Amid a pandemic like COVID-19, the hysteria seems to build and change by the hour. Businesses are shut, so are many workplaces and offices. Gyms, malls, anything even slightly optional, not happening. We don’t know when things will return to normal but the world isn’t ending either. In fact, there are some real positives for our lifestyle and our health that can come from all this disruption.
Positives? From COVID-19? Yes. The disruptions are forced upon us, but everyone’s at the same place. Let’s work it. Here’s where I see the lemonade from “sheltering in place”:
Everyone. Slows. Down.
Less pressure to get all the errands done and on time. Indeed, none of us can “do it all,” because so much of “it” has been cancelled! There is also no rushed commute, no traffic snarls, no morning scramble to get kids to school, no mad dash after work to meet friends or get home to make dinner, and fewer errands to run.
Avoid Going Nuts & Enjoy The Extra Time
It’s time to get to things you’ve been putting off – especially the “me” things that help clear our heads and bust our anxiety. Some options to consider:
- Move it! No marathons, just get out and walk. It’s still OK, even if you’re under “shelter-in-place” orders. You’re not under house arrest, so get on your sneakers and walk as briskly as you can, staying at least 6 feet from others. About 100 steps a minute – done outside or inside – is considered a “brisk” pace and that’ll get you a mile for every 20 minutes of walking. Or ride a bike, dance to a video, or do online yoga! Exercise is well-known as a great mood lifter. It clears your head, gives you a mental boost, and makes life more manageable. Make it part of your “me” time. About that marathon though, check out this story of a guy in France who ran the distance of a marathon on his 23-foot balcony!
- Give yourself a 30-minute “organizing” task. The task may take longer, but spend 30 minutes a day doing it. That might be de-cluttering your home office desk (the bane of my existence), cleaning out a closet, gathering clothes and knick-knacks to donate, or going through the pantry to throw out expired condiments and food. You can do it at a leisurely pace and end up with so much extra room!
- Do fun stuff. Got a hobby you never seem to have time to do? It’s time, and make it a priority. Aim for an hour a day here, too. I hope you make it a habit you’ll continue, even after this all passes.
- Family meals are back! Make these a priority, too, and make them last at least 30 minutes. No technology at the table, just re-acquaint with conversation and socializing. Some of the best memories of my childhood were sitting around the dinner table with parents and grandparents. We’d talk about everything: the meal, friends, goals, you name it, and everyone was welcome to participate. To me, it’s what a family meal should be, but make your own family meal style you’ll enjoy.
- Rediscover the joy of cooking! It’s WAY more enjoyable when you’re not pressured. You can finally get to making those recipes you’ve collected but never got around to trying. No cookbooks? No problem. There are tons of great sites online. Try www.beefitswhatsfordinner for starters. It’s my go-to resource for all things beef, and their recipes are excellent and don’t require a degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Check out Dr. Keith’s Pot Roast recipe. I’d never cooked one before and adapted a NY Times recipe. Turned out to be lean and the best pot roast I’d ever eaten! The prep doesn’t take very long, you just have to be home for a few hours. And since you’re home anyway, enjoy the aroma and eat the reward – and it stretches for more than one meal!