quarantine diaries: Making the impossible a little more Tolerable

My husband and I are in the middle of our 4th month of quarantine wherein we are both blessed with the opportunity to work most of our 40+ hour work weeks from home. The nature of my husband’s job sent him back to work in June but as cases in our state have spiked dramatically, he is back to mostly WFH status. At this point in quarantine, we are not going to grocery stores at all and ordering delivery or curbside pick-up. My dad is immuno-compromised with a lung condition so the more we stay locked away, with frequent testing through my husband’s job, the more we can visit with them for a few hours on the weekends.

Like everyone still navigating this landscape, I bounce between wanting to be hyper productive and also staring off into space and whining, ā€œIā€™M SO BORED,ā€ at the top of my lungs until my husband comes up with an activity for us. I, like everyone, am teaching myself it is okay to not get things done around the house as much as I might like. Instead, I am focusing on the little things that make the days feel full and feel like accomplishments.

1. Using What We Have: I am a stockpiler. Certainly not by necessity, and while sometimes I plan a Costco run to stock-up, my bulk purchases are frequently accidental. When we are grocery shopping, I will, without fail, buy something I am sure we are out of only to realize we are more than stocked for our household of two. It feels good to use up a jar of rice or the last of a bottle of soy sauce before rolling the expiration date dice. We love cooking together and we have managed to make some great meals out of freezer and pantry staples. This immediately feels like a win to me.

2. Taking a Shower: At the beginning of our lockdown, I felt like a real boss staying mostly on top of my daily routine. A shower, getting dressed before work, and even going so far as to work skincare into my afternoons with a face mask after lunch. Four months in, I have a literal cell phone reminder to brush my teeth and floss. If I can shower at SOME POINT during the day and care for myself in some way, I call that a major win.

3. Home Projects: I acknowledge that I am fortunate to be home 7 days a week while also bringing in my mostly full paycheck (I did lose some regular opportunities for overtime that have caused noticeable budget adjustments). But, being home during the day means that I have been able to not miss work while having various repairs and projects completed around the house. It’s not only keeping me sane but also making me feel like I accomplished something that helped maintain our home. We’re only working with companies following all safety precautions during this time but we have been able to hire new landscapers for our yard, have our pool pump repaired (something on the to-do list for far too long), our a/c maintenance completed, and our laundry closet opened up so we could have a full-size washer and dryer installed. All of this was completely hands-off for me. In fact, I stayed in my office with the dog with the door closed most of the time. But it was still something that was in the back of my mind that I was able to check off the list.

4. Trying New Recipes: The beginning of quarantine was a total bake-fest but now we are trying to focus on some healthier dishes to keep our energy up throughout the day. I’m a big fan of the meal planning site CookSmarts for creative recipes. I can easily search a protein or other ingredient I have in my house that I want to use up and plan our weekly meals around. Chrissy Teigen’s cookbooks are definitely a must when we are in a food-funk and her website is regularly updated with more treats to try. Our favorite lunch option right are are her Open Faced Black Bean & Corn Quesadilla Pizzas for something light and nutritious that satisfies all of my cravings.

The list is small and likely seems obvious but hopefully it can act as a bit of a motivator when we are all getting a bit stir-crazy. I hope you’ll share your sanity-savers in the comments below.

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