We are halfway through the year and the world looks nothing like it did back in January. I made lists of things I wanted to do, personal development and hobbies to start. Let’s all take a minute to laugh at those plans that never happened and were quickly derailed. When the stay at home orders first began, I started to make changes in my life that added value and wrote about them on the blog. Now that we are in full summer mode, I’m sitting down again to see what improvements I can make to have happier and fuller days.
I schedule an hour a day to read at night when the sun starts to set. I’ll sit in the screened in porch and read my book for a bit and unwind. It’s helped me quiet my body and get ready for bed a lot and I’ve noticed I’m sleeping better.
Early Bedtime, Early Rising
Not sure how but I somehow became a morning person. I’ve been naturally waking up between 6:30 – 7am which has been so nice because I get more out of my day. After a full day of fun and working outside, I’m showering and getting ready for bed at around 9pm. The first few weeks of quarantine, my sleep schedule is so screwed up that I went days without sleeping because I physically could not fall asleep. Now when my head hits the pillow, I quickly fall asleep.
I used to fall asleep to tv or a movie but now I go electronic free at night. Instead, I’ve been doing a meditation and a night time story on the Calm App. As soon as the meditation starts to play, my body gets into sleepy mode and I never get through a full story without falling asleep before it’s over.
Since I’m a few hundred miles away from my roommate/boyfriend, we have been using the Notes App to make to do lists. We can add each other so we can both read and edit them as necessary. It’s been great to make grocery lists, make plans for when I go back to Philly and jot down things to remember. Since I always have my phone on me, I’ve been using the Notes App for everything so I don’t forget or have it easily accessible.
Everyone wants to save but few people have a nice nest egg for just in case. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I put money in my savings before COVID because it’s calmed a lot of my anxiety. I still put $100 a week into my savings and have it set up that my bank account does it automatically so I don’t forget. I have money in a savings account that I can’t touch unless it’s an emergency.
Spending More of My Time Outside
I am taking full advantage that my parents have a large property and a pool this summer! At this point I’m making up projects to do outside just so I have an excuse to be outside! Being outside brings me so much happiness and I’m loving the hot summer months. Jake and I area already making plans to renovate our backyard to really utilize it this year. I’m not working and with the sate of the world, I don’t plan on going back to work in the fall. So Jake and I have walks planned for when he gets done with work and long walks or picnics on the weekends to explore our city some more. My mood is better, I have more energy and I go to bed early because I’ve had a long fulfilling day.
Spending Time With Friends and Family
If this whole pandemic has not encouraged you to call your mother more, what will? I’ve mentioned before that my mom, aunt, cousins and I have been sending each other handmade cards to each other. Not only is it fun to do a craft, I get to have a box full of memories made during this time even though we couldn’t see each other. My mom has always wanted a big house where people gathered and that is our plan for the summer. Some of my family is going to get tested and then spend a few weeks at my parents house here in North Carolina. It’s a time we will never have again to be able to spend this much time with family without work getting in the way.
Jake and I are planning vacations and taking advantage of the deals right now. With a deposit, we can schedule a trip in 2021 and then have the flexibility to change the dates if needed. We are planning trips to the mountains, to the beach in the off season and long drives. Seeing people outside of family can be tricky but I’m excited to start making plans when it is safe to do so. I’ve always been shy about making plans but this experience has made me crave social interaction. For now, I’m sending care packages, texts to old friends to check in and old fashioned snail mail.
I didn’t realize I’d miss my kitchen and cooking so much while being at my parents! For months I was making breakfast, lunch and dinner for Jake and I and I cannot wait to be back in our kitchen cooking again. I spent my Sundays meal planning and making a grocery list for items to pick up that week. Without meaning to, we were cooking and eating really healthy and both saw it with our bodies getting smaller. We are still ordering our groceries through a produce delivery company that has really been affordable and given us a lot of healthy fruits, veggies, eggs, milk and butter. We are going to do a big grocery run in September so we can self quarantine for two weeks once we get back to Philly.