I have been a stay at home mom who is also on disability for anxiety, depression and PTSD for years. When social isolating began I truly was shocked by how many people seemed to not know how to be content with themselves, their thoughts, their homes. It made me sad that people are being paid to work from home and are in panic mode unsure how to manage their home, children and work.
My mother says this is like things were when I was a baby 35 years ago. Most moms didn’t work, and socializing was largely done by phone. While this sudden force to change is dramatic and even traumatic, it goes to our roots, if not our own than our grandparents or great grandparents. I find myself thinking outside of our typical box full of conveniences more often now and ask what would Grandma have done? This brings peace to me and reminds me that serving my home, my children, and myself is what I should be doing. In these moments of slowed down chaos, we have an opportunity to bond, with ourselves.
Many people live in areas like myself, where the weather isn’t great for getting outside yet. Or, worse, they live in a large metropolitan area that wants everyone to stay inside, or perhaps they chose a small highrise when looking for a place to call home and don’t even have an outdoor space or balcony. These people likely feel confined, trapped or even imprisoned during this uncertain time in our world.
We must, however, look at the bright side. 35 years ago there were a dozen channels on tv if you were lucky to even get cable. There were no internet or streaming services to give us shows to watch, news to watch and read, movies at the click of a button, or freshly released music to fill our spaces. While the world being at a standstill right now causes worry about bills piling up and a mountain of debt we didn’t expect, remember, you are not alone, we are in this together, not just as a community, but as a world.
Now is the time to start to draw or paint again. Read books and use that Kindle Unlimited membership to the max. It is time to write and reflect. We can practice recipes we haven’t had time to try while living the rat race. We can enjoy our pets, tidy and purge our homes of the things that just take up visual whitespace and distract us.
We finally have time to sit, meditate and access our souls. Maybe this means picking up your Bible and truly studying the Word, or maybe it means picking up a pen and placing your joys and worries on paper, out of your head in a tangible place. Maybe, it means playing video or board games with your family or catching up on shows you have missed over the seasons that you used to get excited for.
Use the technology we are blessed to have that wasn’t in existence even 20 years ago. Hit the video call button on your phone or laptop and have a family dinner each Sunday, the way we did when we were young. Perhaps you would like to pray with your family who is also in isolation each morning, or evening before bed. There are apps for Netflix Parties that allow anyone with the link (and Netflix) to join in and simultaneously watch the same show or movie together with a chatbox on the side.
We are blessed to have these technologies at our fingertips the way our mothers and grandmothers did not. Please, don’t forget that self-care can be a glass of wine and a book, or a hot bath with some Epsom salts. When is the last time you took a bubble bath or used all of the hot water in a mid-day shower?
Set a tone that helps you feel encouraged to clean, declutter, tidy up and get your work done if you are lucky enough to work from home right now, and then, set the tone for time with yourself. Candles or essential oils, a favourite show or picking up a paintbrush or pencil and being creative. Even if you want to live in your pyjamas all day (I do!) be sure to change from your day loungewear into your evening loungewear and encourage your mind to remember a routine that gives you time for being productive and a time for relaxation.
It is far too easy to allow the unknowns to take over our minds right now. Setting out to-do lists and around the house schedules is a great way to help keep our minds, bodies and souls occupied. I see many people forgetting what day of the week it is. Pencilling in our chores, our own needs and things we have done or are enjoying helps to block out each day and set goals for the next.
Whether you live in a studio apartment or a sprawling estate there are likely things you have to do or would like to do better. Give your space love and thank it for keeping you and your loved ones safe during this time. Remember, if you run out of ideas, you can always search for things to do online and get those creative juices flowing once again.
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