Full disclosure: I’ve re-written the first line of this blog post at least 25 times. The last couple of weeks have been incredibly tough. I’m still figuring things out. I want to be here to provide inspiration, while being sensitive to a unique situation that is causing people a lot of pain. Personally, I’ve had to put a lot of energy into shutting off outside noise and trying to stay positive.
On that note, a reminder to take the time you need. Time to process, time to take a step back. I’ve found it very difficult to share on Instagram or to stick to the blog post schedule I built out this month. I have to be genuine when sharing my thoughts and staying positive, and I know I can’t force it. If you’re the type of person who thrives off of order and scheduling too, accepting that your routine is not only up-in-the-air (but also totally all over the place) is terrifying. I’m there too — you’re not alone.
I’ve been seizing moments of motivation when I can (spoiler alert: they’re rare). Focusing on the positives the last few days and throwing out my normal routine has helped. Checking the news and getting down on myself for not working out has not. Give yourself permission to take breaks, call friends, and sit on the couch. No room for guilt! Here’s what has brought me joy this past week…simple things that may spark an idea or two. I’d love to know what’s been working for you.
Starting a list of podcasts
I asked a couple friends to share their favorite podcasts with me, and now I have a running list of recommendations. So far I’ve been listening to Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us. It’s digestable and incredibly relevant right now, and at the top of my list if you’re looking for something to tune into. On my list to listen to next: Hysteria and Fresh Air.
Fostering a dog
We picked up a foster pup this week, Pono, and he’s been a welcome distraction. I’ve heard that many local shelters are seeing record fosters and adoptions, which is a small silver lining during this difficult time. If you’re interested in fostering, you can look up dogs or cats at your local shelter here. Another option is reaching out to your local humane society directly, which is what we did.
Going through old travel photos
I expected to have a hard time going through old photos, but that hasn’t been the case. More than ever I have been reflecting on so many positive memories from past travels. I want to travel more intentionally than ever when normal life resumes. I don’t have a plan for a lot of my old photos yet, but I’m hoping for inspiration in the coming weeks. If going through photos is on your to-do list, here is a post on how we organize travel photos.
Compiling documentaries to watch
It can be so easy to default to a show, but I really want to prioritize watching new documentaries right now. It’s one of the few times where I feel I can be productive and educate myself, all while sitting on the couch. Two documentaries I’m planning to watch in the next few days are The Eagle Huntress and Vurunga.
Making time for a morning routine
Though my day-to-day has not had much structure this week, I’ve always stuck with my morning routine. Having a schedule doesn’t mean you can’t break free from it! Here’s how I start my mornings when I want to be productive.
Playing board games and card games
Taking a break from screens is more important than ever and I’ve found this to be one of the best distractions. If you follow along with me on Instagram, you may have seen me mention Settlers of Catan more than once (it’s definitely a favorite). For more game recommendations, check out my ‘At Home’ story highlights on instagram for a full list.
Baking and trying new recipes
I’ve never defaulted to baking when I have free time. But something about the routine of prepping, mixing and baking has been helping me relax. Since I’ve had to stick to gluten-free diet for the past couple of years, I’m pretty limited with options. Two of my favorite brands for easy gluten free baking recipes are Simple Mills (products here, I added sprinkles to this vanilla cupcake recipe) and Bob’s Red Mill (products here). I googled how to make frosting by melting chocolate chips a few days ago. You have to start somewhere, right?
Scheduling Facetime dates with friends and family
This really does help, and it’s something I’ve been doing frequently. We are all going through this together and one of the best things we can take away from this is to be grateful for the supportive people in our lives. Take a moment to reach out to a friend or family member right now.
I can’t stress enough how important it is not to compare ourselves to others during this time. You are not ‘behind’ if you’re finding it impossible to start a new hobby or stay productive. Staying home is priority #1. For everything else, give yourself time.
Photos: old iPhone shots taken in California, edited with the Greek Islands Collection for mobile.