While these extraordinary times we find this year 2020 to be, it's easy to get bogged down by all of the negativity. Certainly there is justifiable concern for those affected by COVID both patients and front line workers. There is stress due to financial crisis of being forced out of work. There are so many emotional factors that are affected by the circumstances we are experiencing.
For reasons I can't explain, I've always been a 'look for the silver lining' kind of person. I've always compensated the 'bad' in life by focusing my attention on the 'good'. Call it instinct or survival skills, I truly don't know where it comes from. I walked away from organized religion many years ago, but still find myself a privately spiritual person. Is all of this connected? Surely, as we are wonderfully messy humans, one part of our life can't help but spill into other parts, no matter how hard we try to separate things.
So recently, I've found myself finding comfort and strength in some self care routines that have become more important since quarantine. Some of these habits have been established many years ago, and some are getting a new focus now that life has granted me the time to reflect. Whatever your self care routine includes, I hope that you are taking good care of yourself, now more than ever.
Here's my Quarantine Self Care list:
1. Vitamins and Supplements. I've become more regular in my supplement routine and I feel the difference. I take some multivitamins and I've added a few supplements like this one and this one (which makes a noticeable difference in the joint pain.)
2. Smoothies. I've added more fresh fruits and veggies to my diet by making homemade smoothies almost every day. I've been sharing some of these recipes on Instagram. I swear by my Nutri Bullet. I've had it for years and it works like a champ!And let's be honest, I wouldn't consume much kale if it weren't for the magic of hiding it in these amazing treats!
3. Reading. Since I'm not working at all anymore (other than longarm quilting for customers) I give myself permission to read every day. I've also found some wonderful enjoyment in listening to books on Audible. I don't know why I thought that wasn't going to appeal to me, but it really does.
4. Outdoor Adventures. Each week we choose a hike or trail to visit as a family and go on a little nature adventure. Some have been more strenuous than others, but its a great way to see some new scenery and get some fresh air! We look for locations that allow dogs so we can take Boomer with us. Our senior dogs are happy to stay home and nap.
5. Clearing Out Clutter. That's right. Instead of cleaning closets like it's a punishment, I've begun to think of it as lifting a literal and virtual weight off my home. I get great satisfaction knowing that things are gone and being used by someone else rather that taking up shelf space here. If I haven't used something in the past year, or don't have specific plans to use it in the next year, it's leaving. I'm a regular at the Goodwill donation drive through.
6. Home Cooked Meals. More time at home means more time to cook. And having my three adult kids here makes meal time way more fun. I am enjoying meal planning simple pasta dishes, salads, and the occasional dessert. For a while, I REALLY missed eating out at restaurants. I still do to some degree. But I'm taking this opportunity to enjoy the sweet faces at my own dinner table, and it is just a bonus that we are eating healthier at home.
7. Reducing Disposables. I've always been cognizant of reducing waste and recycling. I love this planet and I want to do my part to keep it clean and safe. The bonus of cooking more at home means fewer take out container and paper products. I would love to switch from paper altogether to cloth napkins and towels in the kitchen, if you've done this, I would love any suggestions!
8. Flossing. Don't laugh! I have had some serious dental work done recently (replacing childhood fillings that were outdated with new crowns) that has put me out of commission more than once. I've always been motivated by a huge fear of the dentist, so I brush with the best of them, but now I floss twice a day instead of once.
9. H2O. I've been a good water drinker for years, but being home allows me to track my intake and I can honestly say I see and feel a difference in my skin when I drink more water. And no, I don't count my morning coffee! LOL
10. Gratitude. It's true that we tend to see what we are looking for. If' we look for deficiencies we see them, if we look for blessings, we find them. I'm finding that focusing on gratitude has a way of showing me things that I've taken for granted. While I miss getting together with friends for coffee, I am thankful that I have a comfortable porch on which to enjoy my morning coffee. While I miss traveling, I adore the cozy spaces in my home that keep me safe. Sure, there is always room for improvement, but when snuggling under a quilt, reading a good book and loving on my pups is my focus, I can overlook the peeling paint and other minor issues. See how that works? I believe that is self care at it's core.
I would love to hear what you are doing to make this crazy year a better time for you. How are you taking care of yourself? If you're not, I hope you start! Because if you are still reading this, you are one of my people and that makes me very thankful for you.