Make no mistake, COVID-19 is not something I ever wished for or could have even remotely imagined happening in my lifetime. But alas, here we are in a wave of uncertainty. While remaining vigilant is key, I am also choosing to cling to all that brings me peace and calm at a time when it’s really easy to come apart as your thoughts venture deeper and deeper down a surplus of rabbit holes.
So, instead, I want to share a few gems this time is giving me and my loved ones, as a means of hopefully helping plant some seeds to help others have more fun for however long we have to exist this way.
1. More family time together
My family is a square. Two parents, two kiddos, evenly matched, all adored and loved. And by far, my favorite thing to do is hang out with the three of them. Social distancing has forced us to spend a lot more time together in the house, and while the thought of such gave me a slight anxiety attack about two weeks ago, we’ve now identified some routines to stick to and it’s working out nicely for us. I’ve gotten used to it and will miss it when things transition again.
2. Time to pick up new hobbies
Or perhaps dive deeper into existing ones. Social distancing has made me a gardening bad@** mostly for the sake of having food items to feed our family from as supplies fluctuate at local grocery stores. We have a challenging climate here in Florida with it being so hot, so I’ll be working hard through the summer to keep things going as best I can. So far, though, I’ve learned a lot about root systems; repotting; when to water; how much to water; signs to look for that a plant needs water, needs sun, needs a bigger pot; and how to prep soil. Added bonus is that the family is usually out in the yard together to tend to the plants and trees, so we’re all getting sun and fresh air, as well as grounding (barefoot on the earth) together.
Maybe this one makes me a shut-in, old lady geek (lol) but I like that businesses are not operating late at night anymore, and law enforcement is requiring people to return to their homes by a certain hour. For the first time in my 15-year relationship with my husband, he is home before 10pm consistently each night from work, which is mentally helpful for me at this time. Having him home earlier takes a bit of the stress off for me in the evenings.
4. Some of those feel-good vibes are back.
Right now, people are reaching out to one another to offer kindness at a time when everything is uncertain, and while I don’t like the uncertainty of the situation any more than the next person, I absolutely love seeing the displays of humanity that are happening in my neighborhood, in my home state of California, in various parts of the globe, broadcast onto my social media feeds and web pages. Remember how much Americans loved each other right after 9/11/01? It’s like that again. I’d love to see that vibe continue to grow and last in America.
5. Telecommuting is now a more viable option.
It always was viable, but many companies and institutions were still slow to integrate it. Required social distancing forced many companies to quickly create and implement telecommuting measures as a means of keeping its workforce employed and its operations running as markets in China and the US began to tank. I’ve been doing this for a decade now, so I’m firmly rooted in that laptop life, but seeing industries wake up to the potential it gives its workforce all at once has been refreshing. I see that as more opportunities opening for people to freelance and work flexibly in order to spend more time doing other things, like vacationing and making memories with the ones they love.
6. It’s forcing me to find comfort in simplicity.
Gardening, walks through the neighborhood, picking up grocery orders that were at least 85% picked as ordered, family Uno games, playing video games with the kids…I had all of these things before, but they all mean something different to me now.
7. More exploration in the kitchen.
Not eating out means I’m at home coming up with new recipes and quick snacks, as well as learning to cook quickly, and learning not to waste food. Our overall reduced carbon footprint and reduced waste are positives that have come from social distancing.
8. Saving money.
Not going as many places is helping us save a lot of our gas budget. Gas prices are also quite low for the time being. By not walking grocery aisles, I am not tempted to impulse buy. By not buying food out, we keep more money in our pocket. Overall, I like what social distancing has done to our finances.
What gems are you holding onto at this time? Feel free to tell me in the comments.
Be well, all humans. ♥
Antoinette Chanel is an author and motivational speaker who hosts The Midday Reset Podcast, a show designed to help busy people take a break. She also hosts professional development workshops and provides one-on-one long-term goal coaching. Check out The Midday Reset Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or YouTube. You can also listen to episodes and read more blogs from Antoinette at middayreset.com.