New Week, New Normal

It has certainly been a strange month. I’ve gone through a roller coaster of emotions – anxiousness, calm, terror, sadness, boredom, and finally, acceptance.

In less than a week’s time, my whole life and routine was turned upside-down. I went from working in an office full-time and heading to the gym five days a week, to exclusively working from home and exercising in my garage. I haven’t seen my mom in over a week. I haven’t gone to the grocery store. I haven’t been able to touch anything without the overwhelming urge to wash my hands.

I’ll always remember Friday, March 13th as one of the toughest days I’ve been through. I felt sick with anxiety most of the day.

I knew something was terribly wrong when my company issued a new work-from-home policy, effective that coming Monday. Out of an abundance of caution, they started sending people home who had traveled anywhere within the last 2 weeks. It was deeply unsettling to see my coworkers, many of whom are my friends, hastily packing up their things and heading home to self-quarantine.

People on my team commented that the stock market had taken a nosedive. Schools were closing. Concerts, weddings, and parties were being cancelled. Every innocent cough in the office sent an awkward tremor of fear throughout my department. I couldn’t wait to go home that day.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t sleep well last week. My back ached from sleeping on the couch, half-listening to reruns of The Office to drown out my anxious thoughts. I tossed and turned. One night, I had a vivid dream that bombs were falling from the sky.

Thankfully, with each passing day, I’ve managed to handle the fear and uncertainty a little better. Although there are difficult moments that pop up, overall, I’m taking better care of myself and accepting the uncomfortable feelings as the new normal, at least for the time being.

This is a new week and I’m feeling optimistic. It’s my second week of working from home full-time.

I think I have a much better handle on my routine: I’m finally starting to sleep again and I’m checking the news less. I’m spending more time in nature and less time mindlessly scrolling through social media. I’m eager to continue exercising, learning my new role at work, and blogging in the evenings, just like I used to.

I’m trying to find the silver linings in all this chaos. I try to remember the touching stories of humanity that I’ve read, cherish the extra time I get to spend with Daphne, and savor the many homecooked meals we’ve made. It’s not often that we get a break from our busy lives to cherish the little things in life.

One message that has comforted me is that we are all in this together. I know that everyone is feeling the same confusing mix of emotions as I am. I know the next few months will be challenging, but I’m hoping to keep a routine and use my blog as a respite from this scary time we’re living through.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can see my extended family and leave the house without toting along a tube of Clorox wipes. Until then, I’ll do my best to accept that this is our reality, and make the most of it.

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