COVID-19 Stress? How to be Calm in Uncertain Times.

Episode 17: Blooming! A Healthy Home by Design Show Notes

Welcome to blooming! On today’s episode I just want to celebrate a little. We are all doing our best to stay positive during this crazy time. What I’ve noticed is that even though fear and uncertainty still surrounds us with Coronavirus, I’m just uplifted by all of the gratefulness and positivity I witness all around me. So thank you so much for tuning in today! I truly hope that you and your family is safe and staying healthy. If you are stressed out or worried a lot about all the unknown, I hope that today’s episode will bring you a sense of calm to help you through your day. So let’s grow!

I saw an awesome video that someone sent me today. The headline was - before you catch the virus watch this! It was a guy who was talking about something worse than coronavirus that we all are catching… it’s fear. Fear is so contagious and it causes so much unnecessary negativity and stress around us. So the video was urging us to stop watching the news 24 /7 and connect with the ones we love. Try to spread joy and be present in this moment. Use this moment to spread love and laughter and not to panic or live in fear. - Loved it. Click Here to Watch.

I think a great way to introduce more peace and joy into your life is to be grateful. So many people will tell you this, it’s nothing new, but it really is amazing how it works! Because no matter what your situation in life is, there is ALWAYS going to be someone in this world that is worse off than you. I had to let that sink in for a minute when I first heard that. Because it’s human nature for us to sometimes feel sorry for ourselves and have a pity party, but all that does is it keeps us stuck in negativity. I have a friend who is just recovering from cancer and so I’m sure you are thinking there is nothing to be thankful for when you have cancer! That’s terrible Well she said what got her through some of her toughest days was remembering a friend of hers that had cancer 3 times, and this last one has spread throughout his body so he wasn’t going to make it for sure. He only had weeks to live. Weeks to be with his wife and little kids. So she felt blessed that her cancer was treatable and all the terrible chemo and surgeries and radiation she had to endure was just something she needed to do to get through it - but that she would get to live! So what a difference her perspective was - and I”m sure it helped with her healing!

So, every night I try and think of 3 things that I’m grateful for, and these past few nights it’s always been that I’m thankful that I spoke with so-in-so and that they are ok. I’m thankful for the extra time I have to spend with my family. I’m thankful for this time to do things that maybe I’ve put off for a while. I mean if you were wanting to learn something or try some new recipe or paint something or organize your garage or do some landscaping or start your spring cleaning - and not miss out on work or other stuff - NOWS the time! We all have time to do it! That’s a blessing.

I also am loving the focused family time. My kids are older and 2 are away at college, so it’s not often that we get to hang out and spend so much time together. I’m really enjoying our family dinners, binge watching shows together, yard work together, and game night!! This year is probably the last time that all 5 of us will be living together and so I get this gift of having my olders back from college to live with us again for this short period of time. Eventually they will get jobs and apartments on their own and so I’m really thankful for this unusual and special time that I get to reconnect with them.

But maybe you have little kids and you are going crazy with no breaks and no playdates or parks to go to! Something’s got to give. You not expected to do it all. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to have to work, and take care of young ones and try to be a homeschool teacher right now. Thank God that’s not me, because I am too old for that! I would have no energy. I spoke with my sister yesterday who has 2 young kids 8 and 4 and she’s CMO of a tech company and she said her management team is all working from home. some on her team are parents with newborns and toddlers and no help have to share with shifts of work and childcare all day long. And others who are trying to work but have new young co-workers who like to interrupt meetings. But she said everyone is going through the same stuff so making light of the situation tho helps us cope. She did say some of her empty nesters who now don’t have a commute time are so happy to have all this extra free time and she’s ask them to tone down their excitement a little because not everyone is in their situation. The one thing she said that I thought was great was that the best thing that she’s done to help her cope is to bring her expectations of what she’s supposed to be doing down a little bit. We can’t do it all. and we have to be ok with that. Once you are, you can relax a little bit.

I read this great article the other day, I’ll have to put it in the show notes. It’s an article from NBC news - Coronavirus Quarantine? Gen-X was made for this! Boomers and Gen-Z? Not so much. Ha! I’m Gen-X! And we were the latch key kids, the neglected generation that had to fend for themselves. I remember binge watching MASH, 3’s Company, Golden Girls, Welcome Back Cotter, Happy Days re-runs and making party pizza and Spaghetti-Os every day as my snack. That’s right! We had to walk home from school, make our own snacks, do chores, get jobs to pay for stuff we wanted, and basically we had to be ok with being bored or we had to create fun and figure out what to do all on our own. We didn’t have the internet or people entertain us or micromanage us or do stuff for us! And we are resourceful because of it! We figure stuff out! I love that about our generation.

But we’ve also wanted to provide more for our families and do more because we felt a little shafted growing up with no attention. So we’ve showered our kids with love and affection, micromanaged them, entertained them and we do everything for them. We cook, clean, raise our family and work! And we are disappointed in ourselves if we can’t do it all. We can’t always be the super hero’s we strive to be. And this crazy quarantine is an opportunity for us to slow down and do less.

It’s ok for our grade school kids and older to fend for themselves for lunch…. or to be bored and have to figure out on their own how to have fun. We aren’t expected to have to cook 3 meals a day, clean up after everyone, work from home AND homeschool the kids! It’s just simply not possible to be 3 people at once! So give yourself a little leeway to just do what you can do and be ok with it. When my kids were younger and I would leave them with dad for a girls weekend or something, dad doesn’t do all the stuff I do. So the girls like to joke that they will have take out and only bathe once, maybe not change their clothes... which might be true but here’s the other thing they would have to do when I’m not around... well for staters dad would make them clean up after themselves, he’d also make them help out with dinner prep and clean up. This one time I was away he had the kids help with laundry! What I realized is that I was doing so much stuff that I could have been getting help with. My kids were old enough and capable of helping but I just felt like I’m the mom so I have to do it all. Well, once I started working full time, I had to let the notion of doing it all go.. it’s just not possible! And in fact it’s so much better to get help from your family.

The funny thing is that as a generation we all wanted better for our kids so we have figured out ways to do everything FOR them - we micromanage everything. I don’t think there was such a thing as helicopter parenting when I was a kid. It’s not good for our kids actually. We’ve got to let them do things for themselves and figure things out on their own a bit before they go off to college. Of course I’m not saying you should ignore your preschoolers or babies, I’m just saying that especially now when there is no school. It’s OK for you to NOT be a homeschool teacher - it’s ok for you to show them how to get into their computer and then have them do their lessons alone. It’s ok for them to not know how to do something and for you to not figure it out for them . In fact it’s better for them to reach out to their teacher for help. You can teach them how to email their teacher. I think it’s ok to teach your kids to make them selves a sandwich or how to cook eggs or noodles or something simple, I’m always surprised a little by those kids cooking shows - kids that are 10 can make amazing meals! But before that can happen then need to prob make a bunch of gross ones. And that’s ok! That’s how we learn and get inspired to grow. My 4 year old nephew was totally bored the other day and my sister said to him, you know what - when i was your age my sister wouldn’t play with me so I had to go outside and play by myself. I created a whole imaginary world and had fun making forts and using my imagination! He was like - ok mommy I’ll go try to do that. He’s 4 so that was easy, if you said that to a 6 year old who is used to constant entertainment it’s going to be much harder to try and introduce them to the idea of self entertainment that doesn’t involve a TV or screen. But maybe if you tell them stories from your child hood they will be open to trying something new for 30 min or an hour. That’s a start!

So I’m going to wrap up by saying I hope this inspires you to adjust your expectations of what is needed to be done right now. Put your self care and family first and reconnect. But if you have important things to do - it’s OK to let everyone fend for themselves, let them pitch in and help you out sometimes. Find things to be grateful for even during difficult times and you’ll feel better. Wishing you and your family is safe and healthy and that this episode helps you feel a little more calm during these crazy times. Until next time, take care.