Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), along with various states, are recommending to maintain social distancing and implement a Safer at Home order.

Multiple countries and cities are currently on lock down to prevent the spread of the virus.

Inroverts like myself have no problem with staying home for an indefinite amount of time. For others this can be a bit of a lifestyle shock.

“Apparently my lifestyle is called quarantine.”

A meme floating around social media

Here’s a list of 19 things to do at home:

  1. Keep up with accurate COVID-19 news
  2. Check in with yourself, family, and friends
  3. Pray or meditate
  4. Adjust your social habits
  5. Gather things you no longer use
  6. Clean your home
  7. Reevaluate your budget
  8. Donate to those most in need
  9. Aim for more No Spend Days
  10. Read a book
  11. Try a new workout
  12. Eat what you have at home
  13. Plan the next grocery/gas run
  14. Order food for delivery
  15. Plan a video chat date
  16. Watch TV with your date
  17. Dedicate some time for a beauty routine
  18. Catch up on quality sleep
  19. Remember you’re not alone

Keep up with accurate COVID-19 news

The best thing you can do for yourself and the good of others is to stay educated about the situation through credible sources. Facebook is not a credible source. The opinions of another is not a credible source. Make sure your sources are backed by research, science, and experience.

I’ve seen ignorance, hoarding, and blatant racism toward Asians because of fear. This primarily comes from lack of knowledge.

Don’t be these people.

Here’s who to turn to for accurate information:

Another helpful resource in learning how to protect your family from COVID-19 is this video from Dr. Dave Price from Cornell in New York. The video is lengthy at 57 minutes, but it’s definitely useful to hear the perspective of the situation from a Medical Doctor.

The more you know about COVID-19, the more you will understand that we as a country have the opportunity to control the spread of the virus and ultimately protect our people.

Check in with yourself, family, and friends

Ask yourself how you’re feeling today and allow yourself to experience those emotions. 

I constantly worry about family and friends, especially those who are healthcare workers. There’s always a chance we’ll encounter the virus when taking care of others.

It hurts me to have to say “good luck” every time we go to work. It’s hard for me to sleep at night. I cry to and from work out of anxiety.

My mind is eased however to know that my family and I are taking these measures seriously and abiding by the rules. My fear moreso is heavily because of those who do not abide by the rules and can possibly hurt those I love.

Check in with your loved ones. How are they feeling today? Is there something you can do for them while still maintaining social distance? Share with them something positive you learned about the COVID-19 situation.

Pray or Meditate

Whether it be God or Allah, center yourself back into your religion. Pray for the safety of your family, friends, our essential workers, and our world.

Attending a church service or mass isn’t feasible at this time, but it’s possible to attend via live stream! Check out church service every Sunday at 10:00 AM with City Light Church live from Burbank, CA.

Turn to our faith. We have to believe in a higher power … that there is something greater than ourselves.

Wisdom from a patient of mine

If you’re not the religious type, take some time to be still and meditate.

We should take heed from my patient. If we’re living such tumultuous lives, what is the suffering all really for?

Adjust your social habits

It’s in our nature to greet one another with a handshake or hug, but we know that the virus is spread through contact.

This is why officials are asking that we constantly wash our hands and maintain social distancing. Read about social distancing here.

Be mindful about the people you interact with. Stay at least 6 feet away from others. Wash your hands after coming in contact with high-touch areas. Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands or in the direction of others.

With many school and business closures the majority of our population is taking a hiatus away work. Via social media I’ve seen many people who still gather in public places. Read about California Governor Gavin Newsom’s order to Stay at Home here.

Gather things you no longer use

I like to clear the space I’m in when I get anxious. I feel like it’s symbolic for me clearing my mind. Use the KonMari method and ask yourself about each item, does this spark joy? If not, put the item in the donate pile.

When businesses are back up and running and COVID-19 is no longer a threat, donate these items! Don’t forget to ask for a receipt to use for next year’s tax season.

The typical places I donate my things:

  1. Goodwill
  2. Salvation Army

Clean your home

It’s officially spring!

After you’ve put aside the junk you don’t use, clean up the dust and disinfect your home.

The CDC recommends using diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, or household cleaners and disinfectants.

Read about disinfecting your home here.

Clean your home often!

For tips on how to organize your newly cleaned home, read about Marie Kondo’s Tidy Tips here.

The KonMari method of folding allows clothes to fit drawers in a way that each item can be visualized.

Reevaluate your budget

This is my nerdy favorite thing to do! I use my budget book to see how I’m doing for the month. See which budgeting book I use here.

It’s an exciting time for me because of my budget. I’ll be debt free in April!

The best time to start a budget is now. To get one drafted, read about how to create a budget here.

Donate to those most in need

Once you’ve checked in with your budget, see if you have money left to donate.

For more ideas on where to give during this time, visit Charity Navigator.

Aim for more No Spend Days

Because most businesses are closed for the time being, what a great time to save our money! Be wary of online shopping. When you come to the point in your day when you have nothing else to do it’s easy to fall into that trap.

Last month there were 8 days when I did not spend money at all. For this month I’m hoping to accomplish 11 or more!

Planning out your expenses will help control which days you’ll spend money and get you into the habit of thinking if the purchase is something you absolutely need to spend money on.

Read a book

One of my biggest excuses to not read a book is “not having time.”

Well, now that there aren’t any other distractions it’s time to sit down and crack that book open.

I prefer to read personal finance books to guide me through my journey to becoming debt free because ain’t nobody taught us this in school.

Here’s a list of favorites that have changed my life:

  1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  2. The Millionaire Next Door
  3. Think and Grow Rich
  4. The Richest Man in Babylon
  5. The Total Money Makeover
  6. The Complete Guide to Money
  7. Financial Peace

Currently I’m reading The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham in paperback. Let me tell you it’s hard for me to digest the big fancy finance terms, but quarantine tells me I’ll have time to get through it.

Try a new workout

Exercising at home is hard for me because I’m not in a group setting where there’s a sense of camaraderie and motivation.

I’ve been committing to 30 minutes a day, but I guess it’s better than nothing. All I have at home is a variation of resistance bands and small dumbbells, nothing fancy.

For at home workouts I follow Jamie Lee Purnell on Instagram! You can also check out Popsugar Fitness on Youtube and the Verywell Fit website for more workout ideas.

Keep yourself active however you can while maintaining a social distance.  The other day the Mayor of Los Angeles closed all public parks and hiking trails because of crowding on the weekends despite the Safer at Home order. We’re still allowed to take walks around the neighborhood, but be respectful about the rules for everyone’s safety.

Eat what you have at home

Remember what you tell yourself when you’re trying to save money? Now’s the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen and use what you have.

You have food at home.

What people on a budget tell themselves

Plan the next grocery run

Our local grocery stores are limiting store hours and the amount of people who enter at one time.

When you’re inside, remember to stay at least 6 feet away from the person next to you. Don’t linger; grab what you need and get back to safety, your home. Wash your hands and your fresh groceries!

Going out to the grocery should be the only time you leave your house unless you’re required to report to work. If you’re feeling sick, coughing, feeling chills, have a fever, experiencing shortness of breath, please stay home and call your healthcare provider.

The best way to prevent a COVID-19 infection is to not be exposed to it. Read more from the CDC here.

Order food for delivery

Who doesn’t love take out?! It gives me something to look forward to when I want to eat something different.

Places like DoorDashPostmates, and Ubereats are offering contactless delivery. This makes it safer for those involved, so neither the delivery person nor the customer are at risk.

Remember to wash your hands before you serve or eat the food.

Plan a video chat date

I haven’t seen anyone in 2 weeks, except my coworkers and quarantine crew (my fiance, mother-in-law, and sisters-in-law).

Keeping in touch with our support system is important for our health! We’ve been Facetiming our friends and extended family.

It’s easy to click the Facetime button in a group chat to invite everyone to a group Facetime. There’s also Zoom meetings or the Houseparty app that you can use in case those you want to call don’t have an iPhone.

Watch TV with your date

Have your Facetime dates watch something together.

Find something new to watch on Netflix or Hulu. Browse Youtube for previously recorded concerts. Musicians and DJs are hosting live sets on Instagram Live.

Imagine how much money we’ll save during this time by live streaming. We don’t have to worry about spending money on parking, concert tickets, or food and drinks at the venue! The nerdy introvert in me appreciates this.

Dedicate some time for a beauty routine

Now’s the perfect time to get into a beauty routine.

I’m not sure if this is stress related, but I’ve noticed some hair thinning on the part of my scalp next to the sides of my forehead. I asked my mom if she experienced hair thinning, but she said not until she was 50! I’m 32…

Lately I’ve been trying argan oil and castor oil on my scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Not sure if it’ll work for hair growth yet, but we’ll see.

I’ve also been consistent in taking vitamins and making more of an effort to eat nutritious food.

Check out Beauty Within on Youtube for some education about everything related to our health and how it affects our hair, skin, and nails.

Catch up on quality sleep

It’s possible to get a full 8 hours of sleep, but still feel like you haven’t had enough. When you’re sleep deprived, your body compensates in negative ways. Your memory falters and you get sick easily.

In a Healthline article medically reviewed by Dr. Alana Biggers, it states that adults should average between 1-2 hours of deep sleep. This is when your body begins to heal itself, process your emotions, solidify memories. There are 5 stages of sleep and deep sleep occurs during stages 3 and 4. Read this article here.

Stress, aside from sleep disorder, is the number one cause of sleep deprivation.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder and continue to lack sleep, give your healthcare provider a call. For those who do not have a sleep disorder, check in with your stress levels. Read how to evaluate your stress level here.

Remember you’re not alone

I feel for those who live by themselves and those who have to quarantine themselves away from their family. 

You’re not alone! Reach out to loved ones for emotional support.

If you or someone you know are feeling overwhelming emotions, do not be afraid to contact Mental Health Professionals:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Disaster Distress Helpline

1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

Please be safe and stay at home

It’ll be difficult to adjust to the new daily lifestyle, however this is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 among our communities.

I can’t tell you how much I wish those I know in healthcare can stay at home. You have the choice to stay home.

Our universe is telling us to slow down and get back to remembering what’s truly important: health and love for others.

Let’s take this time to be productive and make peace with this hopefully temporary lifestyle change. Once this is all over we’ll embrace a new, refreshed version of ourselves!

Millennial Challenge

  • What will you do at home during the COVID-19 pandemic?