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How’re you gals holding up? I just want to start this post by saying, I am here for you. I mean that so sincerely. I don’t want any of us to feel alone and part of what’s keeping me going right now is showing up for you. So, tell me in the comments or by email how I can best serve you and help you feel connected and showing up as your best self in this very weird time.
We need each other more than ever and if I can help facilitate that, I’m all in.
This weekend we hunkered down inside and hung out all weekend as a family, which was fun and also totally discombobulating. Normally, we’re running from soccer to Girl Scouts to playdates and this weekend we had so much time.
On one hand, it was great, because we had the kind of family time I always lament we don’t have time for. We played hide-and-go-seek, built a huge fort, took a family nap, watched movies. I was feeling pretty accomplished until I realized we made it through THE WEEKEND. 😂
On top of all of this, I was feeling, as I’m sure all of us are, all over the map. I was careening from “I will handle this with the grace of Michelle Obama, the wisdom of Oprah, and the humor of Trevor Noah” to hiding under the covers because I was so overwhelmed.
Last night I had a big talk with myself and decided the swings have to end so here’s where I landed: Most things right now are out of my control (ugh!); what I can control though is how I manage this time, and my goal is to emerge having handled it with grace, humor and optimism.
And to do that, I decided I need to be intentional, to keep myself filled up so I can show up for my kids, and to use my greatest strength – my optimism – to help. Omg, see? I’M PRACTICALLY OPRAH!
So, here are a few ideas to get us through this weird time with humor, optimism and grace. None of these will blow your mind, but they just might change the scope of your day? Who knows, but we got the time to try it, right?
1. WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU NEED TO BE YOUR BEST SELF
Oh, my husband loves when I make him do these things. 😂 Yesterday we sat down as a family and everyone went around and said what they need to be their best self during this time (I mean a Hawaiian vacation would probably do the trick, but I feel like that’s off the table).
For me, I need to exercise daily, talk to friends and family, have at least a half hour to myself, and get enough sleep. My husband needs time to play his guitar uninterrupted and to take a walk and listen to his podcasts (he’s way less high-maintenance than me). The kids varied from Lego time, to hugs with Mommy and Daddy, to watching TV all day (we nixed that one for now, but WHO KNOWS).
This might initially feel kind of cheesy, but I find it incredibly helpful to have other people hold me accountable. For example, if I start slamming cupboards (what, me?), Chris will gently ask if maybe I need to work out, to which I will freak out and ask if he’s implying that I NEED TO WORK OUT BECAUSE WHAT I’M IN A BAD MOOD?!?! He’ll then back away quietly while I’ll indignantly work out only to turn back into a normal person who has realized she really needed to work out. See? ACCOUNTABILITY!
2. FAMILY BONDING TIME!
If I’m really honest, I was totally overwhelmed when this all started. The idea of entertaining my kids without our usual running around felt exhausting and insurmountable.
But, then I did two things. First, I decided to take the pressure off. Just because we’re all home together doesn’t mean we have to do everything together. The kids still need to be independent and creative in their own space.
But, I also want to use this time to connect and not just be coming up with ideas to keep them out of my hair.
So, we created a list of all the things we want to do together now that we have the time. Things like: movie day, building a fort that takes up the whole living room, writing and performing a play, reading party, completing a puzzle, cleaning out their dresser (okay, that last one wasn’t on their list, but…).
We’re going to pick one the night before to get excited about – maybe I’ll post them over on Instagram as ideas?
3. CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Again, one of the things I always lament is I don’t have enough time to catch up with friends and family in other parts of the country and overseas. Well, guess what? Now, I’ve got it!
I made a list of people I want to reconnect with and am making my way down the list. With that, I’m also reaching out to my friends and family here on a daily basis to keep up communications and spirits.
4. HELP OTHERS
There are a lot of folks that are getting hit hard by everything going on right now. When I start feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of it, I ask, “What is one thing I can do to help one person?” and then I do it.
Some ideas are:
-dropping off food at your local food bank or school or, even better, donating money
-shopping at one locally-owned restaurant or store a day (ordering take-out, getting bagels or coffee, or buying a gift certificate – I may have already bought myself a birthday gift card from Common Era to go shopping when this clears up!)
-checking on elderly neighbors and seeing if they need you to go to the store (NextDoor can be a great resource for this)
-continuing to pay (if you’re able) service-based people in your life (music and sport teachers, cleaning people, hairdressers, etc)
-asking people in your life, “How can I best help right now?” I’ve found just listening and empathizing can be one of the best gifts we can give others right now (and it helps me move through my fear!)
5. GET IN SHAPE
My plan is to emerge from this containment with a rock-solid body. Because what I couldn’t do in my other 44 years, I’ll definitely get done during these weeks. 😂
But, seriously, Netflix marathons are a given, but don’t forget to move your body. My sisters have me doing Body Boss because my beloved FitWall is closed and we’re making it a point to get outside and bike, hike and walk as often as possible while we still can.
6. PLAY DRESS UP
You all know I believe in the power of showering and dressing up and, baby, THIS IS THE TIME.
Taking the time to take care of yourself can shift the mood of your day. I’m not saying you have to lie around in your gold boots all day (although, why not?), but getting showered and dressed can re-energize you and remind you what it feels like to feel good.
7. USE THE TV
Listen, this is not the time to worry about your kids’ TV consumption. We are normally pretty strict about TV in our house, but, you better believe, we are having some marathons.
This time calls for a lot of together time. You need a break from incessant engagement and mom-ing. The TV is your friend. Do not beat yourself up about what you need to do to stay sane and centered.
8. LEARN A NEW SKILL
Is this one weird? I just keep thinking about all these things I never have time to dig into and now feels like the time.
I’ve always wanted to teach the kids how to cross-stitch, we hardly ever bake together, and I was thinking it’d be fun if we all started doing yoga on a regular basis. I also have a speaking class I’ve been wanting to take and Chris set some new goals for his guitar playing. And all of us are talking about writing novels.
I mean, dream big, right? 😂 By the time we all emerge from this, we’ll basically be the people WE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE.
9. GO DEEP IN A SERIES
This one hardly needs mentioning, but here are a few of our recent faves:
–Love is Blind: Yes, it will probably rot your brain, but, IT IS SO MUCH FUN. It’s exactly the dish-y, take me away, kind of show we need right now.
–2012 and W1A: OMG. These two series came out years ago, but, for some reason, we just stumbled upon them and what a gift. 2012 chronicles the team who sets up the London Olympics, mockumentary-style and it is hilarious. Chris and I blew through it and then binged the next series W1A, which follows a bunch of the same characters as they start up a new division at the BBC. PLEASE, WATCH IT.
–Fleabag: You’ve already watched it, right? If you haven’t, do it TONIGHT, once the kids are in bed because it’s realllllly not a family show. Hands down, my favorite show I watched last year. It’s hilarious, heart-breaking, and the second season is total perfection.
–The Morning Show: I know this show has mixed reviews, but we really liked it. Partly because Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston are so much fun to watch, and partly because it offers a insightful view into how men in power were able to get away with sexual harassment and more for such a long time.
10. CREATE EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO
I’m a big believer in having things to look forward to but with everything canceled, I’ve decided we’re going to create some of our own.
So, we’re making Wednesday evenings a big deal with pizza and TV because that’s when Lego Masters comes out; Saturday mornings are going to be pancakes and read-at-breakfast; we’re doing a nightly dance party; I’m going to surprise everyone with a cake one night this week; we’ve planned a full movie day for Sunday.
It’s not quite as good as G.Love at Red Rocks, but it’ll have to do.
So, what do you gals think? Are any of these helpful? What do you have planned to keep you sane?
On Thursday I’m planning a post on books to read to take you away while sitting at home and I’m working on easy ways to change your perspective instantly. Anything else you’d like to see?
SO MUCH LOVE!
Which would be overly enthusiastic.
I mean I once told G. Love I was "proud of him" like I was his 80-year old aunt. Decidedly, not cool.
What I'm most enthusiastic about? My emails. They're juicy, relatable, and pick one teensy shift a week to work on together.
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