We’ve been told to “Stay home!” And with good reason. If we all stay put now, hopefully we can not only #flattenthecurve, but get rid of it all together so we can go back to our “normal” lives.
The grocery and liquor stores are emptying out (move over, toilet paper), and I’m seeing panicked posts and memes about the horrors of having to work from home.
Listen, people. I’ve worked from home for a long time now, and it’s not that bad.
In fact, it could be a really good thing for the world right now.
Hear me out here—while the circumstances surrounding it are absolutely heartbreaking, we need to try to look at all this from a positive angle for our own sanity. Most of our world moves too fast (I’m especially looking at you, America). We are always in a hurry to get 100 things done at once. Our to-do lists are a mile long and never seem to get any shorter no matter how much we do. Anxiety levels in all age groups are at an all-time high, and our health—both physical and mental wellbeing—is not so high. Everyone knows we’re supposed to slow down and “smell the roses.”
We know we need to take time for gratitude, self-care, meditation. But how many of us actually do it on a consistent basis?
The world has been given a time out, and we need to take it. It’s for our own good.
Instead of freaking out, let’s all take a deep breath. Then exhale. Then, enjoy time home with your family if you have them home with you. (If not, then enjoy time tuning in and truly taking care of yourself for a change.) The kids grow up so ridiculously fast. Mindfully enjoy every moment of these precious, unexpected weeks with them—even the moments when they’re driving you crazy and you realize that their teachers are not paid nearly enough. Soak it in. Laugh about it. Find something new to do together that you’ve never done before.
Believe it or not, there is a LOT you can do from home. Check out the many lists online, like this one, for some ideas to get you started, then get creative.
Tackle those home projects that keep getting pushed aside for more “important” things until you “have time.” Guess what? You have time now!
Learn something new.
Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while and chat on the phone, video chat, or write a letter/email. Remember having a pen pal back in the old school days? It was fun!
Send thank you notes or deliveries to the people working overtime to try to keep us safe and healthy during this craziness. A note of love to the seniors that have to be isolated in their communities would be great, too.
Buy gift cards to help sustain the small local businesses until they can open their doors again.
Sit down and read a good book.
Talk to your kids. Really talk to them. Find out what’s going on. See how their personalities are evolving. I bet they’ll surprise you!
Challenge yourself to find ways to spread kindness and light during this time of worldwide uncertainty.
And remember you’re not alone.
“Quarantine” has potential to make you feel very isolated and alone—regardless of whether you have anyone else in your house or not. Keep reminding yourself that you are not alone—we are all going through the same thing. We are all in this together. We may not be able to be together in person but we can still connect. Video chat is a wonderful tool that can help take some of the boredom away and feel like we’re still getting some social interaction. Do a dance together, read to each other, sing, play a game, or just chat. It’s also a great way for grandparents to still see the kids while staying safe.
If you are feeling depressed or scared, instead of reading yet another terrifying post online, look up the uplifting stories—the stories of communities coming together to help each other out, singing together, leaving messages of love around town, providing fantastic resources for the kids, making sure everyone has enough food, and so much more.
Remind yourself of all the good still in the world.
We’ve had a rough “few” years lately, but the one thing I notice again and again during a crisis is the humanity. Yes, there are a few that show some very dark colors, but for the most part, people stop what they’re doing and come together. And THAT’S a beautiful thing.
Time outs are a good thing—they’re not just a punishment—they are the opportunity to take a breath and come back better.
Winter is like nature’s time out—when the earth prepares to renew itself for the splendor of spring. How interesting this is all happening in the transition between those two seasons!
Take a cue from nature and embrace the world’s time out.
Use the time to take care of yourself and your family. Re-evaluate, organize, prepare. Allow nature to reboot in the meantime. Choose to look at this as a gift, not a punishment. You may find that something wonderful will come out of it!
Take a breath. Don’t worry. We’ve got this. Spring is just around the corner!
[And maybe go easy on the toilet paper. Check on your neighbors—some of us may be getting a little low… 😉 ]