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Name: Jessica Hill Powell

Title: Owner of Meridian Integrative Wellness, currently shut down

At home with four children, ages 3, 7, 9 and 10

Most Difficult Right Now

My typical day has included homeschooling three kids and entertaining a wild preschooler, cooking, cleaning, and trying my best to hold on to a shred of sanity. I’m coming around to finding some sort of new normal, but I’m not exactly there yet. 

My stubbornness told me to continue with business as usual. Here are some of the “business as usual” (aka BS) expectations I had of myself and my loved ones: 

  • The house must be clean! 
  • The children must listen to me the first time I ask them to do something! 
  • I must figure out a way to make money, and fast!
  • I must not gain any weight! 
  • I must contain my anger about having my work life interrupted!
  • I must ignore my fear that the business I just spent the last two years of time and resources building will not recover after the pandemic!
  • I must hide my grief in order for my children to be OK during this time. 

At the beginning, under the weight of expectations, I screamed at my kids, constantly. I felt like I was coming out of my own skin with the noise level in my house. I had an unexplainable, very physical sensation of weight and muscle soreness in my rib cage that wouldn’t allow me to take anything but super-shallow breaths. My mind was cycling between “my business will never make it out of this pandemic” and “all is lost” to scrambling for ideas to help keep it afloat. 

What happened next was so predictable, yet I didn’t see it coming — full-blown autoimmune flare up. Everything in my body physically hurt. I emotionally hurt for the better part of two weeks, with tears seeming to just leak out of the corners of my eyes even when I wasn’t actively crying. Deep grief and anger was literally pouring out of me. 

Most Positive Right Now

I’m only writing this now as I’m on the upswing. My mind, body, and spirit were furiously waving red flags, and I didn’t take the time to investigate. Finally choosing to wave the white flag, here are the lessons I learned:

  • Lesson #1: For the love of God, don’t ignore the red flags. They’re waving for a good reason. 
  • Lesson #2:  Lower my expectations of myself and others; they aren’t fair to anyone involved. 
  • Lesson #3:  In the hardest of times remember to lean into my support system and my self-care toolbox, not away from them. 
  • Lesson #4: Make room for emotion even when it’s severely inconvenient; it’ll come out anyway. 
  • Lesson #5:  Work with just being with what is, not moving to force change. 

From My Perspective 
Read more about Jessica’s recommendations and the detail of her decisions here

This is a list of things that we, as experienced wellness practitioners, do to keep ourselves feeling balanced. Some of these things are non-negotiable and must be done frequently, others are optional and done according to the circumstances. These practices don’t make us immune to pain or hardship, but they do keep us more resilient. 

  • Getting outdoors, going on walks, prioritizing movement and outdoors as a part of daily routine
  • Painting
  • Intentional communication: check-ins morning and night with partner regarding your emotional bandwidth 
  • Workouts
  • Video games and board games
  • Movie Nights
  • Daydreams (with or without others) for future plans
  • Naps
  • Cooking
  • Writing/ journaling
  • Playing the guitar
  • Breaks in between working
  • Eating healthy
  • Breath work and meditation
  • Gardening
  • Household projects
  • Morning Rituals
  • Reading, audiobooks, podcasts
  • Limiting social media and news

P.S. See what Carrie King is doing at home. 

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