31 Mar 2020

The “At-Home” Diaries: Momentum

The "At Home" Diaries: Momentum on vickiarcher.com


How do we keep up the momentum during this “lockdown”?

Quarantine may be longer than we think or with good management perhaps not as long as concerns us; either way, social distancing may be a concept to stay for some time. The beginning of a change can be liberating and devastating all at once. We are buoyed with change and full of bravado. Routines are determined and established and we go forth with all the vigour we can muster.


I know this story – I will exercise more, eat better, take the supplements I mean to. Reading will fill my days and Netflix watching reduce. Mental stimulation is everything and with the best endeavours, I want to work mine. Sugar will be a thing of my past and a vodka martini few and far between; this will be the “new’ me; a healthier and considered version. Caramels – something I once loved – gone, like a long-ago boyfriend, fond memories but no longing. Wasting time on unnecessary social media, reading throwaway titles and binge-watching TV series will be replaced with a deeper caring and more intellectual reverence for my time.


Who am I kidding?

If I set myself up like this, I am most certainly going to fail.

Momentum, gathering momentum and putting in place realistic practices is what will keep me together, mentally and physically, during this quarantine. Excessive behaviour is not sustainable; moderation and kindness are the clues.


How do we keep up the momentum?

How do we keep moving forward when all we want is to wish the world and all its problems far away? I hear so many recriminations about what we had and how it wasn’t appreciated. Yes, all very true but that’s a whole other subject. What we need to do right now is garner our strength and focus on energy, both mental and physical.


Practice routines and whatever they are, staying with them. Yoga has become part of my life so I’m finding ways to practice 4-5 times weekly. Sometimes I would rather drink tea and scroll Instagram, I’m not and this is where my discipline kicks in. Nobody can see me so why not skip the hard crunch and extra downward dog? Why? For me, it’s a slippery slope to life as a couch potato.


Stimulation is everything. Learn, read, play games, do jigsaws, sew, knit or whatever challenges take the mind off horrendous news 24/7. A mental escape is paramount to making it through and our brains, like our bodies, need exercise. I play card and word games when I want to sharpen up and the flipside is they alleviate my anxiety which I find much more prevalent in these isolation days.


Kindness. Be kind to us and to others goes without saying but so often we leave us to last. Working with our routines means we can treat ourselves on the other side. Deliciously scented oil bath, a facemask or time in the sun. Read the trashy online reportage for reward, maybe Saturday night is for pizza and Sunday means a couple more glasses of wine. The key to this type of kindness is recognizing it is not the routine.


Companionship and socializing, the lack of it, is tough detox. Pick up the phone, send a text or create What’sApp groups with besties. There is Zoom for group chats, which is weird but fun; it is key to making the most of the resources we have. Greet people, even if they are on the other side of the street. Who knows, a friendly wave might change their day and be what they really need?


Relaxing, hand in hand with kindness, is a must. Work it how you can and when you can. Switch off the depressing at night and read and watch the positive: it’s not denial, it is preserving our sanity.



Momentum, it’s worth working on. xv

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22 Comments

bing

every morning i begin as usual with pray and meditation; trying to fast too but this one is difficult; then i walk to work and back (though i don’t enter work, the school is closed) ; then i have been spring cleaning; which is something i definitely needed to do, i would paint the kitchen but it is not warm enough; then i cook ; then i visit my 89 year old mom (she’ll be 90 next month) who have been on lock down for several weeks and has possibly another month to go; i try not to watch too much tv.

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Vicki

It sounds like your routine is a very practical and sustainable one… I am sure your Mum treasures your visits… :)

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bing

before the library closed i was able to get 6 or 7 books out; i’m presently reading “the cost of honor” by diana munoz stewart

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Mumbai

Beautiful and honestly told. Very helpful for many readers perhaps. But your resolution regarding Vodka/Martini, isn’t it a bit austere in this situation? Yoga cocktails makes my body fit too and my mind happy…and not thinking about the past and the future. Whatever will be, will be…..Best wishes from Spain

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Eileen

Establishing some sort of a schedule is key. Learning something totally new is another goal. We are sooo fortunate to have access to so many online classes, skillshare and myblueprint.com, which is giving free classes until April 9. Lots of opportunity to come away saying, This is what I accomplished. Meditation and not watching live tv is also key. I’m an introvert so am not plagued with lack of going outside. I have been in touch with distant friends, though. The ones you keep saying, I have to contact them…and never do. Great time to catch up.

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Vicki

I have found it very comforting talking to friends.. it’s funny how just the sound of their voice brings a degree of normalcy…

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Michelle à Détroit

I am also an introvert and I agree wholeheartedly with Eileen. The thought of people suffering eats away at me and fills me with great sadness, but being sequestered at home is not difficult for me. I am never bored. Phone calls, texts and Facebook keep me connected to my small circle of friends. Catching up on my neglected French, daily exercise and books aplenty. And, of course, I feel that I must also follow the latest updates on the virus. We can still go for walks near the house. My husband has regular “Zoom Cocktails” with his work buddies. We have moved recently, so working on the rooms is another project. I think that not knowing how long this will last is unsettling. I guess we must accept that it will take as long as it takes.

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Vicki

I also work from home and so for me, it’s not a huge change… although last night I said to David as soon as this is over we are going out somewhere fab… He laughed I never want to do that!! I am thinking about changing my rooms about a bit.. at least de-cluttering.. and the other strange decision I have made is to replace our china! I’m sick of it… ha ha… it breaks the time up and keeps me sane thinking of these silly things. And yes, walking is a saviour and for now we are allowed out once a day.. so that helps… Be safe, xx

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Linda B

Your posts continue to be beacons of soothing and sanity. Thank you so much!

I am trying hard to hold onto my long-established healthy routines, though some have to be altered somewhat to account for this current situation. For instance, there is an amazing place in my city to do a hike (on a one lane paved road) that goes very steeply up a beautiful desert hill for a mile and a half. It is a fantastic work out, and then you get a magnificent view of the entire city before heading down again. . .Until recently, I was doing this 3 miles twice a week; Tuesday mornings with my husband and some of our dear friends (usually a group of 5 or 6) and Fridays with one of my best girlfriends. This beautiful nature preserve (owned by the University of Arizona) was closed two weeks ago, because the 1,500 folks who walk Tumamoc Hill on average every day were too many to keep proper social distance. This morning, I am really missing it. But I will go for a run or a bike ride, and make the best of it.

In other news, I am scanning the Everlane site to take advantage of the sale that is on. . . And I want to mention that yesterday, my sweet baby granddaughter started to recover from her fever; we think it may have been Roseola.

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Vicki

That is the best news of all Linda… your der little granddaughter… I am so happy to hear that.
I’m sorry about your beautiful trail closure, but I know you will find an alternative and make the most of that.

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anitapelayorivera

Good morning Vicki!

Yesterday, we teachers started our Distance Learning. In my lit up home where I feel safe, I was able to see, hear and correspond with my darling students. They reported to their parents who in turn reported to me that they were DELIGHTED to see my video that I had prepared for the morning. It’s amazing what a friendly, familiar face can do for the spirit. I also welled up with joy when I saw them.

My routine of work in school and my routine at home (working out, dancing with my husband, reading, writing and photography) are now merged. While waiting for online assignments to roll in, I can also work to prepare for next week as well as take a break to look out the window for inspiration as spring rolls around. I can text a friend for support as well.

Kindness is the key that has been saving me. We all understand that we are on a learning curve so just knowing that is helping the routines merge in a new and refreshing way. I wish you much JOY and learning as you venture out into new reading material, a new hobby perhaps, or just enjoying your own company. LOVE to you!

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Vicki

They must have been so, so happy to see you, Anita.
We have been finding the days pass quickly and while I savour all my activities.. there is room for so much more… Big hugs from across the seas …

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Jo

Good morning Vicki…..I’m 74 years old so I have been retired and staying at home for quite a long time. How to cope….hmmmm…..Just keep yourself busy…. Do something, anything that you can turn into a little project. I don’t live alone yet so loneliness is not the issue, but it is alarming if you do visit our local grocers to see shelves upon shelves empty of basic groceries and supplies. Ahh….we humans of today are so spoiled. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and this, too, shall pass. Just keep on keeping’ on and be KIND to everyone you should chance upon meeting while staying healthy at the same time.

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Vicki

Yes, we were spoilt and especially those of us who live in big cities like London.. our wish was by command and everything was available with a minute’s notice. I hope we can maintain our appreciation for the simple life, long after this crisis is over…

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Deborah

Thanks for the uplifting thoughts and ideas and the pretty photos of your own surroundings. Like most of us, I’m craving moments of hope, beauty, and comfort these days and your blog helps me escape the anxiety and worry.

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Vicki

Deborah… I am so happy to know that.. sometimes I wonder.. talking away all the time.. but it helps me and I want to stay connected with you all… I feel very anxious a lot of the time… I try not to give in to it and make sure I monitor how much time I spend reading the latest news… it helps to ration that a bit.. Stay safe and thank you for joining me here.. xx

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Jeanne

Hi Vicki…as always I enjoy your posts. I live in the south where the climate has been warm so I walk laps around the deck of my swimming pool (crazy huh?) while listening to Russell Watson’s The Voice. I don’t know why but his albums have a calming effect on me. I march up and down my hall and try not to sit in my recliner because it encourages me to stay there:-) I am retired and decided to take French (what was I thinking) and joined a bookclub at our local YMCA. We continue to have our classes over the internet…so much fun. This is the third week of a stay at home order so my
closets and drawers have been organized. My husband and I sit and eat our lunch and or dinner on our front porch. I am so thankful that our neighborhood has taken this very seriously. I take each day as it comes and pray for our soldiers, the nurses, doctors, etc., who are putting their lives on line to save others. Thanks so much for continuing to post…and by the way I love your hair:-)

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Vicki

Thank you Jeanne,
It’s wonderful to hear you have garnered momentum and are so engaged in life, even if mush is online… and yes, let’s keep walking… it’s the best of all. I’m listening to many books and loving that.. Look after you and your husband, xx

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Maria

It’s taken me a while to get into a new rhythm with this new world we are living in. There a few things you will relate to, my Son’s Wedding had to be postponed, I don’t need to tell you how much went into the planning, along with the fact that I wanted to look my best so had been working out with a Personal Trainer for the last 6 months & was so very pleased with my achievements! So now faced with self isolation I thought I’d end up on the couch watching Netflix, Reading etc & not being very active. However great news I’ve connected with my Zumba group & we are using Zoom to continue our classes, great camaraderie & encouragement. Also Vicki I know you’re a yoga fan & I’d like to recommend some fabulous online classes from Humming Puppy. Take a minute to check out their studios in Melbourne, Sydney & New York. You won’t be disappointed. Kindness, love & light to all.

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Vicki

Thank you Maria… “Humming Puppy” .. here I come… I am excited!
Congrats to you for your devotion to personal training and keep it up… we will have weddings and they will be wonderful and even more heartfelt than before… Look after you, xx

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Stacey

Its taking me quite awhile to get into the routine as well. The first week of school closure was fairly easy in terms of setting up a routine for our toddler.
I knew that I had to keep a routine for her. So our morning started at 7 am where she starts shouting ” mommy, its time to wake up, its morning time ” – she’s literally become my 7 am alarm. Followed by me getting up and preparing breakfast. She has story time then afterwards she becomes the teacher and just like that I revert back to my 2 year old ways and I become the 2 year old, sitting on the mat listening to the story.

My husband and I started developing a routine where I would entertain her from 7 – 12 and he from 2-5 that way, we both have some downtime. We would have paint activities, pasta necklaces and puppets for her to make. It was really fun to share those precious moments with her. As we went into the 2nd week for us, but the 1st week on lockdown for SA, it became increasingly difficult to stick to our routine with her.

I started realising that just as we are giving her a routine, we/ I had to have a routine of my own for myself that did not involve sitting infront of the TV, watching countless episodes on Netflix.
I tried to change my mindset a bit, tried starting my day every week with some exercise workouts. I started doing Popsugar workouts. Love it! It slowly gave me the kickstart that my day needed. Im doing it twice a day. Once in the morning then at night again. Besides the pain its been giving me- It gave me something else to focus on – other that my toddler or husband.

Some days it still feels like this is unreal and that the walls are closing in as you realise that there is no other escape to to the daily challenges you might be facing. It can get tough, but I agree, routine and keeping your brain active is the best way to beat this lockdown.

While Im far from perfecting these strategies, Im definitely trying. Its important to create a routine, not just one for you and your family but to take personal time off for yourself too.

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