Everyone is reacting differently to COVID-19 and the way it’s changing our lives. Some are going into panic mode – as witnessed by the bare supermarket shelves, some are ignoring the warnings and the threat – as witnessed by people still going to the beach/river/lake/park/wherever they want to go, some are missing loved ones that they’ve been separated from, some are frightened about what it will mean for them financially, their parents’ health and their children’s education. Others are breathing deep and taking each day as it comes.
I recommend the latter.
It’s a time to follow government directions about social distancing, isolating and taking every precaution possible.
But it’s not a time to stop living.
Here are my tips on how to keep life rich while we’re finding our way through this pandemic.
- Talk your friends and family down from the panic if that’s where they’ve gone (but let them stay there if that’s what they’d prefer – but then keep your distance).
- Take an online course. There are 450 Ivy League online courses you can take today, (I particularly like the look of The Science of Wellbeing) if you’re a mum and a business owner, you can sign up for free daily webinars with Mums&Co. If you’ve always wanted to study something and you can study online, search it, find it, enrol and do it now!
- Work on your spending plan. Take a look at what you’re spending your money on and see if you can reduce it in any way.
- Create a meal plan for the week to limit your essential shopping trips. This will also reduce the amount of money you spend on groceries because it’s rare to get out of the supermarket for less than $50 even if you’re just going for milk!
- Talk to your bank/lender/mortgage broker and see if you can reduce your expenses for your bank account, credit card and home loan.
- If you’re reducing your costs, think about sharing your Netflix or Stan accounts with your friends, family or neighbours – even with people overseas. You can increase your screen limit for a couple of dollars a month which could help someone cancel their account entirely. (Just make sure you have rules as to who gets booted if you hit your screen limit.)
- Stretch, walk, exercise, order equipment for a home gym – whatever you do, keep moving!
- Buy, borrow or swap puzzles.
- Play board games.
- Learn new card games.
- Make TikToks with your kids.
- Put some toys or teddy bears in the windows to keep the neighbourhood kids amused as they walk by.
- Keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours.
- Take up a craft or hobby that you’ve always wanted to do. (I’ve heard that Fender are offering 3 months of free guitar lessons)
- Host virtual happy hour or cocktail party via Zoom or HouseParty.
- Host virtual dinner parties or family dinners via Zoom or HouseParty.
- Find an online DJ and have your own dance party.
- Have a family/friend dance off or karoke party.
- Bake, cook and read all those cookbooks that you couldn’t live without and start exploring new dishes.
- Clean out your wardrobe, laundry, kitchen, linen press, garage, shed – everything.
- Clean your windows and gutters, gurney the front path or the back deck and do any other maintenance that’s required on your house (try to limit the number of times you need to go to the hardware store though!)
- Create a home exercise program for just you or for the whole family.
- Write a list of all the things you’re going to do when you’re free.
- Ring a friend a day.
- Plan an epic post-pandemic holiday.
- Write in a journal daily.
- Sign up for an online exercise program (like Body Groove) and do it with a friend via Zoom or FaceTime.
- Create a daily challenge with friends or family where you set a challenge one day and then deliver the challenge at a set time the next day, eg create something funny with a toilet roll core, or act out a scene from your favourite movie and everyone guesses what it is)
- Have crazy hair, clothes and make up days.
- Binge watch anything and everything (obvs).
- Write stories.
- Walk the dog.
- Walk the cat (not really…)
- “Autumn” clean the house
- Rearrange the furniture in your bedroom, kids rooms, lounge room, living room, rumpus room – anywhere you can mix things up a little.
- Do some gardening.
- Make a time capsule and bury it.
- Write a letter to someone you haven’t heard from in a while.
- Post birthday cards to friends.
- Learn a new language.
- Clean up all the files on your computer.
- Have a themed family movie day – ie action movies one day, rom coms the next.
- Learn how to dance the flamenco or tango.
- Turn off the lights, light a candle and have an aromatherapy salt bath.
- Listen to podcasts or watch TED talks.
- Turn off the news.
- Block people on social media who are fixating on the negative.
- Find people online who are talking about the good stuff and join that conversation.
- Focus on the solutions rather than the problems.
Do something good for your mind, body and soul every day, and even better, do something good for your bank balance too!
Good luck. Let’s stay home and stay safe!