Stay Home Diaries: Key Takeaways

Well, here we are. Another weekend behind us of staying home with a relaxing day of dog walks, Netflix and puppy snuggles, and wine on the patio. I had plenty of blog posts planned before the Corona impacts. However, we have canceled/postponed trips, we have no idea what the race schedule will look like for Fall 2020, and I’m pretty sure we are all wearing some similar version of our WFH styles while our dogs dictate our days. All that to say, none of my planned posts seemed relevant during a global pandemic. Coupled with the collapse of oil prices (I’m a Petroleum Engineer and was 31 years old when I learned oil could trade NEGATIVE) and people losing their jobs across multiple industries, nothing really seemed to fit.

Now that our state is opening back up and things around the world are beginning to return to what we’d deem as “normal” (anyone else heard this phrase too many times?) I thought I’d share some of my takeaways.

STAYING ACTIVE

I was already a somewhat active person – I was running and lifting a few days a week before the gym was closed. However, I was worried I would get lazy and lose all the fitness and lung capacity I have worked on for years. I mean, I’m no Olympic athlete but I can see the difference a few days of being a couch potato can make on my overall wellbeing. Not good. My husband and I agreed that one of the best unforeseen advantages to the stay-home orders was the fact that we are runners. Sure, the gym may be closed and we can’t use the equipment or an indoor track, but running can be done almost anywhere. He made a trip to Academy when things started to look questionable and grabbed a few weights, resistance bands, and a weighted bar for our home workouts. Oh, and he ordered an ab roller. YOU. NEED. ONE. I have never thought of myself as one of those workout at home type people but in the past few weeks I have done YouTube workouts, yoga online from my local studio, socially distanced training sessions, ran a few virtual races, and squeezed in SO many dog walks. It’s all about adapting. Thankfully, where we live we were able to still use the trails and adventure outdoors so this helped keep us sane when we needed to stare at something other than the walls of our house. Fun fact: I cannot do a pull-up. My lats were sore for 6 days when I did an “alternative” pull-up. I’ll be working on that as my new fitness goal. I have also been warming up and stretching after I run..with all this extra time the additional 5-10 minutes seems a lot easier to add in. And the home office chair isn’t exactly full of lumbar support so a little foam rolling and deep stretches have been a huge help!

BUDGET

Another unforeseen advantage of staying home? Actually seeing what your essential expenses are per month. We tend to travel (though boarding the dogs is often one of the biggest expenses), do a little shopping here and there, go out to eat, etc. and while we have calculated our necessary expenses, we’ve rarely had a month where we truly pared down to the basics. We spent significantly more on groceries than we EVER have, but we cooked at home for every meal for the past 7 weeks (except for 3 dinners that we recently got take out because we were over the cooking life). I won’t lie…cutting down my trips to Target has possibly, fine, DEFINITELY helped reduce our expenses. It’s not my fault. I can’t help what jumps in the buggy while I make my way through the clothes, shoes, and dollar bins. Heck, I even get a little over spendy when I see fun new plug-in scents and dryer sheets. This will certainly help us evaluate our spending in the future…I’d predict we will eat at home far more often even after all the restaurants are fully opened. And maybe I’ll spend less time wandering the aisles of Target…that one’s up for debate though. Again, it’s the buggy’s fault. Not mine.

WORK FROM HOME

Thankfully, we have space so that my husband and I both have separate rooms to use for our offices. In the first few weeks, I had my desk set up next to a window. That was great as far as natural light and keeping sunny vibes all day, but I found out that the corner was also warm by late afternoon. When you’re wearing leggings with your favorite taco cat glitter socks (I’m a sucker for Target socks) that can get a little melty. After a little desk rearranging and putting in some shelves, my home office is a fully functional space! Except for the side of the room that will eventually have a guest bed. I’ll keep putting that off though. Working from home (unless that’s where you normally work) is obviously different from your usual office space but I think the key is leaving your desk for lunch, keeping your space as similar set up as your regular desk as possible, and natural light. I’ve also tended to wear running clothes in my home office. This makes for a quick transition at lunch – I can squeeze in a workout or walk the dogs! I know everyone has different WFH situations and distractions but I have thoroughly enjoyed having my morning coffee with my husband and the lunch break dog walks are a great brain break!

LESS PLANS, LESS STRESS

When everything started to shut down and the panic set in that things weren’t going as planned, I was a little thrown off. Not in the usual way, I mean everyone had adjustments to their day to day but for those of us that live by what our planner says, it was a whole new element of chaos and uncertainty. I stay fairly busy in the evenings and weekends whether that’s social commitments, volunteering for pet therapy, gym sessions, etc. Over the past few years, I have scaled back my involvement significantly to just the things that I truly wanted to be a part of and commit my time (and money) to. Even so, I have found my calendar to still be full. The past few weeks have been far less structured nights and weekends and while I am probably spending too much time watching Netflix, I am appreciating all the extra time with my husband, dogs, and catching up with people we don’t talk to as often on virtual hangouts and happy hours! I’ve read a few books, enjoyed spending time on our patio, socially distanced walks and saying hi to the neighbors, and I feel zero guilt about not learning a new language or tackling any home improvement projects. After 7 weeks of cleaning my house as a “weekend activity”, running the dishwasher every day, and becoming all too familiar with what’s new on Netflix (yes, I watched Tiger King) I am ready to get back to a more traditional routine. I do think it will look different in many ways (I certainly won’t be eating cake if someone blew their candles out…ewww) but it will be nice to get back to social gatherings and traveling. I do plan to trim the calendar down a bit though so I can have some time to just enjoy and BE.

Let me know in the comments what your takeaways from quarantine/stay home were!

Thanks for stopping by!
Taryn

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