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10 Things I Am Doing To Occupy Myself During My Self-Quarantine

by Mary Ellen Collins

I am hunkering down. When I heard that the elderly were in the high risk group (elderly being 60+) I never gave it another thought. I worried about my husband. He is eight years older than me. I expressed my concerns to my daughter and she said, “Mom that’s you. You are in that age group too.” It hit me like a sledge hammer. Such a rude awakening when you are classified as elderly and just coming to that realization.

I have just recovered from surgery and have not been able to return to normal for the last few months. And now, this is a new normal.

We have decided to take things seriously and self-isolate. Food is not a problem. I always thought I was a reincarnation from the Great Depression. I do not waste anything. I am also accused of having a Mormon-mentality when it comes to food. I am not an expert on this but the little I do understand is that there is a belief in preparing food for a year. In times like this it makes absolute sense.

I want to know what is going on. I listen to the updates. At some point, I just have to quiet my mind and get away. I do believe in mindfulness and meditation. That works for me. The first week of self-isolation was getting things organized for the ministry. Canceling classes, postponing events, rescheduling events, and on and on. I could hardly breathe I was so busy.

But now? Now what? This feels just like a vacation. I have to go for two weeks. First week is just bringing myself down and the second week I can relax. Or is this different?

I thought I would share with you what I am doing to get through this. Here are the top 10 things I have been doing. This is a difficult time but in some ways it is a gift.

  1. Time with my family
    Although we are considered elderly (see above definition), we are both extremely busy. We are supportive of each other’s endeavors but the self-isolation creates some leisurely morning coffee talks.
  2. Cooking
    I am reconnecting with my creative cooking skills. I have always loved to cook but when I am whirling, I tend to repeat myself with the same things. Yesterday I cooked lemon parsley mushroom pasta. It was delicious! Hope I can repeat this. I would link the recipe but I just make it up until it tastes good. That’s the creative part.
  3. Binge reading
    Books, magazines, etc., This is a real gift. I love to read but am not as intentional as I want to be. Now I can dedicate time each day to just doing that.
  4. Listening to podcasts
    There are so many to choose from. Some that I have really enjoyed range from Pastor Rick Warren, NPR’s Hidden Brain, Whole Whale University to things that take me away from it all like LORE, Myths and Legends. I am also listening to, “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline. My next learning will be to explore Udemy to see what I can learn. I get information on webinars almost daily. Many of the webinars will send you a recording to watch, review or in my case listen to later. Later has been put on hold until now. I am binging on these.
  5. Giving myself a facial
    A little self-care is wonderful. I never take time for me. What a luxury!
  6. Working on a puzzle
    I put up a folding table in my living room and started a puzzle. Every time I go by, I put in one more piece. Wondering if the puzzle will last through this self-quarantine?
  7. Skyping with my Grandson
    Now this is an unexpected blessing. Usually there is a monthly visit (they live four hours away) where I can indulge in being a grandmother. But those visits have changed. Although I usually just see eyeballs on the screen, it is wonderful to be connected.
  8. Checking in on friends and neighbors.
    This is a time we need to do this. A phone call, an email, anything that says I am thinking of you.
  9. Getting my Vitamin N (nature)
    There isn’t anything in my world that is better for me than getting outside. Just walking down the street, getting the mail, anything to feel the outdoors.
  10. And last but not least, in fact probably the most important, I am writing!
    I encourage you to journal. Is this a time you need to record or write your story?

Let’s share with each other how you are coping. Let’s start a chain of responses. How are you doing?

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