Wow, a lot has happened lately, hasn’t it?
My husband and I went on vacation on March 4th … to Italy. The same day that we flew from Florence to Paris (March 10th), they shut everything down in Italy. Fortunately, they didn’t start cancelling flights until after ours.
Then, when we left Paris 3 days later, same story.
The bright spot? Everything was so empty. Such a different experience than the other times I’ve been there.
My mantra and firm belief that everything always works out for me really kept me from stressing out, especially as people kept asking us if we were going to get stuck.
We came home and instead of going to work (which I was looking forward to by day five of our vacation), we went into 14 days of self-isolation because of where we had traveled to. On top of that, schools were shut down and all four kids were at home.
Now, we’re a few days out of our travel isolation and back to, well, more quarantine.
My husband is a paramedic, so he’s going right into the fray. Thankfully, we haven’t been hit with cases in our rural town (most likely due to lack of testing), so his job is somewhat normal.
My “real-life” job is as a CrossFit and nutrition coach. I’m an independent contractor at a local gym and it was one of the businesses that was deemed non-essential and shut down to help flatten the curve.
- The good news: that meant I only had to do a week of self-isolation and then was able to coach classes again, albeit virtually.
- The bad news: we don’t know when (or if) we’ll open again.
Suffice it to say, things have been stressful. And we are some of the lucky ones who have been healthy throughout this and still have jobs.
If you’ve been feeling a little (or a lot) stressed from this whole ordeal, I wanted to share a few quick tips that have helped me cope.
As an introvert (ambivert?) who has been forced to share her sanctuary with 5 other people basically non-stop, these have been really, really crucial to my well-being:
In addition to almost daily workouts (strength-training, running and/or CrossFit), I’ve been doing my best to get outside and walk.
I’ve realized that this daily time outside is nonnegotiable as it makes me feel SO much better. (Come back warm weather!)
Any clutter gets overwhelming when you’re in a small space with lots of people. I’ve been tackling small projects as they bother me and now have a stack of things to get out of my house.
Next up: the garage. Again.
If there’s one thing that stresses me out, it’s feeling out of control with my money. Our income will be tight for April, since neither of us worked at all in March and even though my husband took vacation and sick leave, his check will be missing the usual overtime.
Thankfully, we are debt-free and have some savings but are also forking over a stupid amount of money to have our septic drain field fixed. Oy.
That’s why, one of the first things I did was sit down and check our spending and create a more bare bones budget for April. This will require some creativity and problem solving, two things I love, so I’ll be approaching this as a fun challenge.
Even if we didn’t have to make any changes, though, knowing exactly what my money is doing gives me great peace of mind.
One day, I made The Balm. Another, I cooked, like EVERYTHING. Seriously, I was making food all day just for the sake of making (and now we have lots of food made for the week, yay). Sometime this week, I’m making soap. Channeling that energy into creativity of any kind is so helpful for the stress.
Getting to coach CrossFit classes via Zoom has made me so happy. However, last weekend, some friends and I did a virtual Ladies’ Night over Zoom. We made drinks and popcorn and enjoyed each other’s company.
I didn’t realize how badly I needed that.
Now that I’m homeschooling my kids again for an undetermined amount of time and my first virtual class isn’t until 9 am, I’m getting more sleep. And going to bed early on most nights.
I can’t tell you how great this was for jet lag, but it’s helping a lot with feeling more refreshed amidst the crazy.
This is the hardest thing for me to practice because I’m admittedly pretty hard on myself if I’m not producing enough (Ennegram 3). Resting and telling myself, “It’s ok if I’m exhausted because this situation is stressful,” has been one of the most important things I’ve done.
This situation has been mentally and emotionally taxing. It’s ok to not get a ton of stuff done now that you’re home now. Or maybe one day you do it all and the next you have to binge the Tiger King on Netflix (still haven’t watched it but my husband gave me the run-down today).
How have you been staying sane throughout all of this?