Man, March was a shit month, wasn't it? The entire world shut down, we're all in isolation, many of us are out of jobs, some of us have lost loved ones, some of us are sick.
I've been tracking my monthly goal progress (here are the Jan and Feb recaps) and in my case, I dealt with all of the extra stress by becoming a lazy piece of shit couch potato who eats way too many empty carbs. 🤷♀️ I also failed to launch a charitable side project (thank you Google Chrome store 🙄) and basically, I'm glad this month is finally over.
Let's jump into the March recaps.
I made a Chrome Extension to help you stay sane in Isolation.
It hasn't seen the light of the day, and maybe it never will at the rate the Chrome store is going, but I made it and I want to thank Anne-Laure for helping make this a reality, as it was heavily inspired by her extension Teeny Breaks and she's also basically the nicest most helpful human ever. 💖
It's been rejected multiple times from the Chrome store. I've followed all procedures, and I'll keep trying. Wish me luck!
I dealt with all the COVID-19 stress by creating way more.
- In February, I averaged 33 minutes a day of creating.
- In March, I created for an average of 87 minutes a day.
That's an hour and a half every single day spent writing, making failed Chrome extensions (grumble), drawing and making art, photography, or otherwise expressing myself through creation. I think I actually underreported this number a bit and it's higher than this.
Let's compare Feb and March- from a level of 1 (>30 minutes of exercise) 2 (30-60 minutes) or 3 (>60 minutes).
At the end of February, I finally got into a cadence of running 25-30 minutes every other day. When Coronavirus first hit, I continued with that pattern while also adding in daily yoga and hiking on the weekends. The exercise helped me mediate all the extra stress I was feeling.
And then around the 12th of the month, the loneliness and overwhelm really started to hit me, and I crashed completely. The only exercise I did for the rest of the month was hiking for long periods of time each weekend out in nature away from people.
In April, I plan on doing yoga every single day of the month. I also want to get back into running, and I'll absolutely keep my hiking habit as it's probably the highlight of my week each week.
- My healthy eating really took a nosedive in March
It's kind of hard to tell in these graphs, but look at the numbers. Higher number = more nutritional foods eaten that day. You can see in February, I was pretty much always way above a 10 on the nutrition scale. In March, however, I'm barely above 10 most of the time, and sometimes I'm right at the 10 line or below it.
A LOT of stress eating happened in March. I baked pies, cookies, pizza, cinnamon rolls, cardamom rolls, coffee cake... yeah. It's been a rough month for my eating.
In February, I made a rule that only book-reading counts towards my reading goals. This was made to cut out 'junk food reading', but unexpectedly it did not help me read more books.
Thus, my avg reading minutes per day went from an hour/day in January, to 33 min/day in February, down to a very pathetic 5 minutes/day in March.
I still read a ton, but it's just not in book form. This goal either needs to be tweaked or removed, as I value time spent creating more than time reading anyway (I believe I learn the most from doing vs reading).
Basically, I spent a lot of money in March. I panic bought a bunch of food and went over my groceries budget by $200. Luckily, it's all non-perishables that I can continue to eat through April, and I expect my April spending to be much lower.
I also stress-bought a bunch of stuff at IKEA before they closed that cost like $400 (yikes). On the plus side, my apartment is really organized now, I have happy houseplants to keep me company, and I'm stuck 24/7 in a home that still genuinely makes me happy every single day. Usually your girl does not spend hundreds of dollars in one place like that- but this month was a shitshow, so, hey, I forgive it.
In April, I will be saving every spare penny I have and living way below my means.
I explored nature every weekend in March.
I visited Cannon Beach in Oregon, I went to the rainforests in the Olympic Penninsula, saw fields of daffodils and hundreds of wild swans in the Skagit valley, watched whales at Cape Disappointment, and discovered a field of swamp lanterns in the forest yesterday.
I also baked a ton! I baked cinnamon rolls, swedish cardamom rolls, homemade pizza, homemade chocolate chip cookies... Creating food gives me the same feeling as any other sort of creation, and I love being creative and making things that are fully delicious. I hope to use this energy to create fabulous healthy meals in April.
I started making art again. I've been sketching a lot and even using watercolors and other mediums to plan my Q2 and finances. I somehow forgot that I'm a creative artsy person, and drawing and coloring things out helps me to visualize things.
For example, I used sharpies, pens, crayons, and watercolors to make a 10-year timeline. I then took that timeline to make actionable changes to my investment portfolios, tweaked my savings percentages, and created actionable implementations to reach my other goals. Art can be really useful for the 'hard-numbers' side of my brain too.
To Recap: March was a Shit Show
Let's be kind to ourselves for whatever we did this month to cope, and hope that next month will be a better one.