Sometimes I read the comments on Instagram posts about the ongoing pandemic and I feel really hopeless. Humanity can really bum me out sometimes. I know, I know, never read the comments. But there’s not much human interaction these days beyond the internet, unfortunately. We’ve been at home for 9 months at this point. I could have birthed a human by now! But really what I’ve been focusing on is examining the ins and outs of my day-to-day life and what really matters. Because when you’re staying safely at home waiting for a terrifying virus to pass, it tends to put things in perspective. Here are some things that I’ve let go of during quarantine.
Anyone else remember the first few weeks of quarantine when parents were sharing their meticulously detailed lesson plans for the day for “homeschool”? I was totally one of those. Guess what is not sustainable for 9 months when you’re also working full time? Right now, we’re expected to be full-time parents, full-time employees and full-time teachers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful to still have a job in a time where many have lost theirs, but the expectation of productivity has been highly overrated. I’m doing my best to get by each day, juggling a million different hats just like everyone else. I used to feel anxiety and guilt if I didn’t cross off every single item on my to-do list for the day. But these days, I’ve given myself what I like to refer to as “space and grace.” Maybe I want to watch an old rerun of “Law & Order SVU” instead of doing the dishes. Maybe I need to just sit outside with my chickens for a bit in the fresh air rather than bent over a computer screen. Productivity guilt doesn’t exist in 2020, so I stopped inflicting it upon myself.
Following people on social media who don’t spark joy
I recently did a massive “unfollow” overhaul on social media. Quarantine has definitely made me reexamine my relationship with my phone. Recently, I’ve dreaded the idea of even opening Instagram, because there was so much bullshit in my feed. So, I purged. I unfollowed everyone that I didn’t get excited to see when I scrolled past them in my feed. There’s a variety of reasons for unfollowing someone; you’ve outgrown them, you aren’t connected IRL anymore, you’re jealous of what they share, you follow them just to lurk. IG can be a black hole if we aren’t proactive about how we use it. In this time when I miss my friends and family so much, I decided to make IG a place where I only see those who matter most to me, or those who ignite my creative energy.
Friendships that no longer serve me
This year has felt like a lifetime between the pandemic, the election and social and racial justice issues. And what I’ve learned from not seeing certain people on a regular basis is that they’re no longer chosen family. Because if you’re not going to make an effort to stay connected with someone during a pandemic, chances are that friendship isn’t really serving you anymore and was actually one of convenience. Plus, those aforementioned issues have really helped bring to light what people believe in and what matters. I’ve seen sides of people that I don’t know would ever have come to the surface if it weren’t for COVID, and sometimes I really didn’t like what I saw. I don’t know what a post-pandemic world looks like, but I do know I can’t go back into certain relationships after everything we’ve experienced and what our aligned values are.
The idea that things have to be a certain way
I am not what you could call, flexible. I like routine and I like consistency. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that our comfort zone can be squashed in the blink of an eye. I’ve learned to be adaptable, and to not let my anxiety take over because of it. I mean, we’re all doing our best right now as it is, what’s the point of self-inflicting stress for the sake of routine? We used to go grocery shopping together as a family every Sunday, and I would get really stressed out if we didn’t make it that day. Now I’ve learned to love a variety of Urban Sharecrop boxes and random grocery order pickups throughout the week. It’s this weird patchwork that shouldn’t work, but totally does.
Trying to do everything on my own
I’ve always been a very independent person. I don’t like asking for help, mostly because I worry about being a burden on other people. But quarantine has given me the opportunity (aka forced me) to ask for help when I need it. Whether it’s with my son, housework or even just a quiet moment alone, I’ve really been embracing letting other people help me. And the results have been beneficial for not just me, but for my son and my husband. It’s really a win-win.
I mean, this one is pretty self-explanatory. 💋😷
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