The world feels like such a weird place right now. One thing I have been struggling with during all of this is how I can be helpful, and how we can all achieve something great outside of being stuck at home. While we all know that staying home is best for our families and our communities to flatten the curve and to slow the spread of this virus, that doesn’t mean it is easy! I think feeling accomplished during this time will have us looking back and being proud of ourselves for making the most of a really crappy situation.
I put together a list of things that we can all do at home during this time to make the most of this time. I know there are a lot of lists out there about going for walks (while social distancing), and reading a book you’ve been putting off, but I wanted to put together a list that would help in larger ways.
I know some of you are working from home, which comes with it’s own challenges. I also know there are a lot of you that have children at home to home-school and care for, which also comes with it’s own challenges. Either way, no matter how busy your schedule may have just become, I hope this list inspires you to take action in an area of your life that could use a little help. Even if you just check one thing off of this list, they are all things you could be proud of doing.
1. Download Headspace and start a daily meditation practice
Meditation is one of the things that I rely on daily to keep my thoughts straight and to center myself. Headspace is a great app with exercises for so many different things from sleep, to concentration, to stress reduction. I’ve found that taking 10 minutes every morning to meditate has really changed my life.
2. Clean out your sock drawer – Marie Kondo style
First of all, if you haven’t watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, now is your chance! Her whole series is about finding ways to declutter your home and about finding joy. Each episode focuses on a new family who uses Marie Kondo’s system to bring greater happiness into their lives. Even if you just hit one area of your home, I’ve found that committing one hour to Marie Kondo-ing an area in my house lifts a lot of weight off my shoulders.
3. Fill out the Census
Yes! Making sure that we are all counted in the 2020 Census is one super easy way to make sure that your communities have the resources they need to be able to support everyone. Whether it’s hospital resources, or making sure there are enough police and firefighters on staff, this is crucial, and another way that you can be helping your community. You may have gotten yours in the mail already, but you can also fill this out online here.
4. Download Duolingo and learn a new language
I know one thing on a lot of people’s lists is to learn a new language. Duolingo makes it super easy to get started and stay motivated. They have several languages to choose from, and even just a few minutes a day could have you ordering a Café con Leche like a pro!
5. Get your library card!
Do a quick Google Search of “My Local Library” and check them out! They likely offer online signup, and then there are apps you can use to get access to books right on your phone – for FREE! There are also many other resources that libraries are offering including learning new skills and even access to movies!
6. Video Chat with an old friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with
We’re all craving connection, so pick up where you left off! I know this is on a lot of lists, but let me tell you – it makes a HUGE difference. My husband and I have been facetiming with people almost every night after dinner and it feels so good to see people we haven’t seen in a while. We’ve had virtual happy hours and even just gripe sessions about coronavirus. Don’t pass this piece of advice up, it’s worth it, I promise!
7. Go for a Drive
Many of us are itching to get out of the house and going for a drive is a perfect way to get a change of scenery without coming into contact with other people. Whether you turn down a road you’ve never turned down for some new adventure, or take a drive that you’re familiar with, it feels good to just get out of the house and to see something different. (I know some cities have curfews, so please make sure you are following local guidelines.)
8. Set a schedule and keep a normal routine as much as possible
This one is pretty easy for me because I already work from home, but I know this is new territory for a lot of people. I know it helps to have a schedule to stick to. Even if it just means something like “open computer at 9am, work until 5pm, close computer” – those who crave structure will find that this helps immensely. If you have other family in your home, work together to create a schedule that will help everyone to thrive in the new living situation.
9. Balance Current Events with some Good News!
I’ve decided that I’m checking the regular news once a day to make sure I’m updated on local guidelines, and then I’m checking out. Watching updates about this virus doesn’t help my mental health and doesn’t change the situation for me: I’m staying home! So, it doesn’t matter if I am getting updates every minute. If you find that you’re craving the news, check out the Good News Network – it’s a great start when it comes to some positivity!
10. Tour a Museum on the other side of the world
Google Arts & Culture has set up Online Exhibits so you can tour from the comfort of your home! If your dream trip was cancelled for the summer due to travel restrictions, spend some time doing a museum tour from the comfort of your own home. You can also give a bucket list item a half check-off for it cause I know it’s not exactly like the real thing!
11. Crank up the music and have a Dance Party
Exercise is a proven stress reducer so crank some music and DANCE! Here is one of my favorite hacks if you have an Amazon Echo Device: ask her to play your favorite genre – that’s it! It’s so easy and doesn’t require any sorting or scrolling. It’s just speak and go! I actually have a required dance time in my office everyday. My routine in my office usually goes a little like this: “Alexa, Play Dance Music. Alexa, Volume 6”. And then when “Body” by Loud Luxury comes on, I am required to stop whatever I’m doing and say “Alexa Volume 10” and then I have a dance party. It’s three minutes of singing and dancing, and it always leaves me so happy. That song gives me LIFE. Try it – you’re welcome. ?
12. Sign up for PostcardstoVoters.org
I know getting involved in politics is not on the top of everyone’s list, but I think making a difference ALWAYS feels good. I think this is the most passive way that you can get involved – truly. I have been writing for Postcards to Voters for a little over a year now, and it’s such an EASY way to get involved. I usually write postcards while “watching” TV that can just be listened to. Once you sign up and are approved, you can just text into the number that they provide and they will give you information about the various campaigns that they are running. You can order postcards right off of Amazon, and get postage from USPS to have sent right to your house, too. This is the PERFECT at-home way to be civically engaged. Click here to sign up now and get started!
13. Support a Small Business (if you can!)
This feels a little self-serving, and I was contemplating leaving this point out, but then I realized that I would be doing a disservice to other small businesses. Yes, my shop has been slow, but so have a lot of other people’s. Sending a care package to a friend or family member is always a cool way to shop small and bring smiles to your loved ones faces. Please don’t feel obligated to shop at this time if it is not financially an option. You can help by sharing posts on social media with your friends, and even just commenting on posts from small businesses that you love – this all helps to spread the word to other people. Trust me when I tell you, I do a dance when someone comments on my posts on IG – it keeps my spirits high and makes me excited to get to know someone new!
Some of my favorite things that I’ve seen on a lot of other lists that I think are worthy of honorable mentions:
- Have a game night with your family
- Go for a walk – wave at your neighbors
- Read a book you’ve been putting off
- Check out Skillshare and learn a new skill
- Take up the hobby that got pushed to the back burner: playing guitar, painting, etc.
- Paint your nails
- Have a spa night with a face mask, bubble bath, and yummy candles
Whatever way you decide to care for yourself during this time, I challenge you to really be present while you do it. I picked the word present as my word this month, and it’s been difficult with everything feeling so upside down in the world. I know that with my mixture of self care as well as feeling productive is keeping me going, and I hope you’re able to find that balance as well.
All proceeds will benefit Feeding America – the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country. As you know, there are many children who only get their meals at school, and families that are struggling financially are relying on food banks more than ever before. Please consider supporting this cause directly or with the purchase of one of these mugs.
What are you doing to practice a little self care or to be productive during your time at home?
Which item from this list looks like something you would want to do?