For a person who is constantly on the move and making plans left and right, like myself, slowing down goes against all instincts. The year 2020 had started off strong for me, juggling two jobs and an internship. My typical week consisted of my full-time adventure travel company job and ended with coaching for a Freestyle Ski Team on the weekends. Free time and lazy days were no match for my bustling lifestyle.
Heading into March amidst a busy and impressive competitive ski season, plans of traveling to Crystal Mountain, WA for the IFSA Junior North American Championships were just around the corner. Little did we all know what was in store for the foreseeable future: a global pandemic, national lockdown, social distancing, and self-quarantine. With little knowledge regarding the length of time life would carry on in this way, I started my new quarantined way of life with my glass half full.
In such unprecedented times such as these, every person is entering unchartered waters. It is without a doubt stressful, worrisome, and confusing. With both good days and bad, I have taken advantage of my time in quarantine by fully embracing my once hectic life and transitioning into a slower way of living. The past month has invited new opportunities for me, as well as permission to take it easy and relax. Aside from dreaming of skiing and traveling, here are a few of the activities that have lifted my spirits and passed the time.
Cooking has always been a passion of mine but what better time to try out new recipes and hone in on your skills? I have been enjoying planning out my meals for the week, going with a different authentic dish each night. Not only do I love the experience of cooking, but having a delicious meal to look forward to every night has really kept my spirits high during these times. Personally, a few of my go-to meals recently have been homemade buffalo cauliflower pizza, blackened fish tacos, homemade tofu ramen noodle bowls.
Staying active and exercising is a priority for my health and wellbeing, quarantined, or not. Whether it is running outside, going for a hike, or an hour at the gym, I make it part of my daily routine to move my body. I find it particularly beneficial during stressful times and have designated time each day this past month to exercise in some way. I have found several at-home youtube exercise/yoga videos that I have been doing every day. I have also been going on walks, runs, and riding a stationary bike. While gyms and exercise classes are preferred by many, there are plenty of ways to get exercise at home.
April in Vermont delivers all four seasons in one month. With weather ranging from snow to sunny and warm, spending time outdoors offers many different activities. No matter what the weather is doing, I have made it a priority to spend time in nature. Being a dog owner, I have taken full advantage of being quarantined and spent as much time outside as possible. My dog, Kona, and I have been going on daily adventures exploring the woods, mountains, and lakes. I feel grateful that I live in a place that offers access to nature, as it really eases my worries and feeds my soul.
Having more free time has allowed me to enjoy some creative hobbies. I have found that blocking off an hour or so a day to exercise my brain and tap into my creative side has really benefited me. A few of the activities that I have been enjoying are reading, journaling, drawing, and macrame hangings. I have been reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and looking forward to starting The Overstory by Richard Powers. One of my passions is writing and I have been loving the Isolation Journals Project by Suleika Jaouad.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented everyone with various challenges. While it is easy to get wrapped up in the news, one’s health, and what the future holds, there are many ways to keep your chin up and keep moving forward. No matter what you’re doing to stay sane, it is crucial to stay connected to your community and loved ones. Mail a letter, call an old friend, or FaceTime your family. We are all in this together.