I’ll be the first to admit that this last month, no wait – six weeks, hang on — how long has it been? I’ve lost track at this point but suffice it to say that these last few weeks (or months) have been strange. As we continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic together, we’re not only witnessing our own lives changing but that of our families, friends, co-workers, celebrities, etc. We’re changing how we shop for groceries, how we work, how we consume content and how we communicate with one another.
During a time when everything feels different it’s easy to find yourself feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I know that I certainly have from time to time! But you know what? That’s OK. We’re living through a unprecedented moment in history. Not being able to see our families or go to work or do the things we love is really tough. And it’s OK to not be OK. Let me repeat that:
It’s OK to not be OK.
I know that I have had good days and bad days. But like most everyone else, I’m trying to make the most of the situation and look on the positive as much as possible.
One way I’ve been transforming positive thoughts into actions is by making simple lifestyle choices. Here are five random (but positive!) lifestyle changes that I’ve made while social distancing that I’m working to turn into habits that will continue once this situation is over:
I keep a book nearby
Has anyone else been using this time to catch up on their reading list? I’ll be honest – I was hoping to get more reading done than I actually have to date (somehow I always get distracted by cleaning — maybe that’s the next lifestyle change on the list) but I’ve definitely been flipping through more pages than I would be were I still on my normal routine. One way I’m getting more reading in is by simply keeping a book nearby. When I go reach for my phone to do some scrolling, I pick up a book instead. When I feel the urge to check my social media accounts I remind myself that I’ll get much more out of making head way in a novel than I will scrolling through Instagram for the 1,000th time that day.
I take breaks from wearing makeup
Now, some of you may have hopped on the no makeup train as soon as quarantine hit but whether I have people to see or not, I just love makeup. I’m not sure if it’s the artist in me or what, but I truly enjoy figuratively painting my face. That being said, I’m using this time of isolation as an opportunity to take breaks from my usual face. Less chemicals and also less money spent on makeup remover. While I fully intend on going back to makeup during the workweek once I’m back in the office, my goal is to continue the no-makeup trend on weekends.
I eat what’s in my house
Going out in public as little as humanly possible means no more frivolous store runs! Unlike the olden days when Andy and I would run down the street to pick up a single item we were craving, we now add it to the list instead (we only go to the store about once every two weeks now). We’ve been getting creative with the food we have in our pantry and freezer – a habit I would definitely like to continue in the future! The less store trips (and the less money spent on groceries we don’t really need) the better.
I skip washing my hair
Some of you will probably faint when you read this, but up until self-isolating began I used to wash my hair every day. And sometimes in the summer – I even washed it twice. *CUE GASP* While I refuse to be ashamed by my previous hair habits (there’s just something magical about clean hair) I decided that now would be a great time to try the no-washing trend. For those who are unfamiliar, studies have indicated that there are several benefits that come from washing your hair less frequently including fuller, stronger strands and less chemical exposure. I have fine, naturally blonde hair so I wouldn’t say I’m giving up shampoo completely anytime soon, but I have at least limited myself to every other day. If I’m feeling brave I might step it up and try skipping two days in a row — we’ll see how long this shutdown lasts.
I check in with my family more
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always the most attentive family member when it comes to those who live outside the four walls of my home. Between working full time, being an officer on the board of directions for a local non-profit, piano lessons, my husband, my dogs (OK you get the picture), I find that my normal routine really keeps me hustling. Sometimes I will come up for air and realize that I haven’t talked to some of my family members in several weeks. During self-isolation I’ve been making a point to check in with several family members over text on an almost daily basis. I had my first FaceTime conversation during quarantine (I know, I live under a rock) and make a point to call my grandparents every week. Probably like many of you, being unable to see my family these last couple months has made me really appreciate them even more and think back fondly on the time when we used to be able to get together whenever we wanted. I know one of the first things I’m doing when this is over is planning a family get-together.
How are you doing? Are there different coping mechanisms you’ve used that have helped you stay positive? Or are you trying new lifestyle choices? Let me know in the comments below!