Woman drinking coffeeBy Kim Fernandez

My family has been home nearly every minute of every day since March. I’m terribly blessed to have them and love them more than life itself…and they’re driving me just a tiny bit crazy.

You too?

It’s hard to work with so many bodies and a near-constant flow of interruptions, intentional and not, in the house. Understanding that we’re very lucky to have a house and jobs and each other, and being more than a little terrified to send my college student back to school in a few weeks, this introvert finds herself pretty overwhelmed and in need of a little while of silence and solitude by late afternoon. The thought of months and months more of this isn’t  something I can dwell on for very long.

So I get up early–ridiculously early for working at home. I walk dogs, get dressed, pour a cup of coffee, and vanish into my office for a little silence before my talkers awaken (it’s not a whole lot different than when I had babies and toddlers, honestly). Sometimes I get a jump on work. Sometimes I catch up with friends on social media or texting at an hour that would have been rude a few months ago. Sometimes I read the news. And sometimes I just sit and breathe and exist all by myself. That golden bit of time gives my brain a little space even when I can’t physically get it and it’s centering–and no matter how much too-much the day gets later. I always know I’ll get a little bit of just-me the next morning. It lets me smile and be present for everybody else in between.

We’re all doing what we can do through this year, holding on to whatever keeps us going until we get our real lives back. I’d love to hear about your coping strategies or the habits bringing you happiness these days–let me know in the comments.

Kim Fernandez is IPMI’s director of publications.