This month, rather than the traditional gratitude posts, we’re thinking specifically about the Covid-19 pandemic. While there are seemingly unending negatives to this pandemic, there are also silver linings to be found if you look for them.
I’ve never done well with self-care. Chalk it up to being a workaholic, just never enough time, or working mom guilt. While all of those things certainly play into it, I think the biggest reason is that consistency has long been a challenge for me. Throw a completely irregular, unpredictable travel and work and home schedule into it, and anything requiring regular attention that isn’t on fire just gets ignored.
The ability to engage in more self-care, more often is a wonderful silver lining of being fully grounded. While I know that working from home for the first time, especially with kids around, has been super-stressful for MANY people, it has been an absolute gift for me. My kids are teenagers and prefer a fair amount of autonomy. We are lucky to live in a large home with plenty of room for everyone to find their own space to work in peace. I’ve been working from home since 2005 when not traveling, so I’m very comfortable doing it already. I feel very, very thankful for all of that.
The numbers of Covid cases and deaths are rising again everywhere, whether you agree with your local, state and federal government’s responses or not. Social media and the news are filled with things that awaken my anxiety and cause me to feel overwhelmed. I absolutely revel in the simple pleasures I was previously too busy running around to indulge in or fully appreciate anymore.
Being home all the time means for the first time in my working life, I have a daily routine that I can honor. I can schedule client work around home obligations, and take Friday afternoons off much of the time. Something most people don’t know about me is that I love diffusing essential oils. My office diffuser runs non-stop now. The air is filled with combinations of scents which soothe my soul.
I can cook dinner every night. Yes, there are occasionally nights I don’t feel like it, but most of the time, I really enjoy it. We are a three-generation family who sits down together to eat nearly every night. What. A. Gift. Just to be here for it.
I sleep in my own bed every night, next to my beloved. And the occasional cat.
I have not jumped on the sourdough train or picked up any new hobbies. I have done a little bit of closet and room clean out, but not a ton. I downloaded a meditation app but haven’t done very much with it honestly. But none of that matters.
What matters is that when I recognize the physical signs my body starts to give me when I’m too stressed, pushing too hard, going in too many directions at once, I can slow down. Because I don’t have a plane to catch. I don’t have a road trip to make. I can make space to slow down. Catch my breath. Go for a walk. Pet my dog. Brush a horse. Watch some baby pigs play. Breathe.
Like many people, I have suffered enormously during this pandemic with challenges, loss, hardship, and pain. In spite of all I have endured, I still fully recognize my immense privilege. AND… I have found immense joy in reconnecting with some of the simplest activities. It is helping to keep me grounded and pay attention to my health.
What do you need to do this week to pay attention to yours?