Staying sane while staying at home.
The new normal is being at home and distancing from the outside world. While in the beginning it is new and fun, when the reality sets in and cabin fever comes your way how do you tackle it? For us introverts, this isn't really anything new. The difference is that if we want to go out somewhere we really shouldn't. I think that is what makes the experience so difficult. We have taken for granted coming and going as we please, seeing our friends whenever we want, seeing our family, going out for dinner, and taking the kids somewhere fun.
Well... we still can do all those things, it just looks different now.
Change is difficult for most people. It is an inconvenience for most but what most people don't realize is that change is good. There is a great article in Psychology Today about change. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200209/the-10-rules-change. Change is fearful to some because of the unknown. What we have to understand is there will always be unknowns so if we can accept that and gain as much valid (and I say valid as there are so many sources of information out there you must be careful of where your information is coming from) information as possible we then are empowered vs powerless. Positivity is one of the keys during change. So if we stick in the rut that change is "hard", "scary", "bad", or the dreaded "we always did it this way" we can never overcome change. So the idea is to embrace it and make it fun.
How? Well, look at each activity as a new adventure. Now we have to use FaceTime or Zoom to speak to loved ones. Guess what... those have always been options. I know I had an OMG moment when I FaceTimed one of my sisters. I thought why haven't we been doing this all along? We live on opposite ends of the country and I just thought of FaceTime??? So instead of waiting till the summer when we all get together we can see each other and have a glass of wine together whenever we want.
Now working from home is definitely a new adventure for most people. Research shows that remote working is a positive thing and actually increases productivity. For people who have had this as an option, this is not as big of a deal but for those who have not it can be overwhelming or what I call a day full of "squirrel moments". https://www.forbes.com/sites/biancamillercole/2020/03/16/6-tips-to-work-from-home-successfully-during-lock-down/#3b5dc47a8bd1
So don't fret, look at the positive of this. If you have a family, you now have all the time that you forgo when you are at work. If you don't you may have that project that you have been wanting to accomplish. The key to making it a success is to schedule your day. At first, you may sleep in but you can't keep that up because eventually we will be going back to "work hours". Set the day up around whatever balance you have between work and home. If you have to home school your little people, make a schedule for them and yourself. If they have designated reading time, take that time to read your emails and respond, or make phone calls. If you are working on a project take a chunk of time and work on that then take a chunk and work on business. The key is a to do list and a schedule. I use the Fabulous app as well as my traditional calendar. (I am a tactile person so I like a planner/calendar that I can hold. I do a bullet journal style so I can create it the way I want it.) The app helps you to build healthy habits and it tracks them. One of the things I use most is the Deep Work goal. It gives you a set amount of time to do deep work and helps hold you accountable to it. And when you are done you check it off and have that sense of accomplishment. https://www.thefabulous.co/
Take It Slow and Have Fun
Besides keeping a positive spin on things, the key to change is taking it slow. How many of us rushed to get food thinking that we would not be able to get to the store? How many of us rushed to find any tutorial they could about being a teacher then were left with irrelevant materials? The rush before knowing all the information leads to more chaos and stress. One of the best benefits of this whole situation is the fact that we have been forced to pause. We have been forced to practice being present. It's all we have to do and that is a gift. So slow down. The more you move with knowledge and intent the less stressful you will be. Things are changing daily so stop trying to anticipate what will be and embrace what is right now. If you have children you will most definitely witness this. Kids live in the present. So take a lesson from your little people. They are teachers too.
Take this time to learn something new. People are reading, learning a new craft, learning a new language, reevaluating many things, organizing and purging, and focusing on what is most important. The experience is what you make of it. If you dwell in the "what if" you won't push through. If you focus on the positive and the present you may just find new joys you never knew existed. The more you can focus on turning this experience into positive new adventures and having fun with it, the more mentally healthy you will be.
So will you ...
or will you...?
The choice is yours. Slangevar!!