Five Ways We Practice Self-Care During This Pandemic

Or Day 173 Took Me To The Cleaners.

You know it has been a beast of a year with very few bright spots. Our family still chooses to isolate as much as possible to minimize the impact of exposures we can’t avoid, like Laura’s work duties. Something has to give. We won’t go to a restaurant. We don’t go to events of any sort unless we can isolate like at the Carrie Furnace Carpool Cinema drive-in.

But we’ve carved out some small, safe indulgences.

1. Housekeeper. We’ve worked with SelfCare Housekeeping for awhile. Between Laura’s work schedule and my disability, this is an incredible investment in our quality of life. When they told us they were coming back, we were excited. There are tons of rules to keep everyone safe so Laura goes into her office on these days and I hole up in our bedroom with many cats. We open all of the windows, I wear a mask, they wear PPE and we comunicate via text. There’s no contact at all. We clean our bathroom ourselves. And by using this particular company, we create referral hours for other people.

2. Hello Fresh meal kits. We tried a few kits and liked them quite a bit. It’s a little under $50 for two meals for two and they stretch into leftovers to be a really good deal.

3. Starbucks. It’s the only treat we have. No ice cream. No actual coffee houses. No restaurants. Half the bakeries we usually visit are Trumpies. Sigh.

4. Being connected. We watch the local and national news daily, MSNBC evening and weekend lineup. Newspapers, magazines, etc. I tweet along more often than in the past. It adds structure to the days.

5. Sending pet pics. Since March, I’ve sent a handful of friends a daily pet picture. Some on FB messenger, some via Twitter DM, and some via text. It has created all sorts of great exchanges – some send me pics of their critters, some engage in chitchat, while others just give me an occasional thumbs up. I’ve begun posting them on Insta, too. I have missed a few days, but given the circumstances I think that’s okay.

Most of our friends are far more active than us. So we’ve lost a bit of human contact as we try to avoid exposure to their contacts. But using social media and being honest about social distancing seems to work well enough. And the selfcare helps.

The models predict the death toll in the US could be anywhere from 225,000-400,000 NEW deaths by January. The key is to remain vigilant and not succumb to the temptation to loosen our personal restrictions. We can’t control anyone but ourselves. That’s very sobering.

I don’t feel like we’ve lost as much as we’ve gained or maintained our health. We aren’t sick. We are struggling, but keeping our health as a priority is a shared commitment for both of us.

Today was housekeeping day so the house feels really good. And so do I.

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