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What Staying at Home Really Taught Me During the Pandemic

Slowing down is okay

Photo by Nathan Riley on Unsplash

Being in lockdown for three, going on four months has really taken a toll on everyone. Let’s face it, we all have really lost track of the days or time at one point, right?
I’ve tried to keep on schedule as much as possible, shutting my phone off at night so that I’m not tempted or rather distracted to scroll through newsfeeds, social media, etc, by doing so, I’ve managed to sleep through the night without having my mind go through what I’d like to call “solving the world’s problems” mode. It wasn’t easy, I started by turning off my phone by ten pm, no later, then gradually, I would decrease it by 30 minutes or so. Eventually, I got to the point of where I am now able to shut it down by 8:30 pm and I don’t think twice about it. It is a healthy habit that I will be taking with me into the future.

I also have a very strict morning routine. While I am able to spend more time with my pet, I keep him and myself on the same work schedule that I’ve always done. Mornings consist of breakfast, a little playtime with my sweet cat (after brushing and treat-time), then, it’s off to my in-home office to write a few articles and catch up on email, business musts and such. To my surprise, Maddox settled in quite nicely and adores curling around my chair or napping under my desk while I work away. I have found that this time together really has deepened our bond with each other. I love having him near, and sometimes I will catch him snoring or watching me lazily from his cat-bed, which I brought in for him to relax in. This time has taught me to slow down a bit, to not rush through the day as I often would, being home has made me a little less serious and a little more apt to take a few more breaks, and play, something I would never do if I was rushing off to an office every day.

I think this time has also taught me the importance of self-care. I’ve gotten in the habit of lingering over my coffee in the morning, enjoying the cool air coming in from my kitchen window, and I’m stopping now to actually prepare some lunch, making healthier choices. While I used to just eat out for dinner, (and I still do carry-out, just not as much) I am now dabbling into making homemade pizza, pasta, and fajitas in my very own casita. Oh, and I’ve even made my own homemade salsa! Trust me on this, it beats the jarred variety by a landslide.

One sweet thing to come out of all of this is that my pet is loving the extra time I spend with him. I get wake up snuggles, those precious moments before the alarm goes off, I have an office assistant that doesn’t make too many demands, I get extra exercise each day playing a mean game of sponge-ball fetch, and I have a constant dinner companion, waiting for shrimp, turkey, chicken or a tiny bite of steak each evening. I have discovered personality traits that are so endearing, and I’m honestly glad to have had this time to discover all of them.

Here’s what I’ve learned that probably can help you going forward:

  • It’s okay to slow down- Yes, you still have to meet those deadlines, but you can do so putting your best self into them. It’s fine to turn that phone off at night and put yourself and your family into the spotlight. A rested person, someone who isn’t stressed out is going to do a better job than someone who is running 24-7.
  • Pets teach us the importance of play- Take time to do something that you enjoy, don’t be so serious, it’s healthy to laugh, to watch a few birds or wildlife from the window, or enjoy that sunshine, even to nap if we truly need to.
  • Take some me time- Proper care and feeding of the human is important. Light candles, enjoy a bubble bath, read instead of watching tv.
  • Vary up your routine- Try a new recipe, taste something different other than your usual burger.

Use this time wisely to enjoy your home, your quiet time and work productively, who knows, you could discover a very healthy habit.

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