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  • Dayle Sheehan

My Stages of Isolation

Hi Friends!


How’re you doing? I know that’s such a loaded question in this strange time.


I don’t know if I am the only one who has been going through strange stages. As I reflect back over the last few weeks of staying home and socially distancing, I have observed some interesting things!

Phase 1 ~ My ‘Trump’ Phase ~ The world will be back to normal by Easter


The first two weeks I was completely shocked. I couldn’t believe that this was real life. It felt like a movie script. I was making grand statements like… ‘I’ll stay home for 2 weeks but I will NOT miss my trip to Phoenix next month’. (Spoiler alert… I did not go on that trip. Like many of you, I’ve missed trips and activities that I look forward to every year.).


The first few weeks felt like everything I tried to work on was hard. I couldn’t go to clients homes, I couldn’t go to the vendor showrooms and I couldn’t get a straight answer on if or when my existing deliveries for clients would be possible. My response to this chaos looked like a person who was glued to the news. I wheeled around the house aimlessly cleaning and washing my hands and then cleaning some more and eating all of the junk food. In the Fight, Flight or Freeze response model I would say I fell under Freeze mixed with some OCD tendencies. In a nutshell, I did nothing productive and I felt like time was in slow motion.

Phase 2 ~ My ‘Equal Parts Acceptance and Delusion’ Phase

In my mind, I would accept extending the quarantine one more month and I was okay with that. One thing I was sure of was that I would NOT miss my Bachelorette Trip with my girlfriends to Phoenix in June. This better be cleaned up by then, Ha!


My design projects became less about design and more about postponing, ensuring everyone’s safety and tying up loose ends until we can all start up again. This felt twice as busy as the design work itself. Probably because I was still doing my counter wiping routine 7 to 12 times a day!


Many of you may not know this but I have a website design and social media marketing component to my business that I fell into about five years ago. An extension of my love of designing beautiful things I started designing websites for small businesses and I LOVE it! I also teach a social media marketing class that I developed as I tried to figure out and navigate the art or social media marketing for my own small business. This kept me SOOOO busy that I stopped my news addiction cold turkey.

I settled into this different routine with different work and all was well in my world for a minute!

Phase 3 ~ My ‘Change Everything’ Phase


It began with me waking up on a Sunday morning and deciding I was going to contribute to the world in some way, but how?


After a quick shout out to my Instagram community, I settled on a Free Design Q+A. The problem? I design and manage other people’s websites but I pay someone else to do my own. Crazy, right?


The tough part is adding anything to the website took at least a week and I just wanted to get to it so, that Sunday morning I began designing. I reworked, redesigned and reorganized my own website so I can add or delete when I wanted to. I went down a rabbit hole. I didn’t wear makeup, I didn’t do Insta-stories, I didn’t talk to people. I was pumping out a new and improved website as soon as possible! The new website launched and I then decided I better transfer over my email address to this new platform (I don’t recommend this in hindsight!) and I reworked my subscription list platform, my online design packages…everything. If I was able to manage it myself, I did it. I started wiping the counter an appropriate amount of times a day and surprise, surprise I was productive!

Phase 4 ~ My ‘Get Back to Happy’ Phase

I have taken a social media influencer course, wallpaper 101 webinars, money principle’s courses, Konmari challenges, Rachel Hollis’s #90DayChallenge, Joy Challenges… if it’s got a positive message I’m drinking it with a straw! Another big development is I’m back to speaking. I hosted my Design Q+A, I’m speaking in Helen Youn’s Konmari series and on BJ Sander’s Sunday Morning series.


This phase feels more like ‘Me’. In this phase I am working out daily, eating healthier (back to my usual routine, finally!) and having conversations with Darren about what made our days happy before we fall asleep. I think this phase has shown me that life inside the walls of this house can be good!


But I swear to God if I can’t go to Kelowna and see my parents this summer, I will start back at Phase 1 and go through all of these crazy emotions again!

Please stay home so we can get back to life sooner than later!

XO Dayle

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