If You’re Working From Home:
1. Create a Dedicated Workspace
If it’s possible, try to set up a dedicated space where you can focus on your work. This might be your office or even a corner in your dining room. If you can’t have a separate workspace from places where you eat or sleep, then try to keep that area tidy and make it feel as much as a space for work as possible. Personally, I have a desk set up in my room with flowers, my headphones, and whatever I need for work and would associate with my office desk.
2. Say a Virtual Hello
If you’re working from home, and your team uses a digital messaging platform, take some time during the day to reach out to another coworker just to say, “Hi” (of course, if this is okay with your employer). If you’re an extrovert, you may be finding it harder to not have that constant connection with your coworkers while working from home. If your employer allows and you’re able to find a moment, just reach out to say hello.
3. Recreate Your Commute When You’re Done for the Day
The Washington Post writes that the average American’s commute in 2018 was “just over 27 minutes one way.” For those that have a significant commute home at the end of the day, to help your mind transition from “work-life” to “home-life”, recreate your commute at the end of the day. Although you’re working from home, once you’re finished, you might want to try walking or jogging outside to replicate your commute time listening to the radio or music. If you’d rather stay inside, pick something to physically do for your commute time, whether that’s putting up a load of clothes, vacuuming, or some other physical activity.
If You’re Home with the Kids:
4. Try to Keep Them on a Routine
With many parents playing a double (if not triple) role at home as mom/dad and teacher, it’s important to keep kids on a solid schedule even while they’re not attending school. You can create a weekly schedule with times dedicated to certain lessons, snack times, and play times. You can even make learning interesting and fun by interjecting supplemental activities in the kitchen or outdoors.
5. Take Some Down-Time for Yourself
Oftentimes as a parent, you’re constantly juggling work, the kids’ extracurricular activities, visiting relatives, maintaining things at home, and being involved in the community. While having some down-time for yourself, please enjoy it, whether that’s sleeping in, catching up on a t.v. episode, reading a book, or chatting with a friend or relative by video.
6. Limit Your News Intake
It’s easy to get up from the couch and leave the t.v. on the news channel. You don’t want to miss an update. There’s a difference between staying informed and staying absorbed in the news. It’s a difficult time right now for many people. Try to set aside times during the day for watching the news, such as in the mornings, during lunchtime, and in the evenings.
On Weeknights and Weekends:
7. Set up Themed Dinner Nights
One way you can make dinnertime more significant with your loved ones is to have themed dinner nights. Maybe you can try “Meatless Mondays” and introduce a new, yummy side-dish to the kids or have “Taco Tuesdays” and get them involved in making fresh salsa and setting the table.
8. No Kids? Join an Online Cooking Class
Don’t have kids? No worries – you can go solo and join an online cooking class to try your hand at some new recipes. The HuffPost shares some of the best free online cooking classes you can watch while staying home. Better yet, ask a friend or family member to hop online with you and make this a fun evening for the both of you.
9. Take Your Family on a Virtual Safari
Did you know that you can take virtual safaris or trips around the world? You certainly can with The Great Courses Plus. You can tour places like Greece, Turkey, France, Ancient MesoAmerica, and more while learning about wildlife, different periods in history, and architecture. This platform allows you to start a free 14-day trial and choose a membership plan.
10. Teach Your Pet a New Trick
Even during this time, we can still enjoy our pets and keep them happy. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, try teaching your pet a new trick. Not only will this be stimulating for you, but it’ll be stimulating for your pet as well. Dogster.com has a few dog tricks you can teach Fido to perform. If you have a cat or kitten, PetPlan.co.uk shares some tricks you can teach them.
11. Find Time for Exercise (and Avoid the “Quarantine 15”)
Many of us know about the “Freshman 15”, but the “Quarantine 15” can happen too if we don’t watch our eating habits and get the exercise we need. One way you can cut down “mindless eating” is to limit yourself to certain times of the day when you grab a snack. You can also make eating more reward-focused, such as grabbing a snack every 3-4 hours after you’ve completed “X” task. But of all things, do remember to be kind to your body. Novant Health shares 9 tips on avoiding weight while staying home. While you can exercise indoors, if you go outdoors for exercise, remember to keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and another person for safety.
12. Catch Up on That Creative Thing You’ve Been Wanting to Do
For some of us, that means learning how to paint with watercolors, how to start an indoor garden, how to customize our rides, or finally adding a fresh coat of paint to one of your rooms. Whatever that creative thing is you’ve been wanting to do, if now you have the time, unleash your inner Picasso (or whoever you’re looking up to).
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean the end of socializing and staying connected. It definitely doesn’t mean you have to become a complete hermit and stop finding joy in some of the things you used to. Social distancing requires modifying our behaviors to help protect others, and it’s doable. We hope you find a few moments this week to try out some of our recommendations, and remember to stay safe.