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Three On Thursday

The Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin had a special episode that dropped last Saturday and it was focused on advice and ideas for getting us through the coronavirus pandemic. I took Gretchen’s idea of having a plan of things to do and adapted it for my own situation and, knowing that Thursday was coming, I broke it down into 3 areas I want to address.

  1. Home. I’m obviously home a lot more than usual and think it presents an opportunity to tackle some projects I’ve been meaning to get to but putting off. In an extra Three on Thursday bonus there are three things I want to get to: our bedroom closet (the floor is a mess), my selectmen’s paperwork (I need a system for organizing that isn’t just throwing all that stuff on a shelf in our den) and the corner of our kitchen where the washer/dryer live (I want to find new places to store the stuff that winds up on top of those appliances.)
  2. Hobbies. Obviously knitting. I really hope to get going on my NightShift shawl later today. And I have a pair of jeans that used to have a smallish rip that made them cool but now that rip has gotten way too extended so I thought this would be a good time to explore some visible mending. Also reading. Obviously. And puzzles with Dale because they are good for our brains.
  3. Happiness. This one is trickier but probably the most important of all. Listen, I don’t even like going out most of the time and I’m feeling hemmed in so I know that self care is really important right now. I’d say at least once every day I feel overwhelmed and anxious and I cry. I’m lucky that I have Dale here to talk me off the ledge and I have wonderful support from friends who get it but I’d like to preempt those feelings if possible. So I’m upping the amount of time I spend meditating. And I’m committing to journaling, both about this unique time for our world but also just in general. And yoga. I got totally sidelined with my yoga routine when we went on our family vacation last month. Now is the perfect time to start that up again, I know it will help.

How are you handling the change in your routine these days? I’d love to hear your ideas and I bet others would, too.

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This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. I too made myself a list of projects/tasks to do while I’m staying home. I am fortunate that I am working from home so that fills most of the day. But it’s about establishing a routine and schedule. And I’m making it a point to get outside and take a walk each day. I’m concerned for my parents and friends and family that are most vulnerable and I want to do my part. But yesterday when I heard Maryland Sheep & Wool is cancelled, I wanted to cry. Not just because it’s something my friends and I look forward to all year, but also I think the reality of just how long this could go on became more real. I’m trying hard to be positive and take it one day at a time.

  2. One thing that I find I’m really missing is the exercise I normally get — usually I walk to and from my office every day (it’s about a mile away from my house). Yesterday I made a point of taking a brisk walk for about 20 minutes during my lunch “break” and that fresh air and sunshine made such a difference. I need to make physical activity a priority now that I’m not getting that daily movement in. Other than, I have mostly been doing okay, but I’ve also been pretty distracted by work. I have a feeling things are going to get harder as this busy period passes.

    I’m glad you have Dale there to help you calm yourself and that you have the resources of meditating and journaling. It’s going to be a long haul, I think, but we can get through this!

  3. I also had to make some plans so I didn’t just sit around and worry. I’m planning meals to make sure I use the food that I’ve got, planning seed starting and the garden, figuring out knitting details, walking every day, keeping up with household chores, checking in with my kids every day, meditating and meditating some more. It doesn’t look like much, but keeping busy is helping me. That Dale is a rock!

  4. Our routines haven’t really changed since we were home a lot already and work from home. But I do have to work on the time I spent checking the news. Trying to keep up with the local news (press conferences daily) and the news from the Netherlands (life blogs that keep updating all the time) just takes up too much time and – more importantly – energy. I’m trying to focus on the work that needs to be done (taxes, writing) and I’m finally getting really serious about learning Papiamentu (press conferences are in Papiamentu and I struggle to understand what they’re saying).
    I think it’s good to keep ourselves busy in times like this. Thinking and worrying too much won’t help…

  5. I started today making a checklist of things I need to “do” Every Damn Day so I can get back some sense of “normalcy” (HAH!) again: meditation, journaling, sun salutations, movement-that-makes-me-sweat, fresh air, something-productive and something-creative. You can see that NOWHERE ON THAT LIST does scrolling-through-news appear. Nowhere. Just putting it out there – in writing – so maybe it’ll stick.

    PS – After listening to the Happiness COVID-19 episode, can I just say that I’m really glad I’m not one of Gretchen Rubin’s daughters? My goodness, she is a directive mother. (Or is it just the Rebel part of me showing up????)

    1. I’m going to take your lead for making some lists. Today is really my first real day away from the office and it feels so strange after working for the last 5 years and then doing double time in the shop here. I’m not used to a lot of down time.

      I’m also with Kym, I am going to back down from all the news because it’s starting to overwhelm me and like you it makes me want to cry, especially for my kids. Ken is still working even though the center is closed, so it’s just me here. I just found out that a doctor at the hospital up here has the virus, so it’s all to close feeling right now.

      Kym’s comment about Gretchen made me chuckle. I’ll have to listen to it now. I tend to have some of those same Rebel genes..haha!

      Right now, I am going to go out for a walk even though it is lightly snowing. I’m sure that the fresh air will clear my head and help me create some better thoughts.

  6. I have made a major decision to NOT watch any of the news until later in the day. Watching was just stressing me out! Reading has been a struggle… I have not been able to focus and that is so painful! We also made a decision to order take out from the local restaurants once a week to help support them. Yesterday was pizza night and it was!

  7. I’m not really anxious (though I worry for Dan’s job…last man in…) but I do feel myself getting crabby. I’m making an effort to get outside for a walk every day but I think I’ll take Kym’s advice as well and make an every. damn. day. list! And the news…what news? 🙂 Truthfully I watch 5 minutes in the a.m. and 5 minutes at 10:00 and am not reading anything any longer. Stay strong friend!

  8. Like you, I can get myself so worked up and stressed out that I break down and cry. I live alone, except for my dog, so I don’t have anyone here to talk me out of it. Thankfully, I have a couple of friends who also live alone and my sister and we’ve agreed to call each other when needed and talk (not just text) and help keep each other focused on positive things.
    I have also begun to write out a schedule of things to do each day-exercise, stitching, knitting, reading, and some housework. I would love to get outside more, but it has been raining almost everyday for the past few months…I know some sunshine would help! My best wishes to you & Dale!

  9. Great ideas! I haven’t made a list but I’m definitely catching up on my knitting and reading. And I’m bored enough to go for an extra walk every day which can’t hurt.
    Stay healthy and sane. 🙂

  10. I definitely need to work on the “Happiness” area of my list. I think we are in for a long period of social isolation but I need to remember to live it one day at a time. I am going to “borrow” your ideas! 🙂

  11. Kym’s GR comment made me laugh…. I wrote in my post today about how I don’t typically like listening to Gretchen Rubin, would much rather read her. But I DID listen to that bonus episode, and I liked the ‘three-tier project’ suggestion. However–I DID come away from it wondering how she gets her family marching to her beat, and what does that feel like for them? Maybe they’re cut from the same cloth and are all on board, who knows. But when I brought the idea up at dinner two nights in a row, my 12-1/2 yr old son said, “This sounds like something we could talk about at dinner every night but never really get around to DOING.” 🙂 Oh, yes, let’s just call a spade a spade! (Troy and I might give it a go ourselves, though. It is a good idea…)

  12. I think Gretchen’s family gets her … did you read her post today ( there’s a photo of the notes Eliza took from their family meeting. She and Elizabeth are doing 4pm livestreams on IG and I watched yesterday’s (this morning) and enjoyed it. Will give it a try again today. Bottom line. I think whatever we can do to get through this time is all good. Just getting through each day is an accomplishment.

  13. YAY for Dale helping to keep you sane. We all need a rock occastionally. I’ve been busy getting my home office set up (laptop arrived yesterday; docking station and two monitors arrived today), but I do have an idea of things I’d like to (or need to) get done while “stuck” at home (I should write them down and I think I will). I am working out every day and will walk too (not today-rainy and grey all day). Feeling so scattered and distracted, it’s good to have some things to focus on and to keep busy.

  14. I have been exercising, which always, I mean always, makes me happier, less anxious, and more productive. I used to go to the Kroc Center, but they have closed, and with great generosity, they are offering the classes on FB live free of charge. I have been fooling around with a new routine, working in exercise, meditation, and breathing exercises. And I try to watch the news once a day, but I do scroll through Google news a couple of times a day quickly just to make sure no disasters have occurred that I need to know about. Any more than that makes me anxious and sad, so sad. I have signed up for a refresher course for sewing, but I haven’t started it yet. I would suggest one of the free Ivy League courses for those that are interested. It’s a great time to learn something new.

  15. I’m thinking along the same lines. Being home for 2 days I realize my office/craft room could do with some organizing. Plenty to knit, cross stitch, sew and read, and getting out for long walks has helped. I think it’s about balancing the things you can control.

  16. For we retirees, #saferathome is not a big change from normal life. I have more time for postpon–, er, *procrastinated* projects since all meetings are canceled.

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