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What an interesting nine weeks it has been since I left school on a Friday afternoon, never to return. I have truly enjoyed emergency remote elearning (more than many others, I know), but that doesn’t mean the whole situation hasn’t got me down. I’ve had to find some go-to sanity-savers.
So, on those days when I wonder how much longer this will go on, I am extra thankful for these things to keep me going.
Not a crazy one. I don’t have every second planned out, but I have a general idea of when I’ll start work and when I’ll finish work. When I’ll eat breakfast, work out, eat lunch, and take the dog for a walk. The semi-routine has made the weekdays significantly easier to tolerate.
The Newsworthy Podcast
I’ve always been a moderate person, in temperament and political persuasion, so the news really irks me. I honestly can’t watch it without my blood pressure rising. Instead, I listen to the Newsworthy podcast every morning (M-F) while I eat breakfast. It’s, as the host Erica Mandy says, “fast, fair, fun, and on the go”. Each episode is only ten minutes and it hits all the big headlines without telling me what I should think about the situation. I highly recommend it.
Let me start by saying I don’t like working out. I know I feel better after, blah, blah, blah, but I do not enjoy it. Thankfully, though, I have found the FitOn App! They have awesome workouts ranging from 5 minutes to 45 minutes and from low to high intensity. You can search by time, intensity, body part, trainer. So far, I have liked every workout I’ve tried. I also found the Fitiv app which connects with my old 9Round heart rate monitor. I am significantly more motivated when I can see my progress, so this has been a game-changer. I’ve worked out 4 days a week pretty consistently for the past month, but some days my workout is horseback riding (which, now that I wear my monitor, actually burns a lot of calories and works my legs and abs because of the isometrics).
Yoga with Adriene on Youtube has been my go-to yoga channel for years and years and I’m extra thankful for Adriene’s calming practices right now. If you haven’t done yoga before and want to start with someone chill and understanding, go here. If you’ve done yoga before, still go here. 🙂
Video Chat Apps
Marco Polo and Houseparty: These two apps help me connect easily with friends and family. I love the asynchronous messages on MP, even though at first I felt like I was talking to myself (you get used to it!). You can have group chats too, which is nice. Houseparty is fun for our Sunday family chats. Sometimes we’ll hang out and talk and sometimes we’ll play a game (like Pictionary or Apples to Apples). I highly recommend both of these for connecting!
I am not a crafty person. I like writing, baking, and graphic design but that’s the extent of my “crafting”. I don’t have the patience for sewing or crocheting, both things my mom and sister excel at. I want to be crafty. I want to make cool things, but the desire only lasts about five minutes once I actually start. However, at the start of the pandemic, I decided I needed something to occupy my time, so I ordered an embroidery kit and I actually enjoyed it! It was quick, which is perfect for my attention span, and I loved the end product!
I love to bake. I like making cookies, cakes, breads, etc. My husband though does not eat any of the things I just listed. When school is in session it’s perfect because I bake yummy things and bring most of them to school to share with my colleagues. Right now, this is not an option and I cannot eat three dozen cookies myself. Rather, I can, but I should not. I have made chocolate chip cookies, avocado brownies, blueberry muffins, and a Victoria Sponge cake in the last two months.
But for the most part, I’ve been focused on making pizza dough! My husband and I love to cook and we love pizza but no (good) pizza places deliver to our house, so we started making our own pizzas. They were ok, but nothing to write home about. When the pandemic started and my husband had to stay home from work too, we decided we should embark on a quest to find the perfect pizza dough. And I think we have found it. Our pizza this week was the most legit homemade pizza I’ve ever tasted. It was crunchy, chewy, spongy, cheesy perfection.
If you’ve been here before, you know I love to read but I used to be a vocal audiobook hater. I can read really fast, about three hours faster than an audiobook on average (and I listen at 1.25 speed), so I just didn’t see the point of listening to a reader. Earlier this school year I started listening to books on my slightly longer commute to work. It was a slow process to actually start to like them and I am extremely picky about the narrator (turns out I like British accents the best).
In my whole life before the pandemic I had probably listened to five audiobooks total but in the last six weeks I have listened to eight. I’ve found that after a long day of being on my computer “teaching”, my eyes are too tired to read a book. But I love reading and thankfully my ears are not too tired to listen! Plus now I can listen while I shower, while I cook, while I bake, while I embroider, while I walk. I must say, I’m becoming a real fan of audiobooks and a huge supporter of our library’s ebook and audiobook trade. (I use the Libby app and if you do not, I highly suggest you check it out!). Here are some of the books I’ve read lately:
What has been making you happy (or maybe distracting you!) during quarantine?