Stay With Me. I Almost Get Positive Toward The End.
Does anyone else feel like this COVID-19 self quarantine is forcing you to deal with every weakness and flaw in yourself and your household? Maybe it's because I'm at week 3 (or 4?) of self-quarantine and I'm starting to crack just a little. This morning when I woke up and sat down to drink coffee while a baby climbed over my lap reaching for the coffee, cell phone, everything except baby toys, my main thoughts were ... wow everything bad is out in the light and I'd rather just go do something fun so I can avoid this unpleasant eye opening that's going on.
Wow! Were We Always This Dis-functional?!
Turns out ... YES! When I say everything is coming out in the light ... mean EVERYTHING is out in the light. I'm a little stunned, a little blinded, a lot discouraged...
I don't think I realized how much I relied on the strength and the disruption of others until we had to start this self quarantine. Turns out my introvert self had a habit of turning to my extrovert self when I didn't want to work on anything within. Within myself. Or within my family. Or within my career. Now here I am forced to deal with it all. I heard a quote that said "Feel it all if you want to heal it all." I think I'm going to change that to "Feel it all to heal it all so you can finally deal with it all."
Working Smarter AND Harder
I always loved the saying "work smarter, not harder". It gave me hope and inspiration to look at my situations and see how I could make things easier on myself but still get the same outcome. That was great until March! Now, I truly believe I have to work smarter AND HARDER. Like many parents in the world, I'm finding myself in new roles. I have to home-school my children! And keep them on a schedule! I also have to provide daycare to a baby (who is teething and right now ... right this second and every other second of the day ... just wants her mom). Plus I'm working full-time.
In the past when I've helped my kiddos with school work, I'm not going to lie, many times my help ended with "Ummmm I don't know. You'll have to ask your teacher tomorrow" and this was after using that handy Google on the handy interwebs. You guys, now I'm the teacher!! What universe is this?!
Week 1 and 2, I was getting up extra early so I could get 4 to 5 hours of work in and then I'd take over the daycare duties from my husband so he could log into work for a while. Weeks 3 and 4, I'm sleeping in, barely functional, and trying to rush to get things done between baby naps and home school assignments. I'm starting the feel more depressed and anxious and have no energy to find solutions to any issues creeping out from under their hiding places.
I would say it's time to step back and breathe a little. Wouldn't you?
New Routines - Changing Daily, Multiple Times a Day
You're probably finding this out, too. Our daily routine is changing every day. We don't have a good routine down yet. Every time we think we're in a good place something changes (meeting times, school zoom meeting times, the baby's sleep schedule) and we start over. This might be the new norm. But I hope not, because I'm not doing well with this.
Are you feeling the same? I don't think I've ever felt so discouraged and stuck. I knew I had to start changing my routines and my mindset. Even if my routines were going to be adjusted here and there - I had to incorporation some self-care and positive thinking. Later last week I started writing affirmations on my day planner to try to help myself. It did help. I don't think it's the only answer, but I think it could be a good way to take one step toward being more positive. Because whether we like it or not, COVID-19 is here and it's taking over our lives, so we need to quickly find way to cope. Especially if we have kids watching to see how we react.
So, here's what I'm doing. And PLEASE comment to tell me what you're doing because I'm still trying to figure this out! I'm listening to meditation podcasts (I love Meditation Minis) before bed and when I get ready to start work. I'm reading affirmations MULTIPLE times a day. I have them written in my day planner and have them printed out and hanging in front of me. I'm wearing essential oils to help with anxiety and mood (yes, I'm an oils person). And I'm trying to walk at least twice a day.
Turns Out I Have to WORK at Positivity. Like Everyday.
My new positive routine doesn't always happen the way I'd like and sometimes not at all. Sometimes I'm only by myself while using the restroom and I'm not ready to meditate in there yet. (Yet!) What I've learned while talking to friends is that we HAVE to be gentle on ourselves. This is hard and even though there are memes going around laughing about how we're just being asked to "sit on the couch to save the world" like hahahaha and other memes that might us feel like we're overreacting and everyone else is having a grand time with wine and zoom.com. It's not true. We are all struggling.
The other thing I've learned is that I have to really work at being positive and not allow myself to be dragged into negativity. I have to work actively to change my thoughts. When this first occurred to me I felt frustrated and angry - like, "Oh one more thing I have to do today! Be positive! Let me schedule that in with everything else." ... Then I realized I was pouting and whining and wasn't feeling any better with those thoughts. Time to change.
List of Things That Are Keeping Me Positive
Meditation Minis Podcast
Joy Revive Oil
Healing Tea (I make my own)
Calls with friends and my mama.
I hope these help you, too! My goal is to get my mental health back under control and then I can start tackling problems and finding solutions. Until then I'm just going survive and work at being positive.
Please comment below and let me know what you're doing! Stay safe and stay sane my friends!
First, I'm the mother of three crazy, sassy, sarcastic, hilarious children. Second, I work in the world of social media, email, digital marketing. Third, I'll probably try to tell you what to do.