Our entire normal world was knocked upside down last week as we made the easy decision to self quarantine.  Swim practice, school, going to work, exercising at the gym, going to church, and eating out were all canceled… in a matter of hours.  As a result, our days look at lot different as we navigate through our “new normal”. Here are some things we are learning and trying to help keep us sane during the coming weeks of social distancing.

  1. Moving.  Getting out and moving my body is key.  Obviously, going to the gym is out, so I’ve been doing lots of walks around my neighborhood.  Being present with my thoughts and seeing Atlanta’s spring blooms helps me shift my perspective.
  2. Talking.  I’ve talked to my sister every day to process what is happening and texted with good friends.  Staying connected to others is key.
  3. Special activities.  I’m being creative with our schedule to find new, fun things to do.  Today, we looked through photos of a family trip to Ireland to reminisce about our adventures.  We’ve also planned pizza and movie night on Friday and tomorrow we are going on a hike.
  4. Delete.  I went through my calendar and deleted items that aren’t happening.  That way, I’m not sad about what we are missing. Instead, I’ve been scheduling Facetime dates and putting those on my calendar.  
  5. Seek help.  I had a zoom call with my therapist today.  It’s always good to process my emotions with a professional and I value her perspective.
  6. Be outside.  We moved some of our back yard chairs to our front yard.  I like to sit out front, read, wave at neighbors, and watch the sunset.  It helps my body to feel the natural rhythm of the day.  
  7. Start new routines.  I’ve stopped watching tv during the day and only watch it at night.  It helps me wind down and feels new compared to if I had it on all day.  Since we are quarantined, I cook dinner every night. I start dinner around 5pm and Peck wraps up his work by 6pm so we can all eat together.  Then our friends meet us for an evening chat at our fence. It’s become a nice, new routine.
  8. Grace.  I’m not putting lots of pressure on my homeschooling endeavors.  If JB is upset, I’m not pushing him. We are all working through the stress of a new normal.  No reason to make it any harder due to unrealistic expectations we put in ourselves.
  9. Find joy.  I baked homemade cookies today.  They turned out really well and made me happy.  JB’s dance moves always make me smile so I’m trying to encourage that more.  
  10. Spread out.  Let’s be real.. there is a new amount of togetherness that is a LOT more compared to just a week ago.  We’ve spread out in our house- dining room is for school work, the basement is Peck’s new office, the kitchen and front yard are my domain, and JB has the living room and back patio.  Spending time separate and rotating spaces seems to help with the cabin fever.
  11. Focus on a day at a time.  We have no idea how long this new normal will last.  Instead of focusing on that unsurity, take each day as it comes.  Make plans for today and get through it. Even if you have to be flexible with your plans, that’s ok.  Take it one day at a time.
  12. Keep meeting, but not in person.  Tonight, my Wednesday night women’s devotion group is going to gather in our individual homes for our weekly devotion time.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s face and checking in with them.
  13. Cooking.  I have been making at least one meal a day and enjoying the process.  Since we have somewhat limited supplies, being creative about what we consume first has been a fun challenge.  I am very comfortable working in the kitchen and creating yummy food during this time has been a wonderful part of our new normal.

How are you coping with your new normal?  Do you have any tips or tricks that are working for you or your family?  If so, please share!

Xoxo, brooke


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