I am not a scientist or doctor who specializes in infectious diseases. But I am an extreme introvert with not-so-minor social anxieties and friends who live in different states. I can speak towards social distancing like an expert because it’s kind of my life. I’m not making light of this at all, by the way, SOCIAL DISTANCING IS IMPORTANT. The experts and scientists ALL AGREE that the best thing we can collectively do for our neighbors, friends, family members is preventing the spread of Coronavirus and that hinges on social distancing.
Lean into this, embrace this.
(If you can. I recognize that being able to stay home is a privilege. And recognizing that it’s a privilege makes it that much more important: if you can, do.)
Last week when the phrase “social distancing” was becoming mainstream, I shared a few ways to entertain yourself on my Instagram story. I’m going to elaborate on this list. One thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re like me feeling anxious by this whole thing and wanting to do something, by staying home and staying in you ARE doing something. Reframe it as an active way of helping your community.
(I also think this is ultimately evergreen content. Hopefully once this is all over you can come back to it if you just want to take a night off or spend a quiet weekend at home. 😌)
Not much of a surprise here, but I love reading and think it’s an important activity for people to engage in regularly. It is the perfect escape. If you’re bogged down by the news (like I am), reading is a great way to counteract that stress. With the internet and phones and tablets, you don’t have to venture out to bookstores to get a great book.
LIBBY: Connect your library card with this app and get access to your local library’s audiobook and e-book selections. I always start my search by seeing what’s available first, but if the book you want to read isn’t available you can down place a hold and it will alert you when it’s next available.
KINDLE: You don’t need a Kindle to read e-books. You can download the Kindle app to your phone or tablet and, boom, you have an e-reader. Additionally, if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can even get access to magazines for free (well, it’s included in the Prime subscription) and even access to Prime books for free. I had a few people ask me where this is…. when you’re in the Kindle app, click “Discover” on the bottom then the three line icon to the left of the search bar. Scroll to the bottom and find “Prime Reading” to see what’s available with your subscription.
I could spend hours watching Youtube videos/series. I love that companies are using Youtube as extensions of their brands and the content they put out is high quality. Sure, there are still a ton of home-movie quality videos, but there are accounts that invest in their content and you can spend days watching it all. Some of my favorites:
BON APPETIT: Get ready to fall in love with the chefs from Bon Appetit’s test kitchen. I think this channel may be the best thing to happen to Youtube. If you haven’t gotten into it yet, you are IN FOR A TREAT. I have the ultimate girl crush on Claire– her series “Gourmet Makes” is downright genius.
HIHO KIDS: This channel features a ton of cute kids doing cute things. You cannot watch the videos without putting a smile on your face. Definitely something to tap into if you’re craving something extra light.
THE TRY GUYS: The Try Guys used to work for Buzzfeed but then they broke off and made their own channel. Highly entertaining videos and you’ll feel like your buddies with the guys after only watching a few. They’re all characters!
MICHELLE KHARE: Another Buzzfeed alum, Michelle Khare’s dedication in her Youtube videos are downright inspiring. She’s been doing these challenges where she takes on different professions or health/fitness programs and goes all in for a month or six weeks documenting the whole process.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST: If you’re looking for more of an “escape,” jump right into Architectural Digest’s channel to go on tours of very wealthy individuals’ very expensive and beautiful homes.
CASEY NEISTAT: I’d be remise to leave out my favorite Youtuber, Casey Neistat. He used to daily vlog for years so there is a big archive of content to get lost in. He’s creative. He’s inspiring. He’ll make you want to get up at 5am and be your most productive self.
Obviously this goes without mentioning, but streaming content is always a good idea too. Thought I’d share some of my favorite series with lots of seasons/episodes that you can binge. Let me know what your fave is!
The Crown, Sex Education, Schitt’s Creek, Mad Men, Younger, Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, Friday Night Lights, Euphoria, Veep
No need to travel to view some incredible museums from around the world. Here’s a round up from Travel & Leisure sharing museums you can do virtual walk throughs of.
This could be a great time to brush up on the language you took in school or learn a completely new one! I started practicing French last year and it’s been so fun to learn a new language without being graded or tested on it. It’s purely for me. Duolingo has a free version (though I pay for the pro) and it’s set up so nicely. You’ll learn something new on Day 1!!
If there were ever a time to get on the meditation train, now is it. This won’t entertain you for a huge chunk of time, but definitely try to commit to doing the three 10-day “basics” courses to get into it. It’s a 10-minute a day commitment that can dramatically change your life. Especially in a time of uncertainty, meditating is a great way to regain control over your mind and body.
I mentioned this as a shameless plug on my Instagram, but super bored? Dig into blogs. Sadly many bloggers have done away with daily content (or the daily content has been outsourced to a copywriter and boring), but there are some good ones out there still!!! Checking my favorite blogs is one of the first things I do when I get on my computer every morning. Most bloggers have been at it for the better half of the decade (OR LONGER) so there is a ton of content to sink your teeth into. Some of my favorites? Cup of Jo, Emily Henderson, Kelly in the City, Wit & Whimsy, Love Taza, and The Stripe.
AT HOME WORKOUTS
As much as I’m a homebody, the one area where I’m going to “struggle” (I use that term very loosely, it’s a champagne problem!) is going to the gym. I’ve been loving my barre classes and my gym community and I WILL miss it. But I’m not going to let this social distancing get in the way of my fitness routine. (It’s how I stay sane.)
There are tons of ways to be active without leaving your home. I am giving myself a challenge of running a mile outside every day, doing a yoga practice, and then mixing in some barre moves too. There are tons of free resources out there right now. Try Pinterest for quick and simple workouts you can do with minimal or no equipment. There are a ton of great options to explore on Youtube too from guided foam rolling to full yoga flows to mini sessions with local gyms (this is mine!).
When in doubt? Tackle your closets, your basements, your pantries, and your cabinets. I felt a little bit of this “nesting” mode kicking this weekend already. I went nuts with the laundry, washing everything in sight. No pillow cover, blanket, couch cushion, towel or sheet was safe!
Just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be completely home-bound. Getting outside should be a priority every day. I am 100% going to use this time to tackle some of the early spring yard work that needs to be done. Because it’s been so warm, we’re already starting to see growth of weeds and everything. I have a list of mini yard projects I want to get done before it really warms up. This is going to check all the boxes for me: fighting cabin fever, being productive, and getting some healthy Vitamin D/fresh air.
I fully plan on getting some of my favorite crafting done. My sewing machine hopes went to the back burner earlier this year, so I’m going to fire that baby back up. I also am going to work through some of the needlepoint projects that I’ve accumulated. Crafting is a great stress release and a fun way to put your hands to good use instead of social scrolling.
BAKE & COOK
I always have ingredients for baking stocked up (not in a panic food hoarding way, in a I-never-know-when-I’ll-want-cookies kind of way). I have a feeling I’ll be stress-baking frequently over the coming weeks. It’s such a comfort food thing for me. Cooking may be more your speed; I know it is for Mike. Take the time to get in the kitchen and get creative.