Are you staying home to avoid the threat of COVID-19 and to help stop its spread? If you are, thank you.
You’re doing your part to “flatten the curve,” reducing the number of coronavirus cases and helping hospitals focus on the sickest patients. It is vital now that we avoid groups and gatherings, maintain six feet of distance between ourselves and others, and only leave the house for essential errands.
But how do you stay calm and remain hopeful despite having to endure an unknown period in lockdown?
Many before us have successfully survived prolonged periods of isolation during wars, disasters and personal health crises. Those that have emerged on the other side of these experiences with their emotional health intact indicated that it is essential to alter one’s perspective regarding confinement.
Think of home restriction not as a “prison lockdown” but as an unexpected “opportunity to do things you’ve always wanted to do” — activities that even have the potential to improve your personal well-being and that of your family’s.
Here are 10 productive items for your stay-at-home to-do list:
1. Try a new recipe.
During the hustle and bustle of a typical past workweek, you may not have time to cook the way you’d like. If you have the ingredients on your pantry shelves, this is your opportunity.
If not, improvise and enjoy a sit-down meal with your family. You can also look online for sites that let you enter what ingredients you have on hand and provide new recipes you can make.
2. Establish a healthy exercise routine that you enjoy.
Use this time at home to try new workouts and improve your physical fitness. Some gyms and fitness centers are offering free videos and live stream workouts. Keep moving!
You can also search the Internet for free or paid workout apps. For example, Prevention.com offers a list of workout apps, along with reviews from trainers.
3. Take a daily walk or run.
Outdoor physical activity is great for your mind and body. It reduces stress — and you’ll enjoy the fresh air too.But keep a safe social distance — at least six feet — from others who might be enjoying the great outdoors, too. Encourage other family members to go outdoors with you
4. Tackle a home improvement project.
Maybe you have a room filled with ugly wallpaper that you haven’t had time to tear down. Maybe you’ve bought the paint but haven’t had a full weekend to freshen up your bedroom walls. Or, maybe your windows just need a good cleaning.
Whatever the job, this is your chance to spruce up your home with fewer time constraints.
5. Reorganize and de-clutter.
Clear the clutter from closets, countertops, drawers and anywhere else that needs it.
If you discover items you don’t need, throw them in a bag and take them to a charity when the lockdown is over. A clean, well-organized home helps to relieve stress and allows you to work and live your life more efficiently.
6. Set up a dedicated home office.
If you’re working from home, designate a workspace and create a routine daily schedule for yourself. You’ll be more efficient.
7. Video chat with a friend.
Keep up relationships with friends and relatives by engaging in conversations via Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or another source. The lockdown period offers a great opportunity to reconnect with people you haven’t had a chance to talk with recently. Or, perhaps, just pick up the phone and call them. You’ll both feel better for the opportunity to keep connected.
8. Relax and unwind.
Watch a movie you’ve always wanted to see — action, romance, thriller, historical or comedy — whatever you like. You can even view a lot of current releases right now through cable providers and various streaming services. Your whole family can watch a movie at home for about the cost of a single movie theater ticket!
If you prefer, read a book, listen to music, soak in a warm bath, work on a craft project, meditate or pray. All these activities can relieve stress and help you relax.
9. Engage your children – mentally and physically.
Reading with children is always a good idea. It strengthens your bond as well as stimulates learning and comprehension. Here are a few other ideas from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Encourage older kids to make up a workout or dance to keep them moving.
- Limit video games and monitor screen time.
- Play active games with your younger children like tag or Duck, Duck, Goose.
- Pull out the blocks, balls, jump ropes and buckets and let your kids be creative. Join in with them!!!
10. Think outside yourself and your home.
Helping others in need is good for your spirit. If you can, donate to organizations that are serving meals to needy children who aren’t in school. Or, make phone calls to senior citizens or others in your life who may feel lonely. They’ll appreciate it more than you know. And you’ll feel better too.
Visit cdc.gov/COVID19 to keep up with the latest news and recommendations regarding the virus. To find out more about what Tanner Health System is doing to address COVID19, visit tanner.org/ncov.