So it’s been one month since my state (Kentucky) confirmed their first Corona-virus case. Now we’re up to approximately 831 confirmed cases and at least 37 deaths. Colleges have shut down the campuses and switched to online classes for the rest of the semester. Restaurants can only be open if they can operate through drive-thru or take-out. Most businesses are closed to the public. Our governor has gained a cult following. Crazy times.
Although government offices have been shut down for around two weeks to the public, my job is essential and I’ve been working my regular schedule for the most part. My office is working with a skeleton crew to ensure we’re doing out part with social distancing and keeping everyone safe.
Michael’s college graduation is postponed until further notice. His college also cancelled their internships which was a bit stressful at first since it was paid and his only job. Thankfully he was interning at a medical device company who is, of course, busy right now and they offered him a part-time job once the internship was forced to end.
Nick is also taking classes online for the rest of the semester. He was working at a restaurant so he’s unemployed currently. It was discouraging for him to find out that unemployment was not going to cover what he was making.
I didn’t realize how isolating it was to work all day and then come home to barricade yourself in the house the rest of the evening. So what changes can we make to take advantage of our temporary new lifestyles? Here are some things we can do to stay mentally and physically active, whether you’re still working full-time like I am or whether you’re finding yourself with extra time on your hands.
Free/Low-cost Activities While Social-Distancing
Learn a New Recipe
Jump on Pinterest and find a recipe. Ask a friend what their favorite recipe is. I know we’re cooking a lot more in our house since we’re unable to go out to eat now.
Take a Walk/Go For a Run
Social distancing in our state means my gym is closed. It doesn’t mean I can’t go outside and walk around my neighborhood. I even walked with a friend the other night, we were just a little further spaced apart than normal.
Start A New Series
I love TV, I’m just going to admit it. I have certain shows I must watch every week. Some of my favorites are Blue Bloods, This Is Us, My Lottery Dream Home, 911 Lone Star, and New Amsterdam. Consider starting a new series if you have a little extra time. Some that I’m thinking about trying are Homeland, The Crown, and the Morning Show.
Return To A Favorite Movie or Series
There have been a lot of Get-to-know-you type of quizzes out there in Facebook land lately. One I answered the other day asked what my favorite movies were that I never get tired of. Some of my favorite movies are Pretty Woman, The Blind Side, Beaches, and Steel Magnolias.
Call a Relative/Friend
Life can often be hectic and crazy. Or is that just my life? No, I don’t think so because a common theme I’m seeing on social media and hearing from my friends and family is that one silver lining of this is that it’s made me people slow down.
If you’re in the group where you’re finding yourself home many more hours than usual then pick up the phone and call that friend or relative you haven’t talked to for awhile. Send a text to that friend that might be working long hours in terrible conditions right now, whether it’s in a hospital or grocery store, or a restaurant. Tell them you appreciate them.
Learn a New Hobby/Skill
If I had some extra time I would love to learn a little more about website design. It would certainly make things much easier for me when I want to update my site soon.
Meditation is something else I’m interested in learning. I’m a worrier. I have trouble turning my brain off sometimes. I think meditation would be a great skill to learn.
There are many places offering free courses right now such as Class Central, where you can take a free class from an Ivy League school, such as Harvard, Yale, or Princeton. Rosetta Stone is offering 3 months free for students to learn a new language. Want to learn to play guitar? Fender is offering 3 months of free guitar lessons.
Take a Field Trip
Okay, before I disappoint our wonderful Governor Andy, I am NOT encouraging you to take a trip right now. #Healthyathome is our state’s motto right now, after all. You can certainly take a virtual field trip right now. Check out some of the following sites:
Yellowstone National Park tours
The Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall
We’ve Got To Keep It Up
I miss my routine of going to the bookstore and Target and TJ Maxx. Going out to eat with friends and hanging out at their houses is something we can’t do right now. I didn’t realize how much I missed this until I did have a day off last week so my co-worker could come into the office. A trip to my parents house to drop a few things off (at their door-Social Distancing ya’ll!!) made a huge difference. The sun was shining and it was warm in my car and I put the windows down and the sunlight just made me happy.
None of this is fun. Losing friends and family to this horrible virus won’t be fun either though so PLEASE STAY HOME. Follow the guidelines of your local government. Wash your hands. And as my guy Andy likes to say…We’ll get through this together!! (But of course when I say together I really mean apart…at least 6 feet apart!!)