When life gives you lemons, make lemonade right? It’s one of the oldest sayings in the book… created to make you feel better. It’s a reminder that there is always a silver lining in any situation. Though really, we know that isn’t always the case and yet still, we have to make the best of what we are given.
So I’m going to be your sanity check! Your one stop for transitioning into quarantine. Why am I the expert? Well, I’ve been writing your weekly blogs in a small town, deep in the woods where the snow never melts and the sun never shines. I live in a mysteriously old house that shouldn’t actually get internet but somehow does. My office door is a trap door under an old refrigerator, down four flights of stairs, in a cozy dark office. See, being in your house really can’t be that bad 😉
Seriously though, I have worked from home for 6 years and I’m not lying when I say, it was an adjustment and at times I really did feel like I was locked in a dungeon. An adjustment you might be starting at this very moment because things are changing. We are officially experiencing something that hasn’t happened before, and I don’t mean the coronavirus because— let’s face it— there was the Black Death that ran through China and across Europe in the 14th century. There will always be sickness and unpredictability, but this is the first time in the modern world that we are acting as a group to deal with its uncertainty. Which, more or less, has meant staying inside, with limited travel and stocking up like a true “prepper.”
SO NOW WHAT!? I’ll tell you. You’re going to read my secret tips on how to survive in a deep dark dungeon (with internet) and it’s going to be survivable and also fun ☺️
Tip One: No matter where you live, or how small your home is, you need an office space. At first working in your living room won’t bother you, but the longer you work from home, the worse it will get. If you live in California, that might be hard as a lot of people live in very small studios. However, if you can pick a spot in your house that can be your new office, do it. I worked in my living room for the first year, and I found that my living room suddenly meant work. Relaxation after work became difficult to achieve when I couldn’t separate my personal space from my work area. If you don’t have a spare room, create a blanket fort office. Silly? Maybe, but you probably don’t have a nifty trap door leading to a secret office space under your fridge so it might be your best option. Plus, it will bring out your inner child and challenge you to make a sustainable blanket fort.
Tip Two: Normally I’d say find a source of escape, like going to the gym, but since that isn’t really happening right now (mine is currently closed, as I’m sure yours is), you need to come up with a time and place to do a physical activity. There are a ton of videos on youtube that you can follow along with (Yoga; Cardio Workout; Full body Workout; 15 minute Dance workout) and I know you can find even more.
Tip Three: Just like at the office, you have mini-breaks. Most offices have 10-minute breaks every two hours, and if you’re like a lot of people you probably don’t feel comfortable taking them or you’ve skipped them because you’re a workaholic. STOP RIGHT THERE! In order to have a good work balance at home you really need to take a step away from the computer. Remember that for most of you this is different, maybe even a little exciting, or for some a little intimidating. Either way, no matter your emotions, you need to step away from that computer. Set a timer every two hours and once that timer goes off, set a 10-minute timer. This gives you peace of mind that you won’t take too long of a break and you still have structure while giving yourself a few minutes to get away from your desk and make a coffee or eat a cookie, start a puzzle, draw… just whatever you do, DON’T CLEAN on your breaks. You’ll start to feel like Cinderella and then you’ll resent your free time. TRUST ME, use that time for yourself.
Tip Four: Since this experience is also keeping you inside after work, when you’re used to going out and getting a beer, or going dancing, seeing a movie or hanging out with friends, we need another solution. Most people are going to spend all their freetime watching Netflix, but be warned: it will catch up to you later. If you give in to just doubling your Netflix hours, it will affect the rest of your day-to-day motivation. Try instead to do something that actually keeps your mind active. Go on Zoom or Skype and talk to your friends face-to-face. Challenge a friend to play Chess with you online. Finally start writing that book you’ve been talking about for the last several years.
It’s important to remember that no matter what happens and no matter how long we are locked in our homes or self quarantined, that our sanity comes first and so does our health. Don’t forget to take your scoop of S’moo, and to try and get a hold of vegetables and proteins. The S’moo babes are all here if you need anyone to talk to and we encourage you to join our group on Facebook. We know you can mentally navigate this new experience and that you’ll take the steps needed to balance out your days, and make this a better and more enjoyable transition.
On that note, I’ve found singing is a great activity to add happiness into your day (dungeons have amazing acoustics) and making lemonade is actually really relaxing. I’d know because that was all there was left to buy at the store last time I went 😏 just kidding!