As an American, our duty right now is to social distance. Whether you believe this is serious or not, our government officials and health organizations do think this is serious. Until they understand the complexities of the new COVID-19 and just how serious this is STAY HOME.
This doesn’t mean that you are quarantined to your house. Yet, anyway. For now, it simply means that you shouldn’t be going to bars, restaurants, movies, or places where groups of people can congregate. Go to the grocery store, pharmacy, or bank to take care of your business and get food and medicines, but do so smartly. If possible, leave the kids at home and make a quick errand run and then go home. Don’t stop at a friend’s, give hugs, or shake hands. Don’t schedule play dates for your child.
And as tempting as it is to plop yourself down in front of the television and catch up on a television series on Netflix or watch the endless loop of upsetting news, there are better, more productive things that we can do to pass the time and keep ourselves active and sane.
So what can you do instead?
Seems counter intuitive, I know. But social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk or a run or take the kids for a bike ride. Stay by yourself or with your partner or kids. Don’t invite the neighbors. Don’t stop at a park for the kids. Just walk (or run) and enjoy the fresh air and the changing of seasons.
I know, this is a funny one for me to suggest, me over here with my brown thumb. But there has never been a better time to get outside and clean out the flower beds, rake up the dead, matted grass in the backyard, and get your planters ready for Spring planting.
That pile of mail sitting by the entryway? Go through it. Those definitely never going to fit again clothes that are still in your kids closet? Put them in a bag to donate. That stack of recipes that you swear you’ll go through “one day”? Today is one day!
Complete a house project.
Every household has them. For us, it’s creating a school corner in our kitchen for N where she has her school calendar, a place to hang her backpack, and all of the information she needs for her day-to-day. What project do you have lying around that you always complain that you don’t have enough time for? Do it now!
Read a book.
If you are anything like me, you have an entire shelf of books that you would love to read. Implement a family reading hour, grab one of the books, and start reading.
Train your dog.
Find a YouTube video and learn how to train your dog a new trick. Perhaps your dog needs to learn some of the standard behaviors, first. Whatever your dog needs, you now have plenty of time to devote to him or her!
Get into healthier habits.
We often say that we can’t eat healthier or workout because we don’t have the time. Well, now you have the time. There are no distractions – no company happy hour, no birthday parties, and no friends coming into town to entertain. Set up a simple home gym or start making your meals from scratch. Your body will thank you by the end of all of this.
Learn a new hobby.
There are YouTube videos for everything. Seriously, everything. So do a quick search, find a video, and start learning.
Call a friend or relative.
There has never been a better time to reach out to old friends and relatives. Sit out on the porch in the afternoon sun, dial up an old friend, and have a nice chat catching up. There is no better time.
You have been given the gift of time. The entire world has pressed pause and asked for us to stay home. Take the time to enjoy your children or partner more. Spend some time alone with yourself. These next few weeks (or hopefully not, months) can be a time of self-exploration and the opportunity to build deeper connections with those closest to us. Don’t waste this time watching endless television and movies. Give your mind a break from the madness and look for ways that you can deepen your relationship with your kids and partner. Rediscover what makes your soul smile, and spend some time focused on your own personal growth.
Stay safe and sane.
What other ideas can you offer to your fellow readers?
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