Social Distance Makes My Thoughts Grow Stronger

Updated: Nov 9

I first want to start this out by thanking each and every human who is currently putting their lives on the front line to stop the spread of this virus. Medical professionals, grocery store clerks, restaurant workers, delivery workers, truck drivers, caregivers, warehouse workers, transportation operators, sanitation workers, farmers, neighbors, everyone, and anyone who is selflessly showing up to work each day to help our world navigate this devastating crisis.

I think it’s safe to say this pandemic feels like a Sci-Fi movie. It just doesn’t feel real – but it is and it’s overwhelming. Simply put, my heart breaks for the world right now.

Over the past few weeks I've been given a lot of perspective on this crisis from connecting with people in all different stages of life. I’ve talked with nurses who share real stories and daily fears, small business owners who have had to shut down their livelihoods, delivery workers who are afraid to touch packages, pregnant friends who fear for their baby’s health, fellow brides who have had to cancel their weddings, friends who are trying to adjust to working from home, loved ones who I wish I could see and hug. We are ALL going through this right now, no matter how big or small the impact is on us individually.



When it comes to heavy topics, I waiver between wanting to share my thoughts and keeping them to myself. But when it comes to this pandemic, I think we all want to feel like we’re not alone.

I use my blog as a place to share thoughts and experiences for all my readers, but I also use it as a journal to look back and reflect on growth. So today I share my honest thoughts on several topics in hopes that some of you may relate and in hopes that one day I can look back and feel so grateful that we have overcome this dark time in history.


How I’m Feeling:


I’m an incredibly emotional human being and I’d like to blame my astrological sign, Cancer, for that trait. That said, I’ve always experienced many emotions.

For the most part I can normally separate my personal worry from what’s actually happening in the real world and feel assured that all will be okay - but what we’re going through right now is not normal. My mind has played out many scenarios that have kept me up at night, but trust me when I say THIS was never a one I dreamed up.

Each day is different for me. Some days I feel great! I do my hair & makeup, get myself dressed, cook three amazing meals, and workout. Other days my heart is heavy and I don’t even have the energy to make a pop tart, let alone change out of my pajamas.

Right now my mental health is just as important as my physical health and I've learned it's okay to not feel okay. If I'm being honest, I tried so hard to push aside my negative emotions for the first few weeks, but it became something I couldn't ignore when I broke out in terrible hives a few days ago - yes, a full blown rash caused by stress.


It was a really eye opening experience to see what mental stress could do to my body. The hives were my body's way of telling me that my anxiety was WAY too high and something needed to change.


(I'm happy to report that after a telehealth visit with my doctor, some hefty steroids, and coping strategies from Andrew, who works as a therapist, I'm doing much better)


So for now, I'm doing my best to process my real emotions, good and bad. If I’m having a great day then I embrace those emotions, but if I’m feeling down I no longer ignore it, I talk about it. I go talk to Andrew, I call my dad, FaceTime with a friend, call my boss. I find someone to talk to instead of bottling it up and what I’ve found is that there are WAY more people willing to discuss or listen than you may think. We are all going through this on some level and we need more support right now than ever.

How I’m Staying Healthy:


When I overcame the flu last month (interesting timing, I know), I truly thought I had nothing more to worry about! I was very, very, very wrong. But what I can take away from that experience is that it did help me form a few good habits that are helping me currently.

I was already washing my hands and disinfecting surfaces, so that certainly continued. If you follow me on social media, you know drinking water is VERY important to me. It’s the easiest thing we can do on a daily basis to improve our health so I set a daily ounce goal (60-80 ounces a day) and stick to it. I also started taking more vitamins, specifically these immunity gummies from OLLY.

Fitness can either feel like a welcomed escape or a daunting task right now, so I don’t force it if my mood is lacking. Instead, I make it a goal to move my body every day. It can be a simple walk outside, a virtual class online, some body weight moves, light yoga, stretching, or even cleaning!

Lastly, I like to connect my body and mind with meditation. My close friend, Meagan, recommended the Calm app to me a few months back when I was stressing about wedding planning and it helped immensely. If I’m feeling overwhelmed or having trouble falling asleep, I’ll lay down, put on headphones and do a 15 minute guided meditation with the app.



How I’m Spending My Time:

To be honest the staying at home part hasn’t been too bad. As you may know from my last blog post, I’ve always been a remote employee. As of right now, I’m thankfully still working a full work week and I am truly so grateful to have a job. I know it’s a luxury to have income and I do not take it for granted one bit.

That said my days are pretty busy. It's my nights and weekends when I need to get creative. I’m constantly thinking of new ways to fill our time. Like I said above, daily walks are a must. My fiancé, Andrew, and I love to take the dogs on long walks in our neighborhood. Luckily we rarely run into others, so our minds are at ease.

I have also been cooking, a LOT. I’m trying new recipes, using all those gadgets that are typically tucked away, and getting better at my baking skills. Every Friday I have been experimenting with a new cocktail recipe. We even set up an “at-home” wine & cheese pairing - an activity we loved going to do prior to quarantine.

We’ve been redecorating some spaces that have been overlooked, building some new furniture that we ordered, and organizing closets that needed some TLC. Overall just giving our apartment a nice refresh for spring.

Lastly, we’ve still been busy planning and prepping for our wedding, which leads me to my last topic…


Wedding Bells or Wedding Blues?

Let me take a deep breath. Okay, here we go.

This topic is not my favorite, but currently it’s the one I am asked about and think about the most. It’s a really tough topic for me to process for a few reasons. There’s a part of me that feels, “I’ve been planning this wedding for 2 years! It has to happen” and then there’s the part of me that feels like nothing else in the world truly matters than the health of everyone and it feels selfish, if not silly, for worrying about a wedding.

And you might be thinking, “well isn’t your wedding 6 months away?” Yes, you’re 100% right. We’ve been instructed to continue on as planned, but I’ll be honest, that’s a hard concept for me to proceed with right now as the reports advance. So many decisions, meetings, orders, supplies, time, money, all have to happen in the months leading up to a wedding (aka now). It feels like a game of red light/green light.

I was SO excited for these final few months. After having a very long engagement, Andrew and I couldn’t wait to be on the home stretch. All we could say is “it finally feels like this is really happening!” Now we feel like everything has been turned upside down and we honestly don’t know what is going to happen.

But then there’s the part of this where Andrew and I just want to accept whatever happens. We are alive, we are well, and we are healthy. He and I are lucky for all that we have been blessed with and truly nothing else matters.


What we know for sure is that we will get married. There's a possibility it might not be the day we wanted, but it will happen. Our love for one another doesn’t change just because of this unprecedented event - if anything it’s growing stronger.

Lastly, we deeply believe that we, along with our guests, deserve a celebration free from fear or worry. We want people to be able to hug, dance, laugh, shake hands, show love – all the things that make weddings such a beautiful celebration! A wedding without those things is not what I’ve spent my whole life dreaming of.

So for now, I waiver between these two sets of thoughts and I know I’m not alone on this topic. We do have hope for October, but we are also being realistic based on the current predictions and plan to proceed with what is safest for ourselves and our guests.



If you have made it to this point, I'll leave you with this...


We are going to get through this. Day by day, week by week, month by month until we reach the end. I always try to tell myself, we can only climb a mountain one step at a time.


Whether you are on the front lines battling this virus head-on physically or all alone in your house struggling mentally, please know you have my support, love, and prayers. We are all in this together.


Stay safe. Stay healthy.


-Samantha

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