I am sure you are reading this while sitting inside of your home, probably hiding from your family members or maybe even dreading tomorrow and all of its boredom. We are all feeling very isolated and anxious. This is not an ideal situation for anyone, and making the best of it is all we can do. We still need to practice self-care for our mental health, however, now the ways we seek that out might look a little different. The thing that matters most is taking care of ourselves to take care of those around us. I am determined to make this time count as time well spent. I thought I would share some ideas in case these days feel extra heavy to you. We always say, “When I have the time, I am going to…” Now we do.
Cook or Bake Something That You Have Always Wanted To Cook
One thing that I have wanted to make was coq au vin. It has always intimidated me, and I am determined to give making it a shot. Cooking and baking can be relaxing. This is a great time to try to make something that you have always wanted to. I bet there is at least one thing that you have wanted to make yourself. Now that we are forced to stay inside, this is a great time to cook more. Make it a family event, and everyone can learn together.
Take a Course Online
I am a firm believer in you should never stop learning. During my first week home, I signed up for a Yale course called The Science of Well-Being. It is an eight-week course, and I am already really enjoying it. I am taking it through Coursea.com, which has so many free courses through top universities. There is something for everyone there. It’s a great way to keep your brain focused and keep yourself motivated to keep a routine. The Introduction to Forensic Science is calling my name.
Puzzles and Books
I feel like books are an obvious choice here but hear me out. Not just books, but those classics that you have been putting off reading. Or the self-help books that you have had on your to-read list forever. Now is the time!
Recently I found how incredibly relaxing putting together a jigsaw puzzle can be, and now I am hooked. I can sit alone and zone out or listen to a podcast and put together a puzzle. It keeps my mind busy and working towards a goal. It is a great way to spend the afternoon while your kids are screaming at each other for God only knows why.
Schedule Time Alone
I might be in the minority when I say that taking a bath is a legitimate form of self-care. After a long day of being inside with children who fight and suddenly can’t remember how to work Google Classroom, give me a hot 20-minute bath any day of the week. Right now, time alone is crucial. While it might not be an hour alone shopping or lunching with friends, masking in the tub is pretty nice, too. Extra points if you bring wine.
Virtual Time With Friends
With recent events, we have all discovered Zoom, Go To Meeting, and other video conferencing platforms. This is an excellent way to stay connected while remaining at a distance. Personally, I am starting to prefer this way of socializing. I don’t have to leave my house and still get to have a good time with others I enjoy being around. I hope no one is offended when I request to keep this up when we are allowed back in public places.
Since we are unable to escape our homes, the next best thing is stepping outside and seeing what is out there. My kids have spent more time outside the last couple of weeks than I think they did all of last summer. I guess that is what boredom does to you. My husband and I have been spending more time outside, as well. In the evenings, we all go outside together, watch the kids have bike races, sit on the porch and discuss events, and enjoy not being cramped inside. Now that we have no choice but to stay home, gratitude for being outside has reached an all-new level.
Plan a Vacation For When Traveling is Safe
My family loves to travel, and this quarantine has squashed any vacation plans that we had. One day will be able to resume normal activities, including traveling, and in anticipation of that, I have started planning our next vacation. I enjoy putting together itineraries for our trips. Doing this now is a reminder that this won’t last forever. Soon we will be able to explore and adventure together again.
There are a lot more ways that we can take these days at home and turn them into a positive. Soon we will return to our busy, fast-paced lives, but in the meantime, let’s take advantage of these weeks where we are forced to slow down. Who knows? Maybe this will get us all to live life more slowly and with more intention.