how I’m trying to feel more ‘normal’

Week three of coronavirus has me in a slump. I’ve been feeling an uncharacteristic lack of energy and motivation, that I can only blame on latent stress caused by all the uncertainty right now. I’ve been giving myself grace, but I know too much ‘grace’ will only result in excessive time on the couch, surfing social media and snacking. 

I realized this morning that I need to–at a minimum–do a few things each day to maintain some sense of normalcy during this health crisis. Before we started social distancing, I’d just settled into a new workout routine using Beachbody videos online, and was starting to feel like I was seeing glimpses of ‘pre-baby Holly’ with all the home organization going on around here.  But, between our trip to Alexandria earlier this month and a few weeks of being shut-in, I feel like I reverted back a little into post-baby survival mode. 

The first week of coronavirus was exciting, in the way a blizzard is exciting.  People are buzzing with predictions, stocking up on milk and bread, and everyone wants a snow day. The prospect of a week or two hunkering down with my family didn’t sound so bad.

The second week of coronavirus was less fun.  The reality started to sink in, and the fatigue of the everyday grew heavier and heavier.  Admittedly, my life hasn’t changed all that much; I’m still home with the baby just like I was before all this happened. Most of my day revolves around baby-care, with food preparation and clean-up a close second, and that’s still true now.  But the things I enjoyed the most about being a stay-at-home-mom (playdates, run group, popping into the co-op for a few things) have been taken away.

The third week–this week–looks even bleaker.  The number of cases continues to grow, and it’s becoming evident we’re going to be in lockdown longer than we anticipated.  Vacations are being canceled, parties are minimally attended and the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t all that bright.

BUT, before you go thinking this post is all doom and gloom (it’s not), don’t forget about all the good happening all over the country, and the world. Neighbors are waving from driveways, bears and rainbows are in windows and people are Zooming like crazy.  If you need a quick hit of happiness, don’t miss John Krasinski’s Some Good News.

Back to the whole point of this post: the three things I’ve decided I need to do each day to hang onto my sanity.

  1. Something Productive – This could be almost anything, from writing a blog post to cleaning a toilet.  I’m an accomplisher by nature, but I get overwhelmed into inaction when I’m stressed.  Sometimes doing something small is just the thing I need to get back on track. As the days get sunnier and warmer, I’m looking forward to getting out in the yard to clean out the flower beds.
  2. Something Outside – This includes movement and/or exercise.  I’m giving myself grace to walk instead of run, or do yoga instead of a HIIT workout.  Lately, I’m craving walks outside to clear my head and just get. out. of. the. house. Both sunlight and movement do wonders for our bodies under stress.
  3. Something Spiritual – I don’t particularly like the word ‘spiritual,’ but it fits here.  For me, this means watching our church’s sermons online, reading my Bible and spending time in prayer.  Despite our best efforts, Andrew and I have allowed Maelle’s nap time to keep us from church for the past few months. We weren’t even making time to watch the sermons, and I knew in my heart we were putting God on the back burner.  Now, just as I was trying to get us back TO church on the weekends, we can’t go. I’ve been feeling self-absorbed, and the irrational fears I deal with are beginning to creep back in during this time of increased stress; I need to get in the Word now more than ever.

These are the things I know will help me right here, right now.  Coronavirus–both the virus itself, the changes to our lives it has caused–has changed our lives, and we need to hang onto the things that are most important. What things are you doing each day to feel a little more normal?



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