Things to do While Social-Distancing
I had to come up with things to do since I no longer can go to happy hours or visit friends so I figured I would share! I have mostly female readers so I will cater this to you. Gentlemen, I’m sorry, I know you’re truly disappointed.
I am an enneagram 7… it means I am optimistic, spontaneous, like to try new, exciting things, and have varied interests and abilities. I am extroverted, meaning people fill my cup. I never need alone time. My idea of relaxation is to go on vacation and explore from 9 am to 9 pm. So basically, introverts, please put down your book and check on me. I am not well. Social-distancing may as well be prison to me.
BUT, it doesn’t matter if I am the complete opposite of you, you can still benefit from these ideas while we all are social-distancing!
In the past month and a half, I have completed three books and started my fourth and fifth. This is not to toot my own horn, this is to say if I can, ANYONE can. I downloaded Audible (the first month is free) and finished two books solely while driving. The third book I finished reading only at night right before bed. I made a habit tracker (thanks to reading Atomic Habits ) and on it was 'read two pages a day'. Two pages is such a pathetic goal that it made it easy to complete this daily task. I would get to the end of the day and remember I still had to read. Picking up a book for two lousy pages takes literally a minute so I would just fit it in right before I turned out the lights. And, well, I would always end up reading more… which is the point. Make it so small that you can’t not do it. My Audible books are more practical self-help type books and the physical books are always fiction so it’s a little less thought provoking before bed.
Have kids? Set timers for them to read (or look) at books. Then let them check off a calendar or put a sticker on it so they can set goals and develop healthy habits. When they’re done with that, have them listen to books. Robert Munsch is a favorite. He reads his books and does AN AMAZING JOB at it. Or one of my friends’ kids get to listen to 10 minutes of a long story every night before bed and it makes them allllmost look forward to bedtime…
Write thank yous, write goals, write what you’re thankful for, write to do lists, write a blog… just write dammit! Always wanted to be a person who journals? Well get that old dusty journal out, place it somewhere incredibly visible and then just write two things that happened that day that you’re thankful for. Once again, start so small that you can’t not do it. Build your friendships and write someone a quick note of encouragement or email it since that’s even easier (for some). Get those bridal shower or wedding thank yous done. Write down crazy goals. Odds increase significantly in doing this btw. Plan the next two months goals out and then plan this year’s goals. I write cheesy crap on post-it’s and stick them on my bathroom mirror, so I’m reminded of them daily. Confession: I put them inside the cabinet when someone was coming over, I didn’t want to appear too weird since it’s stuff like, 'you love well', 'you don’t procrastinate', 'you are worth it' ;) Basically anything worthwhile in life is written- contracts, declarations, certificates, love letters, the freaking BIBLE- so just get in the habit of writing.
Pick a room to organize and start with the smallest thing. If it’s a bathroom- do a drawer or two or under the sink. If it’s the kitchen- start with the fridge or under the sink. A bedroom- start under the bed or one side of the closet or a dresser. First things first- take a picture in all it's messy glory. Then take everything out, throw away expired things, throw away extra paper or box containers (tampon box, bag that the Cuties came in, soda box, etc). Gather some bins or small containers or vases or glasses and put things in them to separate items more. Fold things nicely, place like items together. Once done, take a finished photo. The photos are not only fun to compare but force you to a). finish, b). make it look extra pretty and neat, and c). makes you want to organize more when you see how far you’ve come.
Run the bath, light a candle, put on a mask, and pour yourself some wine. Let your phone die. Binge a show or two. Unfollow people that don’t make you feel good about yourself. Give yourself grace. Drink a glass of water when you wake up (preferably with lemon). Take turns massaging your partner. Ask yourself if something will matter in a month, a year, five years and if it doesn’t, don’t stress about it. Say no to something every day. Remove unrealistic expectations of others and yourself. Eat more green foods. Replace I’m sorry with thank you. And don’t apologize if you don’t mean it.
Your body, duh. (Or also to a new home because, you know, interest rates.) But really… most of us don’t have home gyms. But all of us have phones with timers on them! See how many burpees you can do in 7 minutes. Do a Tabata (20 seconds on, 10 second break, for 4 minutes) or air squats or push-ups or planks or sit-ups. Walk the kids. Walk the dog. Run the kids. Run the dog. Have a slippery floor? Put some socks on and do some mountain climbers and plank to pikes. Stretch. Especially if you’re working from home. And breathe through your stretching. A lot of gyms have apps or are live streaming right now. Peloton has a 90-day free trial for their app and it includes workouts you can do without a bike or treadmill. Sidenote: Just make sure to set an alarm in your phone for all these “free” trails if you want to cancel before you must pay!
Haves kids? Set a timer and play some music and have them (and you) do some quadrupedal movements. Quad = four, ped = foot… they must have hands and feet on ground at all time and move, whether this is bear crawling, crab crawling, down dogging, frog hopping, etc. Or play some music and yell out things like jumping jacks, punching bag, frog hops, and they have to change as you yell. Or yell out animals that they have to act like- bunny rabbit, frog, etc.
You may view this as a negative, nasty word but really, it’s meant to give you freedom for things you want to do. I recently reactivated my Mint account and am amazed at how much I spend in a month in certain categories. I just lumped all my Target and Amazon purchases to see how much I spent each month on those two places and ended up canceling my Amazon membership. They make it too easy to buy crap. Now I am forced to think twice before hitting the buy button. This alone saves me the monthly Amazon fee and all the extra money spent buying random things that I really don't need. Also, I stopped going to Target when I was bored. Saved me hundreds already!
It is so important to know exactly where your money is going, whether you are married or not. Maybe especially if you’re married. Because women do not know enough about their financial state and then get married and depend on men and it can be disastrous.... buuuut that's another blog!
And another financial thing....it is important to diversify. Start small. Download Betterment or Acorns which help save/invest for you. Also, since the stock market is low, may I suggest looking into purchasing some. I use Robinhood which is super simple and easy to use. Look at your money coming in and where it is going. Are there places you can cut back spending? Payments you didn’t even realize were coming out of your account? Nowadays we have Spotify, Amazon, Disney+, Netflix, etc, etc, etc and don’t realize how much it all amounts to each month. The goal is to lean out as much as possible to leave room for more in the future. Take advantage of this time to eat at home and not drive as much or eat out as much. Use it to challenge yourself to see how much you can save this month.
Okay, that's enough for now. Stay safe, take your vitamins, wash your hands, and stay six feet away from people!