How to keep quarantine from ruining your marriage (shared)

Within hours, I was getting texts. And FB messages. And then a call from a quasi-terrified sounding former student: “Any articles or books you can suggest about how my spouse and I spend the next many weeks together in our tiny apartment without offing each other?” Then, as if on cue, my husband of 28…

via How to keep quarantine from ruining your marriage — ideas.ted.com

I found this post interesting, partly because my husband predicted that there would be a baby-boom post-quarantine. I predicted there would be a spike in divorces as people forced to be together in closer quarters than usual might spark greater than average disagreements. Ha! And usually I’m the optimist!

So I share this in case it would be helpful to anyone else who wants to maintain good relationships in tighter quarters than usual.

Much love, my friends. Stay safe.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

Since change is a constant

I started out today writing about some hints for people who are managing people remotely during the COVID-19 situation. In my role as an operations manager for remote clinical research team, I learned a lot about managing distributed teams. My direct reports were in 5 different countries, so we were seldom all together EXCEPT via teleconferences.

And then: I got news that my friend’s mother is dying. She’s getting on a plane soon in hopes she can say goodbye in person if her Mom is released to hospice care. Family members cannot visit people in hospitals right now. Oh dear. Complicated.

So the earlier idea has been shelved for later. For now, I will readjust my plans for the week, so I can cat-sit for her.

That is okay. Haven’t we shown how capable we are this week of re-adjusting? That we are not in control of so many events in our lives? 

Change is a Constant

Change in our lives has always been constant. And yet we, as humans, cling to our ways of doing things, our comfortable routines. As a neurodiverse person I struggle to maintain routines, though I know that they help me stay sane on the average day.

Meditation has been a daily practice for over 3 years now.  Wow, am I ever glad I made that commitment. Journaling is also a daily practice for me, removing the “static” from my head and getting some distance from it by writing it out. Anything we can to do help manage our emotions right now is important.

I practice yoga 10-15 minutes most days to calm my nervous system. Some days I take whole hour class online through Tula Yoga & Wellness! I’m grateful they are making classes available via Zoom for those of us who want to stay connected and practicing. I’m also delighted that my NIA teacher Beth Giles is offering her NIA classes via Zoom so I can vary things up! Moving to music is a balm for the soul.

We need to take care of ourselves. This is not something I will sacrifice during this time. Self-care helps me show up for others. I have been able to support friends and family who are struggling via phone calls, walks, emails, etc. Connection is essential for health. What if we tried “virtual presencing” while we do our social distancing? No, it’s not the same. And yes, we need it.

We humans are inherently resilient. It is how our brains evolved thus far. We will get through this together. And our community may grow even stronger as a result.

Stay well, friends.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

 

Phones for talking?

Do you remember the days when phones were just phones? 

Did you ever have to “wait in line” for the one phone line at home?

Rotary trim line phone (red)
I don’t think ours was red, but this was the style my family had when I was growing up.

When you were a teenager, maybe you use the phone upstairs, and the cord would get twisted while you had to make sure your younger sister wasn’t listening in on the downstairs line… ah those were the days.

I guess I’m dating myself here! But today I spent time on the phone with a few friends who called me. It was delightful to talk with them, not to bother with email, but to have actual conversations. We did not need any fancy software to talk, and hearing their voices really helped me feel connected.

We had time to talk, and we spoke about the different experiences we’d had since this virus situation started becoming part of the public health recommendations for self-quarantine.

I also had time to talk with my sister on the phone. She’s an R.N. and she’s making preparations in case she needs to self-quarantine after she treats sick patients in the hospital. Our parents are in their 70’s and she is thinking in advance about how to protect them by keeping her distance, though their county has not reported any cases yet.

There is a lost art to a good phone conversation. I prefer phone calls to video calls. I find that I take notice of the tone of voice more, and get less distracted by seeing my image (or someone else’s image) on a video screen. I am actually enjoying this part of our self-enforced exile. I find that when I focus on my gratitude, there is less room for fear and anxiety.

What helps you stay calm in the midst of uncertainty? Have you tried talking with friends on the phone lately? 

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Spread love freely

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers!

desk chair rose

I realize this holiday may not be a universal one, but I have started embracing it as a way to show love to everyone, not just romantic partners.

Maybe this comes from my Mom‘s tendency to send Valentine’s cards and to reach out to show love to people. Or maybe I just know that showing love costs very little, and can create happiness and joy around us.

Yesterday I was listening to the new podcast by the OnBeing called Poetry Unbound. I had the thought: it is our CAPACITY to love that completes us, not one other specific person. We can feel complete when we love ourselves fiercely and deeply. With or without a partner.

(If you haven’t heard yet Poetry Unbound, it’s a beautiful short form podcast that is so wonderful. Treat yourself to this free dose of joy if you are so inclined.)

So what happens when you spread love and it is not returned?

It is still felt. You are the one feeling it. And you always have the choice to feel it, regardless of whether others have the capacity to return it.

I am about to show love for my colleagues by teaching week 2 of 3 of Desk Chair Yoga. What will you do to show love to your family, friends, acquaintances or maybe just people on the street? 

Much love to you,

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

Unexpected Acts of Kindness

I had three unexpected gifts show up within the last 2 days, one at work and one delivered at home. All of them put a big smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. I’m not the best at getting gifts for people. I am more inclined to try to spend time with people I enjoy. But I really enjoyed receiving these kind gifts, and it helped me feel the spirit of the holidays.

May you have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy the blessings you receive.

Grateful for the generosity I have received from work colleagues and friends.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com