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Dear Friend,

Who would have thought that 2020 would be the year I return to this old familiar outlet for my thoughts. Yet, here I am searching for clarity within the thoughts in my brain and (if you’re reading this) here you are joining in to listen to my meandering ramblings.

It has now been the first full work week of working from home as the world attempts to ease the impact of COVID-19 aka the Coronavirus through the process of “Social Distancing.” It feels a bit too-fitting that I moved to Corona St this last year and am staying home for a pandemic that shares a name with my street.

As each day passes, I become more and more aware of the fact that I will need to find a way to process and reflect on this time of social distancing and the upheaval COVID-19 is bringing to our world and communities. I am also realizing that this is only the beginning of what could be a very extended period of changing my usual routine and patterns and that I am already impacted greatly by it.

So, as I find new normals, new routines, and new habits to keep me sane and healthy, I thought I’d capture the experience in some way through a weekly blog check-in. Right now, I think I’ll have a theme of some sort for each week… but that may morph and change as time goes on. What I do, however, want to commit to is always including a check-in of how I’m doing in Body, Mind, and Spirit. So here goes.

WEEKLY CHECK-IN
Body
This week I’ve been able to feel the stress and anxiety of being in a time of uncertainty in a very physical way. During the day I’ve felt relatively normal but, in the evening, after dinner each night I’ve been experiencing a very loud rumbly grumbly tummy that goes on for well over an hour and causes poor CJ a great deal of concern. Particularly after a bout of food poisoning at the beginning of the week. Last week I struggled to fall asleep some nights and have been grateful to not be experiencing this anymore. However, I’ve found that I am exhausted in the morning, even when I’ve gotten a full night’s sleep. Uncertainty, worry, and change are proving to be exhausting.

Mind
Focus has been elusive this week. I’ve struggled to adjust to working from home and my thoughts have felt very disjointed as I try to make sure I complete an already chaotic job in a new setting and in new ways. Simple questions now require an email or instant message to my team lead or my fellow team members instead of
simply popping my head into their office/cube space. My office cube, set up to limit distractions and interruptions, has been replaced by a make-shift table in the sunroom where anything as simple as the weather seems to change and distract me from minute to minute. My ADHD has always impacted my writing and ability to focus on a particular task more than any other aspect of my life so the increased writing down of things that were previously spoken and the increased distractions as I complete tasks that I had perfected the process of removing distractions from in my office cube has been particularly frustrating and difficult.

Spirit
My spirit, unlike the other two aspects of my life, generally feels at peace this week. I have been able to call and/or FaceTime with family, I’ve been checking in with old friends, and I’ve been able to do things that bring me joy. In the midst of uncertainty about what is to come, how I will be impacted by this novel virus, and the changes it is making in our world, I feel a sense of contentment in knowing that I am only expected to do my best and that I am not alone in this experience. I have joined my neighborhood’s “COVID-19 Support” group on the Next Door app and feel more connected to my neighbors through the simple act of checking in to see if I can support them on a daily basis. I want to put effort into using this time of change, not to be socially distant, but to connect socially as I physically distance myself. It is, I believe, the biggest thing I can do to take care of myself in a time of unknowns.

 

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy.

Lots of Love, Mandi Jo