Working from home. Schooling from home. Doing life from home. Now, my day splits in into two parts:
morning meetings from the kitchen and
afternoon meetings from my bedroom (where I am right now).
My husband works the night shift. So, as soon as he wakes up, he knows that he needs to dash out of the bedroom so I can set up my office space before our children have their school lunch break.
Suddenly, my house is not quite my home. The dining room is the 5th grade classroom. The family room is the 8th grade classroom. My bedroom is now my office. From 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, our home is a collection of multifunctional work spaces. I miss when home was home and work was work. Howevever, I am not sure when that will be our normal again. None of us are.
Over these last two months of the pandemic, I have lost that feeling of homeyness. Honestly, this is another life domain where the pandemic has had a great impact on our lives.
It feels like so long ago, yet I remember it vividly. In the pre-pandemic times, after a long day at work, I looked forward to going home. Home was my shelter from the world; especially my bedroom, where I could just relax, unplug, and plop down on my bed. Now, it's not like that at all. Wherever I look, I see work. My semi office is set up in a corner of my bedroom; the work laptop and other office items are there as the constant reminders of what we lost. What I lost. I'm grieving. We are all grieving. This is hard.
Since we don’t know how much longer this new lifestyle will exist, I have developed some rituals to help me bring that home-like feeling into consciousness again.
Water Play. My favorite one, and one that I have been practicing since pre-pandemic, is washing away the work day. Water is such a soothing and practical way to practice self-care, and it helps me transition from work-brain to mom- brain.
Backpack. On Friday afternoons when I am done with work, I make sure to pack my laptop in my work backpack, and place it out of my bedroom.
Pack it away. As I am working on different projects, I have various notebooks for each. When I am finished with them, I packed those notebooks away in my new “work locker.” This is my three shelf rolling cart which I got from Target (I also got one for each of my sons to store all their school supplies away) where I put all work items, and then I roll under my desk.
Leave no trace. My last and new favorite one is I clean my desk and leave it empty to make sure that the office is out of bedroom until the next work dayy; out of sight and out of mind! I also have my children pack up their classroom as well.
As the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, for however long, it’s important that we find ways to practice self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone and so, do you what you like. More importantly, do what makes you feel good, whether it’s a talking to friends, dancing or blasting out your favorite playlist in the car (or in the shower, which is my personal favorite!).
Meet Our Guest Author
Ms. Marianela Rodousakis, LCSW-C is a licensed clinical social worker. Prior to finding her passion working in developmental trauma, Ms. Rodousakis was an early childhood teacher. Ms. Rodousakis is also a certified Circle Of Securiry- Classroom facilitator working with preschool through Kindergarten teachers. She resides in Maryland with her husband and two sons.
These were just a few tips to help during these times. Have more ideas? Feel free let us know. Share this with others.
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