I am a stressed out momma of two. One teenager with special needs. One pre-teen girl who is completely neurotypical and has such a big heart.
My family has been in quarantine since March 13th when the kids came home from school for spring break. We decided to isolate then since we're moving and we can't risk anyone getting sick right now. We are about to start week 4 of our quarantine and we are doing okay here in the Eckman household.
Since a lot of us are dealing with being at home all of a sudden, with our families and so many worries I thought I'd write a little bit about how I deal with my anxiety.
My brain does a lot of the stressing for me, with no help from anyone. My brain keeps me occupied with thoughts of viruses and other things I can't control.
And of course, that's why I have anxiety. Because I try to control the things I have no control over and that makes me anxious. I like things to go the way I have worked them out in my mind and when they don't, I get overwhelmed and I feel like the world is coming to an end.
My family is moving out of state, again. We are about 2.5 weeks out from the semi coming to load up our shit and get it across the country. This is our fourth out of state move and you'd think we'd be old hats at it by now, but I'm still struggling a little bit. It's a stressful time for our country and we're adding to it by moving. Granted, we had no idea it would be like this when we sold our house. But now we have to move because the house is sold and the new owners have sold theirs. We'll all be homeless if we don't move out.
In the middle of a pandemic like Covid-19 and a cross-country move, where the only control I have is who comes in and out of my house and how clean things are here, I have taken some steps to control the things I can.
One of the easiest things I did was delete the Facebook and Messenger apps from my phone. I no longer spend long moments mindlessly scrolling through my newsfeed engaging in the ramblings of the girl I went to high school with who thinks that some states will be requiring kids to repeat their grades next year due to the virus. Don't even get me started with people who share misinformation whether unintentionally or not. That stresses me out, so I don't engage.
I removed Messenger because people send me chain emails. I don't have time for that and it's annoying.
Now I check in once or twice a day from my laptop or desktop. I do have clients that need me to be on social media for them, but I can manage their accounts via the Business Manager instead of my personal feed.
I do still have Instagram on my phone and I spend a little more time on there. I unfollowed any person or account that continuously puts out negativity. I don't need that in my life. I have enough of it in my head. If you must keep your social media accounts active during this time, seek out the accounts to follow that make you smile, that bring out the good in the world. I like John Krasinski's Some Good News.
I no longer watch the news. When I need to know what's going on I read Google News. I don't seek out the things that make my brain spin, like the threat of nuclear war with North Korea. Or what new thing the president said that made the talking heads on the news stations go on for hours.
I miss the days when the news was just the facts and not the anchor's or their boss's opinions.
Other things I do to help with my anxiety:
I pray. When I'm washing my hands, I say the Lord's Prayer. When I'm in the shower, I pray. Before I go to bed, I give all my worries to the Lord. And I tell Him how thankful I am that my family is safe and we have enough food to eat and our bills are paid.
I clean. I clean everything I can with bleach and the things I can't, I spray with Lysol. I'm doing my best to keep my house picked up and organized (in the middle of a cross-country move, too).
I cook. I feel like I'm cooking all day some days. At least three times a day I feed these people in my house and make snacks, too. But, it's a form of love to them. It shows them I care and I hope they know that.
I read real books. Right now, I'm reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I adore her. She's so good at getting to the root of goodness in everyone and I need that in my life right now. I follow her on Instagram and I love the videos of her and Abby and their family together. They are putting good in the world.
I contribute. I have continued to tithe to my favorite charities during this time. I realize that a lot of people can't do that right now and even Dave Ramsey said it was okay to hold off on paying off debt and tithes until the pandemic is over and things return to "normal". It's the least we can do right now to help others.
I listen to music. Music is my lifeblood. It keeps me sane. It helps me feel things and cry and laugh and sing along and dance out my frustrations and happiness. My little family is enchanted with music as well, so it fills our house almost all day long. Typically, it's kiddie music, but at least it's something.
I take some time for myself. After I've been with the kids all day and trying to work in between their needs plus feeding them and helping with homework, etc, I take 30 minutes every night to take a bath and just relax. Nobody bothers me, that's my time. My husband takes over and I get to just be me for a few minutes in peace and quiet.
I remember that I love my kids and husband and I am so glad they're home. This one seems so easy to me. I see the moms on Instagram and Facebook who say mean things about their kids and say they have to drink to get through the day with them. I just don't get that at all. I enjoy my kids. Are they annoying sometimes? Yes! But I never call them names and I remind myself that I am so thankful they are healthy and happy kids. My husband is my partner, not my enemy. I don't get partners who don't support each other and lean on each other every day, not just in tough times.
I check in with my friends via group text and we chat about the trials and tribulations of the day. Discussing our anxiety and what's keeping us up at night helps all of us. Some of us are closing up shop for the next month, others of us are trying to homeschool and deal with kids with special needs on top of it all. We all have our troubles. But not one of us is alone.
I check in with my family via text or phone calls. Sending funny memes back and forth, getting updates about the kids and grandparents, siblings and their spouses. It helps to know everyone is safe and doing well but it's also a Batline for emergencies.
These are things I can do to make my brain relax. Rachel Hollis states that what you think is what you feel. I agree! By making my brain not deal with the bullshit on social media and the news, and focus in on what's actually going on in my home and with my friends and family, I am able to relax a little bit.
I hope that all of you are doing well and staying active through this month of quarantine. I have such hope for this world. When we all pull together amazing things happen and this world is full of goodness and kindness. Seek out the good in the world. Be the good. Spread love and kindness where you can. Much love to you all. ~B