One Small Thing - Coping During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Thursday, April 23, 2020
Wow! Isn't this an interesting time? I'd love to tell you that everything is pleasant at our residence and that I'm going to give you the key to making your Covid-19 time magical. I'd also love to tell you this will be ending by the weekend. I'd also like to give each of you a unicorn and a rainbow.

Now you know what I'd like to do - and you also know I can't. Here's what I would like to do instead:

I'd like to share a bit of my own reality and recommend you find one small thing each day. Just something small that will bring a bit of sunshine into the storm that is reality right now. No one knows the intricate details of your life but I have a feeling whether you are an essential worker, a work from home worker, a furloughed worker, a mom, a baker, or a candlestick maker you've been effected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here at our house, it's the usual spring business for the farm. Our agronomist just emailed the report about how our fields did for winter kill. We are struggling with buying seed, hauling manure, re-seeding fields, and of course the dropping milk prices. This really isn't unusual. The last 5 years of farming have been difficult and this year really isn't all that different. This is a good thing. What's unusual is having all our school age children here ALL DAY LONG - EACH AND EVERY DAY. And yes, we are blessed. Yes, we enjoy them. Yes, they are wonderful.

I thought working from home was glamorous. When I started working from home (I'm only at my office 2 mornings a week usually, so this is nothing new here) I realized it was a bit more challenging than I thought. I was juggling a few toddlers, slow internet, interruptions like laundry, dishes, or a visit from the neighbor. And this one time all the cows got out - but that's a story for another day.

Now there's 7 of us in this house all day long. The distractions are unending, the noise is deafening, and someone is constantly hungry. I'm teaching things I barely know a thing about - like the area of a triangle...can't say I've ever used this information from my own middle school years. Most days I feel like I'm drowning. I should be enjoying every moment surrounded by my family. I shouldn't complain because there are people who I love and who are very dear to me who haven't felt the touch of another person in 6 weeks. I try to keep it all in perspective.

Here's what I have found to be very helpful in finding my happy. I have yet to find balance, but choosing ONE SMALL THING each day has helped me take a deep breathe. It's not always the same thing each day and again I don't claim to know your life or what will or will not work for you. Here are a few things I've done that are small but help me find my happy:

Take a walk in the woods
Go for a run (outside or on the treadmill)
Try a new recipe
Facetime with a friend
Bake something for a friend
Reading a few chapters of a good book
Take a bubble bath
Lighting a candle 
Opening a window
Taking a nap
Writing in my journal
Planting some seeds
Rubbing my feet 
Calling a friend or relative
Checking in on someone I love and care about
Putting lotion on my hands

See? Some of these things are incredibly small. Others may take a bit more time/energy, but none of them are so huge I need to change my plans. I finished brushing my teeth this morning and noticed a small bottle of hand lotion. I rubbed a bit on my hands, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and as I massaged my palms and took in the lavender scent, I released some tension in my shoulders. The toddler saying "mommy mommy" outside the door felt like more of a blessing when I opened the door and stepped back into reality.

I've noticed people are doing a lot of purging and cleaning. That's impressive, but if you don't have much time, it's ok if you don't do the big things. Reality is, some people are not going to make it out of this pandemic alive. My goal is help carry our family through this with our health and our sanity. I only look at grades once a week, my hair is graying around my face, and I'm struggle to eat healthy. I just keep telling myself it's all going to be okay and when I feel like things are too loud, too disorganized, too much...I find my one small thing for the day. Finding that one small thing has helped me find my happy.

What do you do when you feel your happy slipping away? What is one small thing you've done or want to do to help yourself feel better during this difficult time? What does your reality look like? I'd love to hear from you!

Hugs (virtual for now),

Crystal is the office manager, council secretary, financial secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother, Auntie, babywearing mama, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children, two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, horses Darlin' and Joker, and over 250 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal milking cows, riding horses, and riding unicorns (not at the same time), taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books here, and at her own blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade and she has never (not once) been accused of being normal!


Jewel Hart - Chick Lit Cafe Books said...

Wow! Excellent article. Thank you!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Beautiful post, Crystal. Thank you! :) I'm glad you and your family are healthy and well. I admit, I haven't taken a day off in over a month and it's getting to me. I will do one small thing today!

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