Making the most of your time at home
I wrote this article yesterday for my monthly newsletter, and received such positive feedback I thought I’d run it here on the blog as well. I encourage you to subscribe, if you don’t already, if for no other reason than the newsletter-only special offers I sometimes run.
We are living in interesting times. As I write this on March 15, 2020, I ponder what the coming months are going to bring during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s certainly hard to know, but one thing seems certain. We’re going to be spending a lot of time at home.
I’ve come up with some suggestions for making the most your spare time at home while you’re practicing social distancing to try to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. (If you’re now an at-home worker, my advice is to keep up your regular work schedule, then do the stuff below after work.)
- Do some decluttering and organizing. Take a tour of your house and look for small spots you can declutter and organize. Maybe it’s your underwear drawer. Or the mugs in your kitchen cabinet. Or the papers in your file cabinet By doing little projects, you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of multiple successes.
- Take some time to relax without feeling guilty. We all relax differently. I like to knit and watch TV. I also like yoga and finally I’ll have more time to do it. It’s okay to relax. In fact, it’s important to relax!
- Do some planning. Now is a great time to revisit (or re-evaluate) any goals you set for 2020. Not only do you have time for introspection, but the advent an unexpected crisis is always a good time for self reflection.
- Learn a thing or two. You don’t have to take a class in person to get educated. Read a book. Listen to podcasts (you can start with the podcast I co-host, Getting to Good Enough). Learn a foreign language via an app like Duolingo.
- Reach out to others. Call, text or email to see how your family members, colleagues and friends are doing. Just because we might not see each other in person doesn’t mean we can’t keep up.
- Research your family history. Online genealogy research is a great stay-at-home activity. Feel free to check out my blog Organize Your Family History for some ideas and inspiration.
- Take in nature. If you’re feeling healthy but prudently not spending time with others, taking solitary walks or hikes can be a great way to pass some time. Of course, keep your distance from people you might encounter and wash your hands when you get home.
- Help others. This article provides some practical ways you can help vulnerable people whose services are affected by the COVID-19 crisis. If you’re feeling well, you can also help more personally by picking up groceries or running errands for people who cannot leave the house.
- Avoid stressors. I’m finding myself spending a bit too much time reading about the pandemic than is good for me. I’m now trying instead to skim headlines to stay abreast of the news and make an effort spend less time on Facebook and Twitter. Now is a great time to cultivate a gratitude practice.
- Create healthy habits to stay healthy. I read this great article by Ariana Huffington about creating great habits to keep our immune systems strong. It boils down to 1) get plenty of sleep; 2) drink lots of water; 3) eat fresh food and 4) try not to stress.
These are interesting times and most of us are going through something we’ve never before experienced. I believe it’s up to us to help ourselves and others by being community minded and keeping a positive attitude. Let’s make the most of a strange situation!
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