Staying Calm in a Pandemic

I’m not usually one for writing about topical subjects; topics that are only relevant for a short period. But writing a little something about household management during the COVID-19 pandemic feels salient, especially in a world where shoppers are hoarding items out of fear, thus feeding the panic.

So what is this post about? It’s about being calm. It’s how the Jupiter House is managing this pandemic, social distancing, and how my shopping habits HAVE NOT changed. I know that our situation is about as calm as it gets; I don’t have several social events to cancel, Baby Jupiter is unaffected by school closures, and Mister Jupiter stays home when he can (funny thing about pilots – they absolutely cannot work from home).

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Household Management – Time ticks like any other day at home. When we watch TV, it’s in the TV room for Netflix – not in the living room, and not on the news (we are “cord cutters”) so this alone breeds calm. I do regularly read the news on my phone, so we’re not entirely out of the loop. Our household activities and schedules have not changed.

We thrive on schedules here, so we keep them. During Baby’s first nap I relax, then during his second nap I meal prep or write. Mister tends to emails as they come in, and the dogs let us know when they think it’s dinner time. We might as well live on the moon; our home life is unchanged in the face of global pandemic.

Keeping a little distance for health and wellness.

Social Distancing – Slight change for us. Recently my brother got married, and we did go to the wedding (it was wonderful!), but we needed to leave the reception earlier than planned. Nobody at the ceremony seemed ill, but we didn’t shake hands during introductions, and hugs were at the minimum.

Luckily we don’t really have a lot of regular social events, so distancing hasn’t been negative for us…yet. I did have two events later this month that were cancelled, but I totally understand. If I rated the level of inconvenience that social distancing has on our daily life I would rate it one of ten; very low, barely noticed. Being a homebody is good, and I definitely recognize the privilege I have in being able to stay home.

Thinking about pantry foods and shelf-stable food. #foodsecurity #pantry #canning

Shopping – This one surprised me the most. I didn’t realize that toilet paper became a commodity until after I had already bought some (in normal quantities for normal use). The sudden doomsday prepping is apparently a social response to panic and unclear guidance – I really look forward to the academic analysis about this all. So if you’re a sociologist studying this – please comment below with published findings – I care!

My shopping habits are mostly unchanged. Why? Because I don’t like being surprised, so I ALWAYS keep emergency supplies handy. Granted, my prepping isn’t very robust, but it’s there. For example we’re never totally out of toilet paper, ibuprofen, hand sanitizer, or dried beans. But I’m far from being ready for an actual zombie apocalypse, and that’s okay for now. I joke with Mister about having enough yeast to make bread to barter for baby’s milk, but I’m only half joking. Before we start bartering I’m at least pushing to get a carry out dinner once a week – it supports local businesses, and is handy when my dinner plans are dashed because Kroger was out of potatoes and beans.

☞ Related: Menu Planning with Limitations

Yoga has always been a favorite, and the ability to do it anywhere is my favorite. #homeyoga #gymyoga #yogaanywhere

Finding Calm – Finding calm in any chaos is challenging enough, and this pandemic is highlighting a lot of issues that people of the world are forced to deal with now. So what to do when your world is spiraling out of control? Find something that you can hold on to.

I like to take a note from any yoga class. Sit comfortably in a quiet space and focus on your breath. Feel your chest rise. Relax your shoulders. Breathe deep. Let your mind quiet down and create a bubble of calm in your world. I like to watch Yoga with Adriene (on Amazon Prime Video) for a slice of calm. I like her variety of videos, and I especially like seeing her dog. After any video I feel calm and relaxed, and this fresh start helps me better tackle that day’s big problem.

Communicate – Lastly I want to remind everyone to communicate. I’m a SAHW (stay at home writer) who forgets to reach out to others. Just because I am happy and comfortable at home doesn’t mean that everyone is. Reach out and text your family. Nothing too serious, just check in with them and see how they are doing; ask what they’re reading, or what great jokes they’ve heard lately. We humans are social animals and we enjoy a chat – especially from a person who cares. So be that caring person.

But what if you’re too burdened and need to vent to someone instead? There’s a solution for you too! It’s called the Crisis Text Line. No worry is too small, and real people (not bots) are there to help! There are a million reasons to need an anonymous friend, even without a pandemic. Text SHARE to 741741 and a kind person will respond – they are always listening, and they always have the time, 24/7.

It's time to talk about how the Jupiter House handles a pandemic - no alarm bells here, but we only go out if we need to! #COVID-19 #ThisIsLifeNow

Author: Tracey

Tracey has a bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She loves editing, riding bikes, and cooking for her family.

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