Never in a million years would any of us had imagined we would be in this situation: sitting at home, making rounds from room to room, working in pajamas, getting outside whenever we can, and wearing masks and gloves whenever we leave the house. Never in a millions years did I dream I would be living through a global pandemic, scared of what might happen when I walk out my door, worried about any itch, pain, sensation, and ache, unsure when things might ever be back to “normal.” However, there have been a few things I have continued to do that has made this time somewhat enjoyable for me, and a few others I have realized.
- Workout– Something that was so integral in my daily life when I was able to get out, go to gyms, and have access to all equipment, has never wavered. I immediately found access to how I could maintain that schedule, especially in the morning when I like to do my workouts. I quickly discovered the Peloton app which was offering 90 days free and access to strength, bootcamp, cardio, yoga, mediation and others! Bodyweight workouts were great and I was able to go to the local track, running stadium stairs and clocking some mileage, but I then discovered 8lb weights that were sitting at my mom’s house. Expanding my workout availability to strength sessions was a game changer but I knew I would need more weights for myself. The debate between a spin bike, something a lot of people were purchasing, and dumbbells became paramount but the dumbbells won over for versatility. $30 in shipping later and almost $100 for two weights, my morning routine was still in place and setting my mind right for productivity and enjoyable days.
- Connections– Although this time has comforted me because it has given me peace knowing that I am just fine on my own and that I actually am able to enjoy my own space day after day. I have really learned who is there for me, who I want to keep in touch with, and what qualities I want in friends. Being in touch with family and friends has grounded me each day and keeping meaningful connections is what keeps my heart hopeful, strong, and present. Reach out to people who are on your mind. You never know when someone is lonely or hurting; this is not a time for holding grudges or letting old things get in the way. Put it aside and reach out. I promise you will feel better for it too.
- Loneliness is normal– It is crazy to think that in over a month of isolation you will not get lonely. Being alone and feeling lonely are two different things so this time I mean that longing, feeling of missing someone or connection, a presence. I doubt there is one person who can honestly say they have not had a moment of loneliness whether you are bunked in with someone or not. It is expected and it is all in how you handle those feelings. What do you do when you feel lonely? Use this time to write, get outside, read a book, call a friend, but most of all ALLOW yourself to feel it and accept it. Do not wish it away for it will get stronger. Ease into it and be gentle with yourself.
- Having hobbies and feeling productive is so important– What have you discovered that you like to do? Many people have taken to cooking, some gardening, and others have just had more time for the things they were enjoying beforehand. I have been able to work on this blog and website, get outside more, workout, write, read, puzzles, and catch up on some shows! It has been a balance of chill time and productivity, and having projects you are able to work on is something that will make this time so much more enjoyable. You might not get this time again, and I want you to take advantage of it. Do the things you have always wanted to do. Make it happen.
- Reassessment– I have taken this time to really think about what I have been through and what I want for my life. I have thought about the types of people I want in my life, the environment I want to live in, and how I want to feel in my life. I reflected on what the past has taught me and how well equipped I am for this isolation period because of my recovery. I reflected on the themes that keep coming up and how I want to handle the roadblocks I keep stumbling on, how I am feeling in the present moment, and I reflected on how I want to proceed forward. It is worth giving yourself the time to write and reflect for yourself and only yourself. Assess and reassess and keep trying new things to get to where you want to be!