"I can't wait until we return to reality."
"I can't wait until I get back to my normal life."
"I can't wait until we get back to real life."
I've heard these phrases a few times throughout quarantine. In fact, I've said them many times myself.
Friends, here is the harsh reality (for myself included).
THIS IS REAL LIFE.
It may feel like a twisted augmented reality that no one could have possibly dreamt up, but this is real life.
And it is happening right now whether we like it or not.
How we choose to live this new normal can make a huge difference. Will we let life happen to us or for us?
I don't like being stuck in my house day after day anymore than you do. And, I struggle throughout the week in a variety of ways but I have been doing a few things that help me make the best of the situation, accept this current reality as just that, reality, and find enjoyment in the little things.
I want to share a few of these things that have worked for me. My hope is to send some positive vibes your way and maybe inspire a few new ideas that you can implement into your life!
CREATE A QUARANTINE BUCKET LIST.
Include anything and everything that you can do during quarantine. Now's your opportunity to think outside of the box and get creative. A few things on our list: have a homemade pizza party, learn a new dance move, run a virtual 5k, make kindness rocks, hike a new trail. We've been crossing items off our list each week and adding new things on as we think of them. It gives us some new things to look forward to in lieu of other things we aren't able to do.
BEGIN EACH DAY WITH GRATITUDE.
Start each day writing down three to five things you are grateful for. Get granular here, not just big things like 'my kids' or 'my home'. Spend some time really thinking over what happened the last 24 hours and write down some of those cherished moments or things that occurred. For example, one of mine from this past weekend was spending Saturday morning in kitchen making from-scratch paleo cinnamon roll pancakes.
MOVEMENT EVERY DAY!!!
You shouldn't be surprised to see this one here. No doubt that it's been key to my physical and emotional well being every day before and during this time at home. Has it been a little more challening to make it happen daily? Yes. However, it's one non-negotiable that I make sure to do every day. It makes a world of difference for my mind and attitude and I know it will do the same for you.
MAKE A JOY LIST.
This is a fun, and easy, one. Write down a list of all the things that bring you joy. Don't forget to include things that maybe you can't even do right now, like go out to dinner with friends. Do items on your joy list regularly. For the things that you can't easily do at home, what are the elements of those things that you could recreate? For example, you can't go out to dinner but how could you take that idea and do it at home like maybe grab takeout and enjoy the meal with friends over a Zoom video chat.
Find new ways to adjust to your 'new normal' and enjoy it best you can. Don't spend the summer months letting life pass you by. Make life work for you not against. Yes, it is an absolute bummer that camps are canceled and pools are closed. Grieve the loss of those favorite summer memories and then get creative with new things you can do in the absence of what might have been. Contrary to what others are saying, summer is not canceled. It's just different.
Summer is where the bucket list could really come in helpful! It will force you to think outside the box and create new experiences that you may not have given the light of day if it weren't for this situation. Jotting down your gratitudes will help you kickstart each day with a few moments of positivity, reflecting on the good that has occured rather than focusing on the could have's or what if's. Movement will save your mind, body and spirit. TRUST ME! It doesn't have to be anything crazy each day, but do show up and move for 20-30 minutes daily and I promise it will make you feel better. Lastly, your joy list will serve as a reminder of all your favorite things that make you feel happy. When you're having an off day or moment, get out your joy list and do at least one thing from your list. Go grab your favorite coffee (takeout of course), give yourself a face mask, read a book, take a bath. Whatever it is, allow yourself to feel joy without any guilt.
There you have it! I hope this post provide you with a little inspiration!
Sometimes we (again, myself included) need a little reminder that this is indeed real life. Time to embrace it and make the most of it!