The Virus Diaries: Five Things Keeping Me Sane During Stay-At-Home

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Hello! How is everyone this week? This week, instead of a simple update, I thought I’d share five things that have been helping me stay comparatively sane while we’re staying at home. We’re just at the end of six weeks of self-isolating at home, with only the occasional shopping trip for food (once every ten days or so). Isolating is hard, even when you’re a dyed-in-the-wool introvert like I am. It’s been made even more difficult by the fact that I actually get less time to myself since my husband and child are home all the time.

So here is where I’m approaching this from: We are safe, we are healthy, and we are financially solvent. We are fortunate enough to have jobs that allow us to work from home, at least inasmuch as our employers have decided to continue paying us. My job is a bit more work-from-home friendly, so I typically have a standard 9-5-ish day, while my husband can use his flexibility to take care of the bulk of the childcare during my workday. But I still miss my coworkers, my castmates, my long daily walks through the city, my favorite shops downtown, and the delicious alone time I used to get every week when I worked from home while Dan and Elliot were off at work or daycare. But, all-in-all, we are extremely lucky.

But there are definitely some things that are making a non-ideal situation more bearable or even enjoyable.

  1. Local farms and producers: Like most of the US, it seems, I am also baking a lot during stay-at-home. As my Isolation Baking videos might suggest, I love to bake. In particular, I’m baking quite a bit of bread and baking bread means you go through a lot of flour. Especially since our grocery store has stopped production of their in-house artisan sourdough, for sanitation reasons, I’ve felt the need to pick up a bit of the slack by baking my own bread. But of course, it’s getting more and more difficult to find flour, especially specialty flours. So I was delighted to find a local farm, Migrash Farm, that is still fully stocked and willing to deliver for free to a nearby farmer’s market. Similarly, I’ve enjoyed contactless beer delivery from Denizen’s Brewing Co., and we’re getting our first vegetable delivery from Number 1 Sons this week, so I’m hoping that will be a way to have fresh vegetables every week, even if we only go out every other week.
  2. Tea: Of course, tea has been a constant companion since I was young, but since I’m now home all the time, my tea practice has become even more important. Whether I’m making a pot of Earl Grey, a saucepan of masala chai, or a full gong fu session, tea practice gives me space to slow down and focus on one thing, rather than getting lost in the chaos that is sometimes our home life right now.
  3. Outside time: Normally, I walk three miles, round-trip, on my daily commute, so suddenly spending the entire day in the house has largely depressed my mental state. I find that getting outside, even for a few minutes, helps perk it back up. Even better if I can enjoy a peaceful, early morning tea session in the yard before anyone else around me is awake. Despite not needing to leave the house by 7 a.m., I still wake up quite early, if only to get that time.
  4. Daily Yoga app: While I’ve had an on and off home yoga practice for over twenty years, I’ve recently found it difficult to stick to my home practice, especially since we moved to a house that has a bit more limited floor space for yoga. But the Daily Yoga app, plus my #ringofaccountability on Instagram, have inspired me to stick with my daily practice. I’m currently on a forty-day streak and counting.
  5. Small touches of beauty in my life: I have not been sticking to my regular beauty routine, and for the first time in years, I’ve started using dry shampoo, but I do try to do something to make myself feel connected to beauty each day. I’ve been wearing my historically-inspired clothing, and trying to do makeup and hair at least a few days a week. And my new Camellia sinensis necklace from Tea Thoughts has been immensely inspiring to my beauty routine. Some days I only get dressed to give myself an excuse to wear this little beauty.

I should likely mention a bonus other thing that helps keep me sane: my medication for depression and anxiety. I believe in being totally honest about medication and don’t think it should be stigmatized. It certainly is making the difference between being appropriately concerned for the future and helplessly anxious. I would be remiss if I didn’t give that an extra shout-out.

So that’s what’s keeping me together these days. Are you also existing held together with a thin veneer of red lipstick and homemade bread? What’s your stay-at-home routine look like? Until next week, stay safe everyone!

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2 thoughts on “The Virus Diaries: Five Things Keeping Me Sane During Stay-At-Home

  1. My routine is study (I’m doing a CertHE in computers, IT and business, with a view to gaining a business degree), tea, some home physio (not real physio, as I wasn’t referred and can’t get that addressed now, until after this is all over – but it does get me up and moving a little on my bum hip) and binge-watching my favourite shows. There is also my medication, of course (like you, I absolutely will not hide the fact that it’s medication that keeps me going: some of it even potentially saves my life).

    Along with all of that, I get updates from the residential unit my autistic adult son lives at, and I watch a friend’s live videos on Facebook (the friend in question runs August Moon Tea in my hometown). I don’t always have tea to hand to “share” when she goes live, but she has a lot of stories about her life back in the tea provinces of China, and so I love listening to her.

    Oh, and reading. Lots of reading.

    You sound busy. I should try to get cake-making incorporated into my home attempts at physio, once a week at the very least: I can’t self-propel with no upper arm strength! 🙂

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    • You also sound busy! I haven’t had much time to read (at least not books meant for adults), except sometimes very late at night when I have to use my e-reader instead of a paper book because I’ll wake Elliot if I turn on the light. I’m also loving all the tea accounts going live on Instagram lately!

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