I woke up this morning with “It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)” by R.E.M. in my head, and it completely sums up how I am feeling today.
I am trying to go about my life right now, as if nothing has changed. Even though it has.
The world has changed. And I must change with it.
So, this week, my company moved everyone to work from home to follow social distancing advice. And I love working from home. Love it! As an introvert, I love the quiet time and the ability to work mostly uninterrupted. But I found out that I like many others, work more when I am working from home, and this can be quite a hard habit to break.
I also know a lot about myself when I am home vs. when I am out in the world.
- I eat differently, less fresh, and more packaged. (I know that shouldn’t be the case, but it is).
- I don’t exercise as much. I am horrible at it. Usually, at the office, I walk to and from bus stops and take a walk around the building during the day. As well as going to see people at their desks and walking around the office. My step count went from 8000 steps on a day at the office to 5000 steps at home. Ugh.
- I sleep different hours. No commute means I can sleep later, right?! And concern about friends and family is causing anxiety that is keeping me from sleeping well.
So, all the things a “going to work” routine creates in my life kinda get thrown out the window when I work at home.
And if you do this just one day a week, it isn’t too impactful to your life. Do it every day, and it becomes significantly impactful.
My routines are impacted in other ways too. I grocery shop weekly and often don’t keep a lot of extra stuff on hand. My house is small, and storage space is an issue. I tried to do my regular weekly shopping yesterday, and at 7:30 am when there usually are just a few people in the store, there were lines down the aisles to check out. It was quite crazy.
So, how am I coping with all these changes to routine that are likely to last for weeks?
- I am promising myself that I will schedule time to get out of the house and take a walk. Everyday! At least one-half hour to get fresh air and to get my eyes of a computer screen and get away from the responsibilities of the office.
- I am planning on checking in with my people more often. Being an introvert makes that hard for me, but I am going to try.
- I bought more fresh food at the grocery store yesterday (there was more than you would think), and I am really going to try to spend some more time cooking. This is another activity that will get me away from my computer/screens, and it will be good for my body.
- Finally, I am going to try to do some more fun stuff in my house that I really enjoy. Watch a few shows I have been putting off, read a little more often, pick up the knitting/crochet again. I have not been doing these things because of work and commuting, so it is time to get back to working on them.
I am trying to stay positive about the whole thing and relish this opportunity to focus on improvements I can make in my life. They say it only takes a month of repetition daily to form a good habit. Hopefully, once I get back into an office setting, I can continue these new habits.
And for those of you who cannot work from home or who are on the front lines of all this craziness in one way or another: Thank You for all that you are doing to keep our world in working order, and for taking care of those who need help the most. You guys are my heroes!
I hope that everyone who reads this is staying safe and healthy. I would love to know what has changed in your world as we move through this pandemic and what you are doing to cope. Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on social media. Let’s take care of each other in this trying time!
Cathy Kroskey says
Thanks for the suggestions for working from home. I only do it occasionally so this really helped. We learned yesterday that the site would be closed and everyone would work from home. Only 2 weeks so far so your advice helps.
Glad I could help Cathy. This change can be hard but I know you are up to the challenge. 🙂
Cynthia White says
I have already been staying indoors a lot because of chronic fatigue. I will sound a bit defensive in this next sentence: for me, it is not about developing better habits. I am officially disabled (I get a small monthly payment from Social Security Disability Insurance, the United States retirement and disability insurance program that I have paid into for 30 years). I am truly disabled by chronic fatigue, an illness that affects millions worldwide.
But my community of the disabled/chronically does have ideas and suggestions for routines that help us.
We check in with each other in social media, just to have some interaction with the world. We have hobbies we do to distract from pain or when we are too tired to do anything else. We try to be patient with ourselves
on those days when we don’t feel well enough to dress or to shower. We offer tips on ordering delivery, not getting too tired at the grocery store, and how to educate doctors about our illness. We tell each other jokes, talk about our pets, and send each other pictures of nature or cute animals.
We are a community of people who have “invisible” disabilities (no wheelchair, no cane, maybe we look okay for several days). But we see each other and as we describe our symptoms to others, we know we are not alone. We have different types of “invisible” chronic disabilities, but we see each other. We see each other as intelligent, thoughtful, caring people who support one another and are doing our best to get better and maybe do small good things.
It is strange for me to see healthy people living what is my normal. Healthy people must be getting so bored and have apparently made thousands of really great Tik-Tok videos and reorganized their basement, garage, and kitchen. Hang in there. Go for walks outside. Make task checklists for work. Call your friends and complain. Binge watch Netflix, and maybe play that guitar you found when you reorganized the closet. Wash your hands all the time and be obsessive about hand sanitizer. You will be okay. I think that that the Coronavirus will have peaked and will begin to decline in a few months (based on other countries).
But when you back to work, go back to the gym, go back to going out to restaurants, go back to jogging around a lake, take a moment to remember those of us who will still be chronically ill and will still spend most of our days indoors because of illness.
I hope and believe that this short-term global pandemic will bring us together as a global community and perhaps encourage a deepening of compassion and empathy in others.
I believe that human beings will be okay. Scientists are already developing vaccines for CORVID-19, and are also using medications that help with recovery for those who have the virus. We will remember the Year of the Coronavirus, but we will be here to tell stories about this year to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
So, more serious than I intended, but those are my thoughts about this issue.
It is really good to hear all kinds of different perspectives at all times and I really appreciate your thoughts on the subject. As you may know, I suffer from Fibromyalgia, so I empathize with the invisible illness but I am lucky that my case is not completely debilitating.
Thank you so much for the positive perspective and I am with you with hoping that this will bring us together as a global community.
Take care of yourself and thank you for being part of this community too!