How we’re coping with social distancing and self-quarantining

For most of us (the Contemporary Spinster writing team), this is week two of social distancing and self-quarantining because of COVID-19. This early in, it’s impossible to expect that we’ll have this all figured out. Frankly, we’re all struggling in different ways, but we are all also figuring out ways to cope, adapt, and, hopefully, thrive. Each week, we’ll share them with you (and, please, share your tips, strategies, and struggle in the comments too).

Ellen: Day nine of self-quarantine for me. I feel as though I’m going through rapidly changing 7 stages of grief; my current stage being depression and loneliness, though in an hour that’s sure to morph into something else entirely. Here it is still in the low 30s, so being outside is difficult. Once it warms up that will help immensely. Food-wise, I’m having to be more restrictive due to flare-ups from my auto-immune issues. Getting stress under control is my number one priority right now, so I’m limiting my information to what my governor is putting out and the John Hopkins website. That has helped a great deal.

Rose: For the most part things haven’t changed too much for me. I am working full time, just from home. The few places I go I drive instead of taking the bus since I’m not going downtown. The pool being closed has changed how I swim train to dry land swimming, which is awful. I really wasn’t sleeping well, either so I am back to supplements and practices to help me sleep. My coffee is all from home, and I haven’t eaten out in more than a week. We go to the store a little more often since we’re both home and eating only at home. Finally, I’m using more video chat than just email/text/voice calls to see people.

Laura: For me, getting past the move this last week was my first hurdle. Now that I’m moved, I’m staying away from extraneous news (5 minutes checking WA Post twice a day to make sure I know how to stay safe) and limiting my social media consumption to 15 minutes total. I set the news and social media limits in my iPhone settings – I was finding it totally possible to spend my entire day just scrolling and getting more stressed by the minute. While it’s been important for me to stay active, I’m being conscious about listening to my body and only doing what feels good. This means, that I commit to getting outside (while maintaining appropriate social distances) for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, if I am feeling good, I keep going. If I am feeling tired, I go back inside and put back on my black leggings (working-from-home chic). Finally, I’m loosening my strict and harsh nutrition judgment and allowing myself to eat what I’m craving and trust my body’s hunger cues, not eat based on my reduced activity levels. Frankly, the last thing is something that I’ve been needing to do for decades.

Jaymee: I am on day 10 of the shelter-in-place initiative. For me, being outside has been my lifesaver. We have been lucky with only a few days of bad weather. If I had to be stay in my home with two kids 3 and under, we would be all insane. I have found lots for the kids to do outside, bubbles are a favorite, but the kids and I do take walks and play soccer or basketball. We also have a play set so that helps a ton, since we really can’t go to the park. For me, I have been able to work in the yard/garden a lot. I have cleaned up dead plants, dug out terrace garden beds, put down fabric to limit weeds, and fertilized. During work, one thing that has helped me is playing with thinking putty when I feel distracted or anxious. Social distancing has been difficult even with how many hours we spend outside. I have tried to do mediation daily for the last week. I feel like that has helped a bit by just focusing on slowing down and not having the same expectations as before. Life has changed, and I need to change with it.

How are you coping? Strategies or tips?

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