Hi friends! We are almost two weeks into May and Illinois is showing signs of not opening up until closer to July. Wow! It’s news like that that can quickly diminish any hope I have for summer plans, getting back to a routine or escaping our house in any capacity. I know in the grand scheme this will be a small blip on our calendars of life but it still feels heavy in the moment. For someone who thrives on organization, alone time, getting out of the house to dedicate time to myself, being active with my kids and finding creative environments to inspire my work – it can be a lot. I find myself taking more shallow breaths, feeling anxious, letting little things get to me and feeling fatigued from all of the emotions.
On the other hand, I also allow myself to feel grateful, to take a moment to get outside, gaze out the window, witness the change in seasons, appreciate the quiet and the silence across the world. It’s comforting to know that the pressures I usually feel with work, in motherhood, with my peers, with social media – those are gone! That’s a sigh of relief in itself. No one is traveling and no one is having their “best day ever!” We are all in the same boat. Staying home, staying safe and waiting for this to pass.
Accepting this new sense of normal, which isn’t so new anymore but the longer it goes on the more real it feels, is something we have to do. It’s the only way to find peace in the change. I know that this change of pace will most likely never happen again but I also need to maintain some sense of balance between enjoying the time at home while staying connected to the routine I love. I do that with zoom workouts, cooking, getting outside, dedicating time to writing and sharing my thoughts with you, listening to music, letting myself be still, talking to friends. Letting go of the things I can’t control (like a clean house all the time) and reminding myself that we are all doing the best we can.
I’ve initiated a few new habits during all of this to help with my stress. I’m a big believer in checking in with yourself and wanted to share some questions I will ask myself that help me keep me in check:
How do I feel in this moment?
What brought me joy today? This week? This month?
What is making me feel down?
What makes me feel my best?
Is there negativity I can cut out my life?
What inspires me?
I started a journal and at the end of the day (or even mid-day if I need it) I’ll run down this list and write it out. Put it out into the universe and off your chest. I was NEVER someone who practiced journaling and it has taken a big weight off of me. Another thing I’ve been doing on Instagram stories every day is sharing 3 things I’m grateful for and 3 things I’m excited for – it really helps me put my day in perspective and put me in the right mindset. I love seeing how many people are using this time to do this, too! It’s nice to have a sense of community with all of the emotions.
So while we wait and keep up with our days and try to make light of the situation we have to do things that make us happy! All the things that make us happy! Maybe that means starting a new hobby, starting a passion project, getting outside more, channeling our creative side, laughing more, giving ourselves a break, knowing when it’s okay to tap out or walk away to come back feeling better, appreciating things we used to take for granted and enjoying the space we’ve created between what was normal and routine and what actually matters. I feel a shift happening inside of me. I’m still trying to figure out what it means but I feel it strongly. A sense of letting go of my routine and the hamster wheel I was on. It’s liberating in a way. I can’t wait to share what that means with you when I see it more clearly!
So for now we wait and create something new in the time and space that has been put in front of us! That could mean so many things – refreshing a corner of our home, starting a book club, working your way through a cookbook or ending your day with a coloring book. I have to remind myself how lucky I am to have this time with my family, watching my boys grow in front of my eyes (I just had a huge realization of this!) and the opportunity to slow down even though at times it is very hard to see the silver lining. Either way, it felt good to share my feelings with you.