It’s been over a month since COVID-19 arrived in America

Life has changed a lot in the last week, let alone the last 30 days. By now, three out of four Americans are on lockdown… if not more. And, at least for the moment, it seems quarantine is not going to change. 

But that doesn’t mean you have to be withering away. Remember, this is an endurance contest, not a sprint. Don’t let your spirit suffer!

While you are isolated, you are not alone. We are all in this together. Keep your appetite for adventure alive… 

One way to combat this social slump from sliding into melancholia (or worse!), is to use this opportunity for self-development. But this is not the only way. You can also treat this as a time to relax and unwind from all the outside stress. With all the blog posts and social media smatter about self-development, make sure not to put too much undue pressure on yourself to “capitalize” on this time. If you need to take a deep dive into the world of puzzling (a covid-induced craze), there’s no shame in that either. 

Regardless, this time does present an opportunity to hone skills and even learn some new ones too. There are incredible online sources that you could literally spend months in! Resources have been cropping up left and right, with some plans more detailed than others

Here are some of our ideas for enjoyable pastimes and activities while you have some extra hours on your hands: 

  1. Coloring Books 
    1. Not just for children anymore
    2. Local artists have also gotten involved with regionally-specific motifs 
  2. Digital Hangouts 
    1. By now you’ve heard of Houseparty, but have you used Netflix Party? It’s an app that lets you watch at the same time as your friends, without needing to do the “3…2…1…start!” coordination
    2. It’s a great time to solidify your bonds with coworkers
    3. Or reach out to that far-flung friend you’ve been wanting to catch up with 
  3. In-home Exercises 
    1. Try doing push-ups every day
      1. No shame in making modifications
    2. Many classes are free on YouTube 
    3. Yoga and fitness apps make it fun to be your own personal trainer
    4. Work out influencers are posting their favorites 
  4. Watch a Movie
    1. This is a great time to watch those classics you always said you wanted to!
    2. TCM’s collection goes all the way back to 1922, with the world’s first “documentary,” Nanuck of the North
  5. Make a List
    1. Of things for which you’re grateful 
    2. Things you still can do
    3. Of the people you miss and love 
  6. Start a Journal 
    1. Write what you’re thinking about, what you want to do when self-isolation is over, whatever it is, just write it down 
  7. Draw your House
    1. But wait, there’s more! The added bonus here is taking notice of everything that’s around you can help you appreciate what’s been on a doorstep all along
  8. Silence Your Phones and Apps
    1. And don’t read the news
  9. Download a Meditation or Wellness App
    1. Practice some morning meditation
    2. Or some late-night reflection (but only the healthy kind!)
  10. Prioritize Rest, Sleep and Self-Care
    1. Okay, you should always be doing this. But especially now
  11. Get Outside
    1. Even just take a walk… it’s a great way to start the day 
      1. This can be done safely if distance is kept 
    2. Or, better yet, become an eco-traveler in your own yard
      1. Notice what spring has brung or your bird neighbors
  12. Do Some Yard Work
    1. Plant something… anything
      1. Growing is good for the soul
    2. Garden… pay attention to your oft-neglected plants 
    3. Make a Vertical Growing Tower for a hydroponic garden
  13. Cull Your Closet
    1. Not just a rainy day activity anymore
    2. And better yet, donate what you no longer need to a local organization so those less fortunate can have some clothing 
  14. Tidy Your House… and Your Life
    1. Take stock of everything you have
    2. Remember: Isolation is a privilege 
  15. Read
    1. A book, A short story, a soothing article
      1. Start a virtual book club 
    2. Again, get away from the news
  16. Practice Origami 
    1. Here’s a great place to start
  17. Cook
    1. Or learn a new recipe
    2. Procrastibaking, anyone? 
  18. Have a Game Night
    1. You can even do this with friends via video conference (see # 2) 
    2. As puzzling takes the world by storm 
  19. Go for a Drive
    1. Explore a new road or neighborhood 
    2. Just keep your windows up 
  20. Watch a New Show
    1. We probably don’t even need to tell you this
    2. Here are some suggestions 
  21. Check on a Friend…
    1. You can do this by phone, video or even snail mail 
    2. Or knock on their door, just remember to keep a distance of six feet
    3. Or even better yet, check on an elderly neighbor
  22. Look out the Window
    1. Notice something you haven’t before
    2. This is also fun to do at night! With NASA’s Spot the Station website you can see if there’s noteworthy coming your way
  23. And, for those of you with kids, check out this list of fun, and distracting, activities! 

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This is a great time to learn that new language, perfect that new skill or rekindle that bond that may be fading. Use this “hiatus” for self-development and when society reconvenes you’ll be a brand new person! 

Or watch television, play games and eat snacks… that’s yet another entirely acceptable way to cope with covid, as everyone grieves the death of their social life differently.