These days, it’s becoming more and more likely that we’ll all be spending most of our time inside…
Cut off from outside social spaces, unable to attend events that have been cancelled, and thinking extra carefully about our grocery lists.
And to make it through flattening the curve and continuing to socially distance ourselves by just staying in our homes, we might want to take a page out of the pregnancy-preparation book…
And start nesting.
If you’re lucky enough to have maintained your source of income, nesting might include doubling down on baking supplies, crafting supplies, gardening supplies, fluffy pillows and linens, etc.
If you’re not so lucky, and maybe your income has taken a hit or you’re suddenly accosted with an unprecedented colossus of free time…
Don’t worry. Nesting is about making yourself as comfortable as you can be in your home.
We’re going to walk you through three essential steps to prepare for a shelter-in-place-style quarantine.
Step 1: Take Stock of Your Home
Take a look around your home. A close look. You’re going to be staring at these walls a lot more than you probably ever have (if you work outside the home) and you may find that your home isn’t arranged for constant occupancy.
What can you change?
You can start small – arranging the blankets on the sofa instead of in a storage box in another room… bringing your records out of hiding and displaying your record player on your dining room table so that you remember you can listen to music all day… or maybe something as simple as deep-cleaning.
Sometimes, we only expect to use certain sections and objects for several hours every day, and so the cardigan always lands on the same chair at the same time. We forget about the stain on the wall from that time we moved a dresser into the room. And the several unconsolidated boxes of penne pasta in the pantry.
Walk around your whole space. Make notes whenever you have a better idea.
You’ll be here for a little while, so make the effort to ensure your living space is an oasis for you and not a prison.
Step 2: Make a Priorities List
Now that you’ve given your home a serious look, sit down and write a list. And it’ll look different for everyone!
Some people are more visual. Would bright colors bring cheer to your home? More artwork on the walls? A color-coded pantry? An art-station set up at the end of the couch? Make a list.
Some are more physical. Are you planning on implementing a morning pilates routine? Need a long, clear hallway to do an afternoon set of walking lunges? What about a clean, open, well-lit quadrant to ensure you can center yourself with a QiGong practice? Make a list.
Some are planning on using this opportunity to study and learn things now that the office, spin class, soccer practice, and violin lessons are cancelled. Make a list of the things you want to learn and describe what the optimal learning station looks like for you.
That could be a stack of books you’ve been meaning to read, your cell phone charging across the room, your language apps downloaded on your computer…
You know now what areas of your space need to be adjusted, and what the theme of your time inside will be.
Step 3: Set Up a Schedule
One of the hardest parts about this experience for many is feeling trapped and impotent.
But really, this experience can introduce us to a dimension not previously accessible to those of us participating, consciously or otherwise, in a capitalistic system focused on productivity.
All of that energy you were using to make your complicated life run pre-coronavirus can be redirected and repurposed so that you spend your time in a new way: not productively.
It can help to give yourself guidance for the day.
So instead of thinking “Tomorrow, I’ll practice French,” you can think “Tomorrow, while I have coffee in the morning, I’ll spend 20 minutes learning 10 new French adjectives.”
Or instead of “Today, I’m going to make bone broth,” think “Today, I’m going to wake up at 7, straight to the kitchen and spending the next two hours roasting my frozen saved scraps, boiling water, and setting up the bone broth to cook for the next 12 hours.”
You don’t have to schedule every day to the moment.
But setting intentions and sectioning off blocks can help ensure that you don’t let the things you want to do fall by the wayside.
It’s possible that there are lessons to be learned in quarantine – maybe the first of which is to remember that your interests are just as important as your responsibilities.
Set up your home to facilitate the learning of that lesson.