We’ve officially hit the one month mark of physical distancing and self-isolation, and I don’t know about you guys, but I am running out of things to do. I’ve actually started creating messes just so I have something to clean! Jokes aside, it can be hard to occupy ourselves when we’re used to leading a relatively routined lifestyle that keeps us active and busy. It has definitely been a challenge on some days to fill the hours and as expected, there have been good days and bad.
I write this today because I feel like I’ve finally found my stride and have discovered ways to stay physically and mentally active while also providing myself peace and understanding. I also want to preface this post by saying that I write it from the perspective of a person who lives on their own and doesn’t have the responsibility of having kids or a live-in partner. These are just ideas and things that have helped me in my particular situation and I only hope they can provide some inspiration.
Before I go into my list of ideas of things to do, there have been a few guiding principles that I have been living by which have truly been helping:
- Hope is a choice. We can acknowledge our discomfort, sadness and uncertainty but it’s important to believe that better days are coming. Mindset right now is half the battle of keeping ourselves in a positive place.
- Create a routine. I have been scheduling even the most mundane tasks in my calendar. It keeps me honest and prevents me from getting lazy. Get out bed at the same time you always would, change out of pyjamas and do the things that you would normally do to minimize the impact of the change.
- It is physical distancing, not social distancing. We need each-other more than ever right now. Finding creative ways to connect and still be social is how we will come out of this closer and stronger as a community. Also, even if you’re staying 6 feet apart, its okay to smile at one another! Yes, it is a scary time but don’t let fear overshadow your humanity.
- Move your body. We’re not getting the same level of general movement and activity as we would regularly and we’re sitting down a lot more. Just think about how much you walk around the office, go for lunch breaks, coffee breaks etc. It’s important to keep our bodies moving whether it’s a simple stretching routine, going for a walk or taking your favourite class online. A little goes a long way and your muscles will thank you!
- Limit your social media and news consumption. I understand the need of wanting to stay up to date, but the reality is, the situation is constantly changing. I know what I need to do to play my part and keeping the news on all day doesn’t help my mental state. I catch up for 15 minutes in the morning and then turn it off. Instead of the constant media consumption, put on some music, your favourite show, sing, dance, laugh and even cry.
- Don’t compare. We’re all in this together but we’re also all having our own unique and individual experience. No one has it easier or better. Single, partnered, old, young, with kids, no kids – everyone is dealing with a different challenge. Understanding and compassion is key at a time like this.
- Practise gratitude. I read a quote the other day that really resonated with me. “We are not stuck at home, we are safe at home”. Take a step back and be grateful for the privilege of what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t.
Okay if you’ve made it this far down the post, and hopefully you have, here’s the fun stuff! Some random ideas that I have been doing myself or seeing others do that help to fill the time and most importantly, keep you inside. If you have any ideas comment below and I’ll add them to the list!
- Wash your make up brushes
- Wash your hairbrushes
- Sort through your books/magazines and donate or recycle those you don’t need
- Change out your bedding for Spring/Summer
- Go through that Tupperware drawer
- Go through your closet and put your spring/summer clothes closer to the front – gives you something to look forward to. Why not put on a fashion show while you’re at it for your friends over video chat!
- Clean winter jackets, hats, mitts and boots and store them
- Clean out purses and consider donating ones you don’t use
- Sort through make-up and or skincare and throw out old or expired products
- Try a new recipe
- Experiment with making your favourite cocktail – I will master the margarita!
- Think about some habits you’ve been trying to start – I am now making my bed every morning!
- Consider moving your furniture around for a new and fresh layout
- Try a new workout class
- You know those shows you decided not to watch because there were 8 seasons to catch up on? Can’t think of a better time!
- Listen to a podcast
- Schedule meals, coffee dates or wine dates with friends over video chats
- Sort through photos on your phone
- Clean out large appliances
- Incorporate a stretching routine every day
- Go for a walk to get some fresh air (ensure you are following physical distancing rules)
- Discover new music
- Pamper yourself – take a bath, do your nails, a face mask and then lie around in your robe all day
- Sort through old paperwork/bills
- Ask your parents to tell you stories from their childhood
- Make a vision board
- Plan a trip – you will get to take it!
Hour by hour, day by day, week by week, we will get through this. We’ll get together over dinner or a glass of wine and talk about that time that we took up colouring, wore clothes only with elastic waistbands and baked a lot of banana bread.
Sending you all good vibes and a physically distanced hug.