am?  I wish you well.

You can have a glass of wine with lunch, or two, or three if it’s an especially tough day!  You’re not going anywhere, so why not? Let yourself imagine you’re having a vacation day on occasion.  We all know day drinking is completely acceptable when on vacation.  So indulge ever so often.

While you're drinking, you can get caught up on all that great  content – this could be the content that’s been stored in your DVR for months that you haven’t had time to watch, discovering a  new show on your favorite streaming service or finish binge watching the show you started a couple months ago.   You can watch Tiger King with no guilt!  The good news is there is a lot of content to keep you occupied.  The bad news is, with the current halt on productions there may not be any new content coming down the pike.  So, you may want to limit your binging, so you’ll still have something good to watch when we don’t have a slate of new content coming out in the fall (see post regarding suggestions for new fall shows).

You get to learn what your pets do all day while you’re at work.   Admit it, it has always been a challenge to leave the dogs each morning to head out to work, especially on those raining, grey or cold days. Now you get to, even if it’s sunny and beautiful outside!  As suspected, my dogs sleep most of the day.   However, they do follow me when they see I’m heading to the kitchen.   I’m not sure what our dogs will do when we finally do go back to work.  

Don’t create an unrealistic “To Do” list that you’ll stress over daily.  You always talk about wanting more time, so take some time for yourself.   Allow yourself to sleep in, or waste a day watching TV.  I’m not saying you should be a slug everyday but give yourself a break.  This will be over before you know it and you’ll quickly be back to that crazy hectic pace and wishing you’d taken advantage of this time.  Find a balance between being productive and being a little self-indulgent.   Snuggling in the bed with my pups while watching the early morning news has become my favorite time of day.  Mornings have always been hectic.  They’ve always been a scramble trying to get out the door to get to work on time.  Now I still wake up at the same time but allow myself to stay in bed during the news, while the dogs have their post breakfast nap.
It’s easier to beat yourself up – tied to the above, it’s so much easier to beat yourself up because you have more time to think about all the things you should be doing.  You’ll start asking yourself, why I haven’t I lost those 10-15 lbs.  Why aren’t I cooking healthy meals every day?  I have the time now I should be getting more done.  Remember you’re only human and just because you’re home now, doesn’t mean there are more hours in the day!

Reach out to friends and family.   Even though we can’t all get together in person, a nice long chat with your siblings, or if you are lucky, your Mom, Dad or grandma is good for the soul!   We often go weeks without talking to our loved ones who are far away.  Well take advantage of this time and catch up with them.  You’re never know what pearls of wisdom grandpa might offer.   And if you’re home with your kids, allow yourself to spend time baking with them, watching a movie or putting puzzles together.    Make this quality time together.

Everyone I know always says, they wish they had more time!  They are always complaining about being too busy.   Well now we have time, and for those of us who are unemployed, we have even more time to stress, to worry.   But don't spend all of your time stressing out.  

Overall, you need to strike a balance between giving yourself some ‘quality time” and getting some of those “projects” done.  Otherwise, you’ll feel completely overwhelmed, you’ll totally stress yourself out, as well as your spouse, significant other, kids etc.   Then you’ll go back to work, completely exhausted and feeling like a failure because you didn’t do those hundred things on your to do list!

Remember, just breathe.

The Traveling Hillbilly's Wings Have Been Clipped!

This quarantine is tough on everybody.  We are all grappling with this pandemic and are ready for our lives to get back to normal.   For those of us with a passion for travel, we can't wait for our next adventure!   A lot of us are probably spending this time, thinking of all the places we'll be going to when this is over.   I have a feeling we'll have a new normal after all this, but truly hope it doesn't curtail our traveling expeditions. 

After spending a few months on multiple road trips traveling the US to see family and just enjoy this beautiful country, I feel as though my wings have been clipped.   I'm itching to get back on the road but know that staying in is what is best for the country right now.

As you shelter at home, what is the next place you're dreaming about?   Where will your next adventure take you?