Earlier this week, Gov. Pritzker announced that IL restaurants would be ready to reopen by 5/29. within 24 hours Lori Lightfoot said that she doesn't feel as if the city of Chicago is able to accommodate that, and I have to agree. At first, I was surprised to agree with her because if you told March 12 me (which was the day my office implemented mandatory work from home) that I was be shut in for at least 10 weeks with no end in sight, I would have gone insane.
Instead...I'm really liking this situation. Which is surprising. While I do get bored easily, and do have anxieties about how "the new normal" will look once things do eventually open up in phases, I feel like I've only really begun to master living at home, working full time, while implementing side projects, fitness, and diet accordingly.
Here are some changes that I've made this week, that I'm really loving
Stop being so hard on myself!
Over the first two months, I decided the best way to get through quarantine was to stay productive on a week-to-week basis. While keeping up productivity is still very important to me, I've learned to be more relaxed about the time allotted to these - meaning, I don't necessarily have to do one project per week, as long as I'm staying productive overall.
Finding a work out that works!
I've been good about working out most of my days during quarantine, however I finally found a workout I'm emotionally invested in! I recently discovered the dance workout section of YouTube, and learning choreography to some of my favorite songs & artists has been the funnest way to make 45-60 minutes of working out and getting my heart rate up fun
During this time, a lot of my friends have gone back to their parents house (if they moved out before), or else are sheltering at home where they always were. At a time like this, it's easy to feel the weight of financial responsibilities and general adulting that other friends of mine just may not have right now, so it's easy to feel isolated in that sense. That's been kind of getting me down over quarantine, but I'm starting to gain closure and only focus on things I can control.
It's been a little to easy to eat what/whenever I want - same goes with sleeping, actually. But in adopting this kind of intermittent fasting, I eat all my food within 8 hours of my day, and let my body metabolize it for the remaining sixteen. As I've only adopted doing so this week, it's too soon to tell results. However, mentally knowing I have this limited amount of time makes me more mindful in terms of pacing my meals and snacks, as well as grabbing at them late night.
Fortunately, working from home does help with this, as I am able sleep in without a commute, as well as working out before eating. Since college, I've basically been in the habit of skipping breakfast, since I'm just not very hungry in the morning. Now, I am able to work out before eating anything (as opposed to after work), so I find that doing so has helped me better pace out my day.
Getting my skin and hair back on track
During the weeks 4-8 of sheltering at home, my skin was a hot mess. I'm talking more acne at once than I've had in years, and I couldn't put my finger on why. Truth be told, I'm still unsure of the reasons, but it may have something to do with eating convenient meals such as stove-heatable soups, etc. but I've been able to clear up my skin for the most part with a diligent skincare routine that I've had time to stick to.
Similarly, last year was very stressful for me and I ended up losing a lot of hair. My whole life, I've had really thick hair, but I was shedding it like crazy with not having the time or energy to properly care for it. Around the middle of December, I cut a bunch of it off and let it re-grow naturally. Now that I have the time to properly care for it, I've noticed it start to thicken back up.
Thankfully, I still have a revenue stream during this time. I was getting dangerously close to getting laid off, but a miracle occurred about an hour and a half after the last day where I clocked out - so, needless to say, it was a very stressful situation down to the last minute. With not having anywhere to commute to during the day, or go to after work, or over the weekend, my back account balance has literally doubled.
When going over finances this week, I noticed that since the shelter-in-place order was enforced, all my cash flows have been positive. It makes "sense" that it was negative before given that I was allowed to spend money if or when I pleased, in the form of being able to go out and do things. But this experience has kind of made me redefine what "living my best life" is.
Being okay with just "being okay"
Sometimes, it feels like my mind is in overdrive, and when I'm not "busy" enough, I start to over-analyze. During the first month or so, I found myself generally "duller" and having less energy as most of the options that I purse for fun, I was being devoid of. I found myself being more aggressive than I was intending to, and not bringing much energy to those whom I could interact with. This week, I've decided to be more mindful. I made a list of all the biggest seven concerns in my life and have attempted to flip the script, and count things that I'm grateful for instead. Even though I am yet to make a physical list, it's important to reflect on both - and doing so has affected my optimism overall.