Summer turned on over the weekend. It miraculously happens every year during Memorial Day weekend. Our chilly and overcast days became hot and sunny overnight.
Incidentally, my mood also made a major switch. I felt GOOD this weekend. Like, the best I have in months. I felt happy and had plenty of energy to do a bunch of stuff on what would normally be a lazy weekend day. It’s all tied to the sun, I’m sure. I feel like an extra fussy houseplant. I need plenty of direct sunlight or I wilt.
It really makes no sense that I live in one of the top 10 cloudiest states in the US.
The nice weather has meant I’m spending a lot more time outside, which is a mood booster for me even in less sunny weather. I’ve been either going for a run or a walk every day this month, and spending tons of time out on the front porch reading, scrolling on my phone, or just hanging out with a cup of coffee.
This is good for me. I need to keep it up so I can get the most out of these short summer months.
It’s weird to admit that I’m sort of thriving in quarantine. Normally I have a lot of anxiety about things I should be doing and places I should be going. But when everything becomes limited to what I can do with what I have at home, life becomes a lot simpler and the FOMO disappears.
Five years of working from home has taught me a lot about being a successful homebody. Let me share what works for me to take care of myself, maintain my sanity, and enjoy some quality time at home.
Read that stack of books you’ve been avoiding. Somehow I’ve managed to collect a LOT of books that I never ended up reading. And now that my local library is closed, it’s the perfect time to get into it. It feels great to finally make a dent in that old collection. I’m finding new favorites and clearing out the duds from my shelves (making spaces for new reads!).
Take your vitamins. Yep, I’m another person here to tell you that CBD helps me get through the day. I love the brand Not Pot in particular because their gummies are vegan, they’re woman-owned, and (most importantly!) part of their mission includes criminal justice reform—each month they help pay someone’s bail. I start every day with my CBD gummies and daily vitamins from Ritual to help me feel like a healthy, well-adjusted human.
Spend a little time cleaning every day. Anyone out there recently started cooking at home more and is SHOCKED by the number of dishes you can dirty in a single day? This drove me crazy for a while when I first started working from home, until I instated a rule of cleaning the kitchen for 15 minutes each day. It even functions as a nice break to get you on your feet and move around a bit if you’ve been sitting on the couch or at your desk for too long.
Get some fresh air and take a nap. These are my two favorite self-care activities right now. I feel like it’s kind of a no-brainer that taking a walk or sitting outside for a few minutes each day can make you feel like a different person. Naps, however, seem to have a little bit of a bad reputation. Naps are for lazy, depressed people and babies, not healthy, functioning adults. I’d like to reclaim the nap for us all. A good nap can feel so luxurious and restorative. It can reset a bad day or be a healing mental break if you’re feeling scattered. When you nap, you’re exclusively focused on comfort and rest. I can’t think of a more complete act of self-care than that.
After a long stretch of listening to a lot of new music, I’ve been craving my old favorites. So I made this playlist of songs that I loved in high school and college. These are songs that I don’t think I could ever get sick of. They make me feel comforted, nostalgic and peaceful. It’s a good time to do things that make ourselves feel good.
I feel oddly normal for how weird things are in the world right now.
My life as a from-home worker hasn’t really changed much. I’m still working from my couch, still wearing my daily uniform of leggings and hoodies, still spending my free moments with my usual hobbies of cooking and reading, still taking care of my health with yoga and walks around the block.
I even think my anxiety levels have lowered. Most of the items on my list of Things I Should Be Doing have been erased for me. No mundane errands, no social events to stress about and cancel at the last minute, no family get-togethers that I’d really rather not attend.
I am worried about family and friends. I am worried about the huge numbers of people who will get sick and die. I am worried about everyone who works at grocery stores and restaurants and small businesses. I am worried about everyone who is facing dire financial circumstances. But it all feels so big and out of my control that it’s not worth spending the energy to actively worry about it, so instead, I go about my regular day.
I’m focused on the very simple things that I can do. Stay home. Check in with my friends and family. Support my favorite local businesses when I can. Take care of my own health and wellbeing.
I’m even a little hopeful that just maybe, the chaos of these moments will push us toward something better. We’re all experiencing how horrible a capitalist system is at dealing with this problem. And we’re seeing how we actually can have nice things like paid sick leave, work from home days, and universal basic income.
I truly hope we don’t go back to business as usual once this is all over. I’d much rather create a new normal.
Things are very weird right now. I made a playlist about it when we first went into quarantine last month. Obviously, it’s still relevant.
I know lots of people are looking for soothing, relaxing music right now, but I think the opposite can be helpful too. Sometimes you just need to blast something loud and wild to channel how you’re really feeling and take the edge off. If that’s your thing, have a listen.