Guys, this is all so surreal. I know you know, but I had to finally say it and write about it. I’ve felt super, uber dramatic, maybe depressed, stressed? Super dramatic. I know I’m not alone in that but instead of feeling fortunate for this time (albeit unfortunate for millions across the US) I’ve been such a total mope.
So into my 5th week of quarantine this past week, I decided to put my foot down, get my ass off the couch, and get positive. Take all the advice from all the people that worked remote before this pandemic, and get 👏 it 👏 together 👏; because I still have a paycheck, and a job and am too fortunate to be a dramatic betch.
I started by reaching out to security at my job to get some of the “essentials” from my cube at work that made that space feel efficient and calming. Of note, an oil diffuser and a wireless charger. I know those sound like nothing but they’ve made a difference. Lavender blowing in my face, and an iPhone that can charge while I’m on phone calls with headphones in (because no, I’m not ready for Airpods… or am I? IDK right now).
I also decided to move my work-from-home setup to the second bedroom we call “the lab”. For the first few weeks, I worked from the dining room table and that put work IN my living space… an area where I would have typically done puzzles or crafts. Once I had the dining table back, I had a bit of separation from kitchen/living and work.
Lastly, I decided to open up my damn work tote – which I haven’t touched in weeks. What did I find? My go-to, on-the-go, Burts’ lip balm and my beautiful (and quite beat up) gratitude journal a GF got me a couple years ago. While I was never the best at writing in it daily, I was pretty damn on it and to think… during a time when I should have nothing but gratitude for everything I have, the book was shoved at the bottom of my work tote that I hadn’t touched in weeks.
Routine people. It is all about keeping the semblance of routine.
So, since I love a great list of Dos and Don’ts by way of my mistakes and learnings, here goes… Dos and Don’ts I’ve learned while quarantining during a pandemic because its hard and I want to help any couples (with no kids – and maybe singles?) out there that may still be trying to figure it out (LOL I haven’t really figured it all out, but hoping this might be helpful?!).
- Don’t over-order pizza. (Can’t believe the words could ever leave my mind, mouth, fingertips as I write). Yes, you can apparently have too much pizza. While you’re trying to keep a routine… only order that takeout as often as you would have when you were working outside of the house. I can actually say that I’m suddenly very aware of how filling and comparatively different-in-yum-factor eating pizza multiple times a week can be.
- Do plan your grocery trips. I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit on Pinterest (re-organized my boards, check it out!) – especially on my “eats” board. Planning now breakfast AND lunch, in addition to dinner, ain’t easy. First couple weeks of grocery shopping felt overwhelming, we weren’t over-buying or hoarding but we weren’t planning (like I used to!) Again, routine. We’re now planning better and trying to stretch 1.5 weeks of meals – yes, that means bags on bags on bags but trying to stay home as long as possible before going back out.
- Do update your budget because you’re going to overspend in groceries and that’s ok because you’re underspending in other areas (hopefully). As a recent debt-free-journey budgeter, it’s all freaking me a bit out. Overspending heavily in groceries and alcohol than ever but keeping calm and remembering a budget can be edited every paycheck as needed.
- Do try cutting your BF or GFs hair for fun but tread carefully.
- Don’t get overzealous when using your hair trimmer on your eyebrows… you could, erm, accidentally trimmer off your arch so tread carefully here too.
- Do streeeetch the imagination and time spent finding and doing activities. It’ll help fill those “days off” Saturday and Sunday in the house. I’ve done a puzzle, embroidery, and handmade birthday cards!
- Don’t let the kitchen get scary. Omg if I have to do dishes one more time… they don’t stop… and I don’t love the dishwasher. My solution now has been to just try, meal at a time, to wash as I go. This was a typical routine prior to quarantine but with 3 meals a day at minimum I lost track of that and I cannot keep up. So now the BF MUST help with drying and putting dishes away so I feel a little less “alone” in the kitchen…
- Do ASK FOR HELP.
- Do try to shower daily like you used to and put on deodorant because… we’re only human and… you know what happens when you don’t.
- Do be patient with yourself and your partner. As a new couple (or maybe not so new anymore? …omg 2+ years)… this is a relationship challenge!
- Don’t forget that this will pass. You will find your “normal” again. You will overcome your challenges and frustrations. You will be you again (if you’ve lost yourself a bit like I did).
On that note, off to make chicken fajitas for lunch because feeling like me is… eating yummy lunch.
Stay safe and healthy but staying home as much as possible.