Updated: Mar 30
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in strong suggestions to practice social-distancing. In some locations, as in the state of California, residents have been ordered to stay at home until further notice. Staying at home may be quite a struggle for some. I work from home and so social-distancing has become the norm for me from a work perspective.
However, when you add to that the shutdown of shopping malls, dine in restaurants, and, oh my, the gym… now that is another level of social-distancing! What can you do to avoid losing your mind as you are at home with seemingly little to do?
Here are 7 suggestions:
1. Clean your closet. A psychiatrist once said, “If your closet is a mess, your whole life is a mess.” I think there is some truth to that. When I open my closet and clothes are everywhere, nothing’s coordinated, I can’t find the shirt that I need for the day, I instantly become frustrated. Upon reflecting on how it got so messy I often link it to periods in my life where I’m involved in a lot and maybe overwhelmed. Taking on the dreadful task of cleaning my closet is never one I look forward to. But once I’m done, I feel immensely relieved. Since you have extra time on your hands take the time to organize your closet. Mine isn’t as bad as it could be because I often rely on storage bins and containers to keep things like purses, accessories, and non-seasonal clothing organized. I prefer the clear ones such as Sterlite on Amazon (Sterlite storage bins) so that I can easily identify contents.
You could also organize your files and paperwork. To organize your files. Try creating a simple filing system by using different colored folders. I purchase a couple of packs to easily locate household documents. Maybe use red for family documents, yellow for your spouse, and green for your documents. This filing system makes it so much easier to locate documents for the entire family.
2. Explore recipes. Dr. Sanjay Gupta was on CNN the other night saying that his family continues to have food delivered from delivery services like GrubHub and UberEats. But they remove the food from the packaging, place the packaging outside, avoid touching their faces, and then cleanse all areas where the packaging was placed and then thoroughly wash their hands. I’ve been a huge fan of food delivery services, but recently, I’m a bit leery given the virus. If food delivery services make you uncomfortable, as I am, maybe it’s time to explore new recipes. Is there some recipe you’ve wanted to try but just haven’t had the time to do it?
Given that I follow a plant-based diet, I’m always seeking more recipes that are higher in protein. This book, High-Protein Plant-Based Diet Cookbook: Vegan Bodybuilding Diet Book for Athletic Performance and Muscle Growth with Low-Carb, High-Protein Foods. 90 Recipes and 30-Day Meal Plan has several good recipes but because they require a little more effort, I’ve been putting them on the back burner until a better time. Well, now I have a little more time and so do you. Pull out that recipe book, the ingredients, and get to cooking. And, have your family help. This is an excellent way of engaging family members.
3. Family Activities. Speaking of engaging family members in cooking, don’t forget to engage children and teens through planned family activities. Children, primarily teens, maybe very frustrated at this time. Be sympathetic towards your teenagers. Their freedom comes in their ability to go out to eat with friends, have parties, go to the movies, hang out at the mall and attend school games. All of that has been terminated for them. Think about how they are feeling to be confined, for the most part, to home. If it wasn’t for FaceTime, I’m positive they would lose their minds.
Now is a good time to engage in family board games, financial planning, and goal discussions. If you can get your teens to do it, show and tell would be a fun activity where everyone demonstrates how to do an activity that (s)he loves for 20 minutes. Your son may want to show the family a trick he learned in the Fortnite video game, while your daughter shows how she applies her magnetic eyelashes and press-on nails (Pssss, Kiss makes the best press-ons and if the nail salons are shut down, these press-on nails maybe your best friend for a minute, just be sure to allow your nails to breathe after two weeks. Purchase them here: Kiss Press On Nails). Everyone must tune in for 20 minutes and ask at least one question of the demonstrator. You’ll find this engaging because everyone loves to talk about what they know!
4. Exercise. The gyms are closed, but you still have access to your yard and parks. Maintaining adequate distance from people is still a wise decision. But going to the park for fresh scenery, sounds, and smells, running around the track at a local school, or, my favorite, taking your resistance bands to the park and improvising with park benches, posts, etc. are all ways to keep your body moving. Maybe even record a video to inspire others to get motivated!
5. Read. Have you been accumulating books on a shelf (shelf-help books), or credits on audible because you haven’t had time to read? Pick up the book and read it. Since you can’t go to the gym, the movies, or the bowling alley, it’s a great time to indulge in a book. No excuses! And once you’re done, share what you’ve read with a friend. Then, go onto the next book. The average American reads about two books a year while a CEO reads, on average, 60 books a year. That is a little over one book per week. Some of my favorite books include Can’t Hurt Me, You Are A Badass, American Dirt, Think and Grow Rich, Grit, and How to Win Friends & Influence People. What are your favorites?
6. Write. Whether its that novel that you’ve been putting off for years or a blog that you want to set up, now’s the time to write, write, and write some more. As I tell my clients, you don’t have to stress over the first paragraph or even the first chapter. Chunk your manuscript into sections, use post-it notes to identify these sections (I use these --> Post-its) and start writing where you feel it. If you need more inspiration, there are all types of books and resources out there on how to get started writing, how to develop a character, how to write a memoir or non-fiction book, how to become a fiction writer, and the list goes on. With the ability to self-publish you can have your book released and your legacy imprinted on the world within a year.
7. Money. Research and explore alternative ways to make money. With the economy shifting downward we may begin to have negative thoughts about money and surviving financially. Don’t allow the world crisis to influence your thoughts. If you’re headed down that path, I encourage you to read, “You’re A Badass at Making Money,” by Jen Sincero. Sincero sheds some light on why so many of us develop a bad relationship with money and, therefore, don’t attract money into our lives.
Another recommendation, if you’re one of those individuals that typically click “Skip Ad” when watching a YouTube video, slow down and take the time to listen to what they are talking about. Be careful and cautious, all sales pitches aren’t good ones, and I’m not suggesting that you buy into what someone is selling. But do your own research. If something like affiliate marketing and AdSense appear to be logical means to you for creating another source of income, then act on it. If blogging enables you to make a little cash on the side to help your family address some unexpected expenses, do it.
We have more time on our hands than we choose to admit. Instead of viewing social-distancing as limiting what we can do, think of all the things it enables: more time with family, more quality home-cooked meals, cleaner and more organized homes, and better insight, planning, and goals.
This is a scary time for all of us and we can get ourselves worked up into a frenzy if we become consumed with the news and reporting on the virus. While we can’t control the economy or the fate of the world, we can control our thoughts and our actions. Maintain your distance from others as necessary and use common sense. And, always, maintain a positive outlook by being grateful for what you do have.
I've listed my suggestions on activities to do while social-distancing. What are yours?
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