Like many of you, I’m self-isolating and staying home as much as possible in an effort to help the spread of COVID-19. And if you’re reading this and you’re still going and out and living like normal, don’t! Do your research and understand how the impact of that is affecting all of us. Anyways, also like most of you, I’m having good days and bad days during this time. I feel like I range from incredibly scared for what the future is ahead to happening upon moments or even a few hours at a time when I forget just what we’re up against, and then come crashing back to reality. This period of time is kind of like grief, it’s watching our emotions change rapidly from day to day, hour to hour, seeing our world shift and change right before our very eyes. It’s like watching a car accident in slow motion and not be able to do anything about it. It’s like being on a roller coaster that we know might last way longer than we can bear it but having to stomach it anyways. I also am furloughed through the architectural firm I work for in Hawaii and I’m not sure how long that will go on for, so like many of you, I’m home for the foreseeable future and unsure of what the weeks and months ahead will bring.
During this time, while we’re at home, while we’re stressed, I thought it might be helpful to share the ways that I’m coping at home during COVID-19 and what’s helping me in an effort to come together as a community and offer advice and help for others struggling. Here’s what I’ve been doing that has been helping me.
Starting the day with my morning coffee and savoring it.
I’ve had a morning coffee for years but it’s only during this time that I’m actually stopping to really savor it in the mornings. I find myself enjoying each sip even more than I used to and with everything shut down, it feels almost like enjoying a coffee shop in my own home each day. Just that short amount of time each day with something that I enjoy has brought a lot of peace. I personally drink an iced espresso – half a cup of rice milk and 4 shots of espresso on ice – and it’s delightful. Thank God for my Nespresso machine that I bought a few years back. It is literally saving me now.
Stretching with calm music playing.
I admit, I haven’t been doing this as much as I should but I’m hoping to start making it more of a routine. When I’m stressed, that goes straight into my neck and shoulders and they get really tight and sore. I’ve been spending just 10-15 minutes stretching with some calm music playing and it’s really helped calm me when I feel my stress levels getting really high.
Managing my anxiety with Ashwagandha.
When we were in Hawaii a couple weeks back before everything shut down, I was already starting to get bad anxiety in my chest specifically, it would come and go as if my chest was constricting in on itself. My mom suggested I take some Ashwagandha (which she takes to manage stress) and I was blown away by how much it helped. I immediately got some upon coming home and I’ve been taking it before bed every night (as my anxiety tends to be worse at night) and during the day as needed. If you’re stressed and your anxiety is acting up, it might we worth trying this.
Planning and preparing meals.
I actually started stocking up on frozen food and pantry items weeks ago before the worst of this started as I am just a planner by nature so I’m actually good to go on food for a while. And while it may seem odd, the planning of meals and actually cooking them has really been really cathartic for me. I’ve always loved cooking but now, it serves a real purpose and I’m using it as an outlet even more than normal and that’s been really nice.
For fresh items that I need to continue to restock during this time and trying to limit my trips to the grocery store, here are a few resources that I’m utilizing during this time at home to order in fresh food:
Fresh produce delivered to your door in the Portland area: Organics to You
Frozen meat: Omaha Steaks – I’m trying them out as I’ve had family use them in the past and I’ve got an order the way for some steaks, chicken and sausages.
Grocery and Pantry items: Thrive Market
I’ve also been sharing my daily meals that I’m making on my personal Instagram stories if you want to follow along and get some inspiration for your own meal planning!
Working in my garden.
Last year at this time, I was complaining about how much work our yard was. This year, I’m thanking the universe that we’re here in this house and have this yard. Working out in the garden, planting and digging things up has really been a huge stress relief for me and has been giving me something to do that allows me to forget about the state of the world for a while. I’ve planted kale, lettuce and strawberries so far as well as some herbs and I’ve been harvesting my chives from last year. I’m also watching all my bulbs pop up and all my flowers come back to life and it’s been really energizing in the best possible way.
Focusing on work that I have through my personal design company.
Even though the firm I work for has furloughed everyone for the foreseeable future, I feel incredibly lucky that I still have some income coming in from projects I’m working on through my personal design company. Nick is thankfully still pretty busy with his job still, even though he is working from home during the week now. He’s been really busy upstairs in the office during the week which actually made my week days feel pretty normal as I normally work from home. I’ve set myself up at the dining room table so that he can have the upstairs to work and not be disturbed and I can be downstairs doing what I normally do. I have a few projects I’m currently working on which really helps pass the time and allows us to still have income coming in, which I know many people don’t right now and I count myself incredibly lucky. Focusing on work is a great way to make things feel a little bit more normal than they would have without it and right now, I am feeling really fortunate for that.
In this weird time when everyone is at home, if you are thinking about doing upcoming renovations or want some help on re-doing a space, feel free to reach out! I have packages starting at just $100 and I’m doing 10% off right now for all new clients. We can do the whole thing over the phone and online, wherever you are in the world, so let me know!