5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned During Quarantine

Covid-19: the pandemic that rocked our world.

During this time, I have learned so much about myself. I’m a housewife and stay at home mom to a busy toddler, so the past few months stuck at home have been really eye opening about my own habits and about others people.

Escapism isn’t an option during a pandemic.

Since I was 15, I’ve held various jobs earning a paycheck. As a busy working woman, I would commonly put off typical household chores because I’d come home from my job and be too tired to deal with my house. It was not uncommom while working to let laundry and dishes pile up, to vacuum when I could no longer stand the filth under my feet, or clean my bathroom. I simply couldn’t be bothered.

Transitioning into a housewife was arguably harder than any job I held prior! Running a household means juggling a lot of spinning plates at once and it can be overwhelming if you have no idea where to start.

This often led to what I call escapism; physically leaving my home and my messes to ignore them. Going shopping, going to the park with the baby, going ANYWHERE that wasn’t home so I could ignore the disaster that awaited me. With Covid-19, the option to wander was gone. The pandemic forced me to face my untidiness, and because of this I realized something: I don’t want my home to be somewhere I feel the need to escape. I want it to be somewhere cozy and inviting that I love – somewhere that my family will be happy to return to. I stopped feeling pity on myself for not getting a physical paycheck or feeling overwhelmed and have become very grateful that I have the opportunity to stay home with the baby, and that I am so well taken care of.

This attitude shift has really transformed my home to one that is much cleaner and tidier. It took being stuck in my home to create the desire to become a better homemaker; to make my home into a treasured nest for my family. Once I created an outline of things that needed to be done each day, things became so much easier. Also, once I finally got my home in order, it became much easier to keep it tidy each day. The beginning steps truly are the hardest!

Living in gratitude does wonderful things to one’s soul. Creating routine and stability in my home have brought so much peace during this uncertain time. Everything I’ve adopted during this pandemic I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Becoming organized is essential.

This ties back to my last point, but I am so present in the inner workings of my home now. For the first time ever, I take great pride in my home and I enjoy caring for it. I recognize my function is integral to keeping things flowing and that gives me value. I struggled to recognize this fact before and because I couldn’t see the importance of my purpose as a housewife, I ran from it.

I had to learn organize my priorities and create checklists like any other job. For some reason, going into a job and knowing what my expectations were was easier than creating them for myself at home. I truly had to become my own boss, which somehow is harder than being someone else’s boss (which ironically, I have been to other people). I am accountable to no one except myself as a homemaker. And no…my husband does not care how clean or dirty the house is (but he does comment on how nice it looks when I’ve worked really hard to make it sparkly and cozy).

I’ve always been a nurturer. Becoming a mother? Piece of cake! Born to do it! Scrubbing tubs and dishes? Uh…can I just not? But now I recognize there is so much more to scrubbing things…it’s nurturing my home which houses the people I love the most. Doing these things nurtures the people I love. Doing chores doesn’t spark joy, but having a clean and orderly home that is welcoming to my family DOES spark joy. Not to mention, I’m not constantly looking for my next escape anymore! I keep a running list in my phone and on the fridge of things that need to be addressed for the day, which helps keep my on track. It’s incredibly satisfying deleting things as I accomplish tasks.

Piggybacking on this, having an actual grocery list is a wonderful way to cut down the food budget (as well as cut down trips to the store, which is crucial for flattening the curve). I like to plan out meals for the week and shop according to what I will need. Doing this eliminates frivolous purchases I may be tempted to make if I go to the store without a game-plan. We have ordered a few to go meals, but generally speaking we eat whatever I cook because #budgeting.

I need way less than I previously thought.

Now this is interesting, and I can’t say I saw it coming; my desire to have all the latest and greatest, particularly in regards to beauty and cosmetics, has diminished. This is unusual, especially in the beauty reviewer line of work, because it’s common to try to get on top of every new launch to have a review/demo and be the first one to do so. This is because it helps you to grow your channels and gain a certain repertoire with your audience.

But can I be honest? Like really really honest? This pandemic has made me ask WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? What benefit does having a new product launch every single day bring? How is that good for the planet (or our wallets)? There is so much excess, it’s honestly hard to get excited about anything half the time because there is SO MUCH available to us at all times and something new coming every day. It’s overwhelming.

First of all, if a product isn’t solving a problem for the consumer why is it landing on the market? And second, why should I want it? If there isn’t a good answer to either of those questions, I’m not interested. Our products should provide essential function and joy in our routines, not just clutter up our spaces and give us decision fatigue. And having 15 palettes definitely creates decision fatigue!!!

I adore beauty products (always have and always will) but I think about them differently, especially because of the pandemic as I’m sure many people will. Our culture of excess doesn’t do us any favors on multiple levels, and as a consumer and beauty blogger, I have some guidelines that will help me make purchase decisions moving forward: is this something I will absolutely want to use every day and reach for over everything else I already have? Is this innovative and different than what’s currently available? Is this product eco-friendly? Will my skin look better from using this? I don’t need more stuff for the sake of having more stuff!

To be honest, I’ve always been more of a minimalist when it comes to both my makeup and my clothing; I much prefer to have a few things I absolutely adore than binfuls of stuff I feel unattached to. I prefer quality to quantity every time. Prioritizing well made items and having fewer items overall has left me with clothing that lasts for years and makeup that I genuinely enjoy applying.

I am buying less, and only buying things that spark joy. I call this the “Marie Kondo-ing of my life”. (This also applies to doing things that spark joy). During this time, I have really taken to supporting small businesses. In doing so, I also have found that the quality of items from small businesses tends to be cultivated with great love and care and has superior quality to mass produced items. And I love that.

Getting creative saves money and reduces waste.

It’s been said that necessity is the mother of all invention and those words have never rang truer! Because of panic shoppers, I haven’t seen papertowels in stores since roughly February. What’s a gal to do? Make her own kitchen towels, that’s what! I busted out my sewing machine and turned my hubby’s old shirts into heavy duty, all purpose kitchen towels. I even had enough to create little face towels which are excellent for removing makeup.

Doing this has eliminated the cost of papertowels AND helps reduce the waste in our household! Upcycling at it’s finest.

I also proceeded to make a dress out of my husbands old button down, made one for my daughter, mended and tailored old clothes, made some curtains out of old tableclothes, made pillow cases, painted shelves and picture frames…what started as a small, necessary project snowballed into a home makeover with things I had laying around!

Getting creative with what I have has allowed me to beautify and update my home and wardrobe in ways I never would have thought to before, all because I’m mandated to stay home.

I fully recognize not everyone is up for these types of tasks right now. Tighter budgets, furloughs, and the overall stress of our current situation have been very emotionally challenging for much of the population, but for me personally, taking on projects have been a wonderful creative outlet as well as a way to solve common household problems. The changes I’ve made bring so much joy – and I am ALL about sparking joy right now!

Stepping away from social media means I can actually live my life again.

This is another random side effect of Covid-19, but I am way less interested in being active on social media. Don’t get me wrong, I am still posting and creating, but I spend way less time consuming content than I previously did.

As a content creator, it’s easy to get sucked into trying to crack algorithms, posting at certain times, trying to engage with everyone’s content and quite frankly, it’s exhausting. I recognized it wasn’t bringing me joy to do all of these things as there was no noticeable gain in doing so, and I was driving myself crazy.

I ditched Facebook several years ago and never had any regrets (still don’t miss it to this day), and I’ve realized that social media doesn’t have much of a stronghold on me anymore. And it’s really liberating. 

“Oh, this post didn’t get as many likes as the last one?” WHO CARES. That’s where I’m at right now, and it’s glorious my friends.

I spend my day playing with the baby, going for walks, playing in the yard, creating content, keeping my house in order, just generally living my life, and I feel like I’ve regained my sanity. To be honest, I’m not sure why I backed away from being on social media so much, but I’m really thankful I did!

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I hope you are all staying safe and taking care of yourself during this time. I know it’s an incredibly difficult and uncharted territory for all of us; please do whatever it is you need to practice self care. Sending much love and light to you all.

xo, Lauren

 

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