Hello there. How are you all holding up? So sorry about the long silence.
I was overseas dealing with a family matter when the pandemic started to blow up. I flew home early in a panic, dealt with pure unadulterated chaos at the airports, and have been in a tough situation for a few weeks.
Since getting back home I have been very, very unwell. I was physically isolated from my family, in addition to the outside world, for fourteen days. This was painfully hard for me. I’m a VERY tactile mom. Not being able to touch or be near my family for two weeks after a week apart from them is one of the toughest things I have had to deal with. Also, being sick and isolated sucks. I started to hate everything about my bedroom-prison after a while. Given the choice, I would rather have slept in the garden with our resident mangy fox.
Happily, I am now feeling much better. Still weak and a much paler, skinnier version of myself, but I am on the road to recovery. Now I just have to get my zest for work back. I have been too tired to do anything more creative than make a toasted sandwich lately.
Since every blog post and article that I have read about staying sane and occupied during a quarantine seems to assume that you are well enough to bake, clean, exercise, hold a book, and spend time with your family, I thought I would list some things that have helped my weak, lonesome self over the past weeks. If you are unwell and solitary, my heart is with you. I hope you make a swift recovery and find some solace in the following things:
Long distance games.
My daughter introduced me to Gamepidgeon Which allows us to play short, easygoing games together (while apart) on our iPhones (turns out, I am particularly talented at 20 questions).
We have also gone more old school with this. My family has sat six feet away from me in my bedroom doorway and played long distance Parcheesi. They roll the dice for me and move my piece according to my wishes. This can get particularly gruesome, with me grumbling whenever someone rolls an undesirable number on my behalf, and then having to apologize for my poor sportsmanship. I’m surprised they still want to play with me!
stories.audible.com now offers a host of free books for all ages and tastes read by some amazing people. For quite a few days I was too weak to hold a book up or focus on a new story. However, listening to Thandie Newton reading Jane Eyre while lying in bed truly soothed my soul and helped with my loneliness.
For those who do have the strength, a beautifully poignant book for these times is The List by Patricia Forde. Yes, it is a YA book (love those young adult books). Yes it is dystopian, BUT… it is also packed full of beautiful messages and has an upbeat and hopeful ending. Any easygoing fantasy fiction works as welcome distraction for me nowadays. I’m currently enjoying Greenglass House, a middle grades mystery novel.
When I couldn’t go on walks yet (or even go downstairs), I would still open all the windows in my room to listen to the birdsong/rain/trash trucks and let some fresh air in every morning. This may sound silly, but this one little act actually did help me to perk up in the morning. I will never take a walk for granted again. Now I touch trees and marvel at being allowed in my garden again. Please excuse the horrible nails in my picture. They really are the least of my worries right now!
Keeping a Journal
I write and draw in my journal every day. I write big things and small things, painful things and happy things. It would get so ridiculously lonely being in solitary isolation. Texts and phone calls don’t really come close to actually being in the same room as another adult. My journal was a great way to vent without upsetting everyone around me, and kept me sane-ish. I have also started writing in this Mother Daughter journal with my daughter, who found our separation particularly difficult.
Other things that have helped: Stretching and moving around everyday, the kids reading me bedtime stories and singing lullabies from my door at night, friends who sent goodies to our house, Acetaminophen, sleep, and my husband, for being so supportive and keeping me fed and hydrated!
How about you? What is helping you get through this weirdest of times? Lots of love to you xx