This Pandemic Life: Truths

I Put Makeup On Today!

I know I know…great accomplishment, right? Except that right now, during this pandemic, it kind of is. Many of you are still showing up to work via online meetings so you get ready each day, and others are showing up to work at essential businesses (thank you so so much!). However, there are many of us who are at home with no work, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Don’t get me wrong; I am super grateful for the opportunity to be able to stay inside and stay safe as COVID-19 begins to hit close to home really hard and really fast. It’s just that daily functioning has become interesting to say the least. I have always been a morning person, and sleeping in has always been a challenge for me, but apparently when I’m unemployed sleeping until noon is no problem…does anyone else feel me on that? Nothing seems normal, and everything that wasn’t so cool before is totally fine: same sweatpants three days in a row, showering optional, chips for breakfast, wine whenever, etc. etc. etc.

 

These are the things that are messed up (for me) during this pandemic:

 

  1. Daily structure – I was used to filling my weeks with 4 days of serving and the rest of my time taking clients and working on their nutrition protocols, with a splash of writing, recipe creation, and social media stuff in between. Now I am without my restaurant job, without many clients as understandably it’s an extra expense people are scared to spend right now, and struggling to focus on what I can actually do. It is so easy to slip into a pattern of looking at shit online, watching Netflix, sleeping, eating too much, drinking too much wine, the list goes on. I am trying to stick to using my day planner to give my week some structure, but often the day’s activities go right out the window.

 

  1. Sleep – I find myself going to bed earlier than usual, but then waking at 3am thinking about what I should be doing that day, or something I saw online that induces nighttime panic, or craving food, or anything else that should absolutely not be happening at that time. I then find it hard to stay off of my phone and I creep Instagram or Twitter (which FYI is pretty awesome right now), because I can fall back to sleep for as long as I want whenever I want, technically speaking. As someone who has always been a great sleeper, these weird disruptions can completely wreck me and ruin an entire day.

 

  1. Guilt – I am washed with feelings of guilt often, because there is not more that I could be doing to help. I mean from doctors and nurses to grocery store and drug store staff, to construction workers and post office employees, there are so many people out there braving the dangers daily, and all I can do to help is stay at home? As an empath, as a healer, and as a human I am finding it hard to handle. I know I should thank my lucky stars, and that staying home is helping to flatten the curve, but not being able to help more is hard. And would I want to put myself out there right now? Is it bad if I don’t?

 

  1. Fear – I have never been so afraid. Afraid of standing too close to someone, afraid to touch a door handle, afraid of sneezing in public; I am just feeling so much fear. Should I order takeout? Is grocery delivery safe? Will I survive my trip to the post office without getting ‘it’? I know I am young and healthy, but I don’t want anything to do with being as sick as this virus can get you. And my biggest fear is if I am just spreading this horrible thing without knowing. Is it better if I get groceries delivered, or does that make me spoiled and selfish and I should just go to the store? So many questions and so much confusion, all centred around this fear

 

All this being said, things are not all bad, and during such a scary and uncertain time, we definitely need to try to put more emphasis on being grateful for whatever we can.

 

These are the things that are wicked awesome during this pandemic:

 

  1. Time to work out – being stuck at home means I legit have zero “I don’t have time”, “I hate the gym”, “I’m too lazy” excuses for taking care of my physical fitness. I mean I might be feeling lazy, but how many other hours in the day do I have to live that dream? Plus, there are so many awesome online classes being offered for free and so many apps out there to keep us motivated that it’s actually easy and enjoyable to make time to build muscle mass or flexibility each day. This has always been important to me, but now I can build consistency that I hope will continue on once we get back to our normal lives. There will be good days and bad, but a morning workout for me usually means a good day.

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  1. Cooking – now many of you may not experience the joy that I do as a culinary nutritionist when it’s time to prepare a meal, but it is legit my favourite thing on earth to do. Now, the fact that I am enjoying cooking, even though I am also currently mid-kitchen renovation and without a fully functioning kitchen would shock many. But thank goodness for Instant Pots and barbeques…legit all I need to make healthy nutritious meals for me and my Matt 

 

  1. Time to do the thing – I have been struggling to focus my attention on getting my blog back up and running, and actually writing, and now it’s like the universe is telling me to stop making excuses and get that shit done. I have time to write, and writing is actually how I am able to give back to my community and provide some stability and guidance during this scary time. I can help people with immune-boosting advice, anxiety management, behaviour change, compassion and love. If you are under “house arrest” now is the time to do that thing that you know you need to do as an extension of who you are, but keeping putting off. Do the thing. Do it.

 

  1. Creative connections – from apps like Houseparty, options to video chat with Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Facetime, and actually picking up the goddam phone and calling someone, getting creative with how to connect with loved ones is kind of fun and exciting, and so important to our souls. Self-isolation is great for many, but human connection is still important to our souls in some capacity, even if it’s just a text here and there or a virtual hug of some kind. My bestie is driving around and waving to friends from their driveways or the street as a way to get outside and keep spreading the love. For extroverts like myself, socialization is imperative to my survival, so I love that I can reach out via technology to get that fix.

 

  1. Relaxing – staying home means we are being forced to slow down. To chill out. To nap. To sleep in. To go to bed early and get up late. To just watch a movie or listen to a record or read a book for fun. And during times of high stress like right now, take advantage of those times you can actually let go and have some down time. Because as the virus is on pace to soar in Canada before we flatten the curve, our stress levels will rise, people we know and love will get sick, we will feel anxiety, nervousness and fear, and for the sake of our health we need to do what we can when we can to feel ok. To feel safe and secure. To feel hopeful and safe.

 

  1. Friends – no not my friends, although they are awesome too. But Friends, the tv show. I have watched the entire series about a million times, and I can’t stop. Throwing it on in the background when I am doing something means that I can hear it but don’t need to watch it, and the familiar narrative provides me comfort and distracts me from what’s going on. This show might be different for you…The Office? How I Met Your Mother? Seinfeld? 90210? Finding comfort in familiarity and nostalgia is a big thing right now, and it feels so good. PB&J anyone?

 

So, what’s on your list? Be honest. What are you finding hard right now? What are you really enjoying? And shout-out to anyone dealing with a whole family right now…kids, pets, in-laws…you guys are all doing a really incredible job. Whatever your list, there is no right or wrong, and it’s all ok. Feel all the feels. Be grateful for what we have in this moment, but be honest about your doubts and your misses. In times of struggle, being honest with yourself can be a source of comfort and can create a sense of realness in a time that is so surreal. It’s ok to be ok, and it’s ok to not be ok. Just do what you have to do to get through each day, and hold on to those things that keep you safe and sane.

hands heart love

Published by

Kate Notwell

Holistic nutritionist, food writer & photographer

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