Furloughed/Unemployment

As many other people are still out and about on the front lines working, and others are working from home, others still are now furloughed/laid off. Andrew is now in the third category. The company he works for decided to keep a skeleton crew and the rest were furloughed for at least the next two months. For that time they will receive health benefits so that’s something positive and because the federal government passed a bill a couple weeks ago we will be receiving enough money to live on for a while. We are also lucky to have no symptoms of coronavirus so we have nothing but time. If you’re in a similar situation, maybe this post is worth reading.

Watching the clouds blow by.

For many, the idea of being laid off or furloughed is new and difficult. We’ve done all this before when we were younger and I have been without a full time job for 4 years so I have a couple suggestions😉 The first is to see this time alone at home as an opportunity!!

To begin with I suggest you look at your finances. Not to feel guilt over what you spent or didn’t save. Rather to make decisions to allow you to sustain in this situation as long as possible. For example, we had subscriptions last week to Amazon prime, Netflix, Audible, Pandora, etc. We decided that in this time of reduced income we would keep Amazon (it’s already paid up for this year) and Netflix (T-Mobile pays the majority of our subscription – a promotional deal when we switched carriers). We canceled all the rest. Maybe things will get back to “normal,” maybe they won’t and we will cancel the rest then. Take a look at your water and electricity bills, can you turn down your hot water tank? Can you shower less often now that you’re not seeing people? Can you open windows and live with warmer temperatures? Everyone is different and different solutions will make sense depending on your situation. I highly suggest doing this even if you’re still receiving your regular income. It’s a great way to build up a little savings and in some cases helps the environment at the same time.

Now that your finances are in order, or at least you have a plan and have done all you can, you can stop worrying about it. Take time to breathe, take walks outside if you can, if going outdoors is not an option take walks around your dining room table, do yoga/Qigong/stretches, meditate, take a nap, read a novel you’ve had on your shelf for a while, relisten to an audiobook, cook something you normally wouldn’t spend the time on, binge the Netflix shows you love. Do something that makes you feel better/happy/calm/good/joyful. Decide to take time for these activities you love everyday. Do them EVERYDAY. Allow yourself time to be unproductive everyday of not for entire days!!

Once you’ve spent a few days/weeks/months (no judgement, take the time you need) doing what makes you feel good you might want to start working on the projects around the house you never get to (or you might not). The leaky faucet or fan that doesn’t work quite right…. I bet you’ll find a video on YouTube to coach you through it! The windows you never bother to clean… Now might be the time to clean them so you can enjoy all the views from your quarantine space. Doing little things to repair and spruce up your space might help you feel better. Notice that there is no need to spend a lot of money or possibly any money to make small home improvements.

Renovation insulation
Renovation insulation and shiplap complete!

Purging could be another great project while quarantined. I like Marie Kondo’s book and use her methods ongoing in my RV. There are also YouTube videos and websites all about how to go about pairing down and organization. You could do a bit of research for yourself (don’t get too bogged down online trying to be perfect, there is no such thing) and see if there is a strategy or method that seems to fit your personality or needs. Or, just jump in by dumping your junk drawer/closet/craft box/etc and start sorting through it. I do suggest you have bags or boxes next to you as you do this for trash and donate.

No matter what you decide to do or not do in this time remember one thing. There is NO judgement. If you want to take naps or read non-stop, then do it. If you want to take walks or binge Netflix, then do it. If you want to be unproductive, super productive, lounge on the sofa, run, or bake until you run out of ingredients, do it knowing it’s what is in your best interest. I honestly have said for years that everyone deserves a few months to a year off from work a couple times in their lives. I have had nearly four years and it’s provided time for me to explore me. To see what I like, don’t like, and to enjoy my environment. It’s an opportunity to live without the clock demanding what you do, it’s an opportunity to make lists and have time to complete them, it’s an opportunity to have no list and decide moment by moment what you want to do through out the day. Take this as an opportunity!!! Even if your finances are not how you’d like them to be, even though you can’t visit your friends and family, this can be a time for you to do you.

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