Are you spending your quarantine time at home, reading books, watching Netflix, doing jigsaw puzzles, and enjoying the heck out of it? Or maybe you’re industriously cooking and gardening, retooling your business to provide virtual services, cleaning and organizing your entire house, catching up on home repairs, learning a foreign language, and writing the next Great American Novel…? If so, this post is not for you. Carry on! You’re doing great!
If, on the other hand, you feel you are “wasting time”, and you’re feeling guilty about it…. or if you’re thinking, “Free time? What free time?!?!”, then this post is for you!
These are not normal circumstances
Many of us are 7 weeks into quarantine by now. 7 weeks? Wow. That’s a long time. Under normal circumstances, just imagine what we all might have accomplished during that time! But these are not normal circumstances. None of us has ever lived through a pandemic before, and we are all affected in different ways. All of us are shell-shocked with continually changing and conflicting information about COVID-19. Our lives have all been disrupted. But the similarities end there. Our employment and financial situations vary wildly, as do our living arrangements and health conditions. Even in the best of times, we all have different ways of coping with uncertainty and stress.
It simply takes more time and energy now to do and think about things we never had to worry about before. Like working from home when you never did before, while the kids are home, which they never were before. Toilet paper shortage? Masks? Social distancing? Comorbidities? Ugh!
We are all weathering the same storm, but our boats range from yachts to dinghies. Some of us may be shipwrecked, and others caught in an eddy. I hope your boat is weathering the storm and you aren’t too seasick!
To be productive? Or not to be productive?
Ah, that’s the question! I have read umpteen articles about HOW to be productive at this time, and an equal number of articles advocating that we give ourselves a break and not expect so much of ourselves, or others, at this time. It is a big enough topic that I have linked to several of these articles in the “Stay Productive and Focused (…or not…)” section of my Survive & Thrive Resource Roundup, which I update frequently. If you feel like you’re wasting time, I recommend reading one or more of them.
As for myself, I vacillate between being unproductive and feeling bad about it and being unproductive and not feeling bad about it. LOL? Actually, I’ve been productive in ways that are driven by the need to understand our collective situation, and to help where I can (resulting in new blog posts, resource roundups, newsletters, and social media posts). But I’m feeling the need to get back to my pre-pandemic projects: client work, Mom’s Boxes, genealogy research, finishing my book: What’s a Photo without the Story? A guide to telling the stories of your photos, family, and things.
Do you need a new schedule?
Part of the problem with quarantine is that no one really knows when it will end. Various parts of the country (and world) are “re-opening” now. Others will be slower to re-open. Even when everything is open everywhere, there will be individuals — like me, and maybe you? — who will need and want to continue to stay home. And then there is sure to be a “second wave”, if not a third, of illness and death. I will talk more about schedules in a future post. For now, though, if you had a routine that went out the window 7 weeks ago, and if you’re not returning to your old routine anytime soon, and if you haven’t yet settled into a new routine, it’s probably time. It will make you feel better (she says to herself).
How about a day off?
I recently took a day off and it did me a world of good. How did I know it was a day off if I’m home 24/7 anyway, and didn’t go anywhere? Well, I purposely did no work. No virtual clients, no planning, no writing, no personal tasks or projects, even. Nothing but guilt-free TV, hot tub, a previously-scheduled Zoom chat, audiobook, and jigsaw puzzle. OK, I did order groceries. But that’s all. Not even laundry. Every time I thought of a task that needed doing, I told myself, “Not today, it’s my day off. Put it on the list.” (My list is ALWAYS handy.) Or, “It’s already on the list. It can wait.” If you haven’t taken a day off lately, as I hadn’t, I highly recommend it! Do you need permission to take care of yourself? You’ve got it!
Are you thriving? Or merely surviving?
Please take a moment to check out my Survive & Thrive Resource Roundup, which is updated frequently, including the following categories:
- Stay Informed
- Stay Healthy
- Stay Prepared and Helpful
- Stay Productive and Focused (…or not…)
- Stay Grateful, Creative, Entertained, and Inspired
- Stay Connected
- Stay Calm
Have you been productive lately? Not so much? Feeling guilty? Got tips for us?
Please share in the comments below!
Copyright 2020 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life.
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