How is everyone holding up? We are in unprecedented times and I hope that everyone is well. I have to say that I feel very fortunate to be able to shelter-in-place. I am so grateful to everyone out there who is supporting those of us at home: delivery people, post office workers, grocery store employees, doctors, nurses, truck drivers, teachers who are now learning Zoom for distance learning … and so many others.
I’m happy to do my part by staying home and it’s a gift to get this luxury of time with family. But, I’m not gonna lie, these are stressful times. I remember the last recession which happened right after I had my second child. She’s 18 now. It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long but I clearly remember the same emotions from that time. It felt like the sky was falling. My husband lost his job and that triggered a tsunami of worries for me. Our kids were young then so while they had anxieties because they knew something bad was happening, they were still in their usual routines and could be sheltered from the storm.
I have to say that it helps to have had that Great Recession experience because I can recognize those same overwhelming emotions and try to breathe through it. This, too, will end. Things will get better. Here in Massachusetts, we are in the eye of the storm as the peak of COVID-19 is expected in the next few weeks. It feels like this is only going to get worse, but there is a known pattern to this virus and it does crest and goes down.
How is everyone coping with their shelter-in-place? Thanks for sharing!
My Shelter-in-Place Coping Strategies
- I am wearing one of 2 outfits: exercise clothes or pajamas. Do not worry about socially acceptable times for wearing either outfit.
- I am treating my anxiety with yoga. My yoga teacher, Dawn Davis Yoga, has a free video that takes about 12 minutes. It really does help.
- I am trying to limit bad news while trying to stay up to date on current events by setting limits for social media. It’s not easy though. Balance this with news about kindness and compassion from everyday folks. Share that on social media because we all need a dose of one person making a difference, even if it’s just a feel-good video of a baby sleeping cuddled by a giant dog.
- I am rewarding myself for getting through the day with a NetFlix show that makes me happy: The Great British Bake Off. I’m over other cooking competition TV shows, but I love this one because everyone is a tad goofy and kind. Even the judges, while honest, are compassionate.
- I am giving everyone at home as much space as possible, physically and mentally. Someone in my house is always in a bad mood. Just cut them slack. One person in my house is always really annoyed at the person in a bad mood. Everyone is a little bi-polar right now in terms of whether or not they want company.
- I am focusing on a single task that feels productive that I am doing daily: laundry. Also, how is my family generating so much laundry if no one is going anywhere? This another question for the entity that knows where all the missing socks are!
- I am getting out of the house when the weather is decent. The family dog gets double back-to-back walks because not everyone wants to walk the dog together.
- I am trying to exercise daily even if it’s just for ten minutes (honestly, being in exercise clothes all day really helps). Sometimes, I don’t exercise until late at night … in my bathroom so as not to wake my husband. I’m doing Pamela Reif‘s free no props needed workout videos. Here’s her muffin top ab workout because who doesn’t want to work on their muffin top?
- I am making a pot of homemade ginger, lemon, honey tea and drinking it daily. It’s delicious and I firmly believe that it has health benefits. I just use a medium-sized saucepan and chuck in about 2 inches of peeled and thinly sliced ginger, juice of one lemon (or lime if that’s all you have), about 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, and about the same of honey. Add water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes.
- I am doing one Act of Kindness a day. I am doing daily Advanced Book Release children’s book giveaways on my Twitter and Instagram. One of my kids is sewing face masks to donate. I think it’s easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed (and that’s understandable). Giving back, even in a small way, makes me feel like I am making a difference by helping someone.
- I am starting my garden by germinating vegetable seeds. Watching nature go about its business is a soothing reminder that life goes on. We have a pair of hawks nesting outside in a tree near our driveway. I love watching their beautiful swooping flying. The flower bulbs that we planted last fall are starting to bloom. Spring is such a season of hope and new beginnings.
- I have a sick kid so I’m just letting him get better and I’m trying not to freak out. He’s been sick for three weeks. He just happened to have his annual physical so he was able to see his doctor (remotely, of course). He has a cough. He’s getting better. I’m just focused on how he feels each day. He left the house for the first time last night after being in bed for three weeks.
- I am blogging. It is such a comfort and I am not sure why, but it’s the first thing I do when I want to write something. My blogging community which is made up mostly of education and children’s book bloggers is also a beacon of hope and resilience.
- I am cooking much more than usual. My family does not have much of a sweet tooth — we never have “dessert” as an official course, for example. But we have baked goods upon baked goods right now. My husband has instituted “backwards family dinner” so it’s more like 24/7 buffet dinners. The food is cooked and it’s out and everyone can eat what they want, when they want to eat. We don’t need the family dinner to bond right now since we are together ALL DAY LONG! Also, everyone is slipping into a weird sleep pattern such that there is literally someone awake in my house 24 hours a day. And that’s ok.
- I am painting or drawing almost every day. I find it so much easier to do art than write books these days. I am not taking online classes but I am watching videos and just trying to practice what I have learned in class.
To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.