We have been practicing social distancing for 40 days now. Today we are also celebrating our wedding anniversary quietly at home. It is a very different world we live in, and it might last longer than we had all hoped it would. However, during this time we can’t help but acknowledge the difficulties of this situation but also all the positives that have come out of this experience.
- Letting go. We are introverts for sure, but we had lots of special events we were planning on attending (concerts, shows, etc), as well as spring and summer vacations (two domestic trips and one international trip) that have now been canceled or delayed until further notice. It is hard not to be a little disappointed.
- Adjustment. I personally am not a big fan of change, and this situation has definitely led to a lot of changes. There has been a lengthy adjustment period for me personally.
- Balance. I am a strong proponent of a work-life balance. That balance has been shaken as I now work from my home. Also, for a long time, I felt that I relied on technology too much and wanted to decrease my technology use. However, obviously that is difficult to accomplish when our contact with others is solely achieved through technology right now.
- Communicating with Neighbors. We go on daily walks around our neighborhood, and through those walks have had more communication with our neighbors than we have had during the years that we have lived here.
- No Commute. On a normal workday, we spend at least an hour and a half commuting to and from work. Now that we work from home, we can utilize that hour and a half doing something else.
- More Productive. We have been able to simultaneously do housework while working. Example: I put a load of laundry in yesterday during a work call.
- Communication with Friends and Family. During this time, it is more important than ever to check up on the ones you love. We have been in constant communication with family and friends.
Things That Have Occupied Our COVID Days:
- Build Workspaces. Now that we are both working from home, we spent much of the first week of social-distancing creating adequate work spaces for the both of us.
- Walking. We have been participating in Gretchen Rubin’s #walk20in20, which is walking 20 minutes a day during the year of 2020. I also meet up with a friend on a weekly basis, if possible, to go walking in a local park. It has been fun to explore local parks that I have never visited before. My friend even created a blog post related to local parks, which has served as a great guide to our exploration.
- Chat with Family and Friends. This isolation has led to a lot of reconnecting with friends and family. We chat with our parents often and have chatted with friends we haven’t spoken to in years.
- Virtual Get Togethers. Lot of people are getting together virtually these days, using sites like Google Hangouts, Zoom or Skype. We had our monthly book club via Skype last week, and it was a great discussion even though we couldn’t get together in person.
- Reading. This is a wonderful time to catch up on your TBR piles. We’ve enjoyed a few readings online as well, such as the livestreaming of LeVar Burton reading on Twitter.
- Board Games. We are playing board games again. We didn’t even know that we owned that many board games.
- Writing. We’ve been blogging a bit more, and I started keeping a journal at the beginning of our isolation. I call it my COVID diary. It not only serves as a record of this crazy time, but it has helped me mentally cope with everything.
- Afternoon Siesta. Now that we work at home, we occasionally spend our hour lunch break taking naps. It has been very helpful in jump starting our afternoon work sessions.
- Taking Classes. Now is a great time to learn, whether you take a class through Coursera; participate in online yoga classes to get a little physical fitness; or learn a new language with Duolingo.
- Podcasts. Check out our favorites.
- Listen to Audiobooks while putting together Puzzles. We never knew how much we would enjoy putting together puzzles. Listening to audiobooks or podcast while puzzling has been a great escape from reality.
- Limiting News. We do still read the news, and it is difficult to limit that when our entire existence right now is news, but we try to keep the news reading to a limit right for our own sanity. NPR has a great 15-minute podcast in the morning called Up First, and then we tune into our local, national, and world news in the late afternoon for updates. We do not read news before going to sleep or sleep will be difficult.
- House Projects. The time we would normally spend running errand and seeing people, we now spend on a list of house projects that we haven’t had time to get through. We do a little bit at a time. We like the idea of a Power Hour, where you just spend one hour doing as many household repairs as possible, like changing a light or hanging a picture, etc.
- Minimal Errands. We only do curbside pickup at our local grocery store once every other week. We also try to support a local business at least once a week by getting take-out or delivery.
- Hunt a Killer Subscription Box. For Christmas, I received a Hunt a Killer Subscription. A new box comes in the mail every month with clues to help you solve a murder. This may not be for everyone, but we have really enjoyed this unique idea of working together to solve a case.
- Movie/TV List. Before this pandemic life, we would always talk about having movie nights, but then always be too tired to do it. However, during Week One of social-distancing, we put together a list of movies that we have been wanting to see and try to watch at least one a week. We are also making our way through tv series that we have been wanting to see. This is a great time to invest in streaming services.
- Baking. We know we are not alone on investing some of our time lately in baking, as we are having a hard time finding flour and yeast at the grocery store. We have been baking lots of breads and cakes.
- Health. We know that taking care of ourselves both physically, mentally and emotionally are very important right now. We are happy to have the ability to communicate with our doctors virtually if we have any issues. Virtual counseling is also available if we are having a hard time dealing with the current reality and need to talk to someone.
- Hot Tub. We haven’t utilized our hot tub in years, but one night we just decide to make some drinks and go sit in the hot tub. It was our own little private getaway.
- Plan for the future. We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, but it will end eventually. Now is a great time to think about what we want our lives to look like when this is all over. This may mean exploring new career opportunities, establishing a list of future goals, preparing to relocate elsewhere, or in our case creating a list of places we want to explore and adventures we want to have.
How are y’all doing? What are you doing to pass this time of uncertainty? It is comforting to know that we are all in this together. I hope y’all stay safe and healthy! ♥♥♥