A little over a month ago, life as we know it (for most of us) came to a screeching halt as we hunkered down and began an indefinite period of sheltering in place in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. With our calendars void of work, school, activities, commitments, obligations, appointments and social events, it feels like time has melded into 1 continuous, on-going, never-ending day, doesn't it? On top of the roller coaster of feelings and emotions we all continue to experience, we are probably finding that we are (dare I say it?.....) bored! (GASP!) How do we combat boredom in addition to everything else that this "new, temporary normal" continues to throw at us?
That's my cue to come in and save the day (and the mandatory quarantine!)
I've got some ideas for y'all on how to stay at home, safe and fill some of the hours. Y'all ready?.....
1. Deep clean and de-clutter. Cleaning our spaces.....home, car, garage, attic..... isn't always fun and it certainly isn't glamorous but it IS necessary. We have plenty of time to de-clutter, re-organize and deep clean so why not experience some cathartic cleaning? Not sure where or how to begin and you would rather prefer to curl up into the fetal position than try to figure this out? Download my cleaning/decluttering checklist here:
2. Make some home improvements I am sure y'all have a list of areas y'all are not happy with since we have been confined within our homes for EVER!!
Here are just a few ideas:
*Clean out flower beds and gardens
*Wash windows, siding, etc.
*Paint a room with a fresh color
*Change out hardware on cabinets or switch plumbing fixtures with items ordered on line
*"shop" your home to re-arrange furniture and accessories to create a fresh look at no cost
*Utilize local nurseries and home improvement stores for touch-less, curb side pick up to get gardening or home improvement supplies.
3. Be creative.
*What hobby/hobbies did you enjoy before life got in the way? Pick that hobby back up! Order those supplies on line to be delivered right to your doorstep.
*Make cards from construction paper or card stock to porch deliver to loved ones, nursing homes, etc.
*(shameless plug) Check out my YouTube channel here for my top DIY ideas and visit the videos section of my Facebook page (from a desktop) here for every DIY and crafting live broadcast I have done in the past 2 years. Y'all will have plenty of inexpensive, easy and creative projects to keep y'all busy!
4. Get outdoors.
*Take a walk around the neighborhood. I have met more of my neighbors the last month than I have in the 3 1/2 years we have lived in our area! It seems that everyone is outside when the weather is nice.
*Go for a hike at a state park or recreation area.
*Use sidewalk chalk with children to play hopscotch or draw pictures. Personally, I LOVE seeing children's artwork on driveways and sidewalks when I take a stroll.
*Play Corn hole or Tic Tack Toe (spray paint a tic-tack-toe board in the grass and use corn hole bags or bean bags to toss into the squares). If your family won't kill each other (as would be the case at Chez Big Daddy), have a tournament and the winner gets to pick what's for dinner or dessert.
*Have a sunset party with drinks and snacks. Watch the sun set as a family.
*Go on a neighborhood nature scavenger hunt.
*Sit on the porch and enjoy the fresh air. In my neck of the woods, porch sittin' is an art form so join us in the Deep South and go sit on the porch for a bit!
5. Read a book or listen to an audio book.
If y'all want a new book to read, get some friends together to have a porch book swap. Put a basket, crate or any kind of container on your porch with books you wish to swap. Invite friends to come by with their books, put them in the container and take books they wish to read.
6. Take a nap.
Right now life is very stressful. We are working at home, IF we are blessed to still be working at all, while we are trying to help children with completing daily school lessons and ensure our households keep running. We are grieving loss at every turn and handling the uncertainty of every day life as best we can and it can be exhausting. It's ok to take a nap.....or 10!
7. Host a virtual cocktail hour using a free video conferencing app.
Right now Zoom is offering everyone a free account so take advantage of it to see friends and family. Y'all fix a drink or snack and have a virtual party! Download Zoom here
8. Bulk meal prep/bake and freeze dinners/desserts.
When we do all return to work, wouldn't it be great to have some meals and treats already made to simply defrost? Heck, forget about when we all return to work! Wouldn't it be great to have dinner ready to pop into the crockpot tomorrow?
9. Movie night
When our kids were little, we would have movie night with a "carpet picnic". We put a big blanket on the living room floor and had a smorgasbord of snacks/hors d'oeuvres to enjoy as we watched a family movie. Add to the fun by making a blanket fort for y'all to sit under. It will be a memory they will not soon forget but be advised, you could be creating a tradition they will ask for every night. (Don't ask me how I know this...LOL)
10.Do something to bless someone else. There are so many who need so much right now. Here are just a few ideas to get your creative, "blessing juices" flowing:
*Mow the neighbor's lawn or clean out their flower beds/gardens
*Grocery shop for an elderly neighbor and do a porch drop off
*Make masks to donate to essential workers
*Create a snack/drink basket to leave on the porch for Amazon/FedEx/UPS delivery drivers. I did this during the holidays and it was a HUGE hit!
11. Learn a new skill or do a craft.
With most craft stores still closed and places like Walmart displaying empty craft section shelves, I've got a couple of suggestions for y'all:
*I am offering an easy, affordable DIY "faith over fear" kit. Price includes all materials and shipping as well as a link to a private step-by-step "how to" video. Y'all can order your sign kit here. and it will ship via USPS within 48 hours to ensure it arrives quickly.
*My talented hand-lettering friend, Danielle with Imperfect Dust has a book and an on line course to teach y'all how to hand letter and both are amazing! Get her on line class here and order her book here
12. Meditate or pray
Keep yourself grounded and ensure you are thinking on positive things by meditating or pray. Just spending as little as 5 minutes per day will help to control your thoughts and attitude.
*Boosting endorphins is, in my opinion, the ultimate "happy pill". Even if y'all don't FEEL like working out, if you work out anyway, you can celebrate your accomplishment with a cocktail or slice of cake because, hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
*Peloton (yes, the high end, stationery bike company) has an amazing app with workouts of all types; not just geared towards workouts for their bike. I've been using it for a couple of months and I LOVE it! Right now (at the time this blog post was written) they are offering a free 30 day trail. Check it out here
14. Binge watch a TV series or catch up on your favorites.
There is no shame or judgement from me if y'all decide to sit in front of the big screen for hours on end and only move to obtain sustenance or utilize the facilities. Of course, I have never done such a thing myself but I won't judge if y'all do. (wink, wink)
15. Do nothing....absolutely nothing. Why are we programmed to think that we have to be busy being busy every waking minute of every day? I can't be the only one guilty of this faulty train of thought, right? We have been given a precious gift as a silver lining to this pandemic and that is the gift of time. If y'all need permission to sit and not do a blessed thing, then permission is granted!
I hope, with reading this blog post, y'all have gotten some new ideas and resources to help stay occupied. If y'all have, would you please share the post with your friends and family? Also, please feel free to drop me a comment to let me know how y'all liked these ideas.