This is a public issue of Enthusiastic Encouragement & Dubious Advice. Feel free to share it!
WOW, WHAT A FUCKIN’ WEEK. How are you holding up?
I had a whole plan for today’s newsletter that has been put on the back burner because I have some super relevant things to talk about while we’re at the beginning-ish of COVID-19 cancelling everything but my debt.
I have some advice for those of us who have been thrust into the mandatory stay-at-home club in order to increase social distance. Yes, this is all very scary but also staying home and not seeing people is 100% my jam.
I realize that not everyone has my zeal for being a hermit, so I have some thoughts to share about making this as tolerable as we can.
#1: Get off the fucking internet
Okay, yes, my newsletter is on the internet. And some of us work on the internet. But really, I mean, step away from the internet every once in a while. Refreshing news sites and constantly scrolling through Twitter is not good for your mental health. Put down your phone. Step away from your laptop. Take a few minutes periodically to just be present.
#2: Now is the time to set household rules
So, I have not seen a lot of people talking about this so I wanted to point out that some of us may share a home with other people whether they be roommates, a spouse, a partner, and maybe a child or children.
Many of us may not be used to being in the same place at the same time for 24 hours and multiple days, possibly weeks, in a row.
I’m going to make an assumption and that is: You probably don’t know exactly how annoying your spouse, partner, roommate, or child can be. This is going to be the reckoning. We are all going to learn a lot.
I want everyone to start by trying to keep in mind that we are all, including the people you live with, doing the best we can with the resources we have. This is our first pandemic. We are figuring out a lot of things as we go through it.
Now is the time to use your words. To talk to people instead of building resentment. Set some ground rules. Here are some things to think about:
Are you both/all working from home? Do you all have designated work areas?
If one person is working from home and the other person is not, what are some needs for both of the people to be comfortable? What are everyone’s boundaries in this situation?
Are there children forced to stay at home? Whose responsibility are they if all the adults are working from home?
What does a chore/cleaning schedule look like?
Is the kitchen big enough for everyone to cook at once? Does everyone eat meals at the same time? Are meals expected to be shared?
What’s everyone’s opinion on noise while working or just being home with others? Music? Television? Video games?
What do mornings in particular look like? If one person likes to do some quiet morning yoga (usually at a studio, but not possible for now) but the other person is in the kitchen using 15 appliances to prepare their breakfast, how can this kind of thing be arranged so everyone can have their morning routine?
What are everyone’s opinions on interruptions? While working? While reading (which for some of us is working)? While watching TV?
Most of all, be kind. Be considerate. Like I said, we’re all doing the best we can.
#3: Stay connected on a personal level
I know I told you to stay off the internet earlier. I know. But that was mostly around the constant onslaught of news.
While many of us are practicing a physical social distance, it’s important to reach out to friends and loved ones. Text people. Check in on people. Maybe older relatives would love to hear your voice so plan a phone call. Plan to have a video chat with people in other parts of the country or the world. It is easy to feel lonely when we are alone, but we don’t have to.
“CA has waived the 1 week waiting period for those unemployed or disabled as a result of COVID-19.
If a medical professional says you’re unable to work, if your hours have been reduced, or your employer has shut down -- you can file a claim.”
Here is the direct link to the Employment Development Department for California
Something fun: Rainbow Symphony
I am not getting paid to talk about this company. These are not affiliate links. I just really, really, really love their products.
Rainbow Symphony makes suncatchers. They make suncatcher DECALS. I paid around $15 for some decals, stuck them on our windows, and now I get phenomenal rainbows every day there is sun. It brings me so much joy when I’m sitting at the dining table on my laptop, working away, then suddenly I’m bathed in rainbows. And the rainbows they make are fantastic! Look!
This is from their Instagram:
Also from their Instagram:
Highly recommend them if you’re going to be spending daytimes in your home and you have windows that get some direct sunlight.
One last housekeeping item:
My plan was to go to a subscription model starting in April. I’m going to hold off on that and keep this newsletter going for free. Some folks are or will be without work and possibly without paychecks for a while. In fact, we don’t even know if my wife is going to be one of them but it’s a possibility.
So, I’m not going to charge you right now because things are up in the air. However, I will be posting my tip jar at the end of every issue from now until I get a pay structure going eventually. Tips help. Also, sharing this newsletter helps too! Forward it to a friend who you think will find it useful.
That’s it for this week!