Our mission has always been to help families and their loved ones find ways to live well – and thrive – at home. This work has come into even sharper focus over the past few weeks as the COVID-19 outbreak has swept across the world and dramatically changed the way life looks for our team, our families and our clients. This week, we thought it’d be helpful to share a series of tips we gathered from our team that will help all of us as we navigate this new normal. Living a stay at home life while staying as safe and healthy as possible.
(If you’d like to watch our video where we discussed these tips, you can head over to our YouTube page).
The Impact of the Stay-at-Home Order for COVID-19
The stay-at-home order has significantly impacted our lives physically, socially and emotionally. Things we enjoy in life have suddenly been taken away, things like going to our favorite restaurant, working out at the gym, going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and perhaps most importantly for us, spending time with our out-of-town children and grandchildren. We miss them dearly!
Around our virtual office, we’re all using the word “unprecedented.” This pandemic seemed to come out of nowhere, and there’s no playbook on how to deal with it. So, what can we do? A lot, actually. We can focus on the things we can control – and that’s us and our response to the situation we’re facing right now.
We thought we’d share some different things to do while still respecting the stay-at-home order. Our advice to you is to take at least three things from our list and commit to do them. Go ahead, write them down now so you don’t forget – and then let us know how they helped you get through this week!
Living a Stay-At-Home Life: 15 Ways to Make the Best of the COVID-19 Quarantine
- Listen to Music: Listening to music is therapeutic in so many ways, and it can help you find your “happy place,” no matter if you enjoy jazz, classical, country or oldies. Make some great playlists (Spotify, Apple and Pandora are a few great tools to do this) and enjoy them throughout the day. If you’re really feeling stir crazy, you can put on your favorite playlist and just go for a drive – and roll those windows down if the weather is beautiful!
- Read: Now is a great time to pick up that book (or books!) you’ve been meaning to read and make it a part of your new daily schedule. A lot of local bookstores are also starting virtual book clubs; find one and sign up to help keep you accountable and stay social. Even though the libraries are closed, books can be purchased online and shipped directly to your home – or downloaded from your local library (check out the Libby app and register as a Wake County Library user) to read on your laptop or e-reader device. Audible is also a wonderful option if you enjoy listening to books.
- Exercise: Gyms may be closed but this shouldn’t stop you from getting some kind of exercise. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Enjoy the sunshine, breath deeply. If you can’t be outside, there are many options for exercise that you can follow online. Tim and I still workout with our friends at Camp Gladiator – but now we use Zoom. Aaptiv is a great app for at-home workouts and many local YMCA centers are offering online exercise classes.
- Watch a movie: Line up your favorite movies – or try something new. There’s no reason you can’t pick a day to watch back-to-back movies if that sounds like fun too! Pick movies that make you laugh or bring back happy memories of special times in your life.
- Get outside: If possible, try to get outside as much as you can every day. You can still respect the social distancing guidelines while enjoying some Vitamin D and the beautiful spring blooms around the Triangle right now. On some of our recent walks, we’ve met people we’d never seen before in our neighborhood, and it’s wonderful! Did you also know you can enjoy nature virtually? Using Google Earth, you can visit any national park online from the comfort of your couch. In fact, many U.S. states and other countries have online tours as well. Pick a place that you’ve always wanted to visit and see it online.
- Snap a selfie: Take a picture of yourself and send it to a friend as a way to say “Hello! We’re in this together. How are you doing today?” You could also make a small photo book and mail it to a friend or loved one who needs some encouragement or maybe to a grandparent missing their grandchildren. We’ve done this many times over the years, and our grandchildren love it! Our favorite photo book sites are Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Chatbooks to name a few.
- Learn a new skill: Another great way to fill the time while staying at home is to learn a new skill. Maybe a new language or a new instrument? SkillPop has amazing classes available right now – everything from cookie decorating and painting to photography and social media 101.
- Get a dose of culture: Take a virtual museum tour. Google’s Arts and Culture Website offers tours of museums throughout the world, including the North Carolina Museum of Art right in our own backyard.
- Watch a Broadway show: The stage lights may be dimmed for awhile, but did you know Broadway shows are available for free when you sign up for a seven-day trial at BroadwayHD.com? Also, the Metropolitan Opera streams a different encore presentation each night. Coming up in April they have some incredible shows, including The Barber of Seville.
- Try a new recipe: Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon always looks fantastic in the cookbook, but who has 6 hours to make dinner? Well, now you have the time – and as an added bonus, the entire house will smell delicious when you’re done. There are many online resources for cooking classes like The Great Courses Plus, or you can tune into major cable channels like The Food Network or The Cooking Channel for some pro tips, cooking shows, and online videos.
- Reach out to friends: While there’s no substitute for a good chat with a friend over coffee, we have so many ways we can stay connected – even while staying at home. Learn the lost art of writing letters. Become someone’s pen pal. Send an email or a text to check in on friends or offer a helping hand. Try FaceTime, Zoom, or Caribu to connect with grandchildren. Have fun with some adult coloring books and drop your artwork in the mail like a postcard. Don’t forget a stamp!
- Volunteer: There are some caveats around how to do this while staying at home, so please be sure to follow current best practices. Volunteering is a great way to forget about your worries and help someone else in need. Consider your elderly neighbors. Put a note on their door with a kind message and your phone number, offering to help with errands or other needs they might have. It’s nice to remind people that they’re not alone.
- Send a care package: Use shipping services like Amazon, Target, Happy Box Store or Etsy for “surprise porch-drop parties,” and ship a gift or a care package to a friend or family member. Everyone loves a surprise, and getting an unexpected gift is a welcome reprieve from the challenges we’re all facing right now.
- Purchase gift cards: Local businesses in our community are struggling with the dramatic and unexpected loss of income. Gift cards give them immediate revenue – and allow you to purchase practical gifts for friends or neighbors who can use them when we’re able to return to daily life. Plus, many businesses are offering gift card incentives, adding an extra 10-20 percent to the total purchase price!
- Limit your news consumption: We’re living in a serious and uncertain time. Make a commitment to yourself to limit your news consumption and channel that energy to being a positive force, changing your mindset to focus on what we can do (and not what we can’t).
From all of us at Aware Senior Care, hang in there. And to our health care workers on the front lines of this crisis every day, God bless you.