Over the past handful of weeks the news, social media, and the majority of conversation topics have been hovering around a now infamous c-word. The taboo word is in the title of this post so we don’t have to repeat it again. Like you, I’m becoming aware of the severity of the issue. I’m not sure how you feel about the matter but inside my mind is overheating from reading, listening, and watching reports about the topic.
Depending on where you live you might already be under a shelter-in-place order, quarantine, or practicing social distancing. Whatever your situation is, we all have felt the effects of the c-word and it’s not making life easier.
On the one hand, this really is unfortunate and I deeply hope that no one who is reading this has gotten sick or knows someone who’s sick. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling down then watching the news to get even more depressed about what’s happening.
This being said, there is a positive side to all of this. We will prevail and overcome the challenges that have resulted in trying to “flatten the curve”. Being forced to be at home for an extended period of time as an opportunity to do some things that we’ve neglected, put off, or haven’t ever done before. We must stay positive and a good way to do this is through distraction. Here’s a list of some ideas of things we can do to pass the time while waiting for all of this c-word madness to go away.
Disconnect with Your Roommates
Most of us don’t live alone. We either live with our parents, roommates or children. Rather than remaining plugged-in during this extended period of time, consider this a chance to connect more with each other. A puzzle, board game, card game, drinking game, cooking, or video game with the whole group will be a fun way to get over the at-home restlessness.
Call a Friend or Loved One
We all probably have at least one good friend or family member who we haven’t spoken to in a while. If we didn’t have much to say before, then here’s a great ice-breaker: Man that c-word really sucks right? Boom! You’ve got a good topic to chat about. Rather than liking a couple of their posts on Instagram or Facebook, I’m sure they would love to hear your voice.
Learn Something New
You said you’ve been wanting to learn Korean since the beginning of the year. Suddenly, with all of this downtime at home, the moment has presented itself to download some nifty apps like Duolingo or Memrise. They are either free or inexpensive so give them a whirl. Additionally, if you’re a cardholder at the local library, then you get free access to every online course for Lynda.
Organize Your House
That lengthy project to shuffle around all of your furniture or throw away expired items in the medicine cabinet makes a lot of sense right now. Also, we have years of memories hidden away either in external hard-drives or floating around in cloud storage. Maybe it’s time to dive in, see what’s all there, and organize them.
Organize Your Life
If you’re like me, your life might be a speeding train that doesn’t have a clear destination. Perhaps you’re overdue to review the goals you’ve set for yourself, create a new ones, or have a deep brainstorming session about them. Whatever you need or want to do, I’m positive that this bonus time will work in your favor.
The next time you visit Safeway (one of the few places allowed to stay open in my area) I highly recommend investing in colored markers, paint brushes, or water colors – if you don’t already have these goods. Creating a work of art, no matter the skill level, is a fantastic stress-reliever. Once you get in a flow, then the hours pass by really quickly. Given the circumstances, I’m sure we all have plenty of inspiration right now.
Speaking of flow, practicing or learning to meditate is a pretty awesome tool to help lower anxiety and boost concentration. Taking time between activities to meditate can be a nice little addition to your stay-at-home routine. Spotify has some great free guided meditations and for those interested in paying a little fee per month then Headspace is a nifty app.
We all have a book sitting on the shelf that we’ve been meaning to open. Maybe we don’t have any books in our house so we must resort to going online for our literary pleasure. My favorite websites to pass the time (that aren’t news or social media) are: Medium, Culture Trip, Thrillist, Mental Floss, & McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. If you own an e-reader then your local library offers e-books for free and so does Project Gutenberg. There’s also a pretty cool blog called There Dan Was that critics are raving about as well. 😉
Another source of creativity is writing. Maybe you’ve been meaning to start a book, right a memoir, a joke, or a blog to rant about that pesky c-word. Now’s your chance to let the writing juices drive in the carpool lane.
This worldwide event has been scary and it might seem like life has taken a downward spiral. Remember, in spite of everything, that we still have shelter and a device for reading this article. We have loved ones and, contrary to what the news feeds us, life is still good. It’s important to give thanks for what we still have (which is a lot). There is always someone who has it worse and this change to our life is temporary.
Thank you for reading this blog post! There are countless other activities that we can all do to pass the time but just in case you’ve been stumped for inspiration I hope this post was useful. Have a wonderful day, wash your hands after reading, and stay safe. By the way, keep up the great work!
Wonderful thoughts and so true. So well written. Practically inspirational. So proud that u have such a marvelous talent. Luv ya son so very much. Dad
Sent from my iPhone
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As always a great read from you albeit in such a different,startling world as that during your Asia trip a year ago at this same time.
Your suggestions for this situation are thoughtful and even uplifting. Thanks as always Dan.
I appreciate your great words Linda, thanks for reading! I hope you and Bob are staying safe during this time. Hopefully some of these ideas can be put to use. 🙂