March 19, 2020

Courage, Dear Heart

Hello, friends. Since last we met, the world has become a strange place. How are you dealing with it? It affects all of us but I am feeling especially tender hearted towards the medical professionals as well as any other profession who is working to support the rest of us so we can hopefully shelter in place. I know that is not a reality for all but I surely hope you are keeping well as best as you can.

I have seen so much kindness in the past week. It really does warm your heart. In a lot of ways this reminds me of the days after 9/11 and also makes you think about what it must have been like during the big World Wars. I happen to be reading a story that takes place in France during WWII so that naturally comes to mind.

Are you taking care of yourself? Being gentle with your soul? I know being shuttered in must be making some of you antsy. I'm an introvert so I was essentially born for this and have been training for this moment my whole life. ;)

I thought I might pop in here for some suggestions to help you get through this. Maybe these will be helpful, maybe not. Maybe these will be obvious to you or maybe not. I'd also love to hear any suggestions you have. These are just things that I'm planning to implement or that have helped me. Never have the small joys in life meant more and small joys are kind of my thing. :)

Some suggestions for your days:
-While it's a great time for a jammy day, it's also a great time to get dressed purely for your own enjoyment. Wear that quirky outfit that makes you happy!
-Enjoy daily rituals. I always start my day in the corner of the studio with a chai latte and my knitting. Now I'm adding in a mid afternoon tea party with Emma.
-Get out and get some fresh air. In wide open spaces and keeping appropriate distance from other people! Go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride or car ride.
-Check out your library's digital offerings. Aside from online books and magazines, ours offers videos, creative bug classes and even Acorn TV viewing.
-Spend more time in the kitchen baking, or cooking from scratch. Have the family choose a menu together and pitch in to cook together.
-Fill your house with music. I'm a big fan of 40's in the morning on Pandora.
-Read that stack of books and magazines you haven't had time for.
-Take an online class
-Learn a new hobby or spend guilt free time indulging in one you already love.
-Play games with your family.
-Have a movie night. Did you know that the new Emma movie is being released digitally for renting on Friday? That's what we'll be doing!
-Try meditation or a yoga class on youtube.
-Support local businesses and neighbors in any way you can.
-Pick up your camera and search for some beauty. You will always find it.
-Work in your garden.
-If you're feeling lonely, find a way to reach out and connect and if you know somebody else who is feeling lonely, reach out and connect to them.
-Carve out some alone time within your house. I went from an abundance of alone time to a hubby working at home and the premature return of a college daughter. There was a little learning curve there for me but I'm figuring it out now.

I think it can be important to find some purpose in your days, whether that's organizing your closet or giving yourself a spa day. Something to look forward to can make all the difference for our mental state. I personally like to have some structure to my days so that I don't feel untethered but right now doesn't feel like the right time for a strict schedule. I need some flexibility. I'm practicing kindness to myself and finding balance in my days. I'm learning to still my mind and body in a way that can be hard to do when my days are moving at full tilt. This can be a Sacred time.

Be well my friends,
Jen xo


BobbieJean said...

Thank you.

Cherie said...

Hi Jen. It's a worrying time isn't it. I look forward to reading many new blogs and making loads of new online buddies. We can keep one another's spirits up even if we never meet. Stay safe.

Melanie said...

Hi Jen! So good to see a blog post from you again. You offer some great suggestions to those of us who are stuck at home right now. Re-organizing my linen closet is one project I'm going to be doing. I actually went to Walmart today, as we were out of certain things. I was surprised to see the parking lot was pretty darn full and people were shopping as usual. It didn't look like anyone was worried about self-quarantining! And, of course, we're standing right by the cashiers as they're checking us out. Maybe all this is part of the problem. I washed my hands before going in the store, sprayed them with hand sanitizer 3 times while shopping, and scrubbed thoroughly again with soap and water when I got home.

Thank you for the link to those chocolate-almond bars when you showed them on IG. I'm going to make them this weekend! Also, the photo with the three leather journals...are those art/junk journals? If so, could you possibly PM me with a photo of the inside and where you got them? I've been looking for ones like that! Thank you so much. xoxo

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Great post. I've been working in garden areas that had become overgrown. It feels so good to be out in God's beautiful creation. I want to do some baking and cooking so that there will be things to have in the freezer. I may venture forth into the 'world' next week, or the week after. I do have gloves to wear, and prayer on my lips, faith in God, joy in the many blessings big and small that He blesses us with.

Nawm D Gerr said...

I love all your suggestions and think hving something to do is good for me. Esp as I am a newly retired person. Well, not sure I was going to stay perm retired, but the job I applied for evidently on hold. Love spring cleaning, reorganizing, ticking things off my list. I thinking blogging going to prove to be more important than ever and something very interesting to look back on.

Lovindmutts said...

Fresh air and sunshine! In the 1918 flu epidemic, they found that this two-pronged approach reduce hospital mortality rates from 40% to 13%! So yes, get out! Walk your dog, go for a hike, do yard work... Or just sit on your porch and wave at your neighbors.

Kim said...

I defrosted my freezer and took an inventory. Same with fridge. Pantry is next. Cooking from scratch a lot. Listening to lots of podcasts and Youtube. Purchased a water color beginner class last Black Friday. Hoping to get to that today. As soon as the rain stops later today, I have tons of flower beds to weed, a garage to clean out, a car to vacuum, a shed to organize and sweep out........etc. But, then cleaning is my jam. Weird, I know. One of the things I pray for besides the obvious for creativity! Let's all get creative.

Lyra said...

Absolutely beautiful words, sentiments, ideas, pictures. Thank you for sharing your excellent list of ideas - you had me at putting on a quirky outfit! I wish you, yours and anyone who reads this much health and love in the coming weeks and beyond.

Vikki said...

Like you, I am an introvert and it hasn't been too hard for me. Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions and resources. I hope you and all your family stay well.

Marilyn McLeod @ Pink Paper Cottage said...

Such a nice calming post. I too am an introvert and love my time at home, and alone. My hubby is the same way.. we each have our own little corner of the house and spend alot of time there, then "meet" at the dining table for afternoon snacks and tea/coffee! It works so well for us. I can be more guilt free creative as don't feel I "have" to go out somewhere to the store, etc. Yes.. I've gone to the grocery store once, but only for a few things I had run out of.. not to stock up on hoards of things for months to come! I do my papercrafting, a little sewing, am going to crochet some Easter eggs for a fun project, and hope I can get myself to dust everything in this house - much needed since Christmas! We also have many outdoor projects we can do as the weather gets warmer.. and yes... taking walks is a very good thing! I've done some baking and tried my hand at dehydrating bananas in the oven! It worked great and now I have some yummy little banana snacks. I'm trying to experiment with new things and want to take some online classes too. Never dull for me and I'm never bored. Marilyn (Oregon)

Pinehurst Farm said...

I live in Indiana, about 1.5 hours from your town. We had our first case reported today. We are a small town, so a little scarey.We are staying in, husband did go to the bank today so we would have cash if needed. We have plenty of food, and to do!!
We are painting the trim in the house, something we would have never gotten to, we both work. In fact I bought the paint a year ago!! Take cate!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Wonderful suggestions! I am spring cleaning, spending more time in the studio and the kitchen. Tomorrow it is suppose to rain all day and I am making homemade chicken soup and a loaf of bread to go with it. Stay healthy!

Blondie's Journal said...


This is the most powerful post I've read since we have been quarantined in Illinois. Your suggestions are perfect for just about anyone-it's ludicrous to think all of us want to play board games and eat popcorn while binging on movies1

Be safe.😘


Tania Valéria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tania Valéria said...

Thanks! I suggest watching the movie "French Toast" (Netflix).

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Jboo said...

Such wonderful suggestions. We are feeling a bit lost in Nebraska, but seeing spring arrive is helping. Take care friend!

unraveledpatti said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your blog post and just discovered your blog. Oh the fun I will have reading past posts!