It is easy to feel like we are stuck during this Corona Virus Outbreak. There is nothing to do, nowhere to go, no money to be made. Here are 10 things I have found helpful to keep me productive, active, and full of energy and joy when it is easy to slip into depression.
Make a schedule.
This is a big one, and one I honestly can say is game-changing, but I have not stuck to it. When you do not have your regular schedule of work, and hobbies, it is easy to want to sleep in, go to the couch with food, and lay there for another 3 hours watching TV. This is not only unhealthy physically but mentally. It is proven that screen time can cause mood swings and even depression, and lack of fresh air and exercise will cause the same. Now you do not need to have a jam-packed schedule but make a routine. Wake up the same time each day put on different clothes, and go for a walk or do a workout inside. Youtube has many free workouts you can follow along with. Then make a nutritious breakfast, and schedule at least one “job” to do each day. Maybe take from the other 9 ideas to fill your daily schedule. Making these simple changes will keep you healthy and happier, and help your body stay regulated and ready for life to start back up again.
This one is a personal favourite! Pinterest has all the ideas you could ever need to inspire you to change up a room in your house. Maybe it is just painting, or maybe it is all new flooring and home-built shelves. The options are endless and will leave you with a beautiful new space you can be happy to spend time in during isolation.
You know that list, the “oh when things slow down I will finally…” list. We all have them, and we all put them off. Well now is the time to tackle those projects! Do you need to clean out the shed? Get rid of some clothes? Maybe you wanted to fix the fence in your backyard or organize the dreaded Tupperware drawer. I guarantee there are projects that could be done. It may seem like a pain at first, but imagine how amazing you will feel when you get to check that project off the list and have one less headache to deal with in the future. If you are positive every project that could be done, is done, ask your family and friends. They will be sure to think of something that needs fixing or finishing.
Make something new
Let’s talk about food. Maybe before COVID-19, you ate out. Restaurants were your friends and your pots and pans had never seen the light of day. Or maybe you’ve always been someone who cooks. Either way let’s make cooking fun! Learn a new dish. A really fun way to do that is to think up a country you want to visit. My husband and I weresupposed to be traveling Europe right now, so maybe I will look up an Italian dish, make fresh pizza from scratch or even make my own pasta! Try to get creative and make it an activity to look forward to, instead of a dreaded task of the same old food.
Learn a new Skill
This one is big! For the first time in many people’s lives, we have time. So much time! So have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Maybe you want to get into woodworking. What about painting, or even mastering a handstand. The options are endless, and I bet there is a class that can teach you all of it. I love SkillShare, they are almost like online courses where they teach you step by step methods. I’ve learned a lot online, such as lighting and editing for photography. I have also learned how to make meals, how to renovate my whole bathroom, and how to change my oil (although I was also taught that by my parents.). I want to learn a new skill during this time of social distancing and quarantine. I am working on handstands. Maybe I will also learn how to sew better. What is a skill you will learn?
This doesn’t need to be a dreaded subject! Exercise does not always mean running on a treadmill or doing squats until you can’t feel your legs. I have been using Beach Body to do cardio and weight workouts. However, when I don’t feel like working out, I will turn on one of their hip hop dance videos or go for a walk. One of my favourite activities is snowshoeing and hiking in the mountains. It is an incredible exercise and a great way to get out of the house. You could even go for a walk with a friend if you keep the 6ft distance.
Maybe you need to keep working, to keep making money. This is something we are looking into as we are self-employed and EI won’t be an option. We have been using Fiver for a lot of media jobs. Say we need a voice over in a video, we hire someone to read what we need, maybe we want something on our website updated, we can hire someone online. This is a great option for us as we can contract out to photographers and videographers to edit their photos and their videos. Maybe you are good at accounting, graphic design, maybe you want to even help teach someone English, you would be surprised what skills are needed and jobs you could qualify for. Another great idea is selling off things you don’t use. Maybe you have done a deep clean of your home and you have clothes, furniture, etc that you never touch. Throw it on the Facebook marketplace or Craigs List and make a little extra cash while also freeing up space in your home.
Go Out Side
Social distancing does not mean you can’t leave your home. In fact, you should leave your home. CDC is an amazing resource to stay up to date on all things Corona Virus. However, they all still encourage walking your dog, etc. (some locations are stricter than others) I live in a small town where I may walk past two people on my hour walk. So it is easily possible for the social distance while getting fresh air. Or Better Yet! Maybe you drive out of town and go for a walk in the woods, by a lake or have a picnic in a field. Fresh air is necessary and possible even while keeping your distance.
Movie Night or Binge a Podcast
So this one is an easy one. You are allowed to take this pandemic as a “break”. Enjoy downtime, run a nice hot bath and listen to an educational or entertaining podcast. Pop some popcorn, put on your comfiest clothes (if you aren’t in them already) and curl up to watch a new or old movie. Invite your family to watch from their house and chat about it together. Maybe even make some nachos and have a movie marathon! It is okay to have downtime right now.
Hang out with Friends and Family via video call.
This does not mean go all hang out together. However, Facetime and Facebook video chats are always a free option. Or Zoom has been incredible lately at offering over 45min for free. We have used this a bunch. I’ve already attended a birthday party and baby shower via Zoom! It honestly is amazing though. I would say we chat way moreover Zoom then maybe even in person as there are no other games or breakouts into smaller groups. This is a great way to stay connected to family and friends during this time.
Bonus: Spiritual Health, and Thankfulness.
This is a huge one for me. I can find it freakily easy to fall into a slump. To be easily angered or easily break into tears. It is easy to spiral into thinking about finances or all the incredible plans we’ve planned for years that have been “ruined”. However when I make sure to keep God a priority, spending time reading about how amazing His love is for us, how I can simply ask Him to take my anxiety away and He will take it, to watch sermons from some of my favourite speakers like Todd White, Francis Chan, Dan Moller, etc. It is a way to keep me positive and present and honestly makes me so grateful and full of love, vs selfish and full of pity and anger. Another amazing tip if you are a Christian or not, is writing down a list of 5-10 things EVERY morning that you are thankful for. This starts your morning in such a positive headspace and helps you see the good still going on amidst the disaster. It has truly changed my attitude and energy for the day when I start with this.
My job and my passion are to be creative and create images that are unique and tell a story. When the coronavirus started, I, like many others, assumed it was something that would never hit where I lived, or ever get really bad. I was wrong. This month my husband/ business partner and I planned out a trip to Italy, Greece, Morocco, Portugal, and London before going over to Mexico. We had weddings in almost every country and many photographs we dreamed of taking while we visited. After choosing it was not responsible to travel right now and then having our flights cancelled, we have stayed home and worked on social distancing. It has drained me. Doing nothing is tiring.
I decided I will not let this setback stop my creativity. So I started going through old photoshoots to admire and get inspiration from. This photoshoot has been one I have dreamt of for a while. Minimalism, no distractions, the only focus is on the couple and their connection. It takes away everything except for them. It kind of reminds me of our situation as of now. We have been stripped of our jobs and hobbies and travels, all the flashy and fun distractions. We are forced to slow down and to focus on our relationships with our friends, family, and partners. It is crazy, but because of the times we are in, the images mean so much more to me. I feel so much more when I look at them. No distractions, just connection.
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