I hope this finds you safely AT HOME, not too stir crazy yet, and with plenty of your necessary items. And of course, following the basic guidelines from the CDC.
This week has been SO different for all of us - so while I’m going to try and maybe get back to some of our regularly scheduled programming next week, today I wanted to share some of my tips for being home all the time, things I've found that helpful, and ways to stay mentally and physically healthy for the weeks to come. For us, this week this has mainly involved a lot of freshly baked carb consumption.
I sort of feel like I’ve been preparing for this situation my whole life - I stay home almost all the time even when things are normal. I’ve been working from home for well over a year at this point. I live with moderate chronic anxiety. I unfortunately read the internet more than I should and love to shop & research online. So, I figured I can help and why not share?
HOW TO BE AT HOME ALL DAY AND NOT GO CRAZY:
Lean Into Fashion. Two ways to do this: Embrace Comfort (live that no underwire, all elastic, flowy fabric life) or Dress For It (things you would never wear to the actual office, big jewelry with a tank top, anything with sequins). Shoes not required for either. Do what makes you feel the best that day. Key here is to actually change clothes everyday when you wake up.
Have A Loose Schedule. I'm not talking minute by minute, but it IS helpful to keep your mind and body on track if you still wake up, eat and work on the same schedule as you always have.
Get Moving & Use Your Entire House. The biggest thing I can tell you is don't simply sit at your dining room table all day and work. There is nothing stopping you from sitting in your backyard, stretching out on the floor in your bedroom or even standing at a kitchen counter while keeping the work going. If you work in your living room, watch tv in your bedroom at night and vice versa - physically separating working and relaxing can help your brain switch off when work is done. Set a timer to remind yourself to stand up and stretch every 90 minutes. Move your body. Step outside to get some Vitamin D.
Keep Your Hands Busy. For me, this is my No. 1 anxiety reducer. Playing the piano, doing embroidery, baking something elaborate, organizing closets and drawers, coloring in a coloring book, or making or building anything stops my mind from dwelling on the things it shouldn't. I also end up with a physical something that will remind me going forward that I survived what my brain was trying to tell me.
Stay Connected. Text the fam that's on the other side of the country - even just a quick "How you doin?". Set up a daily Zoom coffee or wine happy hour with your friends. Throw a lunchtime dance party on IGTV. Post a video of what you're doing everyday in the group chat. Read a storybook to your nieces and nephews via FaceTime. Just do something EVERYDAY that connects you in real time with another person in your life.
I will also say that Helping Someone is WAY up there on the list to coping with Anxiety. If you are salaried, pay your service providers (hairdressers, manicurists, house cleaners, nannies, dance & yoga teachers, interns, assistance, etc.) ESPECIALLY if you are not using their service right now. Support your beloved small business, restaurant or bar by buying a gift card for later or ordering their merch online now. Give generously to arts groups and non-profits. Give money, not food, to your local food bank. Sign up for your local newspaper's digital subscription. Text your neighbor to see if there's anything you can pick up for them when you go to the store.
So, so many ways to give back and help those around you.
Primitive Tool (guys using ancient techniques to build shelter, and sometimes a real crazy pool)
If you're struggling to find a specific online service or tutorial, or trying to find a product online and can't - EMAIL ME at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can help you. No charge - just give me something to search for and I'll do what I can to help.
Be kind to yourselves. If you have any specific tips or ideas you'd like to share, send them along to me and I'll publish them next week for the whole fam.