Includes tips for sheltering in place, coping mechanisms for handling the isolation, and suggestions for getting through not-so-normal days.
I want to start with a little story. A few days ago, I ventured out to the grocery store. I took all the suggested precautions, and was able to get everything I was looking for except for one thing. I couldn’t get any flour, and I really needed it. Under normal circumstances, I would have been completely annoyed. But this day, I felt something very different.
I wasn’t frustrated.
I wasn’t angry.
I was scared.
When have you ever gone to the grocery store and couldn’t get flour? I know it happened during World War II, but it definitely hasn’t happened in my lifetime. It was such a small and insignificant thing, but in that moment, I knew for sure that life as we knew it was on hold.
So…if this is happening to you, to any degree, I have some tips for sheltering in place. These are ways we can physically and mentally deal with those moments of fear, but also prevent the fear from ever bubbling up. Some of these suggestions are things I’m already doing, and others I plan to work on in the coming days and weeks.
Tips for Sheltering in Place
Limit Social Media & The News
I started with this one, because this is what got me into trouble the day I went to the grocery store. I had spent too much time that morning looking at Facebook and news websites. I’m definitely not saying to bury your head in the sand and ignore what’s going on…but it’s super important to not dwell on it continually. Check the news in the morning, and if you need to, in the evening. Fill the hours in between with other things. Separating yourself for the daytime hours makes life seem a bit more normal.
Establish a Routine
Even though I work from home, I found that when the shelter in place order came out, my life changed. My freedom to come and go was taken away. I found myself with all sorts of time on my hands, and I had a hard time figuring out what to do with it. It was really helpful when I began to develop a “new normal,” and the cadence of my days fell into place. I’m getting up at about the same time, and going to bed at the same time every day. The weather is still unpredictable here, but on nice days, I walk outside. I stop working around 4:00 p.m. and head to the kitchen to start dinner. A routine is developing, and it makes me feel much more in control.
Don’t wait for friends and family to call you. I can’t stress this enough. Reach out and keep in touch with everyone who is important to you. Start text chains so you can communicate with multiple people at a time. Just the other day, I called a friend who I usually see about once a month. She was the principal at the school where I worked before I started blogging. We had not talked since our shelter in place order came out, so catching up with her was wonderful. That conversation left me with a happy and content feeling that lasted the whole day. I felt connected, and not alone…which honestly, was the best feeling ever.
Give Yourself Grace
We’re all going to have bad days. It’s the unknown that can wreak havoc in our minds, and there is so much right now that is unknown. On those days, it’s very important to take a breath, and then take a break. Watch some TV, or walk outside. Head to the kitchen and bake cookies. Do something for yourself, in that moment, that will make you feel better and give you comfort. This is something I was not doing, but am going to definitely be more aware of. We need to take care of our health…both mentally and physically.
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In the coming days, I’m going to be sharing a few new recipes, and some extremely simple decor ideas that will add some cheer to your spaces. We’ll keep in touch, I promise. Until next time…