My husband had to get tested for COVID when he got sick last week and the terrifying experience forced me to get out of my comfort zone and reinforced my gratitude. I went from having a daily support system (my husband, and my mom, who watches our kids at our house while we work) to being a full-time remote-working, virtual schooling, toddler wrangling, solo mom caring for two kids, two rescue dogs, a sick husband, and a house. I relied on my positivity to get me through, and we were fortunate enough to make it. After five days quarantined away from us, my husband’s negative (!) test results came back and life has returned to our quarantine normal. But I’m taking the lessons the universe sent me as I move forward.
Here are four things to keep in mind as you manage the daily stressors in your life:
1. Instagram life is a lie.
Crayon molds I made with my kids and posted about on Instagram while my husband was in bed awaiting COVID test results.
The weekend of my husband’s COVID scare, I was posting stories on my Instagram page. My followers saw all the fun my kids and I were having baking cakes, making crayon molds, unboxing our Nugget couch that got delivered, and doing Christmas crafts.
But you did not see that we were quarantined from my husband who was locked in our bedroom.
You didn't see the fear that the virus might be in our home, even though we don't socialize at all. Even though my husband wears a mask everywhere. Even though I work remotely and we do virtual school.
You didn't see my anxiety about getting the virus. Or the Skype's with my co-workers telling them I needed to get off the computer and cry because I was so worried that if I got the virus, I wouldn't be able to hug my kids.
My stories didn’t show my exhaustion from losing my whole support system because no one could come in my house.
Or me delivering food outside the bedroom door with gloves on my hands.
No one knew I was camping out on the trundle bed in my daughter's bedroom and praying every night that we would wake up and get negative COVID test results.
I later revealed all, because I wanted to show my followers that nothing is ever as it seems on the Internet and you never really know what someone is going through. From the outside, things may seem picture-perfect but life is really about developing from the negative. (I hope you caught that old photography pun.)
So let this be a reminder for the following:
-Please wear a mask so people can stop experiencing this level of fear.
-Single moms are the biggest Heroes with Girl Power.
-Please, stop comparing your life to people on the Internet.
2. Don’t let anxiety consume your life because you may be worrying for no reason.
My co-worker, Katie, told me that she follows the motto, “Anxiety is paying interest on a loan you might not even owe.”
It’s so true! Every time I’m hit with something to worry about, it consumes me. But then, everything works out.
I’m getting better about living in the present and trusting the universe. I pray and leave the rest to fate. That’s all we can do.
I did my best to have fun with my kids and keep my mind busy. Time is precious and not worth wasting on something you have no control over.
During our COVID scare, I deleted Facebook from my phone so I didn’t have to see any COVID posts. I didn’t read my Instagram feed. I read magazines and books. I got fresh air. I spent quality time with my kids. I unleashed my inner warrior and told the worrier inside me to take a hike.
While I was posting photos freaking out over our new Nugget play couch, my Instagram followers had no idea I was having anxiety about the health of our family.
3. Cherish the simple things and continue to plan quality family time in your schedule.
Before the COVID scare, we had been implementing a Family Fun Hour every night. For an hour, we all get together and do something fun like play hide-and-seek, dance, do a craft, or break out the board games. It’s a time to unplug from technology and focus on our relationships.
I really missed that when my husband was away from us. I was so grateful to be able to reflect on memories such as our whole family slow dancing together to our wedding song, which has become a little tradition.
4. If you get out of your comfort zone, you may be rewarded.
My husband is the foodie in our house and handles all the cooking. I have food allergies and a limited diet, but I can eat chicken. Except, I don’t cook it. I hate the fact that I even have to eat this meat since I am animal friendly, but it’s a matter of survival. I literally had to touch the raw chicken, marinate it, and bake it. Otherwise, I’d be eating pasta every night. And I love carbs, but I needed to have some variety, esp. for my kids.
I had some fun with my cooking and mixed in my favorite foods: olives, capers, artichokes and cheese. Soaked in olive oil and balsamic, this was delicious and I created my new favorite dish.
My kids hated it, of course.
But, I improved one of my skills and plan on making it again soon!
Lesson Learned from This:
Don’t let an unwelcome life event be the reminder for you to live a life of gratitude, enjoy the simple moments, unplug from technology, and try new things. You can do this all now to grow and thrive, even in quarantine.