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What do you do when you are stuck at home?

It’s March 2020 and we are all stuck at home.

What a perfect way to start the warmer spring air than a global pandemic containing me into the confinements of my one bedroom apartment in Denver. Yes, I do understand the great importance of social distancing and I do care about all those lives heavily being impacted by the tragedies of this virus.

Let’s face it though. It also sucks to be stuck at home.

As a responsible adult, I will follow the general guidelines to help flatten the curve, regardless of the frustrations. I am also aware that I am one of the few fortunate folks that easily can work from home, my grocery shopping has been completed, I have basically all the streaming services (thanks family for sharing the passwords!) and am only really being impacted by potential cancellations of fun future activities.

So I’m going to take that awareness of the positive and push forward by sharing my ways that I am going to make the most out of being stuck at home.

If you know me at all, I’m the kind of lady that likes to turn barren BLM land, without bathrooms might I add, into glamourous music festival like camping experiences. If you have camped with me, you would know!

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Glam up you Campsite

I’ve even kept the party alive while there were fire bans, and yes, of course, I did not just break the fire bans.

There are a million more resources being stuck at home than when you’re out in the middle of nowhere or even in a foreign country during a disaster.

So let’s support each other and help flatten the curve while having fun while we’re at it.

Turn your home into an oasis

Flowers and nice settings to prepare for being stuck at home

If you are stuck at home, you most certainly will want to enjoy where you are at. Much like I do with camping, I focus heavily on creating a beautiful ambiance so I will enjoy spending time there.

First off, I cleaned. Part of it was to help overcome some of this virus anxiety but also to create a clutter free atmosphere that is easy on the eyes. Plus, my husband is a nurse so he cannot work from home. We do want to take necessary precautions like keeping things a little more disinfected just in case he does bring something home with him. Power wash that uniform!

Next, I decorate, redecorate, and depending on the situation, add plants, flowers, and art to my space. I was fortunate enough to hit the grocery store right before everything really fell apart and have acquired a few new flower babies in the process. Seeing beautiful creatures really makes being stuck at home less painful. Being the person that I am, my home is already heavily decorated with art and life but if you aren’t this way, I suggest adding pictures or loved ones, art, screen savers, or whatever to beautify your place.

Lastly, don’t forget to indulge your other senses. Light that candle or incense you’ve been storing. Play your favorite tracks. Try your best at a new recipe or set out that charcuterie board. Get into the comfiest and fluffiest outfits. These past couple weeks have been hard and it’s healthy to have a few safe indulgences to keep yourself grounded. Believe it or not, you can make that happen while you are stuck at home. Trust me on this.

Maintain your health regimen while stuck at home

Coach and Yoga set up for being stuck at home

Don’t let social distancing stop you from maintaining your health. Believe me when I say that I am personally bummed that my yoga classes have been canceled for the rest of the month but I know that this shouldn’t stop me from practicing the moves at home. My studio is even offering streamed classes so I won’t get too lost as a beginner.

Look into your place of fitness to see what streaming services they include and try your hand at learning to work out at home.

Obviously, not everyone has the equipment that your gym has to offer. Luckily, we all have bodies and can use our body weight for simple exercises.

If you are lucky, you may be able to maintain social distancing outside which gives you the added bonus of vitamin D and fresh air. Just be mindful of others.

The main point that I am trying to get at is that you want to keep your fitness regimen up because it will help your physical health and improve your mental health while you are stuck at home.

Connect digitally

Computers set up to communicate from home

We have the technology. Most people have some way to connect with others. Whether it be a phone call, email, video call, messenger, social media, or whatever, we have a way to connect.

Now more than ever, we need to make sure that we are staying connected to reduce the turmoil of isolation.

While everyone is obviously different, isolation can make some people feel lonely and heavily impact someone’s mental health. I feel for all my hardcore extroverts out there!

Luckily, our streaming ability has come a long way from what it used to be and we are really able to virtually connect.

Create a digital party! Using services like Skype, Zoom, Face Chat, and Snap Chat can really make hanging out in different locations feel less remote. My current job is part-time remote and I honestly don’t miss too much meeting that way. Think of it like this. You can take totally take shots together, dance together, sing together, get heavily intoxicated together, and well you get the picture. Plus, it does allow you to be more intimate with your friends which is kind of neat in itself. Just be creative!

Finish that thing you’ve been putting off now that you’re stuck at home

Have you been wanting to learn a new language? What about learning how to cook? Is there something that has been needing to be fixed or worked on but you’ve been too busy to get to it? Do you want to explore your creative abilities and make a new piece?

Now is your time, because you have time. I for one, as you can probably notice, tend to push off writing in this blog even though I love doing it. Look at me now guys!

This is not saying to go overboard on housework. I’m just saying that there may be a few things that have been on the backburner waiting for time to clear up. Now, you have time.

Instead of getting all doomsday panic mode, maybe watch that subtitled film that has been intimidating you before. Paint that beautiful picture. Pretend you’re on one of those cooking shows where you have to make a meal with a limited amount of ingredients. Honestly, that’s what got me decent at cooking. Write that great new novel. Just remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  

Recreate the going out experience

Bar set up while stuck at home

This one is my specialty. I am all about pretend. This is a little easier because my husband is my main party buddy and I don’t mind staying in with him but hey, you can still do this alone.

I’m the kind of lady that themes out my dinners. Honestly, I use this technique to save money by reducing the times we eat out. I try to table set, stream authentic music, and match beverages for almost all my dinners. You don’t even have to be great at cooking to do this. Let takeout do the work for you and set your own ambiance.

Related: Traveler’s Guide to Save Money

Get dressed up for your occasion if that’s something that gets you going. I love makeup but I’m an only leggings kind of lady. That’s the nice part of home parties though. You set the dress code.

I for one am really big on raves and electronic music shows. I’m planning to set up all the lights that I already own for lighting ambiance while camping to create a cool remote rave while stuck at home. Plus, YouTube has some great videos, some even professionally filmed, of live sets. Currently, I wouldn’t be surprised if some artists are live streaming as well. Rave at the Young’s!

Mental health and self-care

Woman looking sad

While this article already focuses on self-care, I wanted to talk a little more about it to really highlight its importance. Especially since I do focus on specifics, I want everyone to know that self-care takes a million different forms.

For some, it may mean that you need some alone, which can be difficult if you are stuck at home with family members. Don’t feel ashamed if you need to step away from it all for even just a moment. I know that I’ve been using meditation to help clear myself a bit. There are a few cool apps like Headspace that can help guide you through.

Don’t feel like you have to be in the know at all times. Turn off that cell sometimes. I used to work in politics and literally would collect news stories every weekday to share with our internal teams. It was exhausting knowing what bad thing is going on in the world all the time. No one needs to carry all of that. I’m not saying to stay ignorant. Just maybe schedule some time to read the news and turn it off. Try to balance some peace in with the chaos.

Coming from experience, I used to think that it was weak to not be able to handle the problems of the world. I was wrong. I was so wrong. After losing my job, changing careers, and finding a workplace that focuses on healing, I’ve learned that it’s ok to prioritize yourself a little. Believe me, when I say you can still care, you can still fight for good, you can do all of it and prevent burnout and compassion fatigue. Take a break sometimes. I promise you, the bad news isn’t going anywhere.

Also, don’t neglect your mental health. If you are stuck at home, you may need to look for digital options to get treatment. Don’t be afraid to text or call crisis services at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the disaster distress line at 1-800-985-5990.  There are also local and international services that can usually be Googled. They are free and anonymous and you can talk to a licensed mental health professional 24/7, even if you don’t think you are in enough of a crisis to call. No problem is too small.

Help others while stuck at home

Buying things online

Obviously, this is specific to the pandemic of 2020 but it’s important to remember the people who are being impacted by local, national, or global closures. Small businesses and restaurants operate on small margins and may struggle to get by when people are stuck at home. This doesn’t mean you should rush these businesses, especially if you are sick. Look into purchasing gift cards, placing online orders or preorders, ordering takeout, and writing reviews of your favorite spots. In tough times, the world does need a little more kindness. Let’s help each other as we get through this.

Also, for those who need help during these times, you can see a list of Colorado Human Resources still available here and information about unemployment here.

Children

Now, you will notice that I don’t mention much about helping kids because I don’t have a kid yet and I am not going to pretend like I have any clue on what to do with children when they are also stuck at home. I understand that that situation can be challenging, especially if you aren’t granted paid time off. In my circles, I know of people who have offered free care for those unable to get work off. Also, entertaining them and explaining all the things going on may be difficult. (Source) gives some tips on explaining these emergencies to children and I have heard some cute ideas on keeping kids entertained.

My old debate coach did a camp in with her kids and set up a tent in the living room.

Adorable.

As someone with no expertise in childcare, minus the small number of times I watched my baby sister, I will stop at that.

So there you have it. Here are my tips to try to keep it together when stuck at home. Do you have any ideas you would like to add? Feel free to leave me your favorite ideas in the comments.

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