I’m an extroverted travel addict with an affinity for social interactions. So how can I be enjoying this quarantine so much? Well, let’s take a look, shall we.
>>I finally planted that mini garden
Because there’s no better time than a pandemic to live off the land, am I right? But seriously, something about getting my hands dirty and picking out which herbs I’m going to use for dinner is absolutely lovely.
<<My meditation practice has dramatically improved
My pre-lockdown meditation practice was sporadic, at best. I’d rarely miss my scheduled group meditations, but my personal sits? Well, most days I just didn’t squeeze it in. These past few weeks, I have meditated deeply and regularly every single day. I check in with my group on zoom (which now meets 5-6x per week, join us at ‘Meditation for Everyone’ https://swervestudio.com/class-schedule/) which keeps me accountable, centered and connected.
>>I’m learning new skills
I’ve invested time into diving deeper into understanding the stock market, I’ve finally tried out using charcoals in my artwork, and next on my to-do list is figure out how the hell to use Photoshop. I might even sign up for a kundalini yoga teacher training, or perhaps nutrition school. The possibilities are boundless for online learning! I’ve been mostly using SkillShare, if you want to try it out, you can use this code igamb3310 for a 2 month free trial here. I heard great things about MasterClass too, but haven’t checked em out yet.
<<I’ve dedicated time for arts, for writing, and for creating a virtual retreat
I have a calendar chart taped to the wall and each day I write how many minutes I’ve dedicated to each of these passions. I’m halfway through a screenplay, I’ve doodled, watercolored, oil painted, pencil sketched. And I’ve created quite a few videos to string together for the virtual retreat I’m launching soon. Am I productive every single day? Yes, and no. Because I count sitting down in front of my blog right now and typing productive, yes. Am I writing an earth-shattering novel? Nope. and I’m ok with that. I’m not necessarily looking to change the world during my quarantine time, just trying to stay inspired, mentally healthy, and committed to feeding my creativity.
>>Connection with my husband
In the madness of all this, we’ve found a much softer side of our relationship. Instead of our typical active lifestyles, we’ve cuddled more on the couch. We’ve deep belly laughed doing a ‘draw your roommate’ challenge, playing board games and making tik tok videos. Our nightly chats are rawer and we’ve begun to crystalize a more concrete vision for our future.
<<More dog cuddles and walks than ever before
Our pups are seriously making out in this situation. Three hour long walks a day, endless cuddles and attention and a more conscious eye on their diets and wellbeing. I know someday I’ll look back on this time fondly with memories of snuggling the furbabies with unconditional love.
>>I’ve indulged in trashy tv, silly challenges, tik tok videos, eating peanut butter from the jar and wine
And that’s ok, because I have enjoyed it. I know this extra fluff around my midsection isn’t going to be there forever. I would be working out if I didn’t have a hand surgery this week, but for right now I’m just enjoying being less strict with myself, drinking that extra glass of wine, having another handful of chips, and being shamelessly obsessed with “Love is Blind”. (Waiting to watch Tiger King after my surgery as a treat since I won’t be able to type/paint/write/cook – cannot wait!). And yes, I’m wasting so much time on tik tok, but it makes me smile and I’m thoroughly enjoying letting my guard down to make ridiculous videos. If you want to check out the hype, my tik tok is @chelseagilson 😉
>>But I’ve also started tracking my macros, eating cleaner and more mindfully.
You know that calendar spreadsheet I was talking about? Well, I also write down my calories, macros, and weight too. It is all too easy to load up on carbs at home, so I track my food in My Fitness Pal app to make sure I’m getting adequate protein & fat intake to balance my carbo-loading (lol, funny because it’s true). I’ve been slowing down and enjoying each bite more, and taking my lunches outside in the sun. In my typical life I might go from breakfast until dinner without anything besides a latte on the go or maybe a protein bar eaten in the car. This lockdown has created a regularity to my eating schedule that I’ve come to sincerely appreciate and enjoy.
<<Experimenting in the kitchen
I’ve always loved creating recipes, and I’ve got the food posts on here to prove it. But my limited pantry has provoked a more experimental approach to my baking and cooking. Check out this peanut butter banana bread recipe I’ve been living off of in quarantine.
>>Less time spent in front of a mirror
Wow, is this one a biggie. You know how much time I spend in my normal life staring in the mirror? A scary amount. When I get an audition, it takes me nearly 2 hours to do my hair and makeup and get dressed (I spend a lot of time putting on outfits, ripping them off, and throwing them on the floor until I find the right combo). And if I’m going out for the night? It’s easily an hour of getting ready in front of the mirror time. Adding that up over my lifetime is frightening. These days? I’m lucky if I catch that some breakfast smoothie got on my cheek by dinnertime.
<<elevated self-care routine
Where I am spending all that extra time? On self-care. Not just the meditation, but taking the time to use all those expensive beauty products I have. Putting on face masks, taking long detoxifying baths, using a coffee scrub in the shower. My pamper game is strong and I’m relishing in the indulgence of it all.
<<Sleeping soundly and deeply
I track my sleep nightly through the Sleep Cycle App free version, and wooooow am I getting restful full nights sleeps. I’ve been waking feeling rejuvenated and so well rested that I’m dreading the idea of going back to 5-6 hours/night. These 7-8 hour nights are pure bliss.
It seems that, after all, I can live without that daily $7 latte! With a severe decrease in $$ coming in, I have reevaluated my spending habits, cut ties with memberships I don’t need, and questioned my impulsive online shopping habit. I hadn’t even realized how much money was going towards memberships and services that I either don’t use or don’t need.
>>Revisiting those books I never had time to finish
My ‘to read’ wish list is a mile long, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity to dive into those books I’ve always wanted to read. I am finally accepting comments again (after a 2 year-long hiatus because of increased spam), so please, leave your book recommendations below!
>>Connecting with old friends
I’ve never been wonderful at keeping in touch. But this pandemic has pushed me to zoom and facetime with friends that I otherwise wouldn’t take an opportunity to connect with. It has given us a common longing for connectivity through our shared lockdown experiences.
<<Reorganize, Clean, Declutter, Redecorate
Well, this one truthfully is still on the to-do list, aside from that impromptu kitchen reorganization meltdown I had last week. But I’m excited to tackle creating a more zen space, room by room. This new light just came for our bedroom, and MAN it sparks joy for me 🙂
>>Made grand plans for the future
All this downtime for introspection has enabled me to assess my current disposition, and redirect where I am headed next. What is important to me, what are my strengths, and what’s holding me back? I want to redefine my bucketlist, make changes to reduce my carbon footprint, set actionable goals. For me, it’s reframing the question ‘what do I want out of life’, to ‘what can I give to this world’.
You must have known this one was coming. I am so deeply grateful that we can keep a roof over our head and food on the table during these tough times. That I can focus some of my energy on self-improvement instead of solely on financial anxiety. I am grateful for my husband and our dogs, my family and their health, and the foundation of mindfulness that yoga and meditation have afforded me.
We are in this together. Be kind to your neighbors, save some toilet paper for the next person, stop and marvel at nature, check in with friends and family who are isolating alone, call out racism and bigotry, laugh out loud, turn your face towards the sun, and above all, breathe. Deep breathes that fill up your belly, your ribs and your chest. It will all be alright, and society will prevail. The only thing you can control is who you will be when you reenter it. xx
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