Knowing what to do during a global pandemic while sheltering in place is basically a full-time job and also the world’s greatest mystery.
Am I doing this pandemic thing right?
Is it weird to be taking a bath at 2pm in the afternoon?
Good morning, plants!!!!
Well, these jeans feel a wee bit snug.
Is this real life?
Oh look, that’s a pretty flower!
Ok, guess I’m in a sad mood today.
Anthony, can you make me a mini manhattan, please?
Like anything in life, the only thing I can do is try my best. Be patient with others even if my brain wants to explode. Have compassion knowing that everyone is in an entirely different situation and mindset.
At the end of the day, I’m grateful to just be alive. To be able to breathe in the fresh air, have a roof over my head, clean water, and know in my heart and in my head, that there is an end in sight.
Albeit, the world may look very different once this is all said and done (but will it ever really be all done?) – life will still go on.
In the meantime, this is what I have felt, been doing, not doing, and have discovered while sheltering in place for the past two months.
Connecting with people.
The old saying, distance makes the heart grow fonder, has never been truer.
I long for the faces of my loved ones – I find myself calling, texting, video chatting with them randomly, and as often as I want, because well, I need to and want to. I miss in-person laughter and clinking my wine glass with someone else’s glass and not a screen.
I cry sometimes just while chatting with my people or perhaps I’ll wait until we hang up as to not make anyone else sad.
This moment in time that has kept me physically distanced from my people is a strong reminder that life is short and to spend time with the ones I love.
There is something so damn meditative about puzzling. Ironically, even those moments of pure frustration when I can’t find that one dang piece, I still feel calm, mindful, and as if I’m giving my brain a workout.
And then there’s that feeling of pure bliss when placing that very last piece in its oh so perfect spot.
Oh, it’s the little things in life.
Accepting my feelings as they come and go….
And trying not to beat myself up over productivity or comparing myself to others. My emotions have fluctuated over the past two months. Sometimes gently, at other times a rush of tears squirt out while out for a run. Good times.
I’ve mourned my mother as her one year anniversary crept up, but I’ve also been elated to see my best friends’ faces over a screen several times a week. I’ve embraced so much beauty in nature but have also worried greatly about my loved ones.
You see, there’s a lot going on. But it is what it is and I do my best to go the flow of beautiful emotions that run through me.
It makes me feel human. It makes me feel happy to be alive.
Pro tip: if you are feeling bad about your body…DON’T. Put on some tunes, dance in front of your mirror, and remind yourself how beautiful your vessel is. Coming from someone who used to constantly judge and compare my shape and size – F that. Embrace the skin your in. It loves you and does everything for you. Love it back.
Splish splash I was taking a bath….a lot.
Tub time has always been part of my existence and self-care regiment, however, shelter-in-place has upped the amount of time I find myself soaking. Some days I read the paper, other days I find myself relaxing to music, and once in a while, I just sit in silence and breathe.
It’s important to set up the ambiance. Light a candle, add some Epsom salts, dim the lights, throw on a podcast, sip some wine, or sparkling water. Do whatever will have you soaking your stress away. Reach out if you need suggestions, I’m a bathing pro.
Plants, plants, plants.
I’ve repotted them, named them, been talking to them, and caring for them more than ever before. Oh, and when I say I’m talking to them – full-blown conversations over here. I feel like I’m flirting with them with all the compliments I am dishing out. No joke, some of them are thriving!
Indoor house plants really add so much life and color to a home.
What I’m watching.
Here’s my tv list. I am obsessed with each one for different reasons and am thankful that there is some quality stuff on the boob tube.
Succession (HBO). My Brilliant Friend (HBO). The Last Dance. Dead to Me (Netflix). I Know This Much Is True (HBO). Anne with an E (Netflix). The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and New York (BRAVO). A Secret Love (Netflix). Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (HBO).
Stepping back into my comfort zone.
Many moons ago, I was an entertainment reporter for a local race track and dabbled in some traffic reporting. Without a flinch, I can tell you it was one of my favorite career moments in my life. Perhaps had I pursued it, I would have found an opportunity in television, but living in the past is for the birds.
One of Michelle’s best ideas for The Sister Project yet is our Live @ 5 Instagram show. Every weekday we hop on live, interview humans we love and are inspired by, and share some of our lives with our community.
Teaching live yoga every Saturday morning, also live on Instagram, has given me purpose and an opportunity to keep my skillset strong.
It has been such a thrill to get back “on-air” (for the lack of better words) and talk.
Follow us on Instagram at @thesisterproj! We’re having a lot of fun, trust me on this one.
What I’m listening to.
Tunes: Una Mae Carlisle (jazz). My Brilliant Friend (soundtrack). Soundtracked (Spotify playlist). Moby. Kygo. Johan Strauss. Franz Schubert.Tchaikovsky.
More listening and viewing suggestions, here.
What I’m reading and what’s on my list.
Cutting back on technology…
Cutting back on social media and the news has helped my mental health immensely. There is truly too much out there and I’ve found that there’s nothing wrong with putting a limit to how much I choose to be exposed to. It’s very empowering to say NO to sh*t that doesn’t serve me. And that goes for anything in life.
If you find yourself getting perturbed by a group text thread, place it on “do not disturb”. Need some time away from your phone, place the whole dang thing on “do not disturb”. You have the power to protect your heart and mind.
I have found the folks I enjoy following on social media don’t trigger me. AKA they don’t give me anxiety. They lift me up. The end.
Sending letters, journaling, & our weekly newsletter.
Taking the time to send some love via snail and logging my daily go abouts has proven to be quite therapeutic and downright old fashioned. Indeed, putting pen to paper has been a soothing way to pass time.
Our newsletter also tends to keep me very busy. It allows me to create – and I love creating. It also allows me to have a strong sense of consistency which is really important during this time. If you haven’t signed up for it yet, please do! It’s my weekly labor of love. Expect to see it in your inbox every Friday morning.
You can sign up for our weekly newsletter, here. I look forward to corresponding with you.
Long walks and lots of falling in love with nature.
Spring has sprung, my friend!
Nature is really putting on quite a stunning show this season. The trees have never looked so vibrant, more shades of green are taking over the parks, and the chirping of birds makes me feel like Snow White.
Long walks have proven to help de-stress as well as add positive vibes to my day.
Mother nature is one hell of a show stopper.
Creating a day filled with rituals and all the things that make me happy.
Sundays are a gift. I wake up early, grab my paper, make coffee, and read for hours while all snuggled on my couch watching people pass by.
Side note: I’m in separate New York Times reading clubs with my dad, best friend – Maggie, and my sister, Michelle. It’s fun to read the same thing on the same day and chime in about it throughout the morning and afternoon.
When it’s warm enough outside, I’ll open the windows where waifs of neighbor’s cooking float in my house. After my paper, I may go for an explorative walk, bake something new and delicious, or take on a big project in our home. Projects like cleaning out as many cabinets that I have time for or re-potting all of my fifteen or so plants.
We’ll make a delicious dinner and cozy up in our plant-filled television room for a show to two to end the day.