Right, so I thought it would be helpful to list a few things that are providing me with solace and a little shot of joy over this time, in the hope that they will do the same for you. Please also share yours as comments if you have some cool stuff to add, so we can raise our spirits when we’re feeling low:
- Nate Bargatze. I don’t watch a lot of comedians, I’m not sure why. But I read about Nate on Man Repeller and was looking for some light relief and watching him, I certainly got that. My family thought I was crying (I was laughing so hard). Super dry, his one hour show on Netflix was a great distraction.
- Making food. I lost my cooking mojo this year but being stuck home for the past few days has reinvigorated my love of cooking and feeding my family. It’s such a therapeutic action. We’ve been baking cakes, and making soup and putting stews in the slow cooker and tomorrow I’m making a veggie curry. Luckily my pantry was already stocked so I didn’t have to do any supermarket shopping this week, and fresh fruit and veggies come to my door – read this previous post of mine on how we buy most of our food locally from small businesses.
- Kids creating pen pals. I got this idea from a friend (thanks Lil!) – the children have been writing letters to their friends who live close by, decorating them with stickers and telling their friend about their day and what they’ve got up to (sometimes they even slip in a flower or chocolate). We then walk, cycle or drive to the friend’s house and “post” the letter in their postboxes. When the kids get replies they are super excited and it’s so sweet to see. I remember that thrill of receiving a letter addressed to me! Plus it let’s them practise their writing skills – younger kids could do drawings I suppose, and parents could write a note.
- Tidying. It’s not a spring clean, it’s an autumn clean. A Corona clean if you will. Now is the best time to sort through your wardrobe, kitchen cupboards, home office in-tray, the kids’ toy cupboard. Donate what no longer serves you, as Marie Kondo says. Weed the garden, plant some herbs, finally get your composting sorted out. Mend that broken thing with some glue, sew on those buttons, paint over those scuff marks. All those little DIY and home related jobs you don’t normally have time for. Do them now (in between trying to work and care for the kids of course).
- Changing your perspective. I actually mean this quite literally. I’ve been jumping on the trampoline. Drinking wine in the kids’ treehouse. Sitting in parts of the house I don’t normally spent the most time. If we’re going to be home a lot more than usual, we may as well mix it up.
- New pyjamas. Let’s just say that my daily wardrobe has changed quite a bit. Lots of leggings and trackie pants and yes, pyjamas. This gorgeous new striped set from local producer Bena was on sale and I will be wearing them for years to come.
- Cheesy music. This is not the time to be cool. Dig out all those songs you haven’t listened to in ages. Play them full blast in your kitchen when you’re cooking. Sing badly, dance madly, get the kids involved. For me it’s country music that I have a (secret) love of. So I’m delighting in it once again.
Also remember to surrender a little at this time. You don’t need to be the perfect home schooler for your kids. Your home is going to be a mess. You’re going to look a bit messy yourself (have you seen my eyebrows?). Go for a run or a walk and do that yoga but if you can’t stick to your previous workout regime, just be gentle on yourself.
Try and acknowledge the goodness out there too. Yes some people are acting a bit selfish and crazy, but 90% of the actions I see in the world right now are caring and empathetic ones.
Sending love and healthy vibes.