Let’s Make Plans

Happy Friday, everyone! Don’t you miss saying that? We’re back to the weekend, incase you didn’t realize, but it almost feels like it doesn’t matter at this point. It’s Friday. So what? Every day feels the same! I agree with you, friends – my days have also blurred together without any distinction other than the steadily declining quality of the produce left in my fridge at the end of the week, a place I’ve personally been spending a lot of time. Maybe that’s part of the problem at this point. It all feels the same, so the excitement and anticipation has completely disappeared. How do we fix that?

I’ve started to see a bit of a pattern as far as my energy levels throughout the week. Mondays I’m usually feeling pretty ambitious. Tuesdays I teach a lot, so that usually keeps me moving, but by mid-week I start to hit a bit of a slump. I lose a little bit of motivation, and if it’s raining outside then I’m definitely not putting on real pants. When I start to hit that slump, I feel terrible. That voice inside my head starts trying to convince me how lazy I am and how I should be doing something productive. It tells me how my predicament pales in comparison to so many others’ (which is completely true), and how I should be grateful to have this time on my hands and use it wisely. I am absolutely grateful to have time, but who says I have to use every minute of it wisely?! Even when we’re not dealing with a global pandemic, we all still have days where we just don’t want to do anything. Some days we don’t feel inspired. Some days we feel mentally exhausted and we don’t even know why. Some days we just want to stay in our pjs because the dog was up barking at a raccoon from two to three in the morning and we never really went back to sleep. Now let’s throw in the media driven anxiety and a lock down, and it’s amazing that any of us are even getting out of bed at all. Bad days are inevitable, and we can’t beat ourselves up over them, but maybe there are ways to feel better faster.

Despite the monotony and predictability we’re managing right now, one thing that hasn’t changed for me is that I still look forward to the weekends. Why? Well, the main reason is that Matt doesn’t work on weekends, so we actually get to spend time together. I always know that on Saturday and Sunday, we can take the long walk together up to the top of Point Allerton that overlooks our whole town. We pick a movie we’ve both been wanting to see and make plans to watch it on Saturday night. We usually cook bacon and eggs for breakfast on Sunday and actually sit together at the table while we eat. We make plans to do things that we can’t do during the week, even if they aren’t things we’re doing together. I teach a class from the (empty) gym every Saturday morning, so often Matt will plan to go for a long run or take his kayak out while I’m gone. Every week on my way home from class, I still stop at our local bakery (yes, folks, I abide by the six foot rule) to buy an iced coffee, a sweet treat for Matt and a loaf of fresh bread right out of the oven. I love the opportunity to get three short minutes of conversation with someone else in the community while simultaneously supporting a local business, not to mention the fact that the bread itself is so good that it holds celebrity status in our house now.

Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean we can’t make plans. Schedule things you can look forward to, and not just on the weekends. If you know there’s a day that you tend to feel particularly low, or if there is a rainy day coming up, plan something to look forward to on that day. Write your plans on that white board in the kitchen like you did with the things that bring you joy! If you or your partner works all week, buy some nice steaks from the grocery store and schedule a fancy dinner date. Maybe you even get dressed up! If your plan doesn’t include anyone but yourself, tell your family that you’re going to be busy from 2:00 to 4:00 on Saturday and allow yourself to be unavailable.

Most importantly, whether you live by yourself or with a family of ten, schedule time to talk to other people. Every Wednesday, my girlfriends and I have a standing happy hour meeting via Zoom, and I look forward to that every single week. It’s also scheduled on a day that I know I may be feeling a little less than stellar, so it gives me a little midweek boost of energy. I feel grateful to be teaching yoga because I can connect with people regularly. Zoom allows you to see the people in your classes, and it makes me so happy when one of my “regulars” pops into a virtual class or when an old friend joins that I haven’t seen in months. I’ve honestly connected with more people in the last four weeks than I have in months thanks to video chatting. If you are not remotely tech savvy and the thought of using Facetime, Zoom or Google Hangouts sounds harrowing, please call me and I will walk you through it. It may seem silly to some of you who are new to the concept, but even just a few minutes of seeing the faces of your favorite people will fill you up more than you realize.

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