Big Deep Breaths

These are not normal times so I shouldn’t be surprised that my “normal” way for “dealing” with things no longer works the same way it did before. Reading and working out were two of the biggest ways I could unwind from whatever was going on and get centered again.

Now… finding the motivation to workout has been challenging and finding the focus to read has been fleeting.

It’s taken me these past five weeks (I think that’s how long? I’ve lost track) to figure out what really works for me. And it could totally change as we’re quarantining for longer. For now? It feels good to have a plan and things I can do every day to ground myself a bit.

The first is long walks with the dogs. I walk them every day normally but we have gotten into a great routine of very long walks. My workload is so much lower and we have zero social plans so there’s plenty of time to get out and pound the pavement with the dogs. Mike joins for the evening walk and weekend walks, but I try to take the dogs out by myself during the work week while he’s in meetings for some alone time. I’ve (very creatively) named all the routes we take: walk, long walk, extra long walk, extra extra long walk, and extra extra extra long walk. They range from one big loop of our neighborhood all the way to an hour and half circuit between our town and the town next to us. I try to take as many hills as possible so the dogs get extra tired. Sometimes I call my mom and sometimes I listen to an audiobook. No matter what I try to take to focus on my breathing for the beginning and end, and often the middle but sometimes I just get lost in the walk. It helps so much.

Unless it’s actually pouring, I walk the dogs every day. Weather permitting though, sitting outside on our porch on a rocking chair or in the backyard on our lounge chairs. Just being outside, even if I’m bundled in a puffer coat and cozied with blankets, is a game changer. Again, I sit out there and meditate mostly. Sometimes I do a full guided meditation from Headspace with headphones, but even just simple cycles of counting my breaths does the trick.

I’ve seen various posts floating around the internet touching on the same sentiment of taking note of what you’re rushing back to once this is “over.” (I say over lightly because I think most of us understand we’ll be more like moving into a new normal than going back to normal.) There are a handful of things I legitimately miss and want to return to and there are other things that I’m realizing I don’t miss at all and can do without. I’m prioritizing and deprioritizing heavily right now. Especially once we moved into a new month of this, I have been sitting down and taking notes for myself on what I need to change and what’s really important to me.

I was sitting outside this weekend and feeling truly warm. From the sun, yes, but also from a sense of peace that sitting outside with nothing to do and nowhere to be. Mike and I both noted that on a “normal” weekend we’d have various obligations (enjoyable ones but still obligations) to rush between but that sitting and being was nice too.

(I feel like I need to put a disclaimer to say that feeling at peace is not actually I feel most of the time– it’s why I keep pushing myself to walk and sit outside frequently. I’m trying to keep my face towards to the sun, literally and figuratively, because otherwise I’d probably fall apart.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



“I’m prioritising and deprioritizing heavily right now.” Girl, same. I feel like quarantine has definitely given us the time we needed to figure out what actually mattered and what we can do without. Thanks for sharing what you’ve been doing <3



I loved this part too. Carly, if you’re willing to share, I’m curious what items are on your prioritizing and deprioritizing lists? Love this post so much! It helps to know we’re all kind of feeling the same way.


Agreed! If you’re willing to share I would love to read a post about what you’re thinking about prioritizing and deprioritizing!

Sianne Fernandes

This is beautiful. It warms my heart and I wish I could have a peaceful time like this.


Echoing a ton of what you’ve said in this post – long long long walks are the only thing keeping me sane these days. Would you mind sharing some of the things on your need to change/ what’s really important to you (vs. stuff you actually don’t mind going without) list?


You are embracing the modern 1950s lifestyle; a pseudo-homemaker, without the benefit of ring & husband! Are you trying to create a new- normal, or do you hope one day to find a husband?


What a ridiculous, outdated question. 1) it’s 2020 and 2) we’re in the middle of a pandemic.


So many people choose to live with their SOs before marriage…just because Carly shares here life on this blog doesn’t mean that she should be operating on anyone’s timeline but her own 🤷🏼‍♀️ Less judging others, please. Carly, keep doing you girl!


KC – This isn’t the time or space for telling someone what they want and need out of life. Especially in a post about finding peace and keeping your face to the sun.


Can you please link your blog so we can see how you are doing life in an obviously better way?


One million percent with you on this Carly! I can go from being fine (and even grateful!) one minute, to being panicked and sad the next. Coping with the stress and grief has been a learning process, and the worst part is that I’m not even getting much better at it as lockdown goes on.

One aspect of this that I’m grateful for is that it feels like everyone is “allowed” to give themselves grace and feel however they feel, in a way that we weren’t BC. I’ve realized that it’s *always* ok to feel however I feel and give myself grace, which has relieved a lot of anxiety I didn’t even realize I had.

Anyway, I’m so glad to know I’m not alone. Thank you for your post!


Thanks for sharing honestly with us, Carly! Glad you’re feeling some peace during this tough time.


Just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed your posts lately! You’ve been able to articulate so many feelings I’ve been having. Reading your posts each day is something I look forward to SO much. Thank you <3


In a sea of (what I consider to be) tone deaf “lifestyle” blogs, THANK YOU for being honest, balanced and in touch with reality. I enjoy your content as much now as before Quarantine.


100% agree with Kitty’s comment. Yourposts are actually part of that sunshine right now, Carly!


I totally understand the dog walking!! I have been walking my fur babies between 3-4 miles a day, just for an excuse to get out, move around, and soak up some glorious South Carolina sunshine! Thank you for sharing how you are finding peace during this time, I look forward to your posts each day!


Thanks for keeping the post going and for writing pieces like these because it gives me joy. Also could you maybe post about how you are creating the list of what you need to change and what is really important? <3 wishing you lots of strength.


Carly, I so relate to your struggle to find new ways to relax and de-stress. I’ve also started taking my dog for longer walks – especially in the evenings after being cooped up in the house at my desk working for hours. Hope this week is a little better for you. Happy Monday!

Andrea |


I appreciate your transparency in regard to how you’re feeling. Some days I am totally fine, and others I am completely falling apart. It’s easy to start feeling really isolated and overwhelmed with the wide range of emotions each day can bring.
There have only been a handful of warm days in northern Vermont, so we’ve been getting outside as much as possible. It has helped SO much!