We’re living in interesting times during the pandemic. People are home more than they ever have been and trying to cope with the idea of social distancing. As an extrovert, it is a little more difficult.
Right before all the closures were happening in the Seattle area and the United States, my full-time marketing position was terminated. I was already at home figuring out what was next for my career. I already had a trip planned to visit family and meet my newborn nephew for the first time. With “unlimited” vacation, I booked a discounted flight to Mexico to visit a friend for two weeks, figuring I could use that as a negotiation when I found my next position.
Since Andy and I have the Ikon Pass, we decided to pack up the van and head to Revelstoke to ski for a week in the van. We left on a Monday and returned on a Friday. Weekday skiing was a dream with no lift lines and already paid tickets and free lodging (the van).
We returned Friday to closing ski resorts across the country for the rest of the season, Seattle advising people to work remote if they can and limit their excursions to essential trips to the store.
Long story short, I will be at home for the foreseeable future. I’ve had remote work in the past so it’s not new to me or my partner working side-by-side at the kitchen table.
Long days at home don’t have to feel so long. There are many ways you can feel productive and accomplished without leaving the house. I’ve put together a long list of things to entertain yourself at home during a pandemic.
Try to keep a schedule
If you’re working, you probably are tied to meetings and projects. However, if you aren’t, like me, I like to try to find some routine. I make it a habit to time how long things take me. Maybe create a checklist of things you want to do every morning and see if you can get through the list. Limit those Netflix hours.
Stay active – enjoy the outdoors or workout inside
Stay to local trails and don’t stress the already limited resourcing the hospitals are seeing. I usually attend OrangeTheory, and they are now providing at home workouts daily for their members. Try to find a local yoga instructor and donate to their live videos or studios to find some meditation and flow.
Find a local trail and try to walk on wide ones that you can still practice social distancing. My pup sure has enjoyed more frequent walks outside during the day as a result.
I’ve really needed some quality chat time with others who are not my partner or pup. Check in with friends and family to see how they are doing. Do they need support during this time? Bring a beer or do a workout together. Use Google Hangouts, Duo, FaceTime, or Facebook Messenger to call friends.
Cook or bake
You’ve gotta eat, right?
Have a pile of cookbooks or magazines with recipes? Compile a grocery list and go shopping. Bake loaves of bread, clean the oven, do meal prep and freeze prepared meals for when you do go back to the office. Drink lots of water and keep track of how much you drink.
Clean, organize, donate
Do you put off picking up the clutter or have a stack of opened mail (or email) that needs filed? Consider doing things that you have put off. Dust, scrub those bathroom floors, clean your oven, or vacuum under those beds. Go through your closets and boxes that store items you haven’t used in years. Can you either put them away or donate them?
I’m excited to organize my gear and make sure it is in the right place.
Do you use an auto-uploader to backup your phone photos? Organize photos into albums or photos. Delete your downloads folders or clean-up your computer to save space. Back-up your photos on services like Amazon Cloud Drive or Flickr.
If you have a house or a yard, spend time outside and do some yard work. Get those gardens weeded and ready to plant for spring. Maybe mow the grass that has been neglected all winter.
Read or learn
You don’t have to pick up a book. If you’re already a member of your local library system, check out OverDrive or Libby to download books or audiobooks. Or, pick a subject that interests you and read up on history online.
I’ve purchased CreativeLive classes in the past and haven’t had the time to watch the video and sift through the content. Now is the time for me to sit and learn how to properly use Lightroom.
Learn a language or research a destination you were planning or plan to travel to.
Craft or write
I’m a big knitter and have been doing some projects with stash yarn. I’m measuring the van for sewing projects and figuring out patterns for when I can get to the fabric stores.
Not a big craftsperson? Maybe write or journal about the whole experience. I’m working on blogging and also editing photos that have been sitting on my camera’s SD card. Don’t like the idea of journaling? Send postcards or handwritten letters to family or friends. I’m sure getting something other than a bill right now will be a breath of fresh air.
Since I’m not working, I’m supporting organizations I already volunteer for, like SheJumps and the Washington Alpine Club. I work on their marketing and communications, along as content on the websites.
I already have a dog, but consider fostering a pet during this time.
Share content and connect with communities
I don’t know about you, but I use hiking trail beta on sites like Washington Trails Association (WTA) and Gaia GPS hike search. Have a favorite trail or have been on any recently, it’s time to share your beta or trip reports to the community.
Find a Facebook Group or create a group that meets based on a common interest.
Reflect on what’s next and create a plan
It’s time to stay positive. Ask yourself, what you’re good at? Is your current job working for you? What goals do you have in travel, outdoors, or professional life? Do you want to make the big bucks or travel the world?
Binge on Netflix or Harry Potter
Watch documentaries or chick flicks. Rewatch your favorite shows from when you were in high school or college. Try to recite all the Harry Potter lines and act them out before doing a marathon.
I own many board games, but some do require more than just two players. Get creative and find a deck of cards and start learning new ones or unboxing those you haven’t used in awhile. My favorites are Rummy, Spit, Cribbage, and Slapjack.
Cancel travel and stay put
Work with airlines and booking agencies on any immediate travel plans you might have had. Cancel them and be patient as others are trying to do the same.