Up until recently our lives have been a whirlwind of home, commute, work, restaurants, sporting events, clubs and parties. Now, for many of us, it has come to a screeching halt. With shutdown/lockdowns imposed by local officials in attempts to mitigate the COVID-19 epidemic, our day now becomes home, home and home with an occasional outing and then….home.
One might at first think this to be an opportunity to get some long overdue rest. Maybe binge watch some TV series or play some Fortnite without feeling guilty. But after a few days you don’t feel right. You feel confined, imprisoned, and if not remedied, will start feeling worthless and guilty of time lost not being productive.
So let’s change that.
Here are some ideas on how you can take advantage of the time off work, thus keeping your days at home from going to waste….
Finish Home Improvements
Many hardware stores may remain open if not deemed “non essential”, so grab a paint brush, hammer, drill and install or fix whatever needs fix’n.
Moreover, some additions to one’s house could increase its value, such as adding a decking, remodeling a kitchen, or enhancing the landscaping.
Spend Time with the Kids
Kids do grow up too fast and time at home with them can be the most precious moments ever. Some things the kids may really enjoy include:
- Camping in the back yard or park
- Going on a hike
- Planting some seeds or a mini garden
- Painting pictures for the walls
- Painting a wall or furniture in their room
- Framing baby pictures
- Washing the car
- Building a dog or cat house
- Playing board games, toys, model kits, chemistry sets
- Baking cookies
- Write a funny story or poem
- Collecting items from the home to give to charity
Take an Online Course – Learn, Learn, Learn
Whether it’s a class for college credit or a second language you’ve been dying to learn, use this time to enhance your education and improve your resume.
Exercise and Go Outside if Allowed
Your ability to exercise, once heeded by your hectic work schedule, is now unimpeded. If you don’t have access to a gym or home workout equipment, go for a walk, bike or run, while keeping a distance from others to maintain precautions.
Read a book
Most libraries offer free online book borrowing so checking out a book can be easily done from your home.
Write a blog/book
While confined at home, don’t let your creative juices dry out. Put your prose affinity for comedy, romance, suspense, or DIY to good use. Others who are confined may be very interested and entertained by what you write.
Have Facetime/Skype Sessions with Friends and Family
You’ll be surprised how much you miss others when you’ve been away for a few days. Being social and connected is a huge part of keeping one’s sanity when away from work and others.
Work on Your Selfies
I never seem to get the lighting right, or have food in my teeth. I could use the practice.
Rest – You Deserve It
Don’t feel guilty about sleeping in a little or having a nap. Although it’s a good idea to keep to the same schedule during a lockdown as when you’re working, you can take some time for yourself and relax if you need.
Enjoy the Internet and TV but Limit Screen Time
Television, computer, iPad and cellphone use can strain your eyes and give you a headache if you don’t limit your use and take frequent breaks. It’s good to use the 20,20,20 rule. After every 20 minutes of use, look away at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This may help avoid eyestrain from excessive smartphone, TV and iPad use.
Our need to bunker down and isolate from our jobs, friends and family is something we never imagined doing in our lifetime, hence it can be a frightening and stressful time. Yet, as the saying goes, When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade, could now apply, so let’s try to make the best of this crazy situation, while not going stir-crazy ourselves.
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician