Check-in time! How are you doing sweet friend? Are you holding up ok? I wanted to pop in to say “hi”, and to share with you the things I’m doing at home during quarantine. It’s a little all over the map depending on the day, the weather, my energy level, my mental state, etc.
My hope in sharing my new day to day norm and the thoughts surrounding these activities is to inspire you.
To maybe take up something new or pick up something you used to love. Not to give up on goals or hope but find a new path for continued progress. Or simply to give yourself some self-love and grace during this weird and uncertain time.
Counting my 4 weeks of recovery after surgery, I’m going on my 8th week STRAIGHT of being home. I think most of Ohio is heading into their 6th week for those that are required to work remotely or stay home.
I am a homebody through and through. Having to stay home hasn’t been quite as hard for me as it has been for my husband. He is for sure going stir crazy and missing our date nights out to our favorite restaurants.
8 weeks straight though is a LONG time! Among many other things, what I’ve struggled with the most is not being able to physically be there for family and friends. To physically hug them. Especially those that are going through hard times right now. Everyone is going through something and not being able to reach out and squeeze my loved ones makes me sad.
I’ve struggled a little bit with trying to settle into this new norm and get into a new routine. Each day varies. I just try to go with the flow and listen to what my body needs or wants for the day.
Below are the things I’m doing at home during quarantine. These are the things that have brought me some peace, joy or rest. I’ve also been tackling some projects on our to-do list when I get the itch to do something productive.
I’ve found a mix of all or some of these things has helped shape days filled with less stress and more gratitude.
Things I’m doing at home during quarantine
- Taking a step back and reassessing our priorities
- Still working towards our goals but in a new way
- Tackling unfinished projects around the house
- Spending time on a hobby I love
- Taking up a new hobby or habit
- Working on my recovery
- Spending time with Moose
- Connecting with loved ones
My new quaratine reality
Taking a step back
The biggest adjustment for me and MIke has been the loss of my job.
Coming off of medical leave, I was working on getting up to speed on current projects. Trying to jump in and help out the team with all the adjustments and changes they were fielding because of COVID-19 when I got the call.
It was hard to hear and even harder to process as the day went on and I learned of others on my team being laid off as well.
Personal goals I had for the year suddenly seemed out of reach. Home projects I wanted to tackle quickly fell to the bottom of the list.
All of a sudden, COVID-19 had infiltrated my life, shaken it up, and now everything seemed so uncertain.
After taking a few days to grieve the loss of my job, the loss of my work family, and what seemed like the loss of part of my identity, I began to explore what my new norm looked like.
Changing up our goals
I sat back and thought about everything on our list that we’d hoped to tackle around the house this year. And while some of this will have to be placed on hold for the time being, I realized we could still move forward with some things.
Also, I realized that for most of the projects on our to-do list, I don’t have a plan for yet. Even if we can’t physically start the work, that doesn’t mean I can’t start to plan. I’m choosing instead to use this time to gather inspiration.
To explore my different options, source materials and finishes, and really hone in on what I want.
So, rather than give up completely, I’m shifting gears and working on creating a plan so we can still make progress,. just in a different way. And I’ll share it all here with you!
Things I’m doing around the house
Wrapping up incomplete projects
So, with this new goal in mind, I’m taking a fresh look around our house. Making note of the projects and rooms we still want to tackle, and creating a plan for each.
I’m also looking at the projects we started and have yet to complete. I’m asking myself, “do we have the resources and the ability to complete these at this time”? If yes, then I’m setting aside time to tackle it once and for all.
These two lists are giving me PLENTY to work on during quarantine!
Organizing and spring cleaning our home
I also created a 30 Day Spring Organization Challenge that I’m using as a guide and slowly working through. In it, I talk about different rooms or areas of the home to freshen up and whip into shape. There is a task for each day to purge unused items, straighten up, and get your home ready for warmer weather. If you get the itch to tackle a project this is a great list to start with!
One of the items in the challenge is to touch up trim and molding paint around the house. This has been on my to-do list for quite a while now. A lot of our walls have some nicks or scratches from everyday use that need freshening up. Some need a little more love than others if Moose left his mark!
If you have the paint at home your need to tackle this project, I highly recommend it! Touching up paint is a great way to spruce up a space and make it feel fresh and new!
Along with the 30 Day Spring Organization Challenge, we’ve also been working giving each room a good, deep clean.
Spring cleaning is something we try to tackle twice a year. Once in the spring when the weather starts to warm up, and once again in the fall. I like to tackle this in the fall to clear out all the dust as we prepare to be indoors more.
Rearranging furniture and accessories
With all this cleaning, organizing, and purging I’m finding some things no longer work in the space they are currently in.
We moved our TV in our family room last summer and never got around to reworking the gallery wall. It is mostly hidden behind the TV and doesn’t make sense anymore.
One of the things we hoped to tackle this year was removing this wall altogether. This would allow us to open up the family room and entry. This project we may be able to complete this year so it makes sense to move the pieces.
I’ve been working on finding new homes for each piece. Some of the items I’ve been trying out in one of our guest bedrooms. Books and a glass dish have also been repurposed to this room for now for a fresh look.
Moving around and swapping out accessories is an easy and inexpensive way to freshen up a room. It gives the space a new life and a new, fresh perspective. This process also helps me determine what I love and what I can live without.
For me, if accessories work in more than one space, I’m likely to get more use out of them.
I try to design my home so that each room relates to another. I try to create cohesive spaces that all flow and work together. Approaching design this way allows me to move most of my accessories from one room to the next. Giving me endless options for mixing and maximizing my decor.
Cleaning up the yard
Here in Ohio, the weather is still fluctuating quite a bit. We have warmer days in the upper 60s followed by cooler days dropping down into the 40s or even 30s.
When the weather does warm up and the sun comes out, we try to get outside. The yard and the flower beds need some clean up. Leaves that have blown in from the park need raked, and I see some weeds I need to pull already.
We, and when I say we I mean Mike, have started pulling out the overgrown foliage at the back of our yard. It’s been on our list for sometime now.
Our goal someday is to redo the backyard. This will most likely be a bigger project though. For now, it will just be nice to have that area cleared and straightened up.
I’ve also started thinking about new flowers and plants for the yard. It’s still a little too early here to get anything in the ground though. I typically wait till after Mother’s Day to hopefully ensure we are past any frost or snow.
I also know that some of my plants will need to be shifted over or moved altogether this year. Some of my hostas were getting so big last year and crowding everything else out. I need to learn to split them this year and repurpose them in other spots.
Things I’m doing at home for myself
Getting in the kitchen
My close friends and family know I LOVE to bake. I also really enjoy cooking. The kitchen tends to be the place I gravitate towards when I’m stressed or sad. So it seems only fitting that getting into the kitchen is one of the things that I’m doing while at home during quarantine.
Some days it’s just to make lunch and dinner for us. But other days, when it’s been a rough day or I need to take my mind off of the current situation, I go to town.
On those days I am trying out different cookie recipes that I’ve pinned and haven’t tried yet. One of my new favorites is these Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies! You HAVE to try them. They are made with browned butter, Nutella, sea salt, and they are so good!!
I won’t be mad if you leave this post to go and make them for yourself. Just come back and tell me how much you loved them too!
I’m also trying to stretch myself and my skills and try something I’m not great. Making things with yeast and biscuits I’m still trying to get the hang of. Practice makes perfect and one day I’ll get there!
While out on medical leave, I picked up a couple of books to keep me from binge watching Netflix for 4 weeks straight. I also had a few here that I’ve been waiting for the right time to dig in to.
I love to read but don’t always find the time to squeeze it in. When I do read it’s when I’ve climbed into bed late and I’m so tired I can’t make it past the first few pages.
I was able to make it through 4 books and it felt really, REALLY good! I’ve picked this back up now that we are continuing to quarantine at home and I am no longer working. It’s been so nice to have another outlet that is not TV to escape to or learn something from.
Taking up a new hobby or habit
I’ve noticed that over the last week or two I’ve really been clenching my jaw at night. It’s something I tend to do on occasion but it seems really bad right now with all the stress and worry.
I ordered a Gua Sha stone from Primally Pure a couple of weeks ago. They were half off at the time and I decided it was time to give it a try.
Have you heard of this? It’s a jade stone that has various types of edges. The different sides work different angles of your face depending on what you are trying to do.
It promotes lymphatic drainage, helps with muscle tension, works to depuff, and calms the nervous system. All the things I NEED right now!
They have great tutorials along with some tips and tricks for trouble areas on YouTube. One tip that has been huge for me right now is their tutorial on how to use the edge of the tool to release tightness and soreness in the jaw.
I have been working on this each morning all week. After just a few days I can already feel the tension melting away in my jaw.
I’m sure you can find one on Amazon if this one seems pricey. If we were not quarantined, TJ Maxx is another option as well.
If your unsure about how life-changing this little stone can be, check out Kate’s before and after shot over at The Foundation Blog. I mean, mind blown!
**Side note – Kate’s blog was a recent find of mine and has been such an incredible resource for all things holistic self-care. If your into that sort of thing like me 🙂
I’ve finally made it past the 6-week recovery mark and can now start working out again. Working out is not something I love though. I’m hoping that if I start out small and try to do something each day, I can get back into the swing of it.
I know that being able to stretch and lift a little will feel incredible. This will also be another outlet for relieving stress and tension.
The running part I’m not sold on yet but baby steps right?
Staying connected while at home
One of the things I’ve felt guilty about is the amount of time Moose is home by himself.
Before all of these recent changes, both Mike and I had quite the commute. At least an hour for both of us and sometimes 2 if traffic was really, really bad.
We were away from the house for at least 9 hours a day during the workweek. Moose has a bladder like a camel but I felt bad that he had to hold it all day long.
Now that we are quarantined, one of the things I’ve been doing is giving Moose lots of extra attention. When I built up enough strength and had reduced my pain level enough after surgery, I took over the evening walk with Moose.
We typically try to walk him twice a day, but now we are up to 3 walks and lots of playtime in-between!
On warm sunny days, we sit in the front yard and people watch or play fetch. We even ordered a puzzle from Amazon to help keep him mentally stimulated. He has managed to figure this one out pretty quickly though so we need to advance a level.
This has been yet another way for us to relieve stress and also get some fresh air and exercise.
Reaching out to family and friends
In our “old” life, it was too easy to get caught up in everyday activities, responsibilities, and ourselves. We took for granted that we could see family and friends whenever we weren’t too busy.
Now that we are all under quarantine and having to practice social distancing, it’s been painful at times to not have this luxury anymore. Especially now when everything seems so uncertain.
Everyone is facing hardship in some way or another right now. It’s been incredibly hard not to be able to physically hug those we love to show them love and support.
I’ve been trying to be more conscious of this and make an effort to reach out to different family and friends each day to check-in and connect.
With all this baking I’ve been doing, I put together care packages for family and friends to share the love! This is one of my favorite ways to let my loved ones know I care.
Creating a new norm at home during quarantine
My new norm looks a lot different than my old one these days and that’s ok. I think the most important thing right now, while we are all quarantined at home, is to create a structure that works for you. And then allow yourself flexibility within that structure to suit your mood that day.
Everyone is different but for me, I need a mix of activities that I can go to depending on how I’m feeling. I’ve found that going with the flow and surrendering to what each day brings, has allowed me to adapt and adjust to this new norm.
Because I think during stressful and uncertain times, it’s important to give yourself some grace when you need it.
Some days will be easier than others and you will feel like checking things off of your to-do list.
But on the days when you need a distraction, doing something creative or having a hobby to turn to, will help to take your mind off of our situation. Which is key to quieting anxiety and keeping stress at bay.
I hope by sharing the things I’m doing while we are home in quarantine you are inspired to shape your days to fit your needs as well.
What are the things you are doing while at home to help you adjust to being quarantined?