My Shelter-in-Place Creative Sprint: How I’m Creatively Dealing with COVID-19

Ah, what an interesting time we live in today…

With the current, constantly escalating situation with COVID-19, my little family and I (just like everyone else in the world) have felt the impact of the pandemic on our home life.

Professionally, my employer decided to temporarily shutter all of our global offices. So I’ve been working from home since last Monday, March 9th. I’ve had different business trips and projects either canceled or postponed until Q3 of the fiscal year – which means that (1) I’ve been tasked with identifying new, virtual ways of getting my job done and (2) a much busier August than I initially anticipated. Plus, I’m grappling with a general sense of uncertainty around how long this temporary remote work situation will last — and when I can expect to return to my work “normal.”

Personally, my home life has been disrupted. I find myself constantly reassessing how I spend my days (What structure can I put into place to make sure I get everything done? How can I make sure that I’m still taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally when my daily routines have been upended?). My little family and I are frequently realigning how we coexist within our three-bedroom apartment: how we can capitalize on spending more time with each other, how we can ensure that we carve out crucial times we need to be by ourselves, and how we can ensure that we’re still providing a sense of normalcy to our toddlers who, quite frankly, have no idea what’s going on.

Admittedly, COVID-19 has taken an emotional toll on me. The constant news and accompanying panic have caused my anxiety to spike. There have been real financial implications on my family, considering that my husband is a small business owner whose primary source of income relies on large-scale events. I’m frustrated because I haven’t seen my extended family in a while (and, honestly, am unsure if I can see them in-person anytime soon). And I’m also constantly worried about how this situation can affect my loved ones who are high-risk, particularly my immunocompromised grandfather.

In short, there’s a ton of shit going on right now. And any of it can easily cause me to spiral…

But I’m trying my damnedest to keep my spirits high. For the sake of my husband, my kids, and my mental and emotional health.

And now that we’ve been ordered to shelter in place for at least the next few weeks, I have the challenge — no, the opportunity — to use this time of isolation in a productive way.

Here are some ways that I’ve already been taking advantage of this time of social distancing:

  • Establishing work-from-home morning and afternoon routines, so that I can carve out time to do the self-care activities I typically do during my one-hour commute (e.g. meditate, journal, read) — and so that I can use these routines as a framework for all my work-from-home days in the future.
  • Utilizing technology to stay connected with my family members from whom I need to keep my distance, because of potential exposure.
  • Cooking more home-made meals for my little family. Even warm breakfasts on a weekday!
  • Spending more quality time with my kids, in general, since I no longer need to account for a two-hour round-trip commute to the office.
  • Implementing more at-home date nights with my husband, like game nights or streaming a new movie.
  • Experimenting with at-home exercises, since I can’t go to the gym and I need to ensure I stay active. Additionally, using this as an opportunity to get back into running.
  • Reading more, including with my husband (currently reading together: “Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive in Love and Work”).

And, most notably, I’m using this time of quarantine to go on, what I’ve dubbed, a “creative sprint.” Starting yesterday, Sunday, March 15th, through Sunday, March 29th, I’ll be spending at least 30 minutes per day catching up on this blog: organizing my editorial calendar, writing, and publishing new content.

What does that mean? It means that I’ll be sharing more posts on here (finally). And, hopefully, I’ll also flex my writing muscle, so that this creative sprint will prep me to finally get into a rhythm of writing regularly again.

So, here’s to creative ventures. Here’s to processing the murkiness we’re all experiencing in a productive way. And here’s to finding opportunities of positivity in moments of struggle.

(Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash)

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