I have been working full time from home for more than a year. So when San Francisco called for Shelter in Place, I thought to myself, how different from my normal life could this possibly be? I’m home most of the time anyway!
I could not have been more wrong on how well equipped I would be to handle being at home ALL THE TIME. Pre-Covid, I thought nothing of walking up to my gym for a workout or to spin class. Same with going downtown to meet a friend for a drink or go shopping. I wasn’t prepared for all of these things to come to a screeching halt.
My hats off to you all with kids that are working from home, homeschooling multiple children and running virtual Girl Scout meetings or play dates. All of you heroes have infinitely more patience than I do!
While I find myself with extra time on my hands, I figured I would crowdsource some coping mechanisms from my friends. Now, before I list them out, please take them in the tongue in cheek way they are intended. This shouldn’t be a substitute for therapy if you are really experiencing emotional distress. Also, they aren’t in any specific order!
Something about being stuck at home has made me want to bake, I don’t know if this is because I can’t go get a pain au chocolat on the way home from the gym anymore (yes, I recognize the irony!) or just the fact that I am stuck at home. Apparently this isn’t as creative as I thought it was as my twitter feed is full of people baking banana bread! Also, I am now rationing my flour, since most stores are out. So here’s a flourless cookie recipe to try out if you want to get started. Plus without flour these are paleo or something friendly, right? RIGHT? Just lie to me at this point!
I enjoy a glass of wine every now then but try to limit my alcohol intake usually for health reasons. However, in our new normal, I’ve leaned on Oyster Bay to get me through some stressful days. Think I can claim this on my HSA? But seriously, having a glass (or three) of wine while talking to my lady tribe on our Nightcap chat has kept me going. I blame them for the increase in my alcohol intake. What else do you do on a chat named, Nightcap?
Screaming into the Void
Another coping mechanism I sourced was from my friend, Amber. She recommends just screaming. In case you’re unfamiliar with this method of coping, take a big inhale and then just start screaming like you saw a snake or you found those Christian Louboutin boots you want on the Real Real for half price. If you live in an apartment or with other people, you might want to try screaming into a pillow. It’s just as effective.
Essentially, I cook every night anyway, so this hasn’t been too much of a change for me. But if you’re mostly a Doordash and chill kinda person, this is your chance to up your cooking game! Dig out those recipes and weird things in the back of your fridge and cook! As for the weird things, make sure they’re still good and maybe set them aside if they would be better used in cocktails.. Like that jar of olives sitting in the back of the fridge. Yum, dirty martini!
Exercise is something that is incredibly important for your body and mind at any time. However, if you’re following along with my other coping mechanisms, it’s 200% even more important, unless you are ready to fully embrace the fluffy lifestyle!! My trainer, Kristin is holding instagram live workouts on Tues and Thurs and even though I am using wine bottles for weights, I’m still finding myself sore the next day! Also, if you take a class with her, she can’t count. When she says do 12 of something, if you listen to her count, you’ll end up doing 22 lunges! Don’t say you weren’t warned! I am trying hard to keep parts of my schedule and life on track and fitness has greatly helped me take a half hour out of my snack schedule.
I am terrible at meditation. You might ask why it made the list and it’s because I’ve recently realized that everyone can meditate in their own way. I have friends that lay back and imagine a happy scene, do deep breathing or pretend they’ve run away from their kids. I can do NONE of these things. But you know what do I consider meditation? Doing something physical where I have to focus and can’t let other thoughts crowd my brain. This might sound weird, but it’s just how my brain works. So give me a puzzle or Ikea furniture to put together or even something new to bake or cook. It’s my version of meditation. So this is a good time to try out different ways of calming your brain, because right now I am sure many of us are experiencing heightened anxiety!
Another recommendation a friend suggested was to create a space for yourself. It can be a room or closet in your house where you can hide while your family wanders around looking for you. Make sure you keep this area locked and stocked with the chocolate chip cookies you baked and at a minimum one bottle of wine. In these trying times, there is no need for a wine glass. Drinking straight from the bottle will do, you don’t want to leave traces for others to find your hiding space. You might also want to leave a pair of noise cancelling earphones in there if you really want that zen like experience while you curl into a ball and ignore the world.
I know these coping mechanisms seem like a no brainer and trust me, nothing here was groundbreaking information. It’s more of a reminder that it’s ok not to be ok and here are a few suggestions to refocus your attention. If you have other suggestions, I would love to hear them. Tweet me with your best coping mechanisms!