My Hopes For Healthy and Sustainable Changes
This is the second post I am making since being laid off due to Co-Vid19. If you missed my first post, here's the link.
Man, WTF is going on in the world?! I think I say, "this is so freaking weird" to myself about 50 times a day. With gyms being one of the first businesses ordered to shut down in Ohio, I have been unemployed for almost a full week now. To keep myself from having anxiety attacks about finances, the future, and thinking about all of those who are literally in danger because they are on the front lines caring for those who are sick, I am trying to formulate some kind of routine for myself and make myself enjoy the forced time out.
To keep a semblance of organization to my day, I am still writing out daily Power Lists of the tasks I want to accomplish for the day. I am the type of person who feels like she needs to earn her relaxation time, so if I didn't feel even remotely accomplished before I became a couch slug, I don't think I would make it. I am focusing on:
-creating workouts for current clients who have requested them
-movement and meditation
-creativity/creating content for my blog and IG page
-different cat harassment tactics and making up songs for the cats using a variety of cartoon voices
While all of this has been going on, I have been ruminating a lot about what the future might look like during and after the worldwide pandemic. (I know, I know, I'm supposed to be focusing on the NOW, but I have a lot of time on my hands). Listening to the news and reading articles has given me an idea of all of the negativity, mass chaos, and destruction, so I am forcing my brain to swing the other way in terms of possible positive outcomes. What the future holds, who freaking knows, but here are my hopes, dreams, and rainbow sparkly fantasies about the other side of this thing.
1.) Our days contain more mindfulness and creativity
Nothing like being scared for our lives and being stuck at home to fuel inward introspection and look for other activities besides scrolling social media. As anxiety rises, we can control nothing but our own thoughts, actions, and behaviors. I hope people take advantage of meditation, yoga, journaling, and prayer to find a sense of hope and peace. I don't know about you, but I have been getting ideas for passing the time with things I used to love to do as a kid. I hope people are utilizing having extra time with more creative endeavors, whether that be gardening, drawing, writing, painting, crafting, puzzling, or re-decorating the house. I hope both mindfulness and creativity become priorities during and after this situation.
(I busted out an ancient box of art supplies and did some pastel drawings while listening to a podcast the other day. The point isn't for it to be good, the point is to shake off the creativity cobwebs and enjoy creating something!)
2.) We prioritize what we need vs. what we want
There are a lot of people out there like me who have gotten laid off. This sucks. This is also not conducive to mindless purchasing and frivolous activities. Well, we can't really do activities right now anyway, so that solves that problem. The silver lining to the lay off is that we get to analyze our spending habits. Maybe you used to eat out 4 times a week and now don't have the budget. Maybe an Amazon package was arriving on your doorstep every other day. This is a great time to get used to and embrace a more minimalist lifestyle, forced or not. With so many places being closed, we are compelled to look at the things we never thought we could give up. We have to look a little harder at making do with what we have, and perhaps utilizing community resources through websites like NextDoor and Facebook. It's a great time to ask around if people want to swap games, sports equipment, crafting supplies, etc. No need to buy those new when you are surrounded by people who have them for free or you can trade for something else. Let's carry these habits beyond a mandated quarantine period!
3.) Using and being grateful for what we have
A lot of spending happens when we are bored, stressed, or are just in the right situation (hello, innocent Target runs for cat litter). Much of that can't happen anymore. Did you used to buy something to boost your mood after a bad day? Maybe now is the time to cultivate a different coping mechanism. This is also an amazing time to cultivate a gratitude practice. While we might be disappointed about the things we are missing out on, isn't it really nice to look around and be thankful for what you DO have? Besides gratitude, we can insert our newly creative brains to think of ways to utilize what we have already instead of purchasing new. Perhaps those plastic takeout containers from your favorite local restaurant can be re-purposed into organization for your kids' Legos, game pieces, spare batteries, office supplies, or anything else you can think of! Where you might once run to the Container Store for cute little boxes turns into a sustainable and budget friendly solution.
4.) Move your health to the forefront
In my opinion, health should always be a top priority, but maybe recent events have alarmed you to push yours to the top of the list. That, or you are now forced to cook at home. Either way, this is a win win! Now is the time to investigate and incorporate healthy foods. Grocery stores at the moment seem to still be stocked with fresh produce and other healthy staples. From what I have seen, it is harder to find meat, eggs, and milk. Guess what- you don't need these things to be healthy! If a shortage of these items has you scratching your head, have no fear, plant foods are here! Eating more plant foods is not only essential to your health, but it is a great move for the health of the planet. Factory farms are breeding grounds for diseases and antibiotic resistant superbugs and contribute to massive amount of air and waterway pollution. Do some research and you will quickly see why you really might want to focus on a plant-centric diet. According to a report from fao.org, "Seventy percent of the new diseases that have emerged in humans over recent decades are of animal origin and, in part, directly related to the human quest for more animal-sourced food, according to the report, World Livestock 2013: Changing Disease Landscapes."
Even though we are stuck at home, we can still do home workouts and take advantage of beautiful outdoor spaces (at a safe distance from your neighbor). Relieve stress, burn calories, and build these workout habits into your days now and into the future!
5.) Appreciate nature
As cabin fever sets on, one of the few places we are allowed to go is outside. Now is a great time to check out local parks or nature preserves you have never been. My hope is that during this time the appreciation of nature, its beauty, its ability to relieve stress and invoke wonder is magnified and carried forward. I have already heard stories about nature recovering from the decline in human interference and daily life. How can we nurture our planet going forward? Maybe at home you have the time to plant a butterfly and bee garden in your yard. Maybe you have the time to take your kids out and pick up litter in your neighborhood. What can you do to support and protect our Earth now and later?
6.) Waste less
Whether it be food, paper products, or other items, you might want to get in the practice now of wasting less! You might have thought twice about using a huge wad of toilet paper when the shelves sit bare. Practice wasting less food by getting creative with meals and starting to compose your food scraps. It's one of the best way to turn food items that would normally sit in a landfill into new soil for your yard, garden, or flowerbeds. Are there paper products you can go completely without? Maybe swapping paper towels for rags or cut up t-shirts, or getting a bidet to reduce and even eliminate your need for toilet paper. No joke, the bidet attachment I got for my toilet is literally one of my favorite purchases of the last couple months. I actually get kind of grossed out to use TP now- the bidet is so next level! If you don't know what a bidet is, it's an attachment you can easily connect to your existing toilet and it has a little handle with a knob on it. When you are done using the bathroom, you turn the knob and a very precise stream of water sprays out and cleans your downstairs area for you. You then use a clean washcloth to pat your butt dry, just like you would do out of the shower. It sounds weird at first, but seriously, GET ON the bidet train. I wouldn't steer you wrong! Your butt is squeaky clean, you reduce sooo much paper waste, you save the landfill from all of the plastic that the TP is wrapped in, and you save money purchasing toilet paper. If you can't tell, I'm a raving fan.
7.) Incorporate a sustainability habit (or two)
I bet there is all something we can improve upon in the sustainability and eco-friendly department at home. Do you have time to commit to one now? Whether it's ditching plastic cases of water, not letting your shower run forever before you get in, reducing the time of your showers, finally getting a compost bin like you have wanted to, or starting a patio garden, I challenge you to pick one thing in your house that you can change to generate less waste or can improve to be more eco- friendly. If you need ideas, browse around my past blog posts for inspiration!
What do you have going on during this quarantine period? What does your life look like? Are you up for incorporating any of the suggestions above? I know all of us are in radically different situations because of the pandemic. I look forward to forcing myself to see the silver lining in all of this, and hopefully hearing more stories about the beauty of humanity. Don't forget to follow along with me on Instagram at @busybodywellness !
Until next time!