What should we have for dinner? Do I have time to wash a load of masks? Did we sanitize that? When was the last time I gave my toddler a bath? Should I send an email addressing that issue, or wait it out?
Blaaaaaaaaaaa! Anyone else suffering from daily decision fatigue? Every little thing requires a domino effect of decisions. I’m just an ordinary girl, stuck in a COVID-19 world. I have become so burnt out weighing the pros and cons to minor and major life decisions.
The reality is, those things aren’t going away. I needed to find a way to free up some of my mental space by reducing some of the decisions that I had to make each day. Here are two things that have dramatically helped me these past few months: a predictable wardrobe and a meal kit subscription
At the start of the chaos I was wearing jammies all day and night. Eventually, once society started to slowly re-open, I had to figure out how to look semi-presentable again and convince myself to wear my bra regularly. In order to limit the overwhelming feelings while looking at my closet, I decided to establish a very predictable wardrobe. (Be warned: I have never been a fashionista). I went online and bought 7 black dresses, 7 black shirts, and 7 cardigans. I now basically wear the exact same thing everyday. I just grab a dress and a cardigan for work and slip on some flats. On the weekends I throw on some yoga pants and a flowy shirt. I wear the same exact thing everyday. I change my accessories up, do my eye make-up, pick different shoes and I am done! No more sitting in a towel on my bed trying to figure out what fits and what matches. Clearly this solution is not for everyone! I love colors and patterns, but I just can’t deal with it right now. I choose to express myself with the mask I wear for the day instead.
At first I was self-conscious that someone would figure out I have been wearing the same outfit. But then I tried to remember what my colleagues wore the last time I saw them, or what the barista wore all week. Nope! I couldn’t remember what anyone else wore, so who is going to remember what I wore? And also, who cares?!
Figuring out dinner was always a stressor in our pre-COVID-19 life. Getting off the bus after work with a plan in my head and then walking in the door and realizing I was missing a main ingredient and we were all hangry was a pretty typical night. Now, after sitting at my makeshift office in our kitchen all day, thinking of what to cook for dinner made my eyes glaze over and all motivation was sucked from my soul. That may seem dramatic… but it’s the truth! “Don’t make me decide again!” I would whine to my husband as he would shrug in response to my daily question of meal options.
I never thought I would try out a meal kit subscription. I thought it was for people who didn’t know how to cook or didn’t have time to shop. I know how to cook and I have a lot of time on my hands, but my brain capacity is at an all-time max. I have no energy to come up with something creative and tasty for dinner. Now I can scroll on my phone, pick a couple yummy meals from a set amount of options, and the box is delivered to my doorstep. I will not use this service indefinitely, but it has helped me on my hardest weeks. (Also, you can keep the recipes and cook them again on your own, if you wish.)
I now know what’s going to be for dinner, I know all ingredients are present and accounted for, I know the instructions are fool-proof, I know I will learn a new cooking tip, and I know that we will have enough for dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day.
I still experience decision fatigue on a daily basis, but at least I can summon the energy to really figure out if I have bathed my child recently or follow-up on an email I responded to in my head, instead of starting out the day bogged down by a wardrobe crisis and end the day with a meal disaster. It seriously is the little things that are getting me through this very strange time in life.
So if you need me, I am the lady dressed in black enjoying a meal in her makeshift office… also known as the kitchen.