Greetings from the DC metro area! Let me start by saying I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and are following the advice of your local health professionals during the pandemic. As our world is changing, for the foreseeable future focus on the things you can control. If you are in an area practicing social distancing and staying in is not your usual practice here are some tips.
- Establish a routine
My routine before all of this, was get up, get the kids ready, get to the day job, get home, and get the kids dinner then start writing. Rewind to the last week when my husband and I found out that schools would be closed for the next two weeks. In my day gig, I’m a healthcare worker and my job is essential. So that meant things were going to change fast for us.
Fast forward to the new routine—get up, get ready, make sure that the homeschool is set up for the day and my husband does the day shift when I do the night shift. Routines are good. Routines provide structure, even if they have to change. Any new parent can tell you the sooner you get that baby on a routine the more orderly your life is going to become.
- Set aside a place for your work
Last week I wrote about the importance of finding a place in your home where you can work. Our brains are wired for familiarity. The subconscious knows that’s where you work and get you into the proper mindset.
Also if you have children, or other people living with you, who are going to be home for the foreseeable future, having established spaces for work will help you cope with the changes we are all experiencing.
- Make a schedule
Create a work schedule and stick to it. We are saturated with the news cycle. It’s easy to lose focus and spend the time looking at every media source on television and social media. I know this sounds a little like high school, but it goes back to having structure. You know your work, you know your tasks. You know what needs to be done. Focusing on what can be done and when to do it and then focus on things you can do for recreation. My advice set a timer. It works with kids and it works for kids.
- Review an old project
If you’re like me, you have a list of unfinished projects somewhere. If you have more time at home take the time to review them and see if you can finish them now. The inspiration you may have been looking for could be there now. To quote Jan Levinson from the Office, “There are always a million reasons not to do something.” Look for the one reason to do it.
- Connect with people around you
This week I was invited to two virtual book clubs and a writing group. There are ways to connect with people even with social distancing.
If you’re part of a Facebook group, check-in. The digital world allows us an avenue of communication that wasn’t around twenty years ago. People do not need to become completely isolated.
- Take care of yourself
Remember to practice self-care. You have to take care of yourself first to help care for the other people in your life.
If you meditate, practice yoga, jog, then keep doing it. YouTube has many online videos and classes available. If you are religious and attend a church or synagogue, most religious institutions have set up chatrooms for people to attend.
As I’m finishing this blog my Harry Potter calendar has caught my attention and I noticed that Spring starts today in the Western Hemisphere. What I love about Spring is the idea of rebirth. I encourage everyone to focus on the fact that Spring is here and that the coronavirus will not be with us forever. Remember go outside if you can and enjoy the weather.