WHAT TO DO WHILE STAYING HOME AS ORDERED
BY: SYNDI POWELL
Like most of you, I'm staying home as ordered when I'm not working. Considered an essential worker since I'm a bank teller, I have been getting out of the house. However to avoid exposure/spread of the virus, my bank is having us work in teams where we only work with one group of people for one week then have the next off. My week off was last week, so here are some of my suggestions of what to do when you are staying home so that you can stay safe and healthy:
1. CHECK IN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS: I called my mom daily to see how my parents were doing at home (and hoping that they were really staying home). Those phone calls made a difference for me since I live alone with the dog. It was usually my only human contact for the day beyond seeing neighbors out the living room window. I did drive over to check on them twice during that week, but stayed on the porch to protect them (and me).
2. SPRING CLEANING: My house has never been cleaner besides the day that I moved in almost five years ago. I try to take time off from work for a few days or a week in the spring to do the deep cleaning I don't have time for otherwise. This year, since there were no distractions or incitement to leave the house, I was able to do even more than before.
3. DECLUTTERING: This was an offshoot of my deep cleaning. I discovered items that I didn't know I had as I pulled them out of drawers/cupboards to wipe them down. I also had the time to try on all my clothes to decide 1. if they fit, 2. if they look good on me, and 3. if I really like them. I now have boxes and bags of things to donate once the centers re-open as well as a tidier home.
4. WALKING THE DOG: This is a regular habit anyway, but I didn't have a ticking clock reminding me that I needed to finish the walk and get home to do XYZ. We could take our time enjoying fresh air and exercise.
5. RESEARCHING IDEAS: Pinterest was a great tool for this as well as Google. I looked up recipes, self care suggestions, inspirational quotes, stories of everyday heroes, virtual rides at Disney, etc. I also spent time on YouTube looking up DIY projects. The one website I avoided was Facebook. For one, I had given it up for Lent, but mostly I wanted to avoid negativity and bitterness. Now that Lent is over, I will limit my time on Facebook for those very reasons.
6. BAKING AND COOKING: Because I had researched and pinned a lot of different recipes, I was eager to try them out with ingredients I had at home already. I made muffins, homemade pizza dough, salads with homemade dressings, and air fried goodies. Ironically, I lost weight this past weight despite all the cooking.
7. WRITING: Or in my case, editing. Huge amounts of uninterrupted time? It was perfect for focusing on editing my book that comes out in October. And once that was sent to my editor, I could return to my next book (and incorporate some of the ideas I found in my research). Usually, I only get about an hour or two after working all day to spend writing. My word count goals were obliterated this past week.
8. JOURNALING: So much time to myself lent itself naturally to some navel gazing. Where am I content in my life? What things need to change? What are my goals once the sheltering in place order has been lifted? What do I want to add and subtract from my life to lead a better version of it? What are the relationships that I need to nurture more and which need to have more boundaries?
9. READING: My library is closed until further notice which is where I get most of my books, and
Amazon doesn't considered books as essential items (even if I do). That meant borrowing reading material from my mom as well as going back to re-read books on my shelf that I haven't opened in years. I have developed an even greater love of my local library since there have been many times when I thought, "If only they were open, I could go and get such and such book." And in my world, nothing beats drinking tea and reading while it rains outside.
10. BINGE WATCHING MOVIES/SERIES ONLINE: I cut cable more than two years ago and depend on DVDs or Disney+ to watch movies. This past week, I watched the entire Star Wars series and sequels (except for the last movie which isn't available yet online). I could see the story threads from the first movie through the end in a way that I might not have otherwise. I was also able to re-watch some classic Disney films that I haven't seen in years.
11. CREATING A LIST OF THINGS I WILL DO WHEN LIFE GOES BACK TO "NORMAL": It's not really a bucket list since it's things I will do in the near future and doesn't include extreme things like skydiving or traveling to Italy. It does include things like have dinner out with friends and get a haircut, such small things that I took for granted before. I can't wait until the day I can go shopping with my mom, even if I don’t buy a single item. One of things I learned from this time of isolation is that it's not the things in my life that give it meaning. It's the people and experiences.
What about you? What are you doing right now that you might not otherwise had time for? What have you learned as a result?
PS - The picture above is of my niece and I last Easter. We didn't get to celebrate together this year, but once we can get together again, it's going to be a HUGE party.
PPS - Today is my mom's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! Love you and miss you!!!