How to Enrich Your Life While Staying at Home
With the bright sunshine of spring arriving, we face a conflict between the urge to go outside and the knowledge that we need to practice social distancing — which, for many of us, means spending more time inside our homes. You may find yourself wondering, “What am I supposed to do while I am limited to my home?”
When you feel like there is more restriction than freedom in your life, it can be difficult to stay in a positive mindset. Feelings of anxiousness can seem overwhelming as our cabin fever extends from winter into spring. However, this time spent indoors can also be a chance to focus on yourself.
Follow a Structured Daily Schedule
Find structure within your life both externally and internally. Having an agenda for the day keeps you motivated and purposeful.
Maintain outward structure. Plan your day with specific times to do tasks; this will keep your mind busy and make time move faster. Create fixed times for work, hobbies, socializing and relaxing.
Get ready every day. If you are working from home, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put on a suit. However, it is crucial to start your day by sticking to your morning routine. Change out of your pajamas, brush your teeth, wash your face and eat a healthy breakfast. Even if you are furloughed or working reduced hours, keeping your morning routine on days when you don’t work can help you maintain a sense of normalcy.
Prioritize mindful practices within your schedule. Your well-being is especially important in times of change. Keep your mind happy and refreshed by practicing mindfulness. Take at least ten minutes a day to practice meditation. If you’re a newbie, check out mobile apps like Headspace or buddhify to help guide you.
Another helpful way to keep your mind positive is practicing gratitude. Write 1–3 things you are grateful for each day as part of your morning or evening routine. An additional mindful practice to include in your daily plan is an intentional goal for the day. This goal can be professional or personal. Keeping this goal in mind throughout the day can help you stay on task and focused.
Focus on Self Improvement
With so much time indoors, it is the perfect time to reflect within yourself. Check out some tips for some ways to build and uncover new skills you never knew you possessed.
Tackle a new hobby. Challenge yourself to try new things and keep your mind busy. Whether you’ve always wanted to learn to cook or aspire to write your first short story, this is the perfect time to get started! Time will fly, and you might find something that sparks a new passion.
Discover new ways to stay active. While you may not be able to visit a gym or exercise classes, there are other fun ways to exercise in the comfort of your home. Many gyms are offering free classes via Facebook/Instagram Live, so you can still feel motivated with your workout community. If you live in an apartment building, find apartment-friendly workout videos to avoid disrupting your neighbors.
Take on a home project. Are there home improvement projects you missed or forgot to do this winter? Make the most of this extra time at home. Paint your walls, remodel the master bathroom, refresh the carpets — you’ll have a whole new home to enjoy. Many home improvement stores now offer online shopping with home delivery or curbside pick-up so you can get the supplies you need for your project while still practicing safe social distancing.
Clean the house. Maintaining a fresh and clean home leads to a clear mind. Take out the trash, clean up any random items lying around your house and tidy up your counters regularly. Be sure to target high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, microwave and fridge doors, faucet handles and television remotes to keep them free of germs. Add 30 minutes of cleaning a day, creating “little win” moments. A clean space is a happy space – and a healthier one!
Physical distance doesn’t have to mean emotional distance. There are many ways for you to reach out and connect with those you care about without leaving your home.
Spend quality time with those around you. While cooped up inside, look at who is around you. Now is the time to create quality and valuable relationships with your loved ones. Find ways to dream together, play together and support one another.
Connect with your network virtually. While practicing social distancing, it is important to find new ways to link up. Schedule weekly check-ins with your co-workers, friends and family. If you can, try to use Skype, FaceTime or Zoom over calling or texting to make more intimate and personal connections.
Keep connected with your neighbors via sites like NextDoor or Facebook. Some neighborhoods are coming up with inventive ways to keep kids (and adults) occupied, such as sidewalk chalk art contests or visual scavenger hunts with items placed in street-facing windows.
There are plenty of ways to meet new people online in a safe and healthy way. Consider joining a virtual book club or find Facebook groups or subreddits focused on your favorite interests.
Find Opportunities and Activities
While options may seem limited, there are plenty of things to do within your home and yard. Here are some activities to keep yourself busy.
Find your green thumb. Grow a beautiful garden in your yard or start a garden inside your home. Adding greenery indoors can clean the air, boost your mood and reduce stress. Growing fresh herbs or vegetables in your garden can help cut down costs at the grocery store as well!
Expand your mind through books. Reading gives you the chance to escape into a new world and see things from a different perspective. Utilize this time to cross off books on your list of must-reads list. Or you could read to give you an edge professionally. Read books about leadership, customer service, computer programming or any other skill that would be helpful for your career.
Entertain yourself. There’s nothing wrong with turning your brain off for a while and indulging in a little couch time. Remember, you don’t need to be productive every second of the day — you deserve some down time! Binge-watching a new T.V. series on a video-streaming service, watching classic movies that you never got around to or replaying a favorite video game from your childhood are all good ways to pass time.
Feed the birds. Bring the wildlife to you by setting up a birdfeeder. Making a birdfeeder is something fun to do with the kids, and it is a great learning opportunity to learn about different bird species!
Pay It Forward
How can you support your community in their time of need? Now’s the time to think creatively about how you can enrich and support your friends and neighbors while also protecting their health.
Help those in need. If you can safely do so, offer to do grocery shopping for elderly neighbors or individuals with risk factors. Additionally, ask if they would like you to walk their dog for them or run essential errands for them. It is a great way to give back and get some fresh air.
Reduce the clutter. Have old clothes that don’t fit anymore? Too many glasses in the cupboard? Go through your home and find things you’ve outgrown or just plain don’t need anymore. Collect them to a be donated to charity — you’ll be clearing out valuable space in your house and helping someone in need at the same time. Be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize anything you plan on donating, so you don’t accidentally donate your germs too.
Practice random acts of kindness. Do you have a social media account? Then you have the power to brighten someone’s day. As you’re scrolling through your social feed or exploring the latest trending hashtag, take a moment to share a few positive comments. Whether you’re complimenting a cool outfit, thanking someone for sharing a helpful link or re-sharing a post or photo you find inspiring, these little unexpected bright spots can mean a lot to the recipients.
Now is also a great time to make sure you’re being proactive about protecting what matters most to you. Contact your American Family Insurance agent to talk about steps you can take today to protect your home, car and dreams.