Every month, Amy and I write about a different part of our daily routines (see our previous posts here). This month’s topic is our daily routine during these strange stay-at-home/quarantine/shelter in place weeks.
Amy’s routine has definitely been different than mine as she has been sick this month, probably with Covid although they didn’t test her. You can read her posts about her illness here and here. While she’s still recovering, I know that she’s thankful to be improving daily.
While it seems like the days and weeks run together in a blur (at least at our house!), there are a few routines that I’ve been sticking to that are making things run more normally.
My sleep schedule hasn’t been great for the last few weeks, and from what I’m reading, I’m not alone. I’m waking up in the middle of the night and early in the morning, and my dreams are pretty strange and memorable.
Here’s what’s working for me and our family: I’m sticking to my normal bed and wake times. There were a few days in March, when I was sick, when I stayed in bed all day or slept until noon, but other than that I’ve been consistently asleep around midnight and up around 7:30am.
My daughter and husband are still on their normal early bird schedules; she’s usually at her schoolwork by 8am and Chris is off to work between 7 and 8. Our college sophomore son is on a much later sleep/wake cycle, but I don’t think that’s a hill worth dying on right now. He manages his schedule on his own at school, so I try to give him that privilege at home.
A few things that have helped me get to sleep and stay asleep:
Every night I take two of these melatonin gummies and they really do help. My sleep mask is an essential as I find that ambient light wakes me up in a way it never did when I was younger (this might be a good mother’s day idea)! I would probably wear earplugs, too, except I go to sleep most nights listening to a podcast or white noise. I also limit caffeine; I have two cups of coffee in the morning and that’s usually it for the day.
I’ve pretty much been sticking to my daily household routine; for example, I’m still making my bed every day and getting dressed, even when I know I’m not going to be going anywhere. I don’t think I’ve been dressier than white jeans in a month, though!
Makeup most days is just lipstick and mascara, or if I’m really going all out, I’ll add foundation, blush, and a sweep of peach eyeshadow. I can’t remember the last time I did a full face of makeup! Also can’t say that I miss it!
My hair has been a bit neglected, too, because I haven’t blown it out in forever. I wash it every 2-3 days and let it air dry, and most of the time I wear it clipped in a messy bun like this:
It’s actually probably enjoying a break from all of the heat.
I saw my hairstylist right before our governor closed things down so my color is still in pretty good shape, but she is selling to-go bottles of our personal color formulas for root touchups at home. I think that’s a great idea, don’t you?
I find I think and work better when the house is tidy and I’ve heard similar things from other friends who work from home. So I will say that even with three of us here 24/7 right now, our main living areas are neat(ish). The kids can make any kind of messes they want in their own rooms as long as I don’t have to look at them! There might be a pandemic going on, but the dog still sheds and the laundry still needs to be done, so all of those things happen on a daily basis.
One thing that has really helped during these weeks is daily exercise–whether it’s taking Harley for his fifth walk of the day or doing work in the yard, I try to get my heart rate up daily. I also find that helps with my sleep; it’s hard to beat the combination of Vitamin D and fresh air.
I’m still running a few times a week although it’s easy for me to make excuses not to (ha!). The kids are doing much better with their workouts and the front porch is currently “decorated” in weights, medicine balls, yoga mats, and the like.
The other end of the porch is our outdoor living room at this time of the year, and we use it a ton. We even eat dinner out here some nights; there’s lots of good people watching and it’s nice to see so many neighbors out walking, running, and riding bikes.
We’re probably not the only ones who are cooking (and eating!) like champs right now. I’m going to the grocery store about once a week, although now I have to go to two or three of them to find everything on my list. If you want to see our recent menu plans and shopping lists, here’s a 2-week plan from Amy, a 2-week plan from me, and a 1-week plan from me.
We’ve also been doing some “fun” cooking projects, like making mustard, strawberry jam and salsa, and cooking some of our family’s favorite recipes. Since dinner isn’t rushed in between evening activities, I’ve been taking my time and cooking more elaborate meals than I normally do during the week (I like this part of quarantine!) and we sit down together as a family every night (I love this part!). Everyone picks a few favorites when I’m making the menu plan.
We also get a community supported agriculture (CSA) box every week from local farmers and our farmers’ market just opened up for the season. This is a win-win to me since we get to support our local farms and artisans and we get fresh, healthy, and delicious food every week.
In addition to my usual daily chores and blog work, I have gotten a few bigger projects done. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I spend way too much time reading a book or watching TV, but I’ve found that as the weather gets nicer my motivation level increases.
We’ve gotten through our pollen season and so the porch has been hosed off for the (hopefully) last time, I’ve planted some flowers, kitchen herbs, and vegetables, and of course you saw my mailbox makeover (don’t forget to enter our paint sprayer giveaway by Thursday):
I also dug up some of our back patio; there were old tree roots underneath that had caused parts of it to buckle. I can pretty much guarantee I would NEVER have found time to do this during normal times!
I just love the patina on those old bricks! Now we have another pretty outdoor seating area to enjoy:
Our move to Germany is still on schedule for July, so I’m sorting and purging room by room. Unfortunately, all of our thrift stores are closed so my donations are piling up on the screened porch, but they will get dropped off eventually.
I also completed a huge job that I’ve been putting off for years–I scanned all of our old tax documents, saved them in three different places, and then shredded the originals. I’m pretty sure I took at least fifty pounds off our move weight!
Last but not least, a new part of our daily routine is an effort to stay connected to family and friends. I’m sure I’m on social media more than I should be, but more importantly than that, I’m trying to make sure that we reach out to friends and family.
My daughter is still doing nightly dance classes via Zoom, and she and her friends have group FaceTime calls. I have a group of friends who get together every week or so for cocktails and an hour of chatting; we meet via FB Messenger video calls.
The kids and I deliver meals twice a week to local families who are food insecure and depend on school lunches; it gets us out of the house and focused on others (read more in my challenges and blessings post).
As I mentioned earlier, we are enjoying family dinners now that our evenings are free. Many nights we’ll play a game afterward (Rummikub is our current favorite) or watch a movie, before going to bed and doing it all over again.
Bottom line is that we’re finding that keeping busy and maintaining our routines are helping us to stay sane. What’s working at your house?
Be safe, and thanks for stopping by!