My family has been isolating here in DC since March 12th.
I’m grateful that we’re healthy and able to live our social-distance lives without some of the more serious stresses being experienced by the poor, the disenfranchised, the service workers, the health care workers and the first responders.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember it’s not a competition. We can all put our suffering in perspective on a scale from near death to absolute luxury, but it doesn’t change the fact that each of us are suffering.
Yeah, yeah, first world problems and all that, but shaming folks for feeling lousy about their own personal circumstances doesn’t actually DO anything productive. Except possibly let the shame-er (is that a word?) do a little virtue signaling and feel self-righteous about their social awareness.
In my privileged, bougie life during Week 1 of isolation I did the following:
- Stared at the bedroom ceiling in paralyzing grief. I do not recommend this as an alternative to sleeping.
- The grief was and is a combination of the empathy over the struggles my clients are experiencing, my own loss of clients & income from March – September 2020, and the anticipation of what this world event means to a whole generation of young people.
- Had 1-2 glasses of wine every single evening while telling my husband this is an absolutely acceptable coping mechanism for both of us.
- Took 4 naps. This may not be a big deal for others but I haven’t napped since the first trimester I was pregnant with my daughter 22 years ago. Since I am not pregnant I’m going to file the napping under depressed escapism.
- Spent 68% more time reading news on my devices (yes multiple) according to those highly annoying reports they give you each week.
- Read 7 magazines on the library app Libby.
- Took a long walk every day with the kid to notice flowers, cute dogs, and interesting architecture.
- Purchased Fellowship of the Ring movie (extended version)
- Read good two novels, abandoned one mediocre book.
- Took turns sharing my office with my husband so we could each make phone & video calls in privacy.
- Baked bread.
Week 2 had a bit more structure
- Decided to give away coaching to anyone who needs it (pay-what-you-can). Because being of use to others is more important than money right now.
- Stared at the computer screen for several scheduled hours a day NOT writing the book I’m working on.
- Flipped through 3 cooking magazines on the library app.
- Reached out to clients, family & friends to see how everyone is doing.
- Read one good novel and abandoned 4 more that the library recommended but were too uninspired to continue.
- Baked some more bread.
- Started to do yoga in the mornings with the kid (who is herself adapting to college online)
- Downloaded three self-help books from the library and started plotting out my much needed self-improvement.
- Purchased Two Towers movie (extended version)
- Removed my essentials and gave my husband my office as he is on video calls nonstop at this point. The dining room table is now work-from-home central for both me and the college student.
- Started converting my professional development workshops and trainings to Webinar format. I’ve resisted this for years for a variety of reasons but that’s another blog post.
- Scheduled some video appointments with my therapist (Yay me!)
Now we are heading into Week 3 and I am setting my intentions in the hope it will keep me accountable. In week 3 I will:
- Write at least 250 words a day. A modest and therefore achievable goal.
- Bake the biscotti I have been craving and not judge myself for eating it with my mid-morning coffee.
- Create a daily schedule EVERY DAY! and then use it. Several days in the last few weeks are a complete blur which is disturbing.
- Do 30 minutes of yoga or other exercise.
- Finish the really good book I discovered so I can start the next book in the series.
- Resist the urge to check NYT, WaPo, BBC, Reuters, Twitter and FB every hour. Yes resist is a loose goal because I don’t know what my tolerance for this is yet.
- Practice using loving kindness when the urge to judge or give in to outrage overwhelms me. Especially when indulging in #5 above.
- Find one good thing every day to reflect on before I (hopefully) sleep.
- Take melatonin every night because the majority opinion is that its not addictive and what can possibly be bad about being addicted to getting full 6 hours of sleep anyway?
- And finally, – maybe I should make this #1? – I will forgive myself if I do not execute on any of my intentions for Week 3.
I hope you and yours are healthy and treating yourself with gentleness.
Hit me up if you want a video chat or need some coaching. That is a serious offer.