Is stay-at-home hard for you? I hear you.
Scrolling through my photos from earlier in the year made me miss the time when I was out and about with friends, having fun and even traveling. But now, protecting ourselves and others means we’ll have to stay at home a while longer. I know it feels like it will never end, especially if you get energy from socializing.
For me, resisting it makes it worse. Getting through it requires a bit of magic. So…
Here are some of the things I’m doing to get through these isolating months. Things that go beyond regularly scheduled Zooms (I do them with good friends), phone calls and hanging out on social media.
Hiking local trails
We are in our second home in Rochester, NY (winter!) and have found many preserves and trails only minutes away. Bundled up in the first puffy jacket I’ve ever owned (thanks, Target!), wearing my first balaclava (face mask), shod in my trusty hiking boots and wielding my Leki hiking poles to navigate mud and snow safely, I hike most days of the week. If it’s not raining or windy-cold, I’m out there. That image up top is from one of my hikes. And this one, too.
Some of the trails are easy and some are moderate–but they get me out in the fresh air to appreciate nature. Plus, it’s healthier than eating a dozen donuts, right? Now, I look forward to going, even on packed snow.
If you’ve never hiked before, give it a try! Start easy and be sure to dress for the weather. I don’t want to break a bone, so I use the poles I bought some 20 years ago. They steady me in uneven footing and I wouldn’t hike without them.
Make something fun and delicious
Like your own marshmallows. What?
Yep. A cup of hot chocolate is even better when you’ve made your own scrumptious marshmallows. Not hard at all: Recipe here
And take those marshmallows down to your fire pit (if you are lucky enough to have one) with a piece of chocolate and graham crackers and channel your inner Girl Scout. S’mores are yummy and guess what? Home-made marshmallows make a big difference in deliciousness.
Learn to cook things you’ve wanted to try
If you’ve always wanted to make a pizza from scratch, learn to roll sushi, bake a whole chicken–whatever–now is the time. There are so many recipes online and instructional You Tubes absolutely free.
But some things don’t require a recipe. For example, I make soup from things in my fridge: vegetables, cabbage, turkey, chicken.
Look out the window
Our bedroom window overlooks a yard we’ve seen deer pass through. I put a chair at that window and often sit with a book (or not), glancing up, looking out, hoping to see wildlife passing by. Audiobooks are great for allowing me to look out and still go through my book.
I realized that I rarely slow down enough to enjoy the moments of beauty around me every day. Now, with nothing but time on my hands, I take at the moment.
Even if you don’t have a wildlife path in your yard, spend some time sitting outside or at the window if it’s too cold. You’d be surprised at what you’ll see.
Learn to craft
Or knit, crochet, collage, paint–lots of ways to learn on free Youtube!
Read something new and different: suggestions
I’d lost my lifelong reading habit, thanks to a bit of a social media addiction, but I have regained it during these long months at home. BTW, most libraries will loan e-books if you haven’t tried that option. Here are a few recommendations (all titles are live links):
Inspirational reading: Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening is a fabulous daily thought volume. Deep and introspective. I love starting my days with it.
Surprisingly great memoirs: Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run is long and excellent. Well-written and riveting. I had no idea he suffered from depression. I loved every page. Same with Michelle Obama’s Becoming.
Diverting reads (links in title): If you love fashion you will love The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley and if you love Willie Nelson you will enjoy It’s a Long Story, his excellent memoir. Are you a foodie? Consider Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.
Just for fun: Waiter to the Rich and Shameless, Confessions of a 5-Star Beverly Hills Server by Paul Hartford
Netflix and Hulu
If you can’t afford it, ask around. Each subscriber can share their subscription with several users. Maybe a friend or family member will let you use one of their slots. That makes it, well, FREE! Also, your cable system offers many movies (and On Demand programming) absolutely free. Watch something you wouldn’t ordinarily try.
I want to stay safe.
And I want to protect my loved ones from the asymptomatic transmission.
Staying home is a small thing I can do–ok, it’s a big thing–but I can use this precious time wisely. I hope I am doing just that.
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