Today marked Day 37 in our stay-at-home adventure during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our state started shutting things down earlier than many others, and we embraced the shelter-in-place (SIP) guidelines fully. In many ways, the things I learned in my retirement transition have helped make this time more bearable.
I had learned how to live with an empty calendar on some days. It was still disheartening as everything – dinner dates, classes, theater shows, and doctor/dentist appointments – dropped off the calendar. Unfortunately, a completely empty calendar meant that my movement and connection started to suffer as I didn’t have my accountability tools any longer – paid classes to attend (yoga, OTF) or things booked (dates, classes, shows) to meet up with others. I knew that I needed to fill both of these voids and figure out new accountability.
I understand the need to practice positivity. I’ve found it helpful to continue to do my daily gratitude list, to journal every morning, and to do emotional assessments. Even as I spiraled into anxiety with COVID-19 reports and projections, these tools brought me back to a sense of hope.
By re-focusing on my retirement lifestyle vision and knowing myself, I realized my calendar empty of “out & about plans” needed to be filled with new habit creation for movement accountability, new ways to connect with others, and ideas for doing things at home. I acknowledged which habits/routines needed to be continued (morning journaling, daily crossword, weekly blogging) and which needed to be supplemented (cooking).
I found an on-line yoga I enjoy (Yoga with Adriene on YouTube) and started doing it multiple mornings after my journaling, creating a new in-home morning routine. A friend started offering a live on-line fitness dance class that I put on my weekly calendar. I made a list of friends to call/text and put them on my weekly calendar. I learned how to Zoom and then did it – book club, a bloggers meet-up, a family discussion, and dinner with friends! I did a review of the pantry & freezer, pulled a bunch of new recipes together, and created a weekly dinner plan. I finally finished 2 projects I’ve had on the list for years – a complete photo review and digitization (sent in) and a half-done cross-stitch. And even more: I‘m doing an on-line course, completed a Chopra 21-day meditation series, set up a jigsaw puzzle table (up to my third puzzle), and (finally) figured out how to use Kindle (I am reading a lot). As the weather continues to warm up in April, I’ve got spring-cleaning on the to-do list.
Our stay-at-home adventure has at least 2 more weeks to go, and possibly longer as we understand how long the new physical distancing recommendations will draw out. I wonder how many of these new-ways of doing things will remain with me; I’m unsure if many of my group activities will re-starting any time soon. But I’m confident the tools I used for my retirement transition will help me to deal with this new life transition, whatever the future holds.
What new things have you tried during this Covid-19 SIP time? Have you created new habits?