2. I’m adjusting my schedule.
Because I don’t have the time that I want to have during the day, I will magically create time. As someone who LOVES and NEEDS sleep, I’m going to sacrifice that and wake up a couple of hours early to get some writing in. It’s the only way I can tame my resentment at not being able to have the free time I envisioned I would have. If it just so happens that I have a bad night, I’m going to push an extra hour after my son’s bedtime. The most important thing we can practice during such a time is flexibility. Not just of our schedule, but our mind. For example, I can’t be angry at missing the morning hours from time to time. I’ll have to re-assess throughout the day and see where I can catch up. See if you can create a freeform schedule in your mind with how you want your day to go, but add some padding in there for the unexpected distraction to happen.
3. I’m grieving my planned activities.
Like all of you, I had plans for the next coming month. My birthday is coming up, my son’s birthday is coming up, my 10th anniversary is coming up – all within days of each other. We had a trip planned to France for a few days to get away on a babymoon before the second baby comes. My best friend booked a weekend to stay with us. I had tickets to an interesting conference that got canceled. My massages got rescheduled, and my prenatal yoga was postponed. The list goes on and on. I’m grieving each one of these separately. If I let myself be angry at missing all of these things, I’m going to rip myself away from the current reality, which is the one thing I don’t want to do. Staying in the present and coping with social distancing measures as they evolve is the only thing I can do to stay sane. Think of all the things you had planned or wanted to do in the next few months, and then let them go.
4. I’m grateful for the positive aspects.
They say that practicing gratitude is the way to a healthier mind. In times like these, when anxiety runs high, it’s even more important to say out loud the things we’re grateful for. Because there’s always something. Here’s my list of things that I’ve grateful for:
- I spend time with my son before his sister comes in June and changes the whole family dynamic.
- I can learn to really be in the moment without letting the future affect how I feel.
- Springtime is here, and the sun is finally shining even though we can’t go anywhere.
- I’m saving multiple hours a day by not commuting to work.
- I get to stay in bed longer with my son in the morning without needing to be anywhere or do anything.
You don’t have to write it down, but when you get into a state of panic, wondering how you’re going to make it out alive, think of something you’re grateful for. I promise it helps.
5. I’m indulging whenever possible.
The phrase treat yo’ self never felt more relevant than now. I’m making it my current life motto because if I don’t have something to look forward to every day, I’ll capsize. Pancakes for breakfast. Oreo cookies after dinner. Hot coffee throughout the day. I’m not holding back on making the small moments count. When I found out that Disney was releasing Frozen II earlier than expected, I put that on my list of things to look forward to. It might seem minor, but if we have something we can do as a family and it’s novel, then it’s a double win. I made sure to stock up on chips, popcorn, and cookies for this special event. Add some sweetness to your day.
I know that things will continue to develop worldwide in the next few days and weeks. We might find ourselves in Italy’s shoes in complete and utter lockdown, unable to leave our homes. Coping with social distancing at its extreme.
I’m preparing myself for that now but with the hope that it won’t materialize.
I know everyone is getting bombarded with articles and newsletters about how the coronavirus, but I wanted to write something from the introvert’s perspective because this turn of events also impacts us. Just because we enjoy time to ourselves doesn’t mean we’re having an easy time coping with imposed isolation. So here’s the only request I have:
If you could write 5 things about coping with social distancing, what would they be?
This article was featured in Introvert, Dear.