5 Social Distancing Habits I Hope I Continue
The Upside of Social Distancing
I would never have thought I could be satisfied being home all the time. During this time of social distancing, I have learned that a certain amount of solace comes with being at home. In fact, in these past several weeks, I have developed some habits I hope to keep long after the pandemic of 2020 is over.
Habit #1: Creativity Galore
Some of the hobbies I have adopted during my self-isolation are quite relaxing and rewarding. Coloring is probably my favorite. After spending several days coloring adult coloring book pages, my husband asked, "What are you going to do with those?" At first, I wasn't going to do anything with them, but then I decided they were too beautiful and too time-consuming just to throw away or leave in the book. The solution was to make something with them. So I did. With some pages, I secured them onto 3X3 tiles and made coasters. Then I put them in gift bags and left them on a couple of friends' doorsteps. With a few others, I made cards and wrote messages to friends and family I miss. I was happy to be able to remind some of my favorite people I was thinking of them during this difficult time. And similarly, I felt good about doing something useful with the coloring pages I spent so much time on.
After having the time to be creative and make useful items for people, I sincerely hope I remember the joy it has brought me. Taking the time to do relaxing hobbies and be creative is one habit I want to continue when I have put distance between me and social distancing.
A Place for EVERYTHING,
and Everything in its PLACE— Benjamin Franklin
Habit #2: Organize and De-Clutter
My housekeeping skills were ever bad. Instead, I would say they were lacking. I never really finished everything I wanted to do. The old me would argue it was because I didn't have time. The new me knows it was because I didn't make time.
Being home has given me the time, true. Now that I have a perfectly organized pantry and clean closets, I have to say I like it. Not only have I tossed bags and bags of clothes and household items in the Good Will bins, I have entirely organized the remaining items. I didn't realize how much clutter I had until it was gone. Continuing this level of perfection will not be easy when my regular life resumes. I am hopeful; however, I can let this feeling of accomplishment inspire me to stay organized.
Habit #3: Telling People How Much They Mean To Me
I've always been a sentimental person, but I was stingy with my compliments and other words of praise. Participating in social distancing has helped me understand that if I think it in my head, I should say it out loud. I know that sounds risky on many levels. So, let me explain. I often think I should tell someone how much I appreciate them, but I rarely do.
Lately, I've been saying all of those thoughts I usually keep locked in my head, and the results have been heartwarming. Telling someone how much I appreciate them or need them is therapy for both of us. I know I am not the only person who thinks so either. Because recently, I received a lovely card in the mail from a friend.
I desperately hope the compassion and thoughtful nature I have acquired these past few weeks is a personality trait I can sustain. I am ashamed to admit it took a pandemic and social distancing for me to realize what I was lacking. I am optimistic, however, the gains I have enjoyed are enough to keep it going.
Good Friends are like Stars,
You don't always see them,
but you know they are there.
Habit #4: Use VideoTechnology To Connect With People
Since my self-isolation began, I have made it a habit to reach out to friends I have not seen in a long while through various means of video technology. I know many people will say they use video communication all the time, but I did not. Sure, I texted or used social media, but I did not use FaceTime or other video means of communication until this isolation.
Every night I have a friend or two I chat with via video, and it is always way better than anything I could watch on television. This face to face communication is so much better than texting or even talking on the phone. For one thing, it has taught me that my friends could care less about what I look like; they just like getting together. Usually, they are just relieved I look as rough as they do. We laugh and reconnect in ways not possible without video communication.
I hope video calls are my new routine, and I hope I choose them over television frequently when this is all over. Why should I disconnect from these friends when we have had so much pleasure reconnecting? I know that even if I don't see them or hear from them in a while, they are still my friends. But they are my friends for a reason. I like their company. I hope to continue using video to connect with some of my favorites long after our busy lives continue.
Habit #5: Limiting Trips Out & About
I never realized how many trips I made going places, getting things, and then going back again and again until I had to start planning and limiting my trips. During this time at home, my husband has continued to work out in the public. He occasionally stops and gets essential items. However, we have been steadfast about limiting our exposure to the masses.
We keep a running list of items we need and the places we need to go to get them throughout the week. Usually, I do these errands on Monday, and that is the only trip I make out all week. If someone would have told me six months ago I could organize my life this way, I would have laughed. What it has taken, though, is the mentality that we can do without or substitute to avoid a trip. The results have been overwhelmingly positive.
I spend much less time shopping, which saves both time and money. We have learned to get creative with our meals and eat what we have in the pantry and freezer. Maybe we wanted something different, but we did not have the luxury of running to the store to get it. So we made do, and we have found a great deal of satisfaction in this simplicity. I can only hope I can sustain this minimalist approach to shopping when social distancing is over.
There are far, far better things ahead
than anything we leave behind.— C. S. Lewis
The past several weeks have been trying for many people. I am lucky my sacrifices have been paltry compared to so many. I commend all of the essential workers who have picked up the slack and kept this country running. I applaud all the health professionals who risk their lives every day for the health and comfort of others. And I look to the future with wide eyes, thinking of all the ways this pandemic has changed life as we know it forever. I know it has taught me some lessons in humanity and some lessons on how to be happier with the simple aspects of life. When this is all over, I hope the good remains and the lessons we learn are engrained forever.
© 2020 Marcy Bialeschki