Updated: Aug 20
If you are following the demands of the government, and you’re not an essential worker, you’re likely reading this from the coziness of your home under self quarantine. #Stayhome is trending on social media, DJ dance parties are happening on Instagram, your friends are planning online happy hours, and you’re trying to fill your time with something other than the doom and gloom of the news.
We can’t deny it, there are horrible things happening in our world right now. Things that are out of our control, all due to Covid-19. We can’t even get our shopping therapy fix because we’re not sure how our bank accounts are going to hold up under current circumstances. We all know, in great detail, the state of the world right now. Watching daily White House briefings along with our local government briefings, the news, seeing updates on Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social sites, the information is inevitably going to reach us. Yet we can’t choose to disconnect because we’re quarantined and already feeling withdrawn from the world. We need social interactions.
The news is un-freaking-avoidable. How are we to stay positive in times like these? Even when our friends and family call us, those calls are laced with talk of Coronavirus, stimulus possibilities, hardships and quarantine life. It’s enough to make you rethink that trip to the moon thing that used to be in the news.
Well, the bad news is, the majority of what’s happening is completely out of our control.
OUCH! That's really hard to grasp if you’re a coordinated planner like myself (AKA ‘control freak’ according to my daughter). We all like to have some control over our own lives though right? And sure, we can stay at home, wash our hands every 10 minutes, not touch our face (that helps a lot actually), but it just doesn’t feel like enough. I suppose that feeling of not being able to do enough is why many of us are learning how to sew masks, or sharing our rations with the less fortunate, praying for our healthcare/essential workers and sending food delivery to hospitals. Still, it just doesn’t feel like enough. There has to be more we can do….right?
GOOD NEWS! YES THERE IS!
There is more we can do, and a lot within our control right here in our quarantine headquarters. Now is a time when we realize that we are faced with choices and opportunities to invest in the things that have an impact on us, on our families, and in our communities. If we take this time to really focus on how we can make a positive impact, then when we are released back into the wild, maybe the world will be a slightly better place. And we, as a world community, could be happier, healthier, and more at peace.
Let’s start with the fun stuff.
Oh, who am I kidding?? It’s all fun if you want it to be.
I’m taking full advantage of social distancing. Absolutely no one outside of my home is going to see me for weeks, possibly months. If I do have to go out for essentials however, I’m dressed in a hat, mask and my big Coach glasses. You would have to be pretty imaginative to figure out what’s hiding behind my disguise. Seriously though, how often do you think your hair needs a break from heat or your face could use a couple days without makeup? Well, social distancing is your chance for just that.
Day after day we put chemicals on our face. We get so busy and so tired, some nights we only wipe our face with a makeup wipe and don’t really ‘wash our face’ at all. You know those mornings when you’re too busy getting ready for work and getting the kids ready for school that you don't properly treat your face like the gentle creature it is? Well good news, with 30 days at home you have the chance to treat your face the way you’ve always wanted. Steam treatments, face masks, organic cleansing regimens, it's time to get into a new routine! Actually, after 30 days of doing something it becomes a habit. You will have gotten super good at how to do it quickly and efficiently and be able to continue to use the routine when you are back on that busy schedule. It's a win for Social Distancing!!
Oh and ladies, I know, the big question is “How does one go 30+ days without a fill?”
Let me guide you here, because I do this at least once a year. I absolutely love having the medium-long coffin shaped dip nails in crazy cool styles. Seriously, I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to nail art. (Don't judge me) I’m not sure why I love over the top nails because everything else about my style is sporty/business and mostly black. But listen, give this girl some blue and gold ombré coffin shape nails and my hands are my 'Yoncé y’all.
That being said, believe it or not, once a year I have my diva nails removed and get a manicure without polish. My poor nails hiding under those fab fills are thin and beat up. They break and continue to break every few days because they are too thin to withstand the harsh work of typing on a laptop and petting my dogs. However, after about a month my nails have grown back to their glory. Strong, healthy, shining and ready for a manicure and a simple buff. I get so excited about having healthy nails and tell myself I'll never get salon nails again. (Which is always a short lived lie.)
Obviously I have a nail obsession here. So ladies (and gentlemen) forget mourning your fill and letting your nails look like they are waiting for your monthly check to come in. Remove those nails, treat those cuticles, care for your nails and let them take a breather during quarantine, your hands will appreciate the break.
We are more than hair, face and nails though.
Our bodies want quarantine love too! Before this quarantine life we were going non stop, we ask our bodies to do crazy things like the keto diet, inhale the dirty atmosphere and not rebel, stand up long enough to shower after a 18 hour shift, sleep on airplanes in tiny crunched up positions and speak on stages, sometimes all in the same day. These bodies have carried kids around on our hip while sick and still trying to cook and clean. Not to mention, they actually grow those heathens and birth them though exhausted and never really get appreciated or a break afterwards. I mean really, our bodies are the real MVP here, and how do we repay them? With a bottle of wine and an occasional soak in the tub? That's not going to cut it!
Maybe your body is one of the lucky ones and it gets a monthly massage. However, for most of us we abuse this vessel our spirit calls home, but now we actually have time to nurture it! We don't have to fly to a different city this week, we don't have to rush the kids to school and get to work. Now we have time in our day to give back to our amazing loyal bodies. Sure we are eating whatever is left on the target shelves by the time we suit up and go grocery shopping,(so much for keto), but we have the most valuable of all things right now, time! And we get to choose what to do with it!
Now instead of the morning hustle with the family, we can do morning yoga, walks with the family (and dog), morning dance stretches and whatever our bodies like the most.
Instead of the evening news which is going to repeat what we saw on the White House briefing, Facebook and morning news, we can do a video game workout with the kids, Zumba online, or a family game of corn hole in the backyard.
After dinner and the nightly game or movie with the family we actually have time to relax now! Like really relax our bodies in a warm salt bath, maybe even with a massage from your significant other, or laying under the stars, breathing the fresh air, and giving thanks for it all. Now is the time to give back to these loyal bodies of ours. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a couple of routines that you can fit into your life when things go back to normal and your body will continue to show gratitude for it.
Speaking of gratitude, what would we be without it?
It’s taught in nearly every religion yet so many people don't really understand, practice or believe in it. How do you not believe in gratitude? Well I’m grateful that I have come to not only believe in it, but practice it daily. Without practicing gratitude I’d be a ball of anxiety and stress, wondering what tomorrow will bring rather than being grateful in each moment of today.
Deepak Chopra explains gratitude so well that even the guy in the lifted, matte black pickup truck behind you at the red light honking and flipping you off for not running the light so he could too, will understand gratitude. Yeah, that actually happened to me just the other day, but at that moment, I was grateful I wasn’t filled with the same pent up rage he was. Road rage derives from pent up emotions which are not dealt with in a healthy manner. Emotionally mature people experience much less road rage. Drivers aren’t so mad at you for going 5 mph slower than they'd like that it makes them want to go nuts, they just have pent up unmanaged anger and frustration. We’ve probably all been there before but now we have time to actually learn how to de-stress and release all that negative energy in a healthier way. Growing our emotional intelligence is just as important as our intellect.
Most of us are under some extra stress right now from the changes in our routines. We’re adjusting as well as we can, and now instead of packing lunches and backpacks, we are faced each morning with choices. The choice to get out of bed and do a 10 minute guided meditation with our favorite guru. Don’t know how to meditate? No problem, Dorinda Fox will guide you through the steps. I remember the mornings when I was so busy getting 5 kids ready for school and getting myself ready for work. I was always in a hurry. I wish I took time to learn meditation then. Yay for us all having time now!! If we take advantage of the time we have now and learn meditation, then by the time we get back to life as usual we will have the tools we need to incorporate meditation into our daily routines.
“Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.”
– Ajahn Brahm
I’m a total geek when it comes to learning.
Now that we’ve covered beauty, body, spirit, we’ve come to my favorite part.. the mind. I love doing things to increase my intellect and understanding. Even with a super busy schedule I make time to sharpen my mind. Well, if you believe that I have some ocean front property in Arizona I’d like to sell you. Let’s be real, life can be exhausting! I raised 5+ children, worked full time, put myself through college as a single mother (while still working full time), slept 3 hours a night, worked out, and started my writing career all while in my 20s to early 30s. Now my children are grown and I am a jet setting business woman with a hectic life, but I do have more time for myself. Nowadays I can even go to the bathroom without a kid looking under the door, I'm able to shower without a kid breaking something(or each other), and I can even eat a snack without sharing it! (I've got the hips to prove it.) However, the best thing about having even a little extra time is being able to sharpen my mental capacity.
Here we are, all of us, with a little extra time to use as we wish. I like to spend my time reading books about self growth as well as a good fantasy escape like the new hot release Wrath/Patience: Event Horizon Series One by Jasmine Johnson.
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”– Mason Cooley
We can also start writing, maybe you have a novel which you’d like to get on paper, or maybe you’re ready to start your blog. Now is the time to learn the steps and take action. Not a novel writer or reader? No worries, try a guided journal. My favorite is the Getting to Know Me Journal. It’s super fun and will help you remember things you probably rarely think of. Guided journals are a great way to remember yourself and fun to share with loved ones. Reading theirs is fun as well. I have a new friend who is 30 years my senior and a war veteran who I’ve sent one to in hopes of getting to read some of his stories. There’s even a version for kids which is a great exercise to keep their mind sharp during the new homeschool life.
This quarantine life doesn’t have to be reduced to filling the water reservoir in the Keurig machine with Baileys and binge watching trash series about tiger people. This is OUR time. We get to do what we want with it. It’s OUR house, it's our choice if we want to grow or to hide in it. This is our body, mind and spirit, we get to decide if we will nourish it or neglect it.
Share in the gratitude of this valuable time that has been forced upon us, and use it to do the things you never ‘have the time’ to do. Remember, we are free to choose what we do with our time, however we are not free of the consequences of our choices. Maybe if we make a collective choice to grow with this challenging time in history, the future will be a healthier, happier world.
I'll leave you with your freedom of choice and a quote;
“I wish it need not have happened in my time” said Frodo
“So do I" said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us.”