Just recently, we learned that United States has extended it’s distancing guidelines to April 30th. For many of us, we’ve already experienced 2 weeks of staying at home. And while this necessary action may feel tedious, it’s the least that everyone can do to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
What’s more, we at NAFC truly believe that this is a time that can help families and loved ones come together. After all, it’s probably been quite a while since everyone has had so much extra time all at once. Below are a few ways to make the most of it (and hopefully help keep you sane in the process!)
8 WAYS TO STAY BUSY WHILE SHELTERING IN PLACE
If you’re looking to brush up on a skill, now’s your chance. Tons of companies offer free or paid online courses that can help you advance your career, learn a new skill, or just satisfy your curiosity itch. Harvard University offers free courses in in a variety of areas from computer programing to 18th-Century Opera. Courseara offers free courses that can be completed in as little as a day, and Yale is currently offering it’s super popular Happiness course online for free. It’s never been a better time to pick up a new skill.
Love a good book? It’s a great time to dig into that thriller you’ve been waiting to indulge in. Or why not take on the list of classics you’ve always been wanting to try but “never have the time to tackle”. Of course you know you can order books online from Amazon (hardcopy or for your kindle), but you can also rent ebooks for free if you have a library card, without ever needing to leave home. Just plug your library card into the Libby app and access thousands of free library rentals that can be delivered straight to your kindle, or read within your smart phone!
STAY IN TOUCH ONLINE.
Now, more than ever, we need to stay in touch with those we love, even if we can’t see them face to face. Thankfully, technology helps make that possible. Facetime, Skype, What’sApp and Zoom are all video chat apps that can help you keep in touch. So host a family happy hour, or an afternoon tea, and keep your (virtual) social life going strong, even if you’re the only one sitting in your living room.
GET YOUR ARTS AND CRAFTS ON.
Are you an avid knitter? Always wanted to try your hand at painting or drawing? Maybe you’ve wanted to learn calligraphy. Use this time to get creative and relieve some of the stress that you might be feeling from all that’s going on. Even if you think you’re not creative, give it a go. Getting lost in a project can help pass the time and give you something else to focus on. Not sure where to start? Try an adult coloring book (or download and print some coloring sheets from online). You might be surprised at how relaxing it is.
PRACTICE A NEW LANGUAGE.
Let me guess – you took Spanish in high school and have always regretted not sticking with it? Take this time to learn a new language! Lots of apps and programs exist that can help you master a new language in no time. Try Rosetta Stone, Babbel, or Duolingo to get started. Then start thinking about the awesome trip abroad you can take to show off your skills once all this is over.
GET BETTER AT YOUR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Have you always tinkered at the guitar? Plucked at the piano? Use the time now to practice or learn how to play a musical instrument. Music can be incredibly soothing and meditative, especially during times of stress. And like art, it can really help relax you to get caught up in learning a new piece or to learn how to play a new instrument.
MASTER 3 NEW MEALS!
How many of you are always scrambling when it comes to cooking dinner? Or you never know what to make for a dinner party? If you like cooking, pick three meals you’d like to master over the next month. Then practice them until they’re perfect. You’ll be able to draw on them for years to come (and your family will likely thank you!)
DON’T FORGET TO WORKOUT!
Don’t make the mistake of using the shelter in place as an excuse to skip your workouts. There are tons of options to work out from home. And even with stay at home orders, most cities are allowing people to get out for some exercise and sunshine. So download an app, or take a stroll around the block, go for a hike, or take a bike ride. Just get moving. Every day. Your body, and your mind, will thank you.
What are you doing to take advantage of all the extra time this month? Share it with us in the comments!