I’ll say one thing people are not saying during this pandemic. Working from home makes me eat like a malnourished bear who has just crawled out of a long winter hibernation.
I am craving sugar, lollies, chocolate and ice-cream. I told my husband there are so many new businesses that will start up during this crisis. But right now, I want someone to knock on my door with a tub of ice-cream. Daily. Well nightly is when I feel it most.
When we are isolated we crave connection. When we can’t get our endorphins or elevated mood from others, we start looking around for something else to make us happy. Too much coffee right now is making me hyper and sleepless so I’m digging through the pantry for sweets. I’m allowing this because it’s a pandemic and desperate times call for desperate measures. But here’s the thing. My gym is closed and I have two packets of Chicos on my desk which I have been sneaking into my mouth in skype sessions.
So I need to practice what I preach. Really I do.
Last week I sent out a flyer to social media called Calm the farm – 10 ways to manage anxiety in a crisis. I wrote this while scoffing a family sized packet of chips from a drawer in my study with the door closed. I still have crumbs on my keyboard. I opened the foil packet very slowly so my children couldn’t hear the rustling. When my daughter came in later after I had stowed them away she commented that the room smelt like the movies. Yep. She was right. The movies used to be a place I could eat chocolate or chips in the dark and now – even that has been taken away from me! There is nowhere to hide.
I’m eating fruit for breakfast but the rest of the day tends to find me grabbing snacks at my desk with coffee or it all free-falls into tea and biscuits by the afternoon. I have given myself permission to do whatever it takes to get me through. Now is not the time to restrict food or diet. There are three more people than usual in my house while I work from home.
I don’t care about the dwindling supplies of toilet paper or limits to frozen food, or rations of chicken, just please don’t panic buy the ice-cream, since I have given up drinking it’s all I have left.
My business has changed from a few clients a day to several, they speak to me on phone, Zoom, Skype and something called doxy.me. I’ve spoken to a few friends and my parents over the last few days and said to one girlfriend yesterday ” It’s like I’m a call centre.” To another, who I had to cut off to take another call, I said ” Jen, we’ve gone over now, I’m going to have to charge you.” I found myself rabbiting on to my Dad at the end of the day and he very kindly listened. It has been busy. People are keen to connect. Make sure you are checking in, or texting or phoning. Unless of course you have introverted friends and family – because they are really in their element. Who needs people?
I do – I go to the gym to see friends. This is why I will not be implementing an afternoon home gym session. This is why I also chased my neighbour down the street the other day when she was walking her dog. I will take my dog for longer walks in the afternoon in the hope I see some people to stand at a distance and call out Hi. This morning, I heard my neighbour bringing in the bins and I threw open the window to shout at her and see how she’s doing. My exercise is now lounge-room dancing to the radio because the news makes me stressed.
So in a time of uncertainly where we really don’t have a precedent to go by, be kind, be caring, call your friends, eat the ice-cream and dance in the house.
In the words of the late great John Lennon, Whatever gets you through the night.” It’s alright, it’s alright.