When I launched my candle brand, Be Bright by Bonboni, I chose the name as a reflection of the way that I aim to live my life. Take a look a some of the definitions of bright to see why:
giving out or reflecting a lot of light; shining.
(of a person, idea, or remark) intelligent and quick-witted.
giving an appearance of cheerful liveliness.
(of someone's future) likely to be successful and happy.
having a vivid color.
As the nation and world hunkers down to “flatten the curve” of the spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, millions (billions?) of people are finding themselves either mandatorily or intentionally quarantined in their home. (And if you aren’t doing so, please consider joining us for the good of society.) While it might seem impossible to live a Bright life during this time, it’s not!
Here are some ways that you can survive and even thrive during a pandemic quarantine.
A Self-Care Guide to Being Bright during a Quarantine
Continue to cultivate your relationships. We are intentional about building community, and we regularly meet for Friday night dinners with our Community Group through our church. Since that’s not happening in the forceable future as we practice social distancing, we have set up a virtual dinner using a teleconferencing site called Zoom. We will (mostly) be ordering our food from a neighborhood restaurant, Grace Meat + Three, whose business is desperately hurting, yet making bold moves to keep their family of employees paid. We will then all eat our dinners together online. Will it be weird? Likely! But we know these families well and cultivating our relationships with them is a priority to us, so we’re doing the best we can.
Don’t forget to enable your children to continue their relationships as well. Our kids are only 3 and 5, but are still feeling the loss of their friendships from school. Since they (of course) don’t have social media nor can communicate on messaging platforms, we’ve been reaching out to their friends’ parents to set up FaceTime playdates. Last night my son had a Beyblade battle with his buddy over FaceTime.
Release your inner artist, and take time to create. Think about the colors that make you happiest and use them abundantly. If you’re not naturally artistic, give yourself permission to create for the sake of creating, not the outcome. This will free your mind to enjoy the process when you don’t expect your project to look a certain way. Don’t criticize your work, but realize the goal is to enjoy a therapeutic process, not to create a museum-worthy piece.
Move your body. We’ve been doing walks in our neighborhood, while keeping a distance of 6 feet or more from fellow walkers. Our children enjoy making their own scavenger hunt lists (my 5 year son old practices his writing and spelling to make his list, and my 3 year old daughter draws pictures for her list). We even went for a walk in the rain without umbrellas yesterday and splashed in puddles along the way. Acting like a kid was a great stress reliever. If you’re connected to your neighbors through a social network or email list, you can encourage everyone to do a “sidewalk art gallery” by creating art and hanging and it in windows, and then head out on a walk to see how many pieces of art you can spot. If you can’t get out, do yoga in your living room. Our kids love Cosmic Kids yoga on YouTube.
Keep a schedule. While we originally developed a schedule for our kids’ benefit, it quickly became apparent that this was just as beneficial to my husband and me. It mentally helps us all to know what to expect next in the day, and it keeps us from just being on screens all day.
De-clutter a room. Cluttered spaces can be hard on your mental health, not to mention it takes time to manage and clean all of that extra stuff. By decluttering, you will find yourself more able to enjoy your home, and will spend less time cleaning. Seriously, try it! Start with your bathroom(s) (likely the easiest since it will not have many items that you’re emotionally attached to). Throw away or recycle what you can, and (eventually) donate the rest. Put it in a box in the basement, and set a reminder on your calendar to take it to a donation center after we’re past the pandemic. That last bit is important, don’t let clutter fill up your basement, as that’s just shifting the problem to another area of your home.
Take care of your mental health. This is a taxing time for everyone’s mental health. Seek professional help when you need it. Many therapists are offering therapy via teleconferencing. Talkspace is a popular option.
A Community-Oriented Guide to Being Bright during a Quarantine
Check in on your neighbors. Give them a call, send a quick text, email, or shout at them from the sidewalk (kidding). See how they are doing and if they need any help with something, or need any food or supplies. We are in this together.
Support small businesses. If you’re fortunate enough to still have income coming in while working from home, please consider supporting your local small businesses. Their revenue has likely dried up suddenly in the face of quarantines and social distancing. Restaurants, shops, and small service providers are the backbone to your community, and likely one of the factors that makes your neighborhood and enjoyable place to live. Depending on the length of this pandemic, many small business could shutter their doors permanently.
Many retail shops are scrambling to increase their online presence. Please make a purchase from them. Consider buying from a small business and have it shipped to a friend as a care package, which will be a win-win as that will help show love to a friend. Our Be Bright Box contains one of our hand-poured candles to create a relaxing environment in your home, a bath product to pamper yourself, and a treat to indulge yourself; it would make a lovely gift for a friend.
Order curbside pickup or delivery from your favorite restaurant. Tip generously if you get delivery.
Don’t cancel your hair appointments. Most hair stylists only get paid when they cut hair. They don’t get paid sick days or have PTO available. If you have an existing haircut appointment with your regular stylist, consider skipping your appointment yet still paying for it.
Be bright, take care of yourself and your community. We are in this together.