Call it whatever you want, it’s here for a while and it really could be a matter of life and death.
Back in the days of normalness, “There were some people that you just had to love from a distance” – Now, it’s everyone.
We are going to be staying away from people – 6 feet is a little hard for a family of huggers, but we’re doing it and we know we’re going to be at it for a while.
We’ll be working from home, staying in and spending a lot of “quality time” together.
We shouldn’t get cabin fever for at least another day or so.
The whole world seems to be turned off.
I promise not say the word that starts with “C” rhymes with Ramona-Cyrus, but I will say this, wash your hands, and stay away from people as much as you can and if you need more information than that get it from the CDC, WHO, or your state Health Department.
What I am going to tell you is how to make the best of what looks to be an extended staycation.
This may be just the opportunity to accomplish some things you’ve been meaning to do, or try some stuff you didn’t have time for before.
Everyone getting their head right about staying at home will help you survive – it might even make it enjoyable.
Get on the Same Page
Your life used to have a rhythm or routine – you could even put some of it on auto-pilot. You didn’t have to think about it too much.
The kids went to school, you went to work and in the evenings you had dinner.
The weekend would come and break things up a little, but that was the plan – the weekend was something to look forward to.
All of that’s out the window now. There’s no school, working from home (if you can), and the weekends come and go like any other day.
It seems like that would be fun – and for the first few days it might be – but eventually life without a routine will become very unsettling, especially for children.
Keeping bedtimes, mealtimes, chore-times and family-time schedules are still important.
I’m not saying that this time needs to be rigid. But having some semblance of normalcy will help if you are struggling with staying in as much as we have to right now.
If you’re working from home, try to keep that on a schedule so everyone can respect your time to work.
Remember to listen to everyone’s concerns and expectations – you may have to press the teens and tweens a little – so that everyone feels like they have a little bit of control over the situation.
If you have kids or grand kids at home be honest about what you’re doing and why.
There are some parts of your new habits like hand washing that will serve you well no matter what.
It is also tremendously important to be honest about fears and anxieties.
You are going to be together sharing all kinds of “quality time” and under the circumstances you may find some sensitivities and fears that you might not have expected.
Without judging or arguing, listen to what your loved ones are saying.
This is something I have learned the hard way (more than once).
Woman tend to be a little better at this – might be because Woman are from Venus .
Men – me for sure – have a kind of fix-it attitude which can lead to dismissing the things we can’t fix. I can’t fix all of the worlds problems and I know it. Brenna stays up trying to figure out solutions for everything.
Remember anxieties do not need to be supported by science and sometimes the best solution is to just listen.
Accept the Stuff You Can’t Change
This is the last of the mental stuff I promise.
Many of us are grieving our loss of freedom. We grieve the loss of freedom to go to the grocery store, on vacation and just to simply hug our friends and family.
Denial, anger, bargaining, or depression might be important stages of grieving ~ but acceptance of the situation is the only way to get through this with your sanity intact.
If you have to stay home, you have to stay home and no amount of anger or tears is going to change that.
The economy is in a bad way. That is just a fact, and since there is nothing you can do about it, accepting it will free up energy for something else.
Worrying about all of the possible worst case scenarios that might happen at some future time will only create fear, and that sucks.
Focus on now, do what you can do now, and try to accept the rest, in time.
This will give you some peace and the energy to move on.
Work From Home
If you have the kind of job that you can do from home, that’s awesome! But take it from a person who works from home, it’s not the same.
It may not seem that just the change in scenery and having more meetings on Skype or – god forbid – a conference call shouldn’t be all that different.
You’re still doing the same job and still sort of working with the same people, but the distractions will be different.
Co-workers who talk to much can be ignored without you feeling too bad, but you don’t want to try that with your spouse or your kids.
How to Work From Home
Tell the fam that you have to work, you still love them but you’re going to need to be left alone until you’re done with work.
You need set some boundaries, if you have a home office with a door that closes, perfect. If not then you need to find another way – maybe some headphones.
De-clutter and clean your space. Your going to be in that space a-lot. Make it nice for yourself.
Set a schedule – with an actual clock. I know this from personal experience, work really only gets done when you have a deadline.
You’ll want to avoid procrastination, but you also need to know when it’s time to stop so you can get back to the “quality time” with that family that was nice enough to give you space.
Treat Yourself to the Home Spa
You need to take care of yourself.
Give yourself a the at-home mani! Paint and shape your nails – bottom coat and all – and take care of those cuticles.
Finally you can do the face mask treatment you bought and never had time for. (Ahem, we have tons of these.)
Don’t forget the bath with candles and essential oils.
Relaxing and pampering yourself is not only fun it boosts your immune system.
Try Some Home Workouts
Another way that you can take care of yourself is working out at home.
Your gym is closed – unless it is in your basement – but you will still need to get some exercise.
Fear not, there is an app for that. There are even a bunch of Free ones.
Or check out YouTube, there is a search on there that will show you all kinds of neat videos about everything from beginning yoga to “ab-blasting.”
Learn Some New Keto Recipes
You have time for all that home cooking now.
And with the bread recipes and meals and drinks, there’s close to 200 recipes and if that’s not enough there’s probably a million more on Pinterest.
And even while you’re not going to the grocery store, you can still get ingredients like Almond Flour from Amazon.
Learn to Make a New Keto Cocktail
The “Quarantini” is shaken not stirred.
We have more great Keto cocktails here.
If you have your own fancy recipes please share in the comments.
Or call it early summer cleaning if you want.
If you need to get out of the bored funk, try cleaning something.
You may have been able to procrastinate cleaning out your closet or deep cleaning the kitchen – but now you have no more excuses.
Pick a room and clean it all the way.
Deep cleaning will make you feel better not only because it really does clear the air of bad stuff like dust and allergens, but it is a tremendously satisfying thing to accomplish.
Did you know that the tops of doors get really gross? Neither did I until now.
Organize & De-clutter
Organizing is Spring Cleaning’s sister. Cleaning is mostly physical. De-cluttering adds a mental-emotional element that will lighten your spirit.
De-cluttering and organizing clears space in both your home and your brain so life can flow. It can be life changing.
Marie Kondo wrote a wonderful best seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Do Some Home Improvements
You can start a new projects, or better yet finish the ones that you never quite finished because you didn’t have time.
I know that I have a brand new copper sink in a box in the basement that really should be in the kitchen. (Oops, that’s me).
If there is something that needs fixing or that you have been meaning to do, now’s the time. Let’s try to make our lives better when we can’t do anything else.
You can order supplies on line.
Do Some Hobbies
Journaling, Scrap-booking, Rubber Stamping, I know people who wish they had time to do these things. Now they have time.
We have a couple thousand dollars worth of art supplies in our craft room that we have collected over the last decade or so.
Now I have time to paint some water colors – as soon as I finish writing this.
Do you have musical instruments that you would like to play?
Have you watched new hobbies fade because you didn’t have time? Now is your chance.
Brenna’s new hobby – experimental hair cutting and styling – she was going for the early Ragnar Lothbrock look. I like it, but if it sucked it would have time to grow out.
Now is the time to be bold with hair & fashion.
Read Some Books
Bran and Ada are in the middle of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.
If you’re a parent, this is great time to share books that you loved as a kid with your kids – this is a great opportunity to bond.
Don’t forget audio books – they are great to listen to while you’re out for a walk, and there are audio versions of almost any book you could want.
Make your reading list and get started, you have time.
Bran is predicting a lot of great books will come out of all the people who have always wanted to write but didn’t have the time.
But you don’t have to write the great American novel – poetry, short stories, children’s books and journaling are all stimulating writing projects.
You can write something just to amuse your self and your family, and maybe post it on social media.
Get Into Some Good Music
I have discovered that you can listen to anything you want at anytime you want on the internet.
As I write this I’m listening to J.S. Bach Violin Concertos on Youtube.
Last night I Listened to John Prine on Alexa while I did the dishes.
And Ada shows me the new stuff like Billy Eilish on Spotify.
Now is a great time to explore and enjoy music.
We love movies – all kinds of movies.
Disney+ has all of their classics – we watch a couple of those a week.
Movie-wise this is a great time to be alive. Like music, you can watch any movie, anytime.
Even the new movies that you thought that you could only see in theaters you can now stream because the theaters are closed.
Don’t forget the DVD’s. We still have a hundred or so of our favorites. The Big Lebowski is on tonight’s schedule.
You might think these are just for kids but video games are a great way to pass the time.
They keep your mind active and your motor skills sharp.
There can even be a social element because some of them can be played on the web.
Brenna and Ada have been playing “Just Dance 2020” and having daily dance contests.
It’s a great workout and Brenna is pushing herself harder and strengthening those lungs to try and keep up with the wiry teen. Plus, she looks like she’s having a blast.
That’s it for this week friends….
I hope you are all healthy, happy and making the most of this time together or on your own.