It feels like this week has lasted half a lifetime, no? Our lives are becoming very different, day by day. After several weeks of will-they-won’t-they, I am now working from home for at least the next five weeks. The state of California has issued a directive to stay home except for essential errands. All non-essential businesses are closed in Los Angeles County. And around the globe, many, many people are sick.
It is easy to feel helpless or despairing at times like these. A global COVID-19 pandemic is certainly cause for concern, alarm, caution, and consideration. That being said, with an abundance of care, we can make it through this together. Some tips and musings below:
- Stay at home as much as you can. If you need to get groceries or take-out, delivery or no-contact pickup options are available, and currently many business are offering these services at no extra charge.
- Don’t hoard things. Supply chains right now should be keeping up with needs just fine, put people panicking has some shelves empty. Containing this virus depends on ALL of us washing our hands and disinfecting around us. Buy only what you’ll need for a few weeks, and leave some for everyone else.
- If you can do so comfortably without straining your own household expenditures, consider buying gift cards to support your favorite local restaurants and small businesses. Your purchase will help then through a difficult period, and you get a treat or a meal out later. Win-win!
- Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. I have been coping by cleaning and organizing areas of my home when the mood strikes, for example. I cannot help overburdened hospitals in Italy from my living room per se, but I can stay put and clean out my refrigerator. So far over the last couple weeks I cleaned out my closet and sent a bag of items to thredUP to be sold or recycled (get $10 to shop when you click here), cleaned out my pantry and refrigerator, replaced my duvet cover with this beauty, and got these excellent bins to organize my newly-clean fridge. Some people have joked this is stir-crazy fifth-week-of-quarantine level stuff, but I figure if I’m going to be home all the time, I might as well be able to enjoy a tidy space!
- Find a balance. If you live alone, make sure to keep yourself connected by reaching out by phone or online. If you are suddenly working from home with a partner and/or kids, carve out time for yourself as best you can. We live in a smallish apartment, so my husband and I are trading off using our desk space at home. I need to keep more regular business hours, so I use our area during the day. He needs to keep in contact with his job but has more flexibility with when he does his work, so he’s been using our work space in the evenings. We do have two desks, but this way we aren’t on top of each other in a small space all day every day.
- And lastly, go easy on yourself. We have so much to worry about right now that it can feel all-consuming. Cozy up in bed for an extra few minutes. Take things a day at a time. If that feels like too much, just focus on your morning. Then your afternoon. Then your evening. Give yourself time to rest, make sure you are nourished, and maybe try to take joy in small things as best you can. We are all in this together, even while we stay at least 6 feet apart.