There’s nothing good about the coronavirus. But that’s not to say we can’t all work together to try and see the positives in this new reality. Countless uplifting stories have already come to light, even just a week or so after quarantine has begun. (Have you seen Kathy Wise’s series about random acts of kindness?)
And while we’re all forced to slow down, we’ve been given a unique opportunity to develop new routines and practices that we can carry back into normalcy—whenever that comes. Whether that means perpetually remembering to prioritize health, always making time for morning mindfulness, or continuing to spend downtime with family, one thing’s for sure: We will never forget how to make the most of the moment.
As we learn how to do just that, we chatted with a few of Dallas’ influencers to get the scoop on steps they’re taking to stay sane while homebound, and how they’re turning their lemons into lemonade. (Moms and dads: you’ll find these tips especially useful.)
The important thing is to keep an active schedule with purpose. To jump start the morning, we need to act like we are going to the office, which means jump in the shower. Dress with purpose. Pick something out that makes you feel good. It is all about mindset, especially when you have children. They need to see you acting with purpose. It is a trickle-down effect. Lastly, do the basic! Make sure you light all your candles, get fresh flowers, and consider turning off the TV for a short period of time. Put the music on instead. If you are housebound with your spouse, make sure you schedule a version of date night. It is important to stay connected during this time.
Watching nostalgic movies and eating comfort food has been a nightly ritual. There is something about doing things reminiscent of childhood like eating grilled cheese sandwiches and watching The Sound of Music that soothes the soul. Childhood is a time when most of us felt protected and certain of what tomorrow would bring. Reconnecting with our favorite indulgences from our upbringings envelopes us in feelings of safety and security. It’s like Maria Von Trapp sang, ”I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.”
While I love to have a designated workspace, it isn’t always realistic with toddlers asking for snacks and Play-Doh. I’ve taken many conference calls hiding in my pantry. But I think it is important to create a designated space for your children in your workspace. I have a little bench for my daughter where she can color quietly if I’m in my office. My husband is working from home during this time as well, and he even set up a little chair next to him so that she can hop up and color and feel involved. I think shutting kids out can sometimes cause them to feel frustrated and react more to our work time. By giving her [an] allocated space next to mommy, she feels important doing her own “work” and allows me the time to execute my tasks.
I used to think because I worked from home, I could workout, stay on top of laundry and chores, and go to the store during non-busy hours. Big mistake! The truth is, when I did those things, they just caused distractions to my workflow. Treat your workday like you’re in an office, even if it’s your home. Breaks are fine, of course, but save the errands and other responsibilities for before or after office hours.
Before I begin my day, I have a talk with myself [about] what kind of day I’m going to have. What my attitude will be, the way I’m going to respond during this time of uncertainty, and the mindset I will choose to have. Easier said than done, but I’ve come to learn through personal experience that I’m a better me than I was the day before by having a positive mindset. During this time I’ve also become more grateful. Unintentionally, we have taken so much for granted and now I see with different eyes. Gratitude allows us to fall in love with the life we already have.
We have been going on “family trips” to museums and state parks virtually! The Broad Museum did a virtual visit to Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Rooms on Instagram, [and] the DMA has a great tour of the Speechless Exhibit online. You can virtually tour many of the national parks—we did Yellowstone yesterday. I’ve been trying to focus on the fact that, before a few weeks ago, I longed for more unscheduled family time at home. Now that it is forced on us, I’m doing my best to enjoy having my family all together for meals, games, puzzles, and movie nights. We are opening cabinets full of board games and cookbooks that haven’t been opened in a while. We [also] love to organize, but there are so many clean-out projects that are daunting around here, so we keep putting them off. Instead of dreading a huge day-long project, we have been setting a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and tackling a room, closet, or cabinet for a little bit at a time. The children love it, and we often end up carrying on longer than the timer accounts for.