Right now, there are millions of people who, by edict or choice, find themselves confined to their homes, and figuring out how to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy and entertained has been challenging.
With a college student whose life has been turned upside down and is struggling to adjust to the new normal, I wanted to offer a few suggestions that have helped us lessen the boredom and stay sane while staying at home.
Of course these won't all apply to everyone, but I offer them as a starting point -- take charge of your situation in whatever way makes sense for you and your family and know that in the end, all this will pass and normal (or some new version of it) will return.
Here's what's working for us:
1. Shower and dress for the day
But when you're stuck at home all day it's easy to fall into a rut. You figure, I'm not seeing anyone, what difference does it make if I stay in my PJs? Or if I put off shaving for a day or two (or seven)?
Hey, working in your pajamas is kinda fun and taking a break from your usual routine might be just what you need -- at first. But it's easy to allow your relaxed approach to become a new habit, and one that'll be hard to break when all this is over. And let's be honest, after a couple of days, it's just plain sloppy.
So get up, have your morning coffee or whatever gets you going, then hit the shower! Shave (your beard, your legs, whatever) and then GO GET DRESSED! As in, REAL clothes.
For me, I make sure to add a simple pair of earrings and I religiously apply a light coat of mascara -- I look better when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and that makes me feel better.
You have my permission to wear slippers all day (it'll be our little secret!)
2. Tackle one project you've been putting off
You know you've got a list of them. Pick one. Just one. And DO IT!!
When we moved into our house 7 years ago, the coat closet was where we threw all the stuff we didn't know what else to do with. Because the door's been closed, I don't have to look at it and as they say -- out of sight, out of mind.
But I know what's in there. And I've decided it's finally time to tackle that black hole of probably useless and unnecessary junk. It won't happen overnight. But I've already started and the thought of FINALLY being able to cross it off my list is quite appealing.
Your project doesn't have to be big -- maybe you want to clean out your sock drawer. Or put all your random tools in order. Or scrub your garbage pails (hmmm -- do these sound like things from my own to-do list?).
Doesn't matter. Pick JUST ONE thing -- and do it.
3. Keep your pet entertained and happy
If you're home with pets, the change in routine can be tough for them too (although my dog seems to be loving the 24/7 human contact). Be sure to show them some extra love and affection -- you'll know by the look in their eyes how much they appreciate it.
If you have access to an outdoor space (yard, balcony, dog park, whatever), take advantage of the opportunity for both you and your pet to go outside. Even 15 minutes of sunshine and fresh air will do wonders for your spirits. And maybe you can take the opportunity to try teaching your pet a new trick to keep them mentally stimulated too.
4. Reach out to someone today to let them know you're thinking about them
You're not the only one stuck at home. Check in on someone. It doesn't have to be a long conversation. Even a 5 minute phone call will lift their spirits.
Better yet, write a quick note. And mail it.
Yup, good old snail mail.
There's still nothing better than getting an envelope in your mailbox that doesn't contain a bill. My mom keeps every card she gets and she proudly displays them on her end table until the next one comes along. And she reads and re-reads every letter she gets from her grandkids, no matter how short.
Honestly, if you do nothing else, send someone a quick note -- you have no idea how much it will brighten their day.
So there you have it -- just a few suggestions to help get through the next few weeks. Feel free to reply and let us know what you're doing to adapt -- we'd love to hear from you!
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home!
The Team @ Blue Zoca