Social Distancing Day 34

Apologies, it’s been almost two weeks since the last post. To be honest, we have gotten to the “every day is the same” stage of the pandemic. In many ways, the ones for whom that is true are the lucky ones. We have stable income (so far), do not have immediate contacts who are getting sick, or hospitalized, and we haven’t had trouble getting supplies.

I’m doing a fair number of video calls per week, both for work and socialization. I’ve also been trying to focus on work, and developing a routine that leaves time to relax, check in with people and get lots of sleep. My roommates have been cooking up a storm, and I’ve been enjoying the benefits. I don’t personally find cooking or baking a relaxing or de-stressing, so I’m not particularly motivated to do more of it in the middle of a pandemic.

The weather has been starting to get better here in Massachusetts. I’ve been managing to spend a couple afternoons on the balcony, enjoying the sun and warmth. On the other hand, today has been very rainy and windy, and most days have been quite cloudy. I suppose Spring in is the air, but most days I am perfectly happy to be at home. I assume that will change over the next few weeks, so we’ll see how I feel about being cooped up at home then.

I started playing video games again, for the first time in about a decade. I’ve been playing Age of Empires 2, both single player and multiplayer, and I’ve been working my way through Doom 2016. It’s a good way to disconnect and escape at the end of the day, but I have to be careful to not overdo it.

I hope you all have been staying safe, staying sane, and taking care of each other. More tomorrow, and let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to write about.

Social Distancing Day 22

It’s been about three weeks since the last time I went in to the office. Since then I think I’ve left the apartment a grand total of three times. Honestly, not being able to leave the house hasn’t been too bad for me. I’m luckily to have a balcony that gets a lot of afternoon sun, and the weather has been getting better. I’ve spent a couple afternoons now reading out on the balcony and getting my vitamin D levels up.

On the negative side, a few weeks of pretty much no physical activity was starting to take its toll on my body. I’ve started doing some bodyweight exercises: squats, push-ups, planks, some physical therapy exercises for my shoulders, a bunch of stretches. A couple days of that, as well as being more careful about my sitting posture, has definitely been helping. I’ve also been consciously trying to move my wake up time earlier. The days are better when I can get up at a normal-ish time and get in a workout and a meditation session before I start tackling the tasks of the day. This is true in normal times, and is also true now, even though the definition of “tasks of the day” is “Zoom calls”.

Aside: My roommate told me they found waking up and answering emails in bed to be relaxing, and I cringed hard. Personally, I don’t like working from bed, and I don’t like doing work things, even answering emails, until I’ve had a chance to at least have some coffee and get my head in order.

I’m finally getting to a routine that I feel comfortable with, and that seems sustainable over the long run. The state of Viriginia at least seems to think that this situation will last till the beginning which may actually end up being on the early side. I’m hoping that the routines and habits I’m putting in place now will last me for the next few months.

Today’s the first of April. As a culture we seem to have decided that April’s Fool day jokes would be ill-advised right now, and I’m just fine with that. I decided to go through the ritual of reviewing the previous month, and making plans for the month ahead, even though the only things that went into my planner were Zoom calls. Personally, I find it important to maintain as much normalcy as possible. In particular, I want to keep marking the passage of time, and making progress with my life in as many ways as I can. I’ve been building up the mental capacity to focus on work again, and it honestly feels good to focus on something that isn’t doom and gloom. There has already been a lot said about self-care (and I’m sure there will be a lot more). For me, an integral part of self-care is feeling like I am honoring my skills and abilities, and doing the best I can. There isn’t really anything I can do to help with this crisis (apart from supporting small businesses in ways I can, and hoping these posts help people), but I can make the most of this time. No point in wasting a good crisis, is there now?

Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay sane, and take care of each other.