30 Days of Isolation health life mental health

30 days of isolation: Day 1 of social distancing

To be fair, this doesn’t really start with day one of isolation. We’ve been social distancing for a while now. However, stay-at-home orders have been extended to April 30, and things have started getting more and more “locked down” for lack of a better term, so why not start with April 1. That is, after all, when it started feeling more isolated, more solitary, more alone. It’s not all bad, though. You’ll see.

Day 1: 4.1.20

April 1, as you know, is April Fool’s Day. A day where we play (usually) harmless tricks on each other and post incorrect Instagram or Facebook posts as a joke. This year, there was a black cloud over it all. Companies and celebrities tried their best to be light-hearted and post silly things, which was nice, but it just wasn’t the same. This year, the biggest, cruelest joke of all is that we are stuck inside, stuck at home, just stuck. Unfortunately, there was no one shouting “APRIL FOOLS!!!” at any point so that we could go back to normal. Alas, we are making it work.

Social Distancing isn’t all bad

I've been training for social distancing my whole life.

As I said to someone the other day: I have been training for this my whole life. I am an introvert by nature, so having to stay home and do things, for me, is like a dream come true. I love working on things around the house – yes, even cleaning. Staying home opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me to deep clean and organize and just be the homebody I was meant to be. I love it. In fact, there have been several times when my fiance asked me to go to the store with him or somesuch – and I opted to stay home. I just… like it here.

I am also blessed beyond measure to work for a job where I am able to work from home – which I absolutely love. If it was up to me, I’d work from home most of the time. I love the Zoom meetings and the emails and the distance. I feel much more at ease interacting electronically than I do personally, so this has been a Godsend. The only downside is that every Zoom meeting is an opportunity for me to see that I have exceeded the maximum number of chins. And social distancing doesn’t help with the whole “healthy eating” thing, either. But that’s another discussion.

Grateful I can shine

The point is, I am fortunate, and I know it. I am grateful to God daily for that. I’m also thrilled to be able to finally shine a bit brighter at my job. As the introverted number nerd, I spend a lot of time in my office, doing my introverted number nerd thing. I’m also the “techie” in my office, so when someone needs tech help with things like Excel or Zoom or a Learning Management System, they call me. The instances are usually few and far between… until now.

Now, I’m the one everyone needs just to make things work – and I LOVE IT. I get to shine at my job and do it from home? HELL. YES. I feel valued and needed; smart and competent. It feels simply wonderful. So, of the several good things I can name regarding this stay-at-home order, that’s one of the best.

But it’s not all good, either.

If you’ve read any of my previous writing, you know I have anxiety – and it can get really bad. Usually, staying home is what helps quell the anxiety. My, how the tables have turned. At least, kind of. I don’t think it’s the “staying home” thing that has me anxious – it’s the lack of normalcy that has me on edge. Now, I’m staying home because I legitimately have something to fear.

For most people (as in more than 99%), Coronavirus is no more than a bad flu – in some very mild cases, even a bad cold. For me, though, it can be fatal. I am asthmatic – which is a chronic lung condition, and I also have autoimmune issues, which means my immune system doesn’t work the way it should. If I should catch the Coronavirus, it would likely kill me. That’s not hyperbole. I might die. I could go to the store for a loaf of bread, someone could cough, and a few weeks later, I could die.

Normally, this is the kind of situation my anxiety would cook up in my head to keep me from enjoying myself. Now, it’s very, very real. And it’s terrifying. I’m trying not to let it take over me, but it’s tough. Before, I could talk myself down by reminding myself that it isn’t real. Well, what do I do now? It’s very real. So, I just keep praying and finding peace in little things – and being as vigilant as possible when I go out somewhere.

Daily Social Distancing Affirmations

I could go on forever, but I won’t. I want to save something for future posts. However, all posts will have some simple lists at the end to sum up the day and may even help you get through. Heck, there may be some days that’s ALL that I have on the blog. Regardless, here we go:

Three things I am grateful for today:

  1. Tony, my fiance.
  2. My job
  3. My brain

Three things I accomplished today:

  1. Laundry
  2. Organizing and deep cleaning the bathroom
  3. A productive work meeting

Three things that made me happy today:

  1. Frasier
  2. My BoxyCharm box
  3. April Fools Instagram Jokes

Three ways I can make social distancing better tomorrow:

  1. Turn off the news
  2. No dumb nitpicky quarrels with my fiance
  3. Avoid political Instagram posts

Bible verse of the day:

Bible verse to help with social distancing anxieties
Bible Verse – Nahum 1:7

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good; a strong refuge when trouble comes.

30 Days of Isolation health life mental health

30 days of isolation: joy and melancholy in solitude

I know, I know. Another blog about Coronavirus. Another whiny blogger bitching about the quarantine and not being able to go anywhere or do anything. Blah, blah, blah.

Then again, not really.

I’m not trying to browbeat you with ALL THE FEELS about this whole ordeal, but I will share what I’m doing to get through, how I’m feeling, and how my mental health and wellness are faring throughout it all. I’ll share in hopes that you can find some solidarity with me and me with you that you might not yet have found elsewhere. I’ll share in hopes that I might be able to offer some tips to deal with all this unsettling craziness out there right now.

Some days will be short posts – just to check in. Some days will be more heartfelt. The goal here is to write something, each and every day in April, to help make it through this new era of social distancing with a modicum of sanity and a whole ton of perspective. More than likely, the posts will be posted in the evenings or at night, as I am still working – albeit from home.

I hope you all are safe and healthy and well and are taking things seriously and staying home unless absolutely necessary. We need to be united, but separate. Let’s carry each other’s burdens as we trudge through this aloneness… together. Stay tuned.