Ellen Burns’ Journey Through Social Distancing

Please take a minute and learn from Timeless’ Ellen Burns, RN, and her journey through social distancing in the last year. As awesome as she is as our RN at Timeless, she is an amazing wife, mother, daughter, and sister. Here is her journey:

If I was told a month ago that we would all be social distancing, I would not have believed it. Though this time is far from ideal, and the impact on others is profound- I find that of all the emotions I’ve had, grateful is the biggest one.

As the mother of a child that has a compromised immune system, I am so, so thankful for the many who are sacrificing in such big ways to give my sweet boy the best chance at staying healthy.

Though the majority of people are new to social distancing, I’ve been at it for over a year now. And while up until recently, Kaleb and I have been working, we otherwise have isolated our family to keep Leo healthy.

At the onset of this new lifestyle, I distinctly remember thinking to myself ” we will have no quality of life” during our isolation. And though it was part of the process to feel those emotions, I am here 13 months later to report that notion is the farthest thing from the truth. In fact, we have grown more as a family, me as a mom, and come to appreciate the things we are blessed with SO much more.

So, if you are struggling with the sudden halt to “life as you know it” along with the stress of trying to stay healthy, know I have been there! Here are some of the things I have implemented to help me flourish during this time.

Tip 1: Focus on the good.
A positive mindset has helped me stay grounded despite the turmoil happening all around me. Journal, write down, meditate on the positive things in each day. It wont be all sunshine and rainbows (especially if you are like me with three small kids to entertain) but shift your focus to looking for the silver linings!

Tip 2: Develop a routine
With our regular schedules cancelled or simplified, it can be difficult to be motivated to create a “new normal.” I’ve found that settling into a routine (even if just temporary) helps me to make the best use of my time. I have found it so beneficial to have a rhythm to my day so there is some predictability in an otherwise unpredictable situation. I’ve also been able to ramp up to daily rituals that I otherwise said i didn’t have time for- such as ALL 7 steps of my skin care routine!

Tip 3: Learn something new
With the extra time I had from being home, I felt it necessary to channel my creativity and extra energy into something productive- and I picked baking. I have benefitted so much from the mental stimulation of a new challenge. Another happy surprise I found by picking up this new hobby was a connection to others that were already masters of the craft. As I started researching techniques online, etc. I discovered there is a whole community of bakers that are cheering each other on and aligned in a common interest. This was something I didn’t even consider at the onset but in a time of isolation has been so great. We just want to feel connected to others!

Tip 4: Get organized
Once we transition to staying home, I was never more aware of all the clutter in our house. I have really worked to simplify and organize our physical living space and it has made a big difference in two ways. First, it makes cleaning SO easy. Part of keeping Leo healthy is making sure the home is cleaned like it should be. Getting organized has made this so simple. The other benefit is that I can relax in my home. I found myself feeling anxious about what needed to be cleaned or picked up or the pile of junk on the counter. This was reduced greatly once we gave everything a designated spot.

Tip 5: Move your body
This one is pretty easy- there are so many benefits (mentally, physically, etc.) to movement and exercise. I take the boys outdoors as often as the weather allows- not only do they get to run off some energy- I am able to get out of the house- even if it does just mean to our back yard. And on the days when is too cold or raining, even a little kitchen dance party can lift the spirits more than you can imagine!

Tip 6: Don’t let physical isolation lead to complete isolation
As an introvert, this is one I have to work at constantly. Be intentional about connecting with the ones you love! How awesome is it that we have all kinds of great technology at our fingertips that help to keep us connected. Pick up the phone, send a text, link up on Facetime!

We all have ability to leverage this unique time to stretch and grow us and I cant wait to see the good that comes from those who are determined to come out of this better!

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