By Hilleary Reinhardt
The first weekend we were practicing social distancing, I decided to make a list of things I wanted to accomplish during the time we would be home due to COVID19. By the end of week two, I had not accomplished one of those many tasks I told myself I would do. I felt disappointed in myself for not organizing my closet, not cooking healthy meals, not teaching myself how to make French croissants, not waking up early to work out, not putting on clothes other than my grey sweats and cozy sweatshirts, and not reading the book that has been sitting, closed on my coffee table for months. The only thing I had energy to do during those first two weeks was to make it through each day–feed myself, make sure I was getting enough sleep, and make multiple phone calls to my loved ones.
At first I was telling myself “Hilleary, you are so lazy and unproductive. Snap out of it, some people are putting their lives on the line for this pandemic and you are just loafing around.” With the encouragement from loved ones and the support of my coworkers, I began to have a shift in thinking. Executive Director, Dani, said it in a way that resonated with me “be your pandemic best”.
Many of us have never experienced an event quite like this pandemic. We have not had to figure out how to work from home, have limited–and in many cases no–face to face interactions with friends and family, and have guidelines in place as to where we can and cannot go. This is a new experience for all of us and all we can do is “be your pandemic best”. Our goals and aspirations in life can always take more of a backseat during this time. And don’t compare your “pandemic best” to others’ “pandemic bests” because we all deal with the unknown and experience emotions in different ways.
I tore up that list I had made that first weekend. I was no longer going to let a list dictate my worth during this pandemic. Instead, I have focused on being MY “pandemic best”. Since I have given myself this freedom, I have noticed that my stress levels have decreased and I am finding some enjoyment and peace during this time. My hope for you is that you too will be kind to yourself during this time and “be your pandemic best”.