Susan's Guide to Home Confinement

Sometimes we may find ourselves trapped at home for extended periods of time. The reasons vary. You may be taking time off to raise small children or be wearing an ankle monitor or perhaps you are unemployed and your car was towed away first thing Monday morning. Regardless of the reason Susan knows how you feel and has a plan to help.

Most working folks say they'd jump at the chance to shuffle around in PJs all day with nothing to do, but they don't know what they're talking about. Once you've put those babies down for a nap, washed all the windows, organized the tools in the basement and looked up your old schoolmates on Facebook, depression sets in fast.

Really fast.

First off, you must MAINTAIN as much NORMALCY as possible. This means that you get out of bed before the sun has begun it's descent. Take a shower, brush your teeth & do something with that hair of yours. No one is to take their shower after dinner. Showering is a morning activity.

After your shower you must GET DRESSED in clean clothes. Casual clothes are acceptable, even required for your new lifestyle. However, let's establish the definition of 'casual'. A casual wardrobe is comfortable, maybe even a little bit frayed around the edges, this fraying must not detract from the overall visual appeal of the garment. Something left on the floor of the laundry room for two years is stained with bleach and full of holes rendering it unacceptable.
Yoga pants or gym pants matched with a properly fitting, coordinated top are fine for staying home. However, wearing sweat pants and your husband's tee shirt is not. Come out to Susan's neighborhood and she'll show you what she means.
Now that you're showered & dressed, let's go have breakfast.

EATING PROPERLY is very important to keep your mood buoyant. When your blood sugar crashes so do you. Please eat at regular intervals, preferably sitting upright at a table and include vegetables or fruit daily. Susan will admit to having a period in her life where she fed herself & her children breakfast cereal for every meal. It lasted a few weeks and everyone survived. Feel free to indulge in a bit of comfort food but maintain your self control because everyone will notice your fat ass.

KEEP the TV OFF. Susan finds the radio very relaxing and recommends it as a way to stay connected to humanity. However, take caution when listening to overtly one-sided AM programming, it's too easy to become brainwashed by someone else's agenda. Susan had to detox from Dr. Laura a number of years ago.

ORGANIZING your PANTRY is nothing to be ashamed of. Just don't do it every week. The same goes for rearranging your linen closet, bookshelves or wardrobe. Any of these are worthwhile projects. Susan is a big advocate of throwing things out in tandem with these activities. The more aggressive you are the better. On the topic of donations, no one will be damned for throwing out a perfectly good book although it is recommended you donate your coats and footwear.

CULTIVATE an OBSESSION. Nothing counter productive or deviant but something that inspires enthusiasm and help focus your thoughts. Susan learned to bake this way. Baking is very calming in its monotony. Susan still uses this as a way to unwind although now she's added cooking to her repertoire of anxiety deflecting activities. Recently she found herself logging onto cooking blogs like they were pornography with hands shaking upon the realization of having all necessary ingredients for mango chutney; frozen mango, fresh ginger, red pepper, tumeric, allspice, cumin...
Please excuse Susan as she has digressed from the original topic.

INVITE FRIENDS OVER. Neighbors are an acceptable substitute for actual friends. Put up a pot of coffee and enjoy some face time with real people.

READ SOMETHING. As hard as it is for Susan to accept, she knows that there are folks out there who don't own anything with words written on paper. For everyone else, go get a book, a stack of magazines or the newspaper. Middle of the afternoon or middle of the night, this is a calming, solitary pursuit.

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