Has anyone else lost complete track of the number of days you’ve stayed at home? We’re over a month into it, and I’ve been feeling the urge to just journal about this season of life and how we’re navigating it. It’s so eery to be aware that we’re actively living in history — like every single day is another day in history that will someday in the future be referenced as calamity, and it’s unfolding before our very eyes. This unprecedented time has brought on challenges, joys, fears, emotions, and what I’ve really come to terms with is that uncertainty feels heavy.
As a business owner, I’ve felt more pressure than ever before, and I’ve definitely gone through stages of gratitude and stages of grieving — not just for myself but for the people I serve. Having a team of 10 women who rely on your business to support their families is a weight to carry, and ensuring that the people we serve survive this season is what’s keeping me up at night. I don’t know a single business that hasn’t been impacted by this… Well, minus those at-home manicure kit companies. Those are probably doing great right about now.
10 Things I’ve Learned Since Social Distancing
While things have felt unsettling, my mom always taught us to look for the silver linings, and so I want to share a few of the blessings we’ve experienced:
01. New routines:
I’ll be honest, our day-to-day life hasn’t shifted all that much. I’m introverted, we all spend our days together while I work from home, and Drew is a stay-at-home dad. So for the most part, you could say that our everyday life is highly conducive to a quarantined order. And while our normal schedule still stands, we’ve been trying to go to bed early to get better rest. I’ve also been logging off at 5PM every night so that we can go on a family walk and do bedtime together. And I’ve been just more focused on work/life balance so that I can take care of myself while taking care of my people.
02. Fresh air:
Oh, how sweet that air is. I am so thankful for warmer temps so that we can spend as much time outside as possible. We’ve been spending a lot of time walking down by the water and just being outside. We’re even more thankful for our land and privacy so that we can be outside without fear. I am wildly thankful for this view and land and space and air to refresh us. I don’t think we’ve ever spent this much time outside, and it’s something I look forward to daily and as a family.
03. Moving my body:
Every since I had Conley, I’ve struggled to find a workout routine that I actually enjoy, one that I can fit into my daily life, and something that I can stay consistent with. In this season, I’ve been relying heavily on the Peloton app, and I even started running again (after a brief two-year hiatus ;-))
I’ve been challenging myself to move my body for 30 minutes each day during quarantine. Some days it’s a run, some days it’s a family walk, some days it’s dumbbells and crunches. Having the app has been such a blessing on my unmotivated days because it has something for everyone. I’ve been loving the guided outdoor runs and the short 5-minute strength workouts to target different body groups! They even have guided meditations and yoga practices.
04. Fun in the kitchen:
I’m the first to admit that Drew does that majority of the cooking in our household. However, I’ve been having more fun in the kitchen and creating new recipes. We are so thankful to have access to food and to be able to create nutritious and fun meals in this season.
I tend to crave comfort food when life gets stressful, and so I’ve been challenging myself to try new ingredients and to have healthy options on hand. One of my fave ingredients right now? Spaghetti squash! I’ve been making different casseroles with it, and I’m pretty sure I’ve officially tricked my brain into believing it’s actual spaghetti! I’ve been enjoying looking up new recipes and trying different food while we navigate at life at home.
05. More reading:
I set a goal to read a book a month this year, which isn’t all that much. I read every single night before bed anyway. It’s a non-negotiable in my life and some nights I stay up turning the pages while other nights I fall asleep on the second paragraph I’m reading.
I’ve been doing a mini book club with my mom in this season so that I have someone to talk to about what we’re reading, and she’s definitely pushing my pace more! I love reading and so staying consistent with that has been such a blessing, and when I find a great book, it’s such a welcomed distraction at the end of a long day. My last 3 reads are: Next Year in Havana, Maybe in Another Life, and The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
06. Consistent communication:
I laugh because I’ve probably seen my family MORE while we’re apart. With people relying more on technology, it’s been a great chance and opportunity to check in with loved ones, to FaceTime (daily if you’re Nana and Papa), and to set up group chats with girlfriends. While we are disconnected in proximity, most people seem to be focused on creative ways to stay connected, and I love that it’s become a part of our habits! One downside: Conley now LOVES our phones, something she never got to play on pre-quarantine, because the phone is where Nana is … so that’s been interesting.
07. Focused disconnection:
While boundaries are my thing, I usually work on the weekends when Conley naps (generally out of desire, not necessity). But since we’ve been at the lake, I’ve been using our little guest house as an office, and I’ve been challenging myself to leave my computer plugged in there so that it’s not within arms reach at all times. I’ve been really focusing on just being “mom” on the weekend, and it’s honestly been so refreshing and rejuvenating. We’ve been really enjoying our family time on the weekends and I’ve been enjoying naps and reading while she naps, as opposed to work all the time! It’s been a good reset for me to really see that boundaries are set to refuel and refocus us!
08. Cozying up our space:
We closed on this property back in October, and we’ve slowly been making it our favorite place to be. We usually would come here on the weekends so up until this time, we had only stayed here a few days at time. One month in, we can confidently say that this space is our favorite place to be. We’ve been moving things around, rearranging, decorating, hanging those pictures, and just slowly making it feel cozy and like home. It’s been such a blessing to have this extended time here. There is so much to love and getting to put our stamp on it only makes it feel more like home.
09. Getting back to basics:
From a business standpoint, it’s been a huge blessing to hit a slight “pause” button and pivot in a few different directions while we navigate this chapter with our students and followers. We’ve been creating in real-time, looking at the needle movers, testing and experimenting in new ways, and getting creative.
It’s easy as an entrepreneur to create systems and let them run, but when something gets interrupted and you’re forced to assess, it can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. It’s allowed us to move forward with even more grit and conviction. I am super proud at how we’ve been serving our audience well, while also working on the basics behind the scenes to keep our foundation firm.
10. Finding unique ways to give back:
I feel like every day I wake up and try to figure out how we can make a dent in this season. Whether it’s paying for one year’s worth of haircuts to help our hairdresser make her rent payment or creating another resource for our audience, I have been challenged (and have grown) with discerning where my time, money, and energy is best spent. It’s been a time where I think we all are reevaluating what matters, how are we impacting, and what does that look like when lived out daily. The challenge has definitely forced me to be more creative in how we serve, show up, and think through decisions as difference makers.
There have been so many moments of joy (watching Conley learn and grow and explore, time at the lake, concentrated family time) and a lot of sadness (being separated from our loved ones, seeing business impacts, and trying to navigate it with grace). But this season is one that we will remember forever. These memories, good and bad, are being imprinted into our minds. I’m doing my best to ground myself in truth every morning, to extend grace to myself and others, to lead with conviction, and to keep my priorities straight. I don’t have all the answers. But I do know that someday we’ll look back and say, “Remember when,” and I hope that the rest of that sentence focuses on the joys we found in the season of unknowns.