Over the weekend, the situation changed hourly. By Sunday night, essentially everything was shut down: libraries, the gym, yoga studios, SCHOOL. School is – and I can’t think too much about this, I cannot think more than a day or two at a time right now – closed indefinitely. INDEFINITELY. Like I said, I can’t think too much about this. My kids are absolutely crushed; they are devastated about not seeing their friends, of course, but also worried about the academic implications. The high school is getting online learning going, and my high school student only has two core subjects this semester, both of which I personally excel at, math and English, so I will be able to help him as much as I can. He is currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird, which is one of my all-time favourites, so I am re-reading it now so we can have some good critical discussions. That, along with online math lessons, should be at least moderate to keep up with what will be needed in Grade 11, the important grade in terms of post-secondary early admissions.
The junior high, however, has stated that teachers CANNOT provide ANY school resources at this time, which, well. All of my son’s textbooks are online, so we can figure things out, and he is a very methodical worker so I’m hoping he will be able to self-learn. Of course I am here for his math and English as well – he is slated to study The Outsiders, which we have at home – but I’m unsure about the science and social studies curriculum. Well, we will get through. There will be a time after this, I keep telling myself. This isn’t forever.
The funny thing is that this week I had planned in my head to write a Favourite Things: Self Care Edition because of how busy this week always is, getting ready for spring break. It seems like an entirely different lifetime, doesn’t it? Like, normally I would be scrambling trying to fit in my bikini wax between classes, get the dog to the boarding kennel, and pack all the bags. I might even feel resentful that I am the key bag-packer in the house. OH TO HAVE THAT RESENTMENT.
Like I said, I can’t think too much about it. I can’t think about indefinite school closures, I can’t think about the escalation of cases and deaths, I can’t think about the massive economic fallout that this will have on everyone. We all have to take care of ourselves, and with that in mind…
Nicole’s Favourite Things: The Self-Care During a Global Pandemic Edition
Every day I repeat to myself that there are many things out of my control, so I can only control what I can control. It’s like I’m basically repeating the Serenity Prayer to myself over and over. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. We can only control our own thoughts, our own movements, our own actions. I can’t control the schools closing indefinitely but I can help the kids with lessons every day.
Yes, the studios are all closed but I have a long and well-established practice that I can easily do at home. Even if you DON’T, now is the time to start. God, if there was any time to start a home yoga practice, it would be now. My studio is starting to offer classes online – I’ll be teaching one this week, stay tuned! – but of course there are also countless YouTube videos out there. My husband is benefiting from my I-Miss-Teaching state of mind, and I’m giving him mini at-your-desk sessions throughout the day. Roll out your mat, and breathe.
How do you like my home yoga studio? Squeezed in between the kitchen and the dining room table which is also doubling as my husband’s work-from-home station. Well, that’s the great thing about yoga, all you need is enough space to roll out your mat.
With the gym closed, and my treadmill running and spin classes obviously being non-existent, I am putting in extra efforts to keep active. I am lucky enough to have an elliptical trainer in my basement, and fortunately the weather is decent – so long daily walks are on the schedule. The sidewalks are still pretty icy so I’m not comfortable running outside, but I will revisit that later. In any case, daily activity is important. And so is fresh air! At least this didn’t happen in January, I think to myself. Right? Because the days are longer and the sun is stronger. Get outside, breathe the air, be active.
Nourish Your Body
Let me tell you, on Friday I was in Let’s Eat And Drink Whatever We Want My God This Is The Apocalypse mode, and that was fine for a couple days, but definitely not sustainable. For one thing, if I keep drinking a bottle of wine every night I would quickly run out of wine. For another, I don’t want to outgrow all my clothes because well, no shopping for a while. So I’m keeping up with my Eating A Rainbow meal plan, there seems to be absolutely no issue getting fresh produce right now so I’m making sure the boys are eating their usual mammoth amounts of fruits and vegetables, and, of course, I’m having my daily green smoothies.
Cue the choir of angels: look at that avocado. My mom gave me that cutting board for Christmas after my son destroyed one of mine crushing candy canes.
This deserves its own heading. I have said countless times before that I swear by green smoothies for health and energy. I have one every day; my favourite is this one, but if you don’t want to click the link it is a cup of almond milk, two tablespoons almond butter, a frozen banana, a whole lot of cinnamon, and like 8 cups of spinach.
The green smoothie is hydrating, but so is water. Whenever I say I drink 4-5 litres of water daily, the question that always arises is “Don’t you pee a lot?” I mean, I guess? I don’t really monitor how much other people pee, but I would guess I probably do pee more than normal. I have a pretty water bottle that makes me happy every time I fill it, and if you think that sound frivolous, have you met me? I’m all about frivolous. On that note:
Make Yourself Feel Pretty
If there is nowhere to go and nobody to see, it’s pretty easy to slump into a series of Pajama Days. If that’s your jam, great! But for me, that is very bad for my mental health. So, every day I shower, put on a nice outfit. I put on makeup, do my hair, and wear my jewelry. I have been having a series of great hair days lately; isn’t that always the way? Great hair days and no one to share them with. Well, I’m sharing them with you now!
For God’s Sake, Step Away From The Internet
Yes, it’s important to be informed and yes, things change on the hour. However, constantly refreshing your feed is NOT the best idea if you want to stay sane. Or maybe it is, maybe that’s how you feel in control; for me, I have to step away. I mean, unless I want to see people fighting on my facebook page about whether or not the virus can survive in a warm climate, or the usual Internet Divided which happens for literally everything – EVERYTHING – but just feels gross now, the teams divided into We Are All Going To Die versus We Are All Overblowing Everything. As usual, there is no middle ground, and so it’s really better to Stay Off The Internet. Or just check in once or twice a day. The news is not going to be good no matter how you slice it, so just check in with what you need and get on with your day.
The exception? Cute photos. Look at this guy!
I’m also reading a lot – the library is closed but luckily I have tons of books that I love and am going to re-read. My mom gave me The Testaments for Christmas, which I haven’t read yet. I am not sure I can read something of a dystopian nature right now, but soon. In the meantime I will be sharing my reading list with you.
Please note that these are things that make ME feel better. Maybe they will resonate with you, maybe they won’t. Just stay safe, stay healthy, and remember that yes, there will be a time after this. It’s not forever. xoxo