As the Coronavirus (COVID 19) continues to spread, and places continue to lock down, we are faced with the possibility of long term social distancing. What is social distancing? How long will it last? What can you do during this time? These are all questions that everyone is asking!
Social distancing has been put in place around the globe to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus. Simply put, it means minimizing your contact with other people. This also means keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from someone else. Many places have shut down and stay-at-home orders have been put into place. At this point, it is unclear how long the social distancing recommendation will last.
So, while many of us are stuck at home, what can we do to pass the time? Here are some tips to help you keep your sanity during this time of social distance!
- Establish a Routine – This is probably one of the best places to start! Adults and children need routine. Our lives revolve around our daily habits. So, establish a healthy routine that engages your mind, body and your emotional well being.
- Exercise – Make exercise part of your daily routine! Getting some form of exercise on a daily basis will help your body stay healthier, your mind stay sharper and will relieve stress.
- Eat a healthy diet – Maintaining a healthy diet will be a challenge during this time, as our pantries may not be stocked with our usual foods and we may be eating more canned or frozen foods. However, staying as healthy as possible will give you a better chance of fighting off COVID 19 if you catch it.
- Meditate – Practicing meditation or mindfulness exercises can help you reduce your stress levels, which will help your overall health in the long run!
- Socialize – Ok, so maybe we can’t meet at a restaurant, bar, church or school function, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still socialize! Call your parents, your friends, write letters or make cards, get on Zoom, Facetime or Facebook chat and see your class, fellow scouts, book club members, etc. Some neighborhoods have even set aside a time for people to come out of their homes and wave to their neighbors from their porch or driveways! Others have had virtual happy hours and playdates! Technology is truly helping us to stay connected during this time of isolation!
- Get fresh air – Take some time each day to go out and get fresh air and stretch your legs! Additionally, getting vitamin D can help you absorb other vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy!
- Work or Homeschool – Many of us are staying busy by working from home or homeschooling our children. This can be difficult being confined to the same space. Try to establish rules for not interrupting each other, set times for each person to have access to the computers (our kids rotate in the mornings for 30 minute sessions to get school work done), a set place/time to have phone conferences, etc. Routine is a must in this situation!
- Cross off items on your To Do List – Now is the perfect opportunity to work on some home projects… provided the project doesn’t require trips to the hardware store! Organizing your garage, basement or closets are all good options!
- Place positive messages in your windows, on your door or on your driveway – Some neighborhoods are having home owners place certain pictures in their windows so that as people go for walks they can look for shamrocks, Easter eggs, April Fools Day jokes, etc. Kids are also using chalk to write positive messages or create pictures to cheer people up as they walk by.
- Help the cause – Finding ways to help others in need will give you a sense of purpose and a sense of control. Right now, many things are out of control, but there are things that we can do to help. Many people are sewing facial masks for healthcare workers, sending cards to residents in nursing homes and calling on members of their community to see how they are doing.
- Write letters or send cards – I’ve mentioned this a couple of times now. Spending time to write a letter or create a card will not only give you something to do, but it will also brighten someone else’s day and you may receive some letters back!
- Learn a new skill – Now is a great time to try out a new recipe, learn how to build a birdhouse, try out some sewing, write a book or start your own blog!
- Bake – So, I previously stated to eat as healthy as possible, but I also believe that having some treats on hand will help the time in isolation seem a little less daunting! Plus, it creates a wonderful bonding time with your spouse or your kids!
- Keep a journal – Keeping a journal is beneficial on a few fronts. One, it can help you recall past events (you may want to recall how crazy life got during COVID 19 when you’re telling stories to your future grandkids). Two, it allows you to freely express yourself without judgement. Three, years down the road, it may tell your story!
- Read – Now is the perfect opportunity to relax, escape reality and enjoy a good old fashioned book!
- Play board games – Have a family game night that doesn’t involve video games! Board games can help teach kids patience, turn taking, strategy, quick thinking and how to lose gracefully.
- Work on your photos – Since the advent of the digital camera, the majority of us have been behind on placing photos into our photo albums! Add social media, selfies and about 20 to 50 pics per day into the mix and our phones are full of pictures! Take the time to get caught up!
- Start a garden – Seriously…. start a garden! It will help cut down your food costs, your trips to the store, it will help supply your kitchen with healthy foods, it will give you exercise and it will give you and your family something to do.
- Build or sew something – If you have some spare materials lying around the house, build something with the family, such as a bird house or sew some face masks. It will provide multiple learning opportunities for your kids as they learn about geometry, measurement and the use of certain tools!
- Spread the workload around your house – Don’t try to take on all of the work by yourself! Enlist the kids or spouse to help out with chores that is maybe not on their original “to do” list. It will give them a sense of ownership and you won’t feel overwhelmed.
- Ration – Ration your supplies so that you are not constantly having to make trips out of the house or so that you can make some of your treats or necessary items last longer!
- Get help – If you feel like the stress of being isolated is getting to be too much, seek help! Therapists can still meet with clients virtually to help them handle problems.
Good luck! We’re all in this together and together, we will come out of this! I’m not sure how long this will last, but take it day by day and talk to people! Find out how they are handling the isolation! It will help! “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” That’s what my mom always says! It’s true! People get creative when things are suddenly difficult or different. Just take a breath and do your best! Stay safe and healthy! Additionally, thank you to all of those working on the front lines! We owe you!