9 Tips for Staying Sane during these Crazy Days

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m living in a movie. An end-of-times one where zombies pop up from behind the bushes and the only way to protect yourself is to wave toilet paper in front of their faces because they hate the idea of clean bottoms. (And that, my friends, is why all the TP in American is sold out.)

But seriously, we’re living in some crazy, unexpected times with the coronavirus pandemic. While it’s definitely important to take care of our physical health, I hope we’ll all remember to take care of our minds and hearts, too. To help with that, I want to share 9 tips for staying sane during these crazy days.

  1. Laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine. Look for toilet paper memes—there’s no shortage of them online. Watch funny shows. Google “Dad jokes”. Find things that tickle your funny bone.
  2. Recognize. Recognize that this is not a normal time. But the feelings you feel—scared, overwhelmed, unsure—are normal. Give yourself time to process those feelings.
  3. Create. Now’s the time to tap into your creative side. There are so many tutorials online where you can learn now to cook, draw, sing, dance, etc. Did you know there are karaoke apps, too?! Muchkin #2 and I use Karaoke by Yokee.
  4. Move. Take walks. Have a dance party. Use the bathroom that’s the farthest one away from you in the house. Break out the sidewalk chalk with the kiddos and play hopscotch.
  5. Connect. Stay in touch with friends and family. With the beauty of modern tech, we can text, call, or video chat with the touch of a button. Call up (or better yet, text) those extrovert friends of yours—you’ll make their day!
  6. Adjust. Adjust your expectations for what you want to get done vs. what you can get done under the circumstances. Especially if you have “coworkers” (aka. kids) who didn’t get the memo about regular work hours.
  7. Recharge. If you’re an introvert and especially if you’re highly sensitive and you’re dying with your whole family home sheltering-in-place (I may or may not be speaking from personal experience, lol), you must find some time alone. Get up early or stay up late. Take short breaks in the bathroom during the day. Do what you need to do to recharge.
  8. Accept. This is probably the hardest, but best thing you can do. Accept that your life has been put on hold indefinitely. Your routine has changed and your schedules and to-do list have gone out the window. This is our new normal … for now, but not for forever.
  9. Appreciate. I believe every situation, no matter how hard or dire, has its good points. One thing I appreciate about this time is the sense of solidarity people all over the world are experiencing. Regardless of where we live, we’re all going through similar struggles of keeping the kids entertained, finding ways to cook with whatever random foods we have in our freezers, and not going stir crazy at home. We’re learning to be bored again, to enjoy downtime, and to be still. We’re finding out how creative we can be and how resilient we actually are. Most of all, we’re all doing life together—in our own homes and across the internet.

And on that note, I’ll leave you with the perfect song for these interesting times: High School Musical’s “We’re All in This Together”.

What tips do you have for staying sane during these crazy days?

Thoughts about Nutella (+ A Cover Reveal)

So, author confession time. When I started out 2017, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to join two boxed sets. Both releasing towards the end of the year. I had no idea, however, of the other things that would pile up on my platter this year, too—platter, because I need something bigger than a plate to fit all my responsibilities! 😉 Long story short, I’m helping with the PTA at the munchkins’ school; I’m blogging regularly at three book-related sites in addition to my own; I babysit my niece once a week, so my mom gets some time off—funny how the tables have turned!; I have a family to feed, clothe, drive around, and listen to; and I have books to write, edit, and market. I realized I was pretty stressed out when I had a dream the other night that I was buying groceries and I couldn’t pay for them, but when I finally got the money to pay for them, the groceries had vanished! It was crazy, folks, like heart-pounding crazy! 😉

I’m not complaining though (okay, maybe I am complaining about having to feed my family every day). 😉 The thing is, I’m a bit tired. Tired because there are a lot of things I want to do, but there’s so little time to do them. (I know I’m not the only one who feels this way!) But when you also add my perfectionistic mindset to the mix, you’ve got a recipe for … nutella!

Yup, you read that right. I have been trying to be nutella. You know that rich, creamy, nutty goodness that goes good with everything and makes everyone happy? Yup, that nutella.

The thing is, no one can be a jar of nutella. Because sooner or later, you’ll find yourself with chest pains and headaches and waking up thinking you left your groceries at the store!

Here’s the truth (and doesn’t it look good?!):

I’m striving to remind myself to breathe and to do my best, but not to demand the best. Because when I demand perfection from myself, I only end up stressed out and frustrated and not a fun person to be around.

The big lesson here for me is grace. We need to give ourselves permission to say no. To mess up. To take a day off for our mental health. To do something for fun, not work. To be nice and kind and gentle to ourselves. To extend grace to ourselves because we’re human, after all.

I’m not saying we need to slack off (that would probably be torture, haha), but it’d be good to take it easy once in a while. Doing so may be hard at first, but everything (including being an anti-perfectionist) requires practice. And remember, practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes better. 🙂

And oh, before I forget, here’s the cover reveal for my story that’s coming out November 7th in Winter’s Kiss, a new Christian romance boxed set.

Tropical Kiss and Tell

Micah Chan has loved Lucy Choi ever since they were kids, but life—and some regretful decisions—stopped him from pursuing her. Now he has a choice to make: Let her marry another man or break up her engagement to make this Christmas the most memorable one of their lives.

You may recognize Micah and Lucy’s names from two of my other books, Tropical Kiss or Miss and Drawn to You. They were kids in those stories, but now they’re all grown up and getting their own happily-ever-after. 🙂

Pre-order your copy of Winter’s Kiss today for only 99 cents!

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0767LWGCL/

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/winters-kiss/id1293778445

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/winters-kiss-elaine-stock/1127196238

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/winter-s-kiss-10

Google Play: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/winter-s-kiss-10