There is no question about it; these are tough times. From business owners and employees to stay-at-home moms and college students, everyone is feeling the social and economic impact of Covid-19. However, difficult events (such as a pandemic) often bring forth opportunities to get to know each other, reflect on our choices, and ultimately better ourselves. If you’re someone who is struggling to adapt to this new way of life, you are not alone.
The beauty of chaos is that it brings us together and reminds us of what is truly important in our lives. While we do not know what the future holds, we can stay present by following daily rituals that provide stability in a time of unpredictability. Below are some tips and tricks to help you adjust to this new way of life so you can make the most of your time spent indoors.
Set boundaries at home.
Whether you have a spouse and kids or you have roommates, now is a good time to set some boundaries to help ensure a happy home. It’s important to inform whoever you live with of your schedule so that you can figure out the best times to occupy certain spaces in your home. Additionally, if you share any responsibilities (such as child care), set aside time to identify the areas of the day when you can assist or need assistance so there is a clear schedule that everyone can follow.
Schedule time for self-care.
As difficult as it may be, make time for self-care. This is especially important if your habitual practices (like going to an exercise class or for a manicure) are no longer possible. If you are used to going to a yoga class every week, switch to online yoga videos, which your studio may already offer. If going to the gym is part of your self-care routine, look for any low-traffic areas that would allow you to work out with minimal social exposure (such as a neighborhood). Depending on your location, you may want to invest in some at-home exercise equipment.
Create separation between work and home.
Similar to setting boundaries, make sure that, when work is over, you can unplug and disconnect. Part of this involves identifying your “workspace” and “after-hours space”. For example, maybe during the day you work in your home office or dining room and after work is over you move downstairs to your living room. It all depends on your living situation, but it’s best to keep these spaces separate. The key is to never stay in one space all day long.
Join online communities.
To help with socialization, look online for communities related to the things you are interested in. From social media to forums, there are tons of online communities just waiting to be tapped into. Many of these might even host group calls where everyone gets together to watch a Netflix show, eat together, or discuss a book. Begin by brainstorming some of the things you enjoy and seeing if there are any relevant groups online. Who knows, you may end up making friends.
Replace routine outings with hobbies.
The goal of this tip? To bring some normalcy back into your life. For example, if you normally go out to eat on the weekend, consider working on your cooking skills by ordering a food delivery kit containing a recipe and all the ingredients you need to create a delicious meal. For those of us who love to go to the movies, you could schedule a remote movie-watching party with all of your friends. The key is to be creative.
Refresh your home.
With so much time spent indoors, now is the perfect time to redecorate and renew your home. From shelves to furniture, there are plenty of ways you can refresh your home depending on your budget. On a small scale, you could get prints of you and your family delivered to your door, in addition to some nice frames. These could then be set up in various areas of your home. On a large scale, you could completely revamp one of your rooms by repainting and redecorating it. Home projects that have been on hold for a while can now finally see the light of day.
Embrace your inner child.
One of the best ways to stay positive is to play — whether that means pulling out some old board games or dressing up for a relaxing night in. There are many ways to embrace your inner child, and there are no rules for what you can do. Take up finger-painting, design your own collection of specialty socks, start writing poetry, create forts in your living room — whatever you need to lessen the load and tap into youthful energy.
Make time for kindness.
If you’re healthy and don’t live with anyone who is considered “high risk”, look into offering grocery pickup and delivery services for the older people in your area. Especially if you already plan on going to the grocery store, this is an easy way for you to give back to the community and help out your neighbors. You can begin by posting flyers with your contact information nearby (and don’t forget to mention no-contact delivery) Additionally, many animal shelters are in need of foster pet parents. Now is a great time to submit a foster application and provide a safe space for animals in need.