One month into 2021, and we find ourselves still singing the same tune, hoping for life to return to normal. Stay-at-home-orders, distance learning, work-from-home, socially distancing ourselves... the list goes on and on.
Well, if you're anything like me, I'm feeling very tired of it all. It's like I've been holding my breath, waiting to exhale, only to be reminded that I can never exhale. Not yet, anyway. I miss seeing my friends and family. I miss seeing my children running around outside. I miss being able to eat out at restaurants. I miss it all. Note, that I live in Cupertino, California, where the stay-at-home-orders have been very strict (and confusing) since early December!
Here are the changes I've made in my life, to bring joy and happiness back in, and I hope you can find some good ideas to incorporate in your lives too.
- Every Friday, my two children and I go for a 1 mile run. Rain or shine. It takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes out of our day (there are days when we run/walk). Every time we complete our mile run, both of my kids will say to me, "Wow, that felt so good!!" Yes, that's right kids. Vitamin D and fresh air is so much better than the stale air that is emitting out of your dingy rooms!
- Every weekday morning, I wake up and do neck stretches. A lot of strain has been put on my neck and shoulders from working on a laptop at home. It takes 5 minutes, and it's simply sitting cross legged, and slowly rotating your head in one direction, then the other, stopping at areas that feel stuck or stiff. Then I lean my head to one side, as if I am trying to touch my ear to my shoulder, and I do a nice long stretch on the side of my neck. I stay in that position and rotate my head downwards, as if I were trying to smell my armpit. And oh my, your neck will thank you!
- Have open and honest conversations with close friends and family about how they feel about the pandemic. Everyone feels very differently about COVID-19. We all have our logic thinking on what is safe and what is not. I've seen how it segregates people due to differences in beliefs, and it then causes people to stop hanging out or being friends, and that's so sad. The best thing to do is to talk openly about it. We've been able to adapt to others by only doing cocktail-hour zoom calls with some friends, to getting take-out meals and eating outdoors with others, to quarantining 14 days before getting together with friends indoors.
- Pick up a new hobby or interest that does not involve the internet or your phone. I've found myself spending a lot of time on electronics (or binge watching The Office. C'mon, it's the best!) The kids and I starting crafting stuffed animals for Dolls of Hope. I attempted to bake for the organization cake4kids. And, randomly, I started receiving People Magazine (I have no idea how or why!) and our family started doing the crossword puzzle and now it's become a thing for us!
- Self-Care. Yes, do something that makes you happy. Go for a hike, or a walk. Craft something. Paint. Make a new cocktail. Read a good book. Light a candle and listen to music. Take a bath. Go for a run. Try a new bakery or get take-out from a new place to support your local restaurants. Do something, anything, that makes you happy.
- And lastly, to summarize it: stop waiting for COVID to end to be able to start living. Start doing it now. In fact, stop waiting for _____ (fill in the blank - be it, when I have more time, when the kids are older, etc.)
What other ideas do you have to keep yourself happy? Let us know!