Ok, so we're all being asked to do our part to protect ourselves and others. Stay home. No visitors. Social distancing.
That combination, along with the stress of our routines being upended, can take an emotional toll. But we're resilient and strong. We can adapt. We can get through this. We have no choice.
Here are a few ideas on how we can make the best of the situation through a change in attitude, approach and habit.
1. Go for a daily walk
Depending on your situation, self-isolation may still allow you to go for a walk every day, so long as you keep at least 6 feet away from others. Walking is great exercise and getting outside will do your mind wonders.
2. Exercise everyday
Put together a list of exercises you can do at home and commit yourself to a given number of reps for each exercise each day. Examples of great home based exercises include stretches, jumping jacks, the plank, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, toe raises, and lunges. Or perhaps follow an online video and do tai chi, yoga or aerobics appropriate for your conditioning.
3. Read a little everyday
Now's a great opportunity to carve out some time every day to open those books you never had the time to read. If you don't know what to read, take a look at a list of past Pulitzer, Booker or Nobel prize winners. Or perhaps past and current New York Times best sellers. Or maybe revisit some of your old favorites from yesteryear. Book store closed? Order your books from Amazon.
4. Cook interesting meals
Use the time to go through some of your favorite cook books and recipes and make some new and interesting dishes. Doing so will be fun, interesting and challenging, all of which will lift your spirits - not to mention eating delicious food!
5. Play games
Whether with your spouse or online, there's an endless opportunity to play fun and challenging games like chess, backgammon, mahjong, gin, crossword, Scrabble, Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Rummikub etc... If you don't have the games handy, you can order some from Amazon and get them delivered.
6. Call friends and family throughout the day
Get on the phone, skype, whatsapp or FaceTime and call your family and friends. Share some thoughts and laughs about the situation. Call and check up on those who might be vulnerable and see how you can help. Share ideas on how to overcome challenges like grocery orders, etc...
7. Watch great movies and TV shows
Take the time to watch some great movies, documentaries or shows on Netflix, Disney or Amazon. Pick some comedies to lift your spirits if need be!
8. Watch interesting talks on Ted
If you're looking for some thought provoking videos and talks, go to Ted.com. You'll hear some of the world's leading authorities give talks on everything from how to be happy, to new discoveries and ideas in health, nutrition, education, aging, physics, chemistry, genetics, leadership, the environment, nature, personal growth, business and more.
9. Try different podcasts
Explore the world of podcasting. You can listen to a podcast while you rest or while you're doing work or a hobby, it's just like the radio except you can start, stop and pause it when you want. Whether you're looking to learn about science or business, politics or sports there's a podcast for you. Just go to podcasts in the App store on your phone.
Take some time to write a diary. Getting your thoughts on paper will help clear your head. Or perhaps you want to take up poetry, or write letters (emails) to friends and family.
11. Play or listen to music
Sit at your old piano or break out your guitar and get your fingers strumming once again. Or, perhaps play some of your favorite music and belt out some tunes. You can even go on YouTube and get the lyrics to many songs while the music is playing the background and partake in some personal karaoke.
12. Enroll in a free online study program
There are a number of universities that offer free and paid online courses studying everything from science, to astronomy, economics, politics, literature, art history and more! Check out free online courses from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Penn, Michigan and so many more on Coursera and edEx.
13. Learn new tech
Take the opportunity to learn how to use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Set-up accounts in each. Use YouTube videos to learn all the different applications for your Amazon Alexa, Siri or Google Home e.g. set-up medication reminders, alarms, your favorite music, weather alerts, learn how to call friends, get the news, control your TV...
14. Learn new dances with your spouse or partner
Go on YouTube and learn some new dances like the Waltz, Salsa, Swing, Mambo, Cha Cha, the Twist and Square dancing or more recent ones like Macarena, Walk Like an Egyptian, Gangnam style and the Floss!
15. Knit and sew
Take the time to repair and mend some of your clothes or knit some blankets or scarfs for your kids and grand kids.
16. Get gardening
Tend to your garden. Till your soil, prune your trees, edge your beds, water daily. Grow indoor plants. Nothing's more therapeutic than gardening. Plants can also bring color and life to your indoors.
17. Take up astronomy
Learn about the stars and what you're seeing from your very own window or rooftop. Check out Nasa.gov, some of their videos and pictures will blow your mind!
18. Participate in live streaming events
See if your local church, synagogue, mosque, community center or library is holding any live cast events, talks, sermons, prayers or holiday gatherings online. It could be a fun new way to "gather" together.