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EFH "Existing From Home" - Making Next Week Better.

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

New York City is shut down, we’re all social distancing and the overwhelming message is ‘if you care at all about other people, stay home.’ No problem at all, Mr Cuomo. I love people and I am a true introvert. I don’t think I’m dealing with the same stir-crazy loneliness that others are. I miss my friends and my church, but we Zoom a lot and a crisis makes for a busy church lady! I miss being with my clients, but I’ve taken my business online and the quality of training they're getting is still high. I know all this is temporary. (I’m, of course, worried about my friends and family. Several of my friends and acquaintances in NYC are sick with COVID-19. I hate that part.)


Here’s where I am personally flailing though. It feels like I'm working all the time, but only at like 70%. It’s 5:48pm on a Saturday right now. I’m working, like, 6-11pm, 6 days a week. My output is indeed greater than at any other point in my life, but I’m not efficient at all. There’s no borders, no true outline to my day. So I’m easily distracted, moving slowing, and forced to do things at times when it’s hard for me to (or I don’t want to) concentrate. Like now. I go to bed late. I nap (more than I used to, ok?). I almost always have Impractical Jokers or, good lord, Tiger King on in the background because if it takes a little longer, who cares, I'm not goin' anywhere later. I get all the things done every day that I have to, but it’s kind of by chance and it takes forever. The lack of structure here definitely bleeds into my other personal priorities feeling all out of whack. Eating well, drinking water, opening a book instead of Candy Crush - I'd give myself a solid C on those fronts. And let's just say, I'm not going to get arrested by shower police for using too much water this week. To be clear, I'm not saying that I'm not slaying on a lot of fronts right now, I am, but it's taking MAXIMAL EFFORT.


I wanted to share this experience with you, because I feel like I can’t be alone in this particular struggle! We’re gonna be in this boat for a while, people. Here’s what I’m doing to get back on track.

1. Moving On. There’s no shame in my game, ever. Shame is the most worthless, self-centered human emotion that exists. It keeps us stuck in negative patterns. I will not have it for me or for you. I learned that lesson about 3 years ago and it's been one of the most important of my life. There’s a global pandemic, I live in one of the hardest hit parts of the hardest hit city. So I watched too much TV for a week and ate a shitload of ice cream. I think that is a completely understandable reaction. At the same time, it’s not what I want for next week. If you are having any negative feeling about drinking too much wine, or being too short with your family, or just zoning out for the last week - please, in the name of all things good and holy, figure out what you learned, what you want to do next, and do like Elsa does…Let. It. Go. You do an action. That reality exists regardless of your judgement of it. You learn. You move the fuck on.


2. Reprioritizing and tracking. This isn’t work from home, it’s exist from home. My priorities are all in jumble without the bookends of regular life. I find apps can be useful for tracking goals and priorities, but there’s something fantastic about going old-school spreadsheet. You have total control of what and how you track AND it’s all in one place. Mark Fisher shared his personal tracker the other day and I had this total AHA moment! I’ve been doing this with my finances for years on spreadsheet. Every penny in and every penny out goes on it and it’s been way more useful to me than Mint or my Wells Fargo app ever was. I realized this is a great opportunity to organize the rest of my exist from home life with care and intention. I'm in this situation for at least a few more weeks - what matters? what will make me work and live "better"? how will I measure success? For example, I don't have a "step" goal at this time, I'm actively trying to stay inside. I've adjusted my active calorie goal to something more achievable. Going to bed early is a big focus as is eating well.


3. Replacing. I don’t have to commute to training sessions right now. Thank the heavens!! I’m going to replace that time with meditation (I’ve been using the free version of Simple Habit for a couple days, and it’s nice!). Find something healthy and rejuvenating for you to do in that forgone subway or car time. Read, exercise, go for a walk, whatever. I realize that not everyone has the privilege of making that replacement because they’re still going to work, or they have kids at home with them that used to be at school. But some of us have been given a beautiful gift of time during this tragedy, let's not waste it.


There’s a bunch of specific things that each of can do to be more efficient, and frankly, sane in our current plight. Things like exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, showering the morning, FaceTime activities with friends, intentional quality time with our families. I see some people exercising multiple times a days. I see people going heavy on the booze too. I see people making absolutely incredible meals and home made-bread. I see people watching a lot of TV too (ahem, Sam).

The things that will help us exist from home "better" will be different for all of us. Just like the reasons why we struggle existing from home are different for all of us. I hope these 3 practices can help us actually identify and accomplish what we need right now.


Move on. If these last 2ish weeks have been tough for you, that is ok. What did you learn? What’s next? Reprioritize and track. Make goals and priorities that are relevant to these strange times and find a way to track them that works for you. If you’ve never gone old school, I highly suggest it. Replace your commute time with something just for you, something that’s going to make your day better.


We’ll get through this, my friends, and we’ll be stronger for it.

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