I feel like I’ve been preparing to write this post forever. I do magic. I’ve become really good at the type of self care sequestration requires. As I work mostly by myself, social distancing is pretty commonplace.
You see, I’ve been fortunate enough to work from my home office for the past fifteen years. There are many upsides to this, for instance, the dress code is great. My commute consists of sauntering down the hallway. Rush hour traffic means the dog and the cat are both trying to get into my office at the same time, and occasionally get underfoot. And no one ever steals my food from the fridge.
Of course, as a card carrying extrovert, working at home took a lot of getting used to. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years.
Self Care – Get Fresh Air
I tell ya, this is so important. Every three hours I go outside for ten to fifteen minutes. Sometimes I walk the dog or refill the bird feeders or just sit and enjoy whatever the weather is doing. If the weather is total crap and going outside doesn’t work, then I open a door or window and take in whatever there is to notice from outside. I’ve seen some lovely sunrises and sunsets. I’ve counted how many types of birds are in the garden. I have mindfully taken note of what is blooming or growing or falling fallow.
If I have the time, I’ll go for a drive or a longer walk or change up the scenery somehow.
Self Care – Watch What You Eat
I gained twenty pounds the first year I worked at home. I didn’t think my eating habits would change that much, but they did. When I worked at a job outside the home, I’d wake up, shower, down a cup of coffee, and not eat until lunch. At home…well, the fridge is right there and those leftovers from last night’s dinner aren’t going to eat themselves now are they?
I’m not food shaming anyone here. Eat when you’re hungry. Eat what serves you the best. But it is worth noting that you might find yourself reaching for the popcorn out of boredom rather than hunger. As best as I could, I really stuck to the idea of breakfast lunch and dinner or, alternatively grazing on small meals five times a day.
Self Care – All The Naps
For years I’d run myself ragged, burning the proverbial candle at both ends. Then I was home. My schedule was more flexible. I took naps. Naps are the best. You might not believe me, but I swear to the gods, naps are fantastic. If you’re stuck at home, by yourself or with others, naps can be lovely. Even if you don’t actually sleep, a little quiet time on the bed or piled on the couch can do you a power of good.
Magick – So Many Opportunities
When I worked in the corporate world, magic was something I did on the weekends or sabbats. My practice really changed when I started working from home. I could easily do simple spells and workings throughout the week. One of my all time favourite magical workings are candle spells. I found myself writing on glass encased candles or carving sigils into tapers, lighting them, and watching the magic happen right then and there.I started making my morning shower and sweeping the kitchen floor and making pots of tea and emptying my email inbox magical acts. In reality, I learned a great deal about self care, practical magic and gave myself something to do other than sitting in front of my computer, opening and re-opening the fridge, or bunking off to binge watch something instead of working.
Another thing happened too. I learned about the spirits of my house and neighborhood. I’ve mentioned the birds and what was growing in the garden, but I learned the rhythm of this place too. How the light moves and when the wind blows and when the house calls for stillness. Being in my house allowed me to be part of the total environment that is my home, not just an overnight visitor.
Social Distancing – A New Phrase For Everyone
I’d never heard of social distancing. I bet that’s true for most folks. I really dislike the term. I think it says the wrong thing. Not being in physical proximity to lots of other people is not the same thing as being socially distant.
Although I didn’t know the phrase, I’d certainly practiced social distancing, because of working from home. Not being in regular, face to face, physical contact with folks can be challenging. It really is for me. I go stir crazy when I have to stay in and can’t interact with folks.
There are a few ways I’ve learned to work around the isolation that comes with social distancing. Skype, Zoom, and Facetime are incredible tools. I can see you. You can see me. You can take me on a tour of your house of garden or neighbourhood, or show me the cake you just baked. It’s not quite the same as being at your house, but it gets me close.
I also chat on the phone while taking a stroll. I’m out, I’m doing something, I’m experiencing the world, and I’m doing it all the while I’m chatting with you. The physical act combined with talking somehow makes the experience richer.
And of course, I can still go outside to parks, the beach, walking trails, etc, etc. I’m out, even if I’m by myself.
Like Any Change, It Sucks At First
Social distancing isn’t fun (for most folks). The majority of folks benefit from social interaction. Virtually every human being needs physical touch. Right now, we’re being asked to live, work, and interact differently. It sucks. It really does and for all sorts of reasons. And, without trying to put any “happy happy joy joy”spin on it, there can be silver linings and wonderful discoveries.
Be as well as you can. Be Kind. Wash your hands. And I’ll see you soon…hopefully.