As women, we tend to wear a lot of hats. One minute, I’m in teacher mode. The next, I’m in wife mode. Then it’s on to cooking, cleaning, or gardening. Let’s not forget that being in mom mode never stops. It can be not only mentally exhausting, but physically exhausting because we’re always firing on all cylinders, all the time.
This pandemic has forced me to SLOW DOWN.
I’ve had to realize that being home full time now means I don’t have to live my life at my typical 200 MPH pace. In fact, now more than ever I have needed to just slow down and simplify. This unprecedented time has really challenged me to do something that I’ve always been terrible at. Below, I’m sharing a few ways I’ve slowed down and found simple joys during this time.
Daily walks + audiobooks.
My neighborhood is great for taking my son out in the stroller. We go out each morning for a 45 minute walk. I bring my headphones with me and either listen to an audiobook or a podcast. I’m an English teacher and I don’t like to read fiction very much, so lately I’ve been into audiobooks about motherhood or “self help” (I really hate that term). It’s been a really nice way to start my day because by listening to these books or podcasts, I’m pouring into myself just a little bit before my day really begins.
Before I became a mom I loved cooking. I still do, in fact. Sometimes I’m just so tired after working and driving back and forth between my own school and daycare. All I want to do is collapse on the couch after bedtime and aimlessly scroll while eating a bowl of cereal. However, I’ve really taken some time while being at home to remember why I loved cooking so much. It’s been a bit of a creative outlet for me recently. I have been able to test out new recipes. I’ve even been cooking some comfort meals that my husband and I both love from our childhoods. It’s been fun to revisit those emotional connections to meals in our own home. We’ve shared countless meals around our table and had conversation that didn’t only revolve around the buzz and lightning of our normal day-to-day lives.
I am the type of person who loves the idea of a very clean home, but I get so overwhelmed by all the tasks that I just shut down and don’t do any of it. Next thing I know, I’m living under a mound of what was clean laundry that got halfway folded and I’m eating off paper plates because the thought of dirtying one more dish might set me into a tailspin. Since being quarantined, I’ve started managing my household tasks by spending my Sundays planning for the week. I divided up my household tasks by giving myself 1-2 chores to complete each day. It makes things feel so much more manageable and I’ve enjoyed being able to check things off my list and seeing my progress as I go. I don’t have to beat myself up over not getting it all done at once because I’ve made it much more approachable for myself using this method. I only wish I would have started implementing this sooner. It’s also allowed me to take more pride, in a sense, into my home and realize how much of a sanctuary it is for our family. Normally, we spend so much time outside our home that I forget how special it is that we have a beautiful family home to be in every single day.
I believe that after this phase of life passes and things return back to normal, we will be much more appreciative of taking our lives a little bit more slowly. I know that I’ve really managed to find the time to just savor these moments at home with my son. They will come to an end soon enough, which will be equally exciting and heartbreaking. These 3 simple ways I’ve managed to enjoy this time will most definitely follow me forward in what will be our post-pandemic life. I look forward to the day of being able to return to work, go on family outings, and have dinner with friends. However, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to take a step back and pause the busyness of life for just long enough that I’ve learned to love and thrive in the stillness.