Things Keeping Me Calm During This Time

The Details

Dresses by J.Marie

I read something the other day online about how social media was, at times, creating this sense of “toxic positivity.” It wasn’t referencing gratitude for health or a job, but it was meaning that when someone felt it was extremely difficult to homeschool their 3 children while working from home, social media could give them a sense of guilt for even having that thought in their mind.

As we scroll social media, we see these types of comments:

“Oh, there is so much time to enjoy with family!” “You can get caught up on organizational projects!” “I’m so grateful we’ve been forced to slow down.” “This time has been such a blessing for our family.” 

All of those comments are GOOD and quite frankly when we are dealing with a pandemic, TRUE. There are moments I need to read these comments and be reminded that I’m safe in my home with the people I love most in life and I haven’t lost someone close to me during this. But, this article was saying that it is important to acknowledge our feelings in regards to this huge life change. For some people, this does mean a lot of wonderful time at home. But it’s also challenging for parents to work-from-home while homeschooling kids all day. What about those that have lost their job? I can’t even think about how the husband or wife of an ER doctor or nurse feel caring for their family, while their spouse is fighting this pandemic. And no matter where you fall on the spectrum of life change, it is important to acknowledge how you feel each day. In fact, it is healthy to do so without those feelings of guilt.

So today’s post I wanted to acknowledge, that this is hard. There is no playbook. For as many days that I’ve had a moment of, “Well, I’m an introvert, so this really hasn’t been a shock to the system.” I’ve had an equal number of days where I open my Facebook, see a photo of a nurse in New York and start crying thinking of their selflessness.

What do I do when things are hard? I try to keep calm and today I wanted to share things I’ve been doing to stay calm during this time. I by no means, intend on having you think a Netflix binge of Gilmore Girls cures all the emotions we’ve had during quarantine, but it feeds feelings of calm instead of feelings of anxiety. Because marathoning the news and scrolling Facebook groups to see people fighting over how to handle this pandemic isn’t exactly my cup of chamomile tea- ya know?!

Starting my Day with Devotionals

If it were up to my child, we’d lounge in bed until 9 am snuggling, reading books, and watching movies. She is NEVER in a rush in the mornings to get up and go somewhere or do something. As a mom, it’s been really good for us to just let her enjoy that. I’ve so loved just staying in bed with her and letting her lay on my lap while I catch up on devotionals. I had one morning that I was doing my devotional for an hour and a half and I thought, “When was the last time this happened? When I was 21?” I know that our season of life is going to change quickly with a newborn in the mix, so I’m trying to not rush a morning routine when that time will come soon enough.

Need a recommendation? I love this Seamless study! If you are wanting to take this time right now to really dig deeper into your understanding of The Bible, it’s a great one. I have grown up in church my entire life, but sometimes I think I take for granted learning all these things when I was a child. I forget the little details, and this study helped me have such a deeper understanding and recalled so much to my memory.

Needlepointing

While I started this little hobby before quarantine, I’ve been so grateful to have an extra 15 minutes here or there to devote to it during this time. I did a blog post on how I got started needlepointing and many of you all said you learned when you were younger! I mentioned this hobby is a marathon and not a sprint, but sometimes that’s the type of thing you’ve got to do to keep yourself calm. This never feels like a “to-do” on my list, but more so a relaxing project that I can take weeks or months to complete.

Audible

I used to sneak in a chapter or two waiting to pick Maxi up from Mother’s Day Out or during my monthly pedicure {which let’s be honest, I so miss at 33-weeks pregnant!}. Paul bought me AirPods for my birthday and with that gift I started to use Audible more. I am obsessed! I’ll let you in on a secret that you’ll either think, “So true, sister!” or wonder how I function, but I’m not a big podcast person. In fact, I’m not really a big radio show person, either. I always feel like I’m eavesdropping in a conversation that I’m not part of. I know, I know, it’s weird. I love a good murder mystery podcast if we are road tripping, and if a friend shares a great sermon one, I’m all ears to listen to it! But in general, I don’t really keep up with them. But audible? I’m hooked! I first listened to the new Jessica Simpson book and I loved it. She narrates it, which makes it feel like your best friend is talking to you. Right now I’m listening to The Last Mrs. Parrish. I listen while I clean or cook and it just feels better than zoning out to the tv!

Family Albums

As a blogger, I have a *lot* of photos. I’m so grateful to have these photos of Maxi that really chronicle her past 3 years. Do I have a good way of storing them? Absolutely not. My iPhone photo albums are horrifying {I swear they were organized last year!} and I think I kept up with organizing her yearly photos online for like the first year or so. I try at the end of each year to really sort through, but morning sickness got the best of me at the end of 2019. I took this time at home to really organize her baby book, baby albums, and our yearly family albums. I like to make books from Artifact Uprising each year to highlight what we did as a family, but I’ve also gotten to just make true family albums- which I never would have done before! Everything is so digital now and while I am so thankful for tools like Dropbox to save our children’s photos, I don’t really foresee our kids scrolling through the app after dinner one night when they are 17. I want to have albums to show my children their childhood and this time has given me no excuse but to get started.

Happy TV Shows

I think it was week 2 of the quarantine when Paul and I were watching season 3 of Ozark. We love intense shows and can stay up far too late binging them. We made it halfway through the first episode, looked at each other and said, “I can’t watch this.” Then we moved on to Reese Witherspoon’s new show Little Fires Everywhere and had that exact same feeling. While I haven’t read the book and don’t even know what the show was about {it could totally not be an intense show!} we just couldn’t make it through. We decided to just watch some happy tv from here on out. For me, I’ve been going back to Gilmore Girls and loving it! Many of you recommended Virgin River and I want to go back to Hart of Dixie, as well. I’m trying to not rush through anything as I know I’ll need a show for those middle of the night feedings. But if you need a light show to have on in the background while you work, watch Selling Sunset on Netflix. It’s like HGTV meets Bravo and is fun to keep up with! It’s not really a Gilmore Girls type of show, but it’s upbeat with *light* drama to keep you entertained and beautiful homes to see.

Attempting DIY Projects

Y’all, I use the term “DIY” loosely. I can’t have you thinking I’ve been renovating my bathroom over here. While I’d be impressed with myself if I had, I do not have those skills. 😉 But naturally, this time at home has had me looking at future projects and mapping out what Paul and I want to do in our home. We have sat on our patio and thought of landscape ideas and the like. One decor project I have really enjoyed is baby boy’s bathroom. I will do a post of how I’m decorating his room and bathroom, but I found myself wanting some things for the space that didn’t fit. I kept seeing rope mirrors, like this, and knew it would be perfect above his vanity. The problem was that every mirror I found was far too large. I decided to take the mirrors we had in there and order some jute rope to create the look myself. One mirror is down and next week I’ll finish the other one. I loved the look, saved quite a bit making it myself, and really enjoyed the process of doing it myself for our son. I’ve been trying to convince Paul we could hang some shiplap ourselves behind the mirrors, but I’ll let y’all know if the convincing works. While it was a small little DIY decor project, leaning over for 3 hours to glue it all while super pregnant was no small task, and I know I’ll feel quite proud of it each time I see it when I give him a bath.

Thinking about Future Changes

Without the distractions of errands, birthday parties, and commitments, Paul and I have had lots of time to talk about changes we want to make in the future. I think we’ve all been able to see how our life has changed during this and maybe assess the changes we want to keep in the future. Maybe you’ve looked at your food budget and decided where to shift things or you have acknowledged some work habits that need to be changed. We’ve had to overhaul how we “normally” do things and sometimes in the overhaul we learn what was working vs. what wasn’t.

While I do not know where your feelings fall on the spectrum of emotions today, I want you to know it is okay. This blog post isn’t stating that a little DIY decor project is going to make it better. It would be silly of me to ever even insinuate such. BUT for the days you need a little slice of calm in your life, I hope this post gives you some ideas on things to look to. While speaking for myself, this time has been filled with many blessings before we bring a sweet little boy into this world. Even last night I felt so lucky to not have to share my daughter with the world before she has to share my lap. But it also doesn’t take away from the loss that our world is feeling whether that is the loss of life, a loss of job, or the loss of family time. I desperately miss afternoons with my mom, I miss my sister coming over to grab leftovers after dinner, I miss running into a friend at Mother’s Day Out drop off. But, I do believe we will look back on this year and find gifts of calm in the midst of chaos. How do you find yours?

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9 Comments

  1. Annaliese wrote:

    Love this Katey!! I just started watching Gilmore Girls for the first time ever a few months ago (crazy right!) and I’ve been really enjoying it so far! I also LOVE Hart of Dixie, one of the best shows of all time. 🙂 Have you seen 7th Heaven before? That’s my very favorite show, and it’s on Hulu and Prime!!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    Published 21 Apr 20Reply
  2. Susie wrote:

    Thank you for mentioning toxic positivity and how hurtful it can be. I’m a teacher and sometimes I feel like the only one who hates digital learning, and it’s harder because I keep seeing posts like “be grateful we have another way to connect with our students!” I’m so grateful I still have a job and I’m happy to talk to my students no matter what, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is just hard. I love your idea of focusing on happy or “light” tv only – if I ever needed a season of The Bachelor, it’s now! And amen to staying in bed til 9. ✌🏼 Can’t wait to see the mirrors, they sound awesome! And DIY really does give a great sense of accomplishment.

    Published 21 Apr 20Reply
  3. Tori Block wrote:

    This post was very therapeutic to read, Katey. Thank you!

    Published 21 Apr 20Reply
  4. I’m glad you’re doing well, Katey! Hang in there! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Published 21 Apr 20Reply
  5. Amber wrote:

    I really enjoyed the Seamless devotional too. It is brilliant to be able to weave the whole bible into six chapters. Stay healthy.

    Published 21 Apr 20Reply
  6. Katie wrote:

    This was a great post. Thank you for highlighting that we can be grateful for certain aspects of this, but that is still a really hard time for so many people!

    Published 22 Apr 20Reply
  7. Rachel wrote:

    I love this! I was up most of last night because a lot of the feelings I had been repressing during quarantine finally caught up with me. I, too, have been saying (and convincing myself) that I was fine because so many people have it worse, but it’s important to acknowledge our feelings, too. Thanks for these tips!

    Published 22 Apr 20Reply
  8. Nicole wrote:

    Katey, I absolutely love this post. I have been feeling great for the majority of this quarantine (I am also an introvert!) and then on Monday, I started to feel anxious. When I saw the title of this blog post, I thought “Wow this is perfect for me today!” So thank you Katey for another great post!!

    Published 22 Apr 20Reply
  9. Christina P. wrote:

    I absolutely loved reading this post. So beautifully written and encouraging. Thank you Katey!

    Published 22 Apr 20Reply