This Coronavirus pandemic is really stressful.
As someone who is naturally extroverted and thrives from going out and about, feeling like I can't see anyone, nor go out even just to run errands, feels a lot like a prison sentence. But here's the thing.
I've been prepping for this for months.
Of course, not really. I didn't know that the Coronavirus would hit this badly. I didn't know that we'd, for the most part, be quarantined to our homes. But in the last few months, I went from working a job to working from home. And in that time, I learned how to handle being at home for long stretches.
There's a lot of judgment, in the female community, of women who stay at home and don't "pursue their dreams." But for many women, the dream is staying at home, raising a family, making dinner for your husband when he comes home from work. I’m all for women staying at home or working, whatever makes them happy. For me, my passion is sharing my thoughts and ideas with all of you. But I chose that path over the path of being an opera singer (which requires a ton of travel) because I wanted to have a better family life with my husband and my future children.
Looking at it now, I feel so grateful that I'm at home and my work isn't affected by the pandemic. As an opera singer, it's so upsetting to see my friends who are pursuing opera full-time, and all of their engagements for their next few months have been cancelled. I can't imagine how that must feel. Most opera companies can't afford to pay their singers for performances they didn't give, so these singers just don't get paid.
Knowing that could have been me, I feel lucky to be here, at home, armed with the tools to stay at home for a few weeks! I can keep the house clean; I can do my own laundry; I can cook dinner seven nights a week. I am equipped. And while my husband works and supports us, I can devote time to my YouTube channel and blog.
Working from home has taught me to respect my home and how to avoid getting stir-crazy. It’s taught me how to cook and clean and keep my work life separate from my personal life. It’s taught me how to take breaks even when they’re not laid out for me by an office.
This is going to be a hard time for a lot of people. If you're not used to being at home and taking care of yourself, remote work might be hard to get used to. But here are a few suggestions that I've picked up along the way that might help you:
1. Get Dressed. Every morning, take the time to get ready for the day. I know it’s going to be exciting for the first couple of days that you can stay in your pajamas, but at two o’clock when you’re still in sweatpants, you’ll feel like you’ve gotten nothing done, even if you have.
2. Designate times for housework. It’s very easy to get pulled into doing housework even when you don’t intend to. Make sure you designate certain times for cleaning that don’t bleed over into your work time.
3. Take walks. We’re all going to need to go for walks more often than we did before, especially with social-distancing. Take time to go outside and enjoy the fresh air – it does help break up the day.
4. While You're Doing Errands, Call A Friend. It's good to have human contact throughout the day, and it can get lonely being at home. Make sure to reach out to people - and if you don't want to take too much time, do it while you're cleaning the house!
Being a housewife might not fit in with the modern woman’s idea of “empowerment,” but if you look at most housewives right now, I’d bet they are panicking a lot less during this Coronavirus pandemic than the average person. So in this moment, as I’m writing my blog post and am about to go do the laundry, I’d say I'm very lucky that this is (for the most part) just another day in the life for me!
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