More than ever, we need to explore ways to find meaning and connection in our lives. For those staying home, it can be alienating, boring, and even tortuous. We are social creatures by nature and we want to connect and feel like we are doing something important. So how can we do this in the midst of a pandemic? I’ve come up with some fun things you can do at home with your family, partners, or even by yourself that can help you during this tough time. Luckily, we have the internet and its resources to help us! Let’s see if we can make the most of this adversity and find creativity, meaning, and growth.
1. Start A Project
Whether you are alone or with others, starting a project can be a great way to use your time effectively! A project can range from an art project to writing a personal memoir. If this is your thing, try:
- Making a diorama
- Working on a photo album online
- Writing a story
- Baking and Cooking
- Reading a book you’ve put off
- Making home videos and singing
- Trying a DIY project
- Planning something for the future—maybe a vacation, a day trip, or even a fun dinner
- Working on an “About Me” book with your child
Starting and working on a project can be a great way to help you fill your time and give you a sense of fulfillment. See if you can shift your mind into thinking about something exciting. If you have a child, get them involved and see how creative you can get!
2. Connect With Others
Just because we may not be able to interact with others in person right now doesn’t mean we still can’t connect. First I’d like you to write down 10 people who you would like to connect with. Maybe these are old friends, family, or just people that matter to you. Call them! Text them! FaceTime them! Whatever you prefer, just reach out and check in.
If you want to take it one step further, write each of these people a letter or email sharing what they mean to you, then send it. It’s a great way to feed your soul and bring joy to yourself and others.
3. Learn Something New
Being stuck at home can provide you with a great chance to learn something new! Do you have any questions you wished you had answered? Want to learn more about science, history or even how things are made? Here is your chance to learn! The internet can surprise you—you can even find free online classes.
Maybe you want to learn more about people in your family. This is a great time to ask questions and learn more. There are plenty of online resources that supply conversation starters, ‘would you rather’ games, and other random questions!
4. Practice Self-Care
It’s important to not forget about yourself and your needs at a time like this. Making time to practice self-care is very important. This will vary from person to person but here are some ideas to incorporate into your day-to-day life. For example, you could:
Take deep breaths
Think of something funny
Take a long shower/bath
Do something kind
Use a relaxation app
Look at pictures of animals
Watch a funny video
Drink some coffee/tea
Pet an animal
Express your feelings to someone
Write down your thoughts
Practice an instrument
Count to 100
Drink cold water
Read inspirational quotes
Smile in the mirror
Write a poem
Listen to music
5. Make A Schedule
Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean you should stop living by a schedule. This is especially true if you have children around. We thrive when we know what to expect. So see about coming up with a schedule to give you some sense of consistency and normalcy.
6. Limit Social Media
Unless it’s to look at cute puppies or baby animals, try to limit your social media use. The bombardment of news can be overwhelming and cause anxiety. Decreasing your intake can help your spirits significantly.
7. Practice Grounding Yourself
If you are finding yourself overwhelmed with anxiety, worry, and fear, please understand that your feelings are valid and normal. There are a lot of unknowns happening right now, and our body’s natural response is to figure out how to survive. However, this may not be the most helpful response. If you are finding yourself lost in anxiety, try grounding yourself by doing this:
1. Notice what feelings you may have and your different bodily responses. For example, I am noticing that I am feeling nervous and my chest is tight.
2. Notice five things that you can see and name them out loud.
3. Pick something up and notice how it feels in your hand. Is it rough or smooth? Heavy or light? What color is it?
4. Notice three things you can hear right now.
5. Smell something close to you (a candle, your hair, your lotion, etc.).
6. Check in to see if you feel more present in the here and now.
If you continue to feel anxious, feel free to do this again. Ask someone to guide you through this if you need a little extra support. Feeling more grounded brings on a sense of comfort and the ability to make more effective decisions.
Remember: We are all in this together. As nerve wracking as this time can be, we always have a choice of how to respond. Remember to be kind to yourself and others. This is a difficult time. Your feelings are valid, but what can you do to make the most of this time?