LIFE LESSONS...QUARANTINE EDITION
It's finally here..
the day where states are starting to partially open up and offer up remnants of the 'normal' lives we carried out each day before COVID-19 took the world by storm.
for some of us it still may be more restricted than others but nonetheless, the much awaited days are finally here where we can:
walk on the beach, but not camp out on it.
go to the gym, but make sure you sign up beforehand because...capacity measures.
and dine-in at a restaurant, but never getting too close to other patrons, or even your server.
and while there's still a sense of uneasiness and straight up awkwardness with the measures taken within each respective phase of re-opening, they offer a glimmer of hope, a sunrise on the horizon, and the grace of newness and overcoming that we've all been craving.
with that, what a better time to share a few lessons that the last two months in quarantine have shed light on that can be carried with us as we move forward.
find gratitude in the simplicities
so often we focus on the 'big' things in life to be grateful for. and while I am by no means saying that we shouldn't be thankful for our jobs, homes, and health--ESPECIALLY in this current climate--on a regular day, it's easy to overlook the little things so, we can forget to appreciate them.
that warm cup of coffee or tea in the morning, a slow start to the day, weekend brunch with the girls, giving nana a hug, down to the ability to leave our homes when we want to go where we want.
as we make our way back out into the world, may we have a newfound appreciation for every experience that comes our way.
be kind to yourself
I can't explain to you how many posts, ads, and videos I've seen saying that quarantine time was the time to 'be productive', and 'start that side hustle' but, definitely not a time to 'lose sight of your goals', or 'get out of your routine'. and while I'm all for goal-getting and productivity, some days you just ain't got it, and that's OK!
there is power in offering yourself grace when you didn't have your best day. and believe me, sometimes that day can turn into two or three. It's ok if you ate more than you normally do--Lord knows I ate more ice cream than I'd like to admit--or if you moved less. It's ok if you did all of the work one day but, the next day it was a netflix bingin', couch bummin' kinda day because you just didn't have the mental capacity. Instead of beating yourself up about having an 'off' day, meet yourself where you're at and extend yourself kindness. we haven't been living in normal circumstances so, it's natural if you find yourself in a bit of a rut.
you WILL overcome.
It's incredible how it positively effects our mental health when we give ourselves the same comfort we would give a friend or loved one from time to time.
remember to breathe
your breath has amazing capabilities!
It can calm your mind, recenter your thoughts, manage stress, and even help with digestion.
It's no doubt COVID-19 and quarantine have been stressful and, have presented their fair share of challenges.
stress can have some adverse effects on the body--both mentally and physically--if it goes unchecked because it triggers your sympathetic nervous system (think 'fight or flight').
now, best believe the 'rona isn't about to be the last stressor and/or challenge that you will experience (but, hopefully never as traumatic) so, using your breath to help manage those situations can be a valuable tool to keep in your back pocket.
It's nothing fancy or complicated.
just take some time, find a quiet place, close your eyes, and draw your focus inward to your breath; how it feels, how it sounds, etc. and then begin lengthening your inhales and exhales. count up to four or five SLOWLY as you inhale, pause at the top for just a count, and then count back down to one on your exhale.
doing this engages your parasympathetic nervous system (think 'rest and digest') which brings your body back to a calm and centered state, which is definitely the place you want to be when making decisions or processing information.
learn to relinquish control...really
this is one that I'm still learning to be honest. I'm HECKA type A. ya girl needs a plan, a strategy; it needs to be a linear, step-by-step process...REALITY CHECK! life ain't like that.
was a worldwide pandemic and quarantine on any of our to-do lists?
probably not, but did it happen anyways?
life as we know it was put on pause, and with it many of our plans that we absolutely sure were going to happen by a certain time. If I'm being completely honest, ten days before everything hit the fan I had a sit down meeting with my boss about my potential next step in life and how that next step may be in a in a different city, and maybe in a different field all together. I still remember her last words of that meeting. 'let's get together next week, have a glass of wine, and brainstorm ideas for you.' welp, COVID definitely threw a wrench in that brainstorming session.
does that mean that my next step is no longer on its way? not at all.
It's just not going as I had planned but, that's the funny thing about life: things don't always happen how and when we think they will...that's where faith comes in.
faith that God knows best, that He hasn't forgotten us. His timeline--and trajectory even--is just a bit different than ours. He's just using the 'waiting' time to prep us for what's coming because as much as we may think we're ready for a THAT blessing at THAT time, we very well may not be. thankfully, God will never give us more than we can bear at any given moment so, let us be patient, loosen the reigns, and give Him the wheel.
crying may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning
when we're in the trenches, sometimes it's hard to see a way out. In the thick of it all we can forget how many other times we've come out on the other side from struggles we've experienced throughout life. It's hard to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel when we've been walking for what seems like forever, and there's still no end in sight. but, the fact of the matter is, there is an end; there always is. I challenge you to sit back and reflect on all of the challenges and/or hardships you've overcome. notice that at the end of every story there was the same ending: an ending of prevailing, pushing through, growing, and learning. doesn't mean the process was easy, but you survived and now are stronger and wiser from it.
the same is true for this, and for everything we may face in the future. so don't give up hope, stay grounded in faith, and steady in prayer.
'cause remember, just like those past situations, this too shall pass.
thanks so much for reading today! I hope this post uplifted you as we begin to move about in the world again in such uncertain times. I would love to hear what this time in quarantine has taught you in the comments.