I Wore a Dress to the Supermarket, And Other Small Things I Did to Feel Human This Week

I wore a dress to the supermarket today.

That’s not something I typically do. Unless I’m running in for a pack of Oreos on my way to a cookout or need to grab some more wine in the middle of a party.

I mean, why else would you get dressed up just to go to the store? That’s usually “sweatpants, hair-up, hope you don’t see anyone you know” territory.

But no, today I wore a dress to the supermarket.

Truthfully, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. And gee, I wonder why that is… Maybe it’s the pandemic that’s not getting any better after four months. Or the stress of being unemployed for 15 weeks, still trying (unsuccessfully) to claim unemployment benefits. Or maybe it’s the growing racial tension in our country that is still relevant even when it’s not trending. Or maybe it’s the fact that Facebook, a place I usually turn to for mindless distractions from life is now a battleground on any number of issues. Or maybe it’s the readjustment period from living at home for three months to settling back into living apart from my family in Florida.

So yea, there’s been a lot going on. And I know I’m not the only one who’s feeling that way.

I guess I’ve just been having a hard time feeling like a productive member of society lately. When I sit at home all day, even when I am working or using my time productively, I still just feel deflated and sluggish. Anyone else identify with that?

Sadly, I don’t think this situation will be changing any time soon. It seems like we’ll be quarantined and closed for a while longer. So what do you do when you’re staring at this long tunnel without being able to see the light at the end?

You do little things that remind you you’re still human. You’re still important. You’re still worthy. You’re still you.

I’m going to share a few of the things I did this week to find a sense of normalcy. To feel happy and healthy. To find the joy among these crazy circumstances. I’m not saying these little things are going to change the world or suddenly make all your sadness or frustration disappear. I’m just saying that during this time of uncertainty and isolation, these few things made me feel a little more like a human this week.

I Wore a Dress to the Supermarket

  • Who the heck decided that we only have to dress up for special occasions? I put on a sundress to go grocery shopping today and it made me feel human again. After two straight days existing in an oversized sweatshirt with my hair thrown up in a bun, it just felt nice to look nice, regardless of where I was going.

I called an old friend

  • A friend of mine and I have been trying to touch base for weeks, and we finally did it. The hour and a half phone call broke up the monotony of staring at my computer all day job hunting. It was great to hear his voice and let me be my extroverted self for a while.

I went kayaking

  • Since the first week we met, my friend and I have been talking about going to Wekiva Springs, a park north of Orlando with kayaking and canoes and hiking and swimming. This week, we finally went. There’s something about kayaking down a river among nature that makes your problems feel small. It put some things into perspective

I dedicated time to a hobby with no ulterior motives

  • I studied musical theatre in school, so singing was and still is my job. In a way, that takes the fun out of doing it as a hobby. But playing guitar and piano is where I get to enjoy music again. I don’t pressure myself to be great like I do with my voice.

  • During quarantine, a lot of us have relied on hobbies to pass the time. Some of us have also started trying to monetize those hobbies. That’s all well and good, but be sure you save some hobbies that are just hobbies. Have things you do that don't have to be perfect, that you can simply enjoy. For me this week, it was playing the piano. Even for a few minutes, it brought me back to myself.

I took a bath

  • Baths and pampering yourself can do wonders. It reminds you that your body deserves to be taken care of. You’re not a machine of productivity, you get to rest.

I made some plans

  • My sister and I hosted a few themed trivia nights when I was home. And we want to do more, even from different cities. So this week we worked on questions and made a plan for our next trivia night. It felt productive, but mostly fun. But most of all, making plans makes me feel like life is still moving forward.

I rewatched a favorite movie

  • There's a ton of great TV and movies out there. But sometimes you just want to visit with an old friend that feels safe. Don’t let anyone ever judge you for watching your favorite for the 100th time if it gives you some peace of mind.

I spent time with friends

  • I’ve created a bit of a Covid bubble in Florida. I have select friends that I see and allow within close proximity of myself. So I spent time with the people in my bubble this week. Being around them makes me feel happy and whole. If you’ve got friends in your bubble, embrace them with all you’ve got.

I went to bed early

  • On Wednesday, it hit 9 pm, and I could tell my brain was just done for the day. So you know what I did? I went to sleep. Mind you, I usually go to be around midnight or 1 am. But I was tired and I listened to my body, and woke up more refreshed because of it.

I asked for help

  • Yesterday morning I was working, and just kept fidgeting and I couldn’t focus because of my anxiety. So I sent out a bat signal asking for some good vibes from a few friends. Even hearing “good vibes sent” or “praying for you” made me feel better. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

So you see, the little things aren’t always so little. Pile up enough small moments of effort or reasons why you smiled today, and you see the sunshine coming through the clouds.

A friend was joking with me the other day that there have been different phases of quarantine. Like the “Tiger King” phase, the toilet paper flying off the shelf phase, the 2020 graduates phase. I’m not sure what phase we’re in right now, but can I start a petition to make it the “wearing dresses to the supermarket phase.”

Welcome to the little things phase. Welcome to “embracing the small victories that make you feel like a human this week” phase. Welcome to the “finding hope in a hopeless situation” phase.

We got this. We’ll get through this. I believe in you. Sending all my love.


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