Get creative, get cozy, and get moving!
Yes, 2020 has been hard for so many people in so many ways. The holidays may look very different and I have heard from many that they are not in the holiday spirit this year. I know you have probably already tried all of the quarantine trends like baking bread, have Zoom fatigue and the darkness of winter makes it hard to be motivated to find ways to safely connect with others. As an extrovert, I need to see and connect with people on a daily or weekly basis, but my husband and I have chosen to do our part to minimize the spread by only seeing people outside, socially distanced and within 6 feet of each other (or very rarely and briefly inside with masks on and 6 feet apart). There are times I feel like all the days roll together, I will think about some of the things I miss and it can be hard to imagine how much longer we will need to live life in this way. Despite this, I have kept very busy this pandemic and found things to do that help me enjoy my time, ways to connect with people from 6 feet apart and to feel more cheery throughout the pandemic.
Here are few things that I have been doing to not only make it through the pandemic, but actually enjoy my time.
- Obviously # 1 is – Adopt a DOG (fine a dog-like cat would do)- I know that not everyone can do this so if this not possible, please see the rest of my ideas 🙂
- Make your home a place you REALLY want to be – maybe you have already done some decluttering or some cleaning. Now it’s time to think about where you like to spend the most of your time. When you come home, where is it that you look forward to spending time on a rainy day? Focus on that room. I personally, love Marie Kondo’s method– if it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it (preferably give it away)! Go to town on that space- declutter it, deep clean it and make it a place you can’t wait to be. For me, that is my living room. I purchased some pillow covers, which are a very inexpensive way to touch up your room (and cover the holes my lovely pooch chewed in mine), I have tons of cozy blankets, and some candles.
- Get outside E v E r Y day.. yes I mean every day. I live in the northeast and do not tolerate being cold well (nor do I tolerate being hot well- hard to please), but I go outside every. single. day. Having active dogs is mostly like the reason I do this, but I never regret it- whether it is a walk around the neighborhood or just a few seconds outside for a breath of fresh air and a break from a screen, it helps. If you invest in anything, I highly recommend a really good quality coat and some waterproof and warm boots. Last year I purchased this coat (well a VERY similar version that is no longer made) and this coat, both at 50% off! I cleared out my closet and gave away almost all of my other winter coats. I wore one of these coats every single day from about November through April. They may not look like much, but they were warm enough on the coldest of days, waterproof and windproof. They also are not very bulky and are form fitting (and are on sale for 50% off right now!). My husband purchased the men’s version of the shorter coat- we both ripped ours and were able to get them replaced for free. If you have the right gear, you can be outside in any weather. As a compromise, at the very least try to be active in some way at least once a day. There are so many ways to be active from home with very little equipment. Hasfit, Daily DeFusion (not a big deal, but this is my brother’s business), and Beach Body on Demand are some of my favorites, but really you can find anything you want on YouTube. Whatever you do, just move a little! Fresh air, and endorphins can do you wonders- especially if you are like me and are on a screen all of your working days
- Have a routine– I get up early because my dogs are early risers. This allows me to exercise them and then exercise myself before I even have breakfast. I then shower, do my hair and maybe put on some makeup, if I will be seeing people either in-person or on camera. Now i’m not talking getting dressed up fancy- I haven’t worn work clothes (or a real bra 🙂 in months) and I have something against wearing jeans in my own home, unless I am hosting some kind of gathering. I am just saying put on some clothes that you didn’t wear to bed or to work out and put on something that you would feel comfortable leaving the house in. I am a leggings every day kind of gal and athleisure is my jam all day, every day, but I try to look put together. Being dressed and ready for the day makes it a little easier to feel motivated to something.
- Give yourself permission to do things you like to do, but that you never allow yourself to do. i.e. spend a lot of the day on the couch watching T.V. – at least every once in a while
- Do a project you have been meaning to do – I have a few pieces of furniture of I have finally been getting around to refinishing. Start small- success leads to more success so if you start with one small goal, you will have accomplished something for the day and you will likely be motivated to do more.
- Volunteer– there are plenty of ways to volunteer remotely! I have been doing virtual home visits for a dog rescue. This has been one of those things that the pandemic has made slightly easier and it is nice to connect with people over a shared love of dogs.
- Do something good for someone who is struggling- next time you grocery shop, grab a few extra items for a local free pantry, town food drive etc. There are so many people who are struggling with food insecurity and who are relying on these places to ensure they have food on the table. This is something that is easy for you to do that will still help people.
- Take time to slow down– to breath, to work on you – sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind, in staying busy, that we forget to listen to ourselves and our bodies about what we need. Is there something that has been causing you anxiety? Do you have an ever-growing to-do list in your head? Take a moment to write some of these things down and think about what you want to do about them. My wise brother recently explained to me that people can only handle so many things on their plate before things start to metaphorically fall off the plate. It can help to write these down and prioritize or at least get them down on paper so they can get off your mind. I started seeing a sleep and headache psychologist this year (who knew they existed?!) and it has really helped me to have tools to help improve my sleep, which has really suffered this pandemic, and to reduce headaches.
- Get back in touch something you used to love to do– maybe that is your creative side, maybe that is reading, writing, yoga- whatever it is just try it. I hadn’t painted probably since high school, but one day I decided to start painting with water colors and acrylic paint. Then I moved into pouring paint, which turned into pouring resin, and now I make and sell resin coasters (and handknit balnkets)! My point is – just try something- you don’t have to show anyone, no one needs to know, just try to do something you enjoy.