The new phrase of the month seems to be social distancing.
As school closures and event cancellations increase, communities are implementing “social distancing” as a means to reduce the rate of the spread of COVID-19.
Last week cases of the coronavirus were found in a city where we work (a 1.6 hour drive from our home), prompting us to shut down the classes we teach there on Saturdays for at least one month. Services at a church we attend in the same city are now available only through internet streaming.
For some, the idea of reduced crowds and fewer social obligations is a welcome one. For others, it might feel just the opposite! Precautionary measures may seem drastic or inconvenient, but one of the biggest complaints I have heard from others is boredom.
However, regardless of whether you are outgoing or withdrawn, there are ways to make the most of time at home, as well as to prioritize mental health.
Below I have shared a list of fun and practical ideas of things you can do this spring while practicing social distancing.. without binging on Netflix!
Focus on Family
Social distancing does not mean going without socializing altogether!
If you are married, have children, or live with family members or friends, now is a good time to focus on the health and growth of your relationships.
You can have a family night with card or board games, teach your pet a new trick, hold a picnic in your backyard, build a fort, or have an indoor date with pizza and a movie.
Social distancing can be even tougher for those who are considered at high-risk of becoming ill, such as seniors and the immunocompromised!
While visits to grandparents might be unwise for the time being, setting up a call with an isolated elderly relative can show thoughtfulness and love. You can hold a virtual meet-up with extended family or friends using Skype, Zoom, Facebook, LINE, or other messaging services.
Do you have an overflowing closet? This month is a great opportunity to get organized, do deep cleaning, redecorate a room, or go through your wardrobe and find items to donate.
If you enjoy homemaking, you can start plans for a garden, make a binder of favorite recipes printed off of the internet, or create an annual budget or weekly routine.
You can also do an inventory of household items, delete bookmarks on your web browser that you never use/need, make backups of the files on your phones and computers, and organize all of your files (both physical and digital).
Creativity often requires reflection and alone time, so what better time to work on a creative project?
You can write a book that you’ve always wanted to “get around to writing”, learn a new handicraft such as knitting or crocheting by watching YouTube videos, learn calligraphy, draw or paint, compose and record an original song, or create a scrapbook of family memories.
Other ideas might include hand-writing letters, filming and editing YouTube videos, or doing a DIY project you’ve pinned on Pinterest, but not yet attempted. If you like photography, you might prefer taking photos indoors, or doing nature photo shoots where there are few/no people.
There is no reason why being indoors can’t be productive! There are still opportunities to work on goals from home. Whether your goals are academic, health-related, creative, or otherwise, there is (usually) no reason that you cannot continue to make progress!
You can attend school online (with paid tuition or for free), or watch YouTube videos on your topic of interest. You can also study a new language, make a home “gym” with items from around the house (cans for weights, a hula hoop, etc.), or apply for a part-time online job (such as a virtual assistant position).
Don’t have any goals? Now is a great time to create some! Try compiling a list of your top 10, and start planning how to achieve them.
Often fun is thought of as something that we “have” rather than something that we “make”. It is possible to make fun, rather than just waiting for it to happen!
Some ideas might include reading a book (if your library is closed, now is a good time to purchase some e-books!), creating a blog or writing a blog post, or pretending it’s the ’90s and making a phone call rather than texting.
If your country is not on lock-down, you might also consider going for a walk outdoors (social distancing does not mean that you must always stay inside!). Find a nature park where there are few or no people, and stay warm in the sunshine!
Or, you can do like the Italians and sing! (see the video below)
Do you have more ideas about how to practice social distancing without succumbing to boredom?
Please leave a comment below.
Photo credits: (c) theharunafamily.com