It’s still so wild to me that such a huge chunk of this year has been marked by quarantine / staying home. I know so many memories will be tainted from this – birthday parties, ‘drive by baby showers’, etc. But, there have also been some really beautiful moments and memories that have happened during this time. I feel like as a family, we’ve created a lot of new habits during quarantine that I would love to carry into ‘real life’ once all of this is over! (And habits that I’ve also created for myself). I’m all about finding the silver lining and these new rhythms we’ve found during quarantine are definitely a silver lining during a stressful time!
1. Making breakfast every morning
Prior to quarantine, my mornings always looked different – depending on if I had a meeting that morning or went to an early morning workout class etc. Because of that, I would often just have breakfast ‘on the go’. I’d make a smoothie and bring it in the car or grab a protein bar. Since we’ve been in quarantine though (and really, since doing whole30), I’ve gotten in the habit of making a real breakfast every morning! It definitely takes more time than grabbing a protein bar or a smoothie to go, but I love starting my day off with a healthy breakfast that Michael and I (and Shiloh) enjoy together. Even though a smoothie can still be very nutritious, it’s more the HABIT of sitting down for a meal, that I really enjoy. It also helps me remember to take my vitamins in the morning, drink water etc. It’s been a great habit that I hope to continue!
2. “Weekend Prep”
During quarantine I started getting in the habit of what I call “weekend prep” every sunday and I LOVE it. (I could make an entire blog post out of what this process looks like ha so I’ll try and condense it for this post!). Essentially it entails planning out all of my workouts and our dinners for the week, as well as writing down all of my appointments, calls, and meetings into my planner, so I don’t go into the week blindly. This process is extremely helpful in Michael and I coordinating our schedules for the week, helping us stay on track with healthy eating because we have a plan, and figuring out when we can schedule any social activities.
After I write out all of my meetings, appointments, deadlines, calls etc in my planner…I do a brain dump in my same planner. I write out anything I need to get done that week or things that I’m like “oh yeah, I should write that down or I’ll forget to do it”. (ie: mail mom’s mother’s day gift, return shopbop order, follow up with ___ brand, etc).
Next I plan out my workouts and our dinners for the week in my golden coil notebook that has a section for “fitness” and “meals”. For example, I’ll write out: “Jill White upperbody on Tuesday”, peloton tabata ride on wednesday, madeline moves lower body thursday…as well as plan out my rest days! (I’m currently working out 5 days a week so I’ll decide which 2 days are rest days). During weekend prep I also look up recipes for the week and decide what nights we’ll cook, what nights we’ll have leftovers, and one or two nights where we’ll eat out (or get something delivered), and make my grocery list from there.
This whole process takes me maybe half an hour at the most but it’s been incredibly helpful to go into each week with a plan, as well as goals for the week.
3. Daily walks
I’ve mentioned before that Michael and I kind of “trade off” with Shiloh during the day. He’ll watch her while I get work done for a few hours, and then we switch. But, during quarantine we’ve been going for LOTS of walks haha (there are only so many things you can do inside to entertain a toddler) and it’s been such a nice break in the middle of the workday to spend time with both Michael and Shiloh. We typically go for one walk in the morning and one in the afternoon. Getting outside for 30 minutes to get some fresh air and move my body and be with my family has been so good for the soul, and I hope it’s something we continue even after quarantine is over.
4. Branching out in my workouts
Since gyms & fitness studios have been closed for months now…like most of you guys, I’ve had to get more creative in my workouts. I LOVE going to workout classes because you don’t have to think about what to do…the class lays it all out for you and makes it really simple to get a great workout in. However, prior to quarantine I think I was definitely getting into a workout rut. I was doing the same things, same types of classes, over and over again and never wanted to branch out (even though I had more options). Since now my ONLY option is to workout at home (or run outside), I’ve started to do way more strength training type workouts and i LOVE it. I don’t have the option to just go hop on the stairmaster or treadmill at Equinox, so I’ve really challenged myself to get more into resistance training and am honestly surprised at how much I love it. Once gyms / fitness studios open back up, I hope I continue to challenge myself in my workouts to do different things and not the same type of class 5 days a week.
5. Quality time with Michael
Even though we definitely miss hanging out with our friends, I’ve honestly loved all of the time Michael and I have gotten together one on one. Prior to quarantine, if just him and I had a night together at home, we would maybe watch a show…or he would play video games and I’d get some work done or read. Now, since we have EVERY night at home together…we’ve gotten more creative haha. We’ve been playing a lot of games together, cooking new recipes together, having really great conversations over dinner…I feel like we’ve just been more intentional with our time together and it’s been really nice! I know once life goes back to normal, most nights we will have social events or work things or church things to attend. But I hope we continue to focus on the quality of our time together!
6. Eating at home
I feel like Michael and I had gotten in a bad habit since moving back to Dallas of eating out (or getting food to go) way too often. There are just SO many great restaurant options super close to us, that it was hard to pass up haha. During quarantine we’ve been cooking probably 90% of our meals at home, and getting food delivered 10% of the time. This has definitely saved us money but also helped us to make healthier choices with what we’re putting into our bodies! Even after all of this is over, I would love if this habit would continue to be our norm…where we only go out to eat maybe 1 or 2 nights a week!
A lot of people have asked me if i’ve been dying during this lockdown because I miss traveling so much. (Prior to COVID we were traveling very often). One of my most favorite parts about my job is the opportunity it gives me to travel, and I definitely miss that. However, I gotta say…not traveling has been really nice. Don’t get me wrong. I can’t wait until we book our next trip and I miss seeing other parts of the world. But during quarantine, I feel like I’ve settled into such a great routine – I’m able to have my quiet time every morning, workout 5-6 days a week, cook healthy meals, I have my routine with Shiloh, I’m connecting with my family more, I don’t feel constantly behind on work, I don’t have a suitcase out 24/7, our house stays relatively clean…
This season of being at home 24/7 has allowed me to find a slower rhythm of life and settle into a routine that really brings me peace and joy, and has made me feel more balanced. So, once all of this is over, I know we will travel again and get outside of our house…but I hope this slower pace of life and this newfound routine continues to be my norm. Instead of racing from one trip to the next, one suitcase to the next, not staying in touch with friends and family like I want to, etc. It’s been really nice to slow down and focus on what truly matters, you know?
What are some habits you and your family have formed during quarantine that have been life-giving for you? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below! Thanks for reading!