At this point, many of us in the Bay Area, CA, are working from home. Social distancing is necessary to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and thus we are all encouraged (or forced) to stay indoors. However, people can go outside to get food, medicine, visit a doctor, or care for people in need. Non-essential movements must be limited.
Working from home in itself is not a bad idea. I enjoy this arrangement except for a "small" caveat: I have two toddlers. While my two lovely children can keep busy with toys, iPads, or TV, they cannot do it on their own. I need to pay attention, help with projects, mediate fights, and wipe butts. Who would have thought, right?
Getting work done while being continuously bombarded with questions and requests is challenging and stressful. I try to juggle house choirs, work projects, and toddlers like a professional circus juggler. And that is not an easy task.
Simply put, I often feel overwhelmed and at a loss what to do next. Do I jump on a call? Do I help children with arts and crafts? Do I cook them lunch? Do I do laundry?
However, after staying home for a week, I have started to get into a groove of things. I will share with you what helps me to keep stress at bay while being able to focus on work, family, friends, and home.
How To Stay Sane
Change out of PJs
The first and the most crucial task each morning is to change out of my PJs. I know it is tempting to stay in comfy lounge clothing, but please be stronger. I think of my bedroom as the only place I can wear PJs now. The rest of the house is my "office." My outfit might not be something I would wear into the office, but it is close to it.
I usually wear jogger pants or jeans with warm socks. I also add a nice shirt, long sleeve top, sweater, or tank top with a cardigan. The other day I wore a casual summer dress with a bright cardigan over it - worked well and made me smile.
Also, I stick with my regular makeup routine, which is very simple: a brow pencil and mascara. And if I feel extra fancy, I add earrings or a necklace.
Eat Hearty Breakfast
The second step is breakfast. I try to eat a hearty breakfast, which could include eggs, omelets, bagels, or yogurt. And, of course, I need my caffeine.
The third important part of WFH (work from home) is a daily walk. Children and I try to get out of the house for a short walk. We actively practice social distancing and stay away from playgrounds or people.
The fourth rule is exercise. I have no time during a day to work out so sadly I have to do it late at night. I know it is not an ideal, but it is better than nothing. On lazy days, I do stretching and yoga. On days when I have energy left, I do weights and strength training.
The fifth critical element of quarantine is I try to stay connected with my family and friends with modern technology (Face Time, Zoom, WhatsApp). Just another day, we had a girls' "night out" via zoom video conferencing. It was unusual, but it was still fun. It was very nice to see friends' faces, laugh, and feel somewhat normal. My older child had a playdate via WhatsApp video feature last night. So please stay connected and check on your friends and family often.
So this is all I have for now. As we continue to be isolated until April 7th, at least, I might learn more tricks and tips. I will make sure to share them here.
Please stay healthy and take care,