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Remember when we were kids and our creativity and imagination had no boundaries? We would entertain ourselves from the simplest things in life. Covid-19 has us going back to these simple ways. Here are 13 things to do when social distancing at home.

If like me, you all of a sudden find yourself with a ton of new found time due to the coronavirus social distancing and stay at home recommendations, don’t fret. I always like to see the silver lining in things and social distancing at home because of coronavirus is no exception. Yes, I am confined to the comforts of my own home and my own presence (among that of Pat and my parents), but there are so many things we can do to pass the time. I actually think this is giving people a lot of time to open up their mind and explore their creativity once again. As adults, we are kind of stuck in our routines, schedules, and days and forget to make the time to find inspiration in the small everyday things from life. This opportunity we have been presented with reminds me of when we were kids and would literally come up with games out of thin air–an example of creativity at its finest. So in order to rediscover my own creativity, here are the 13 things I do to pass my time when social distancing at home during the coronavirus.

1. Walks

Depending on where you are there may be limitations on how far you can walk or where you can walk around you. I’m currently isolating myself in the suburbs outside New York in Connecticut at my parents house. Although everything is closed, we can still stay active and walk around the suburbs. Our daily walks are a very important part of our sanity for now. Rain or shine, Pat goes out to grab lunch from one of the local restaurants still open and offering takeout options. My mother and I typically go for walks around the neighborhood, up Greenwich Avenue by closed shops, around our old neighborhood and more in order to get our steps in. It’s also a great way to take in Spring as nature unfolds before our eyes. It brings a little bit of pep to your step to see those flowers sprout out of the ground or cherry blossom trees begin to bloom.

2. Get Outside

Social Distance Outdoors, The Right Way

With the new social distancing measures in place, Patrick and I have been taking this time to rediscover the outdoors and what it means to be in wilderness. We’ve begun to have a new found appreciation for the nature around us and our smaller local parks and trails. So what does that mean for you and I? How can we still spend time social distancing outdoors, but be safe?

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3. Read

Before the outbreak, I had recently joined a book club with a few of my friends. Now I am not a big reader, I prefer to write than to read, but decided it may be interesting to give this whole book club thing a go. The book the group had chosen was Educated by Tara Westover, a New York Times bestseller, Obama chosen book, Bill Gates pick etc. The book isn’t something I myself would choose to read, but it was so refreshing to read something different than I would usually opt for. And truthfully, it was actually a very enthralling book and put life into perspective. Reading is the easiest way to pass the time and lose yourself in another world that isn’t this one, or gain a new found appreciation for your current situation and realizing it’s not that bad, if you’re reading a book like Educated!

Alternatively, flip through some magazines to pass the time. Rip out some inspo pieces, take some quizzes, scrap book. It’s a great way to get some inspo and help you plan for the future whether that’s style or travel.

4. Take lots of baths

What better way to unwind at the end of the day then by taking a bath? Throw some soothing bath salts in there and decompress from the stress of the day or the week. My favorite bath salts are Dr. Teal’s Pink Himalayan Mineral Soak. It restores and replenishes the body providing relief from stress. It’s been proven that baths have mental and calming effects on the body and mind. I find them extremely enjoyable during these times when I actually have time to take them and enjoy them! Take your bath to the next level and bring a book or sip on a glass of wine while decompressing.

5. Nail Art

Another thing I NEVER have the time to do when I work is get my nails done. I’m always getting home from work by 7:30/8PM, and by the time I shower and have dinner it’s 10PM. I don’t like sitting on my stone colored couch while my nails dry (which takes forever), so always pass on doing my nails. When social distancing at home, nails is one of those things I finally got to do. But I went beyond just “painting them.” I purchased some fun, spring, floral stickers on Amazon and decided to bring a little cheer to my vibe by adding some floral designs to my nails. It brings a smile to my face every time I look at them and I now know how to do fun nail art without too much heavy lifting!

6. Play Board Games

Patrick is starting to accumulate a pretty robust collection of board games at home. His latest addition to the stash is Carcassonne. We brought it with us to Connecticut, along with our other board game Catan, to pass the time rather than watch TV or read. It’s a super fun game and I highly recommend people pick up playing board games again. It’s a great way to exercise your brain muscles and enjoy some time with family and friends.

7. Catch up on all the TV Shows

May I recommend some comedy during this somber and grey time. I’ve been binge watching Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. It always manages to put a smile on my face, but I also find myself wanting to watch all those TV shows I have half watched or put on hold till now because I never have the time to mentally and emotionally invest time in them. Some HBO TV Shows I want to finish or are on my bucket list include: Boardwalk Empire, Succession, Silicon Valley, Ballers, Sopranos, Westworld, and the list goes on…too much FOMO to name them all. From Amazon Prime? Modern Love, Grand Tour, James May In Japan, etc. And let’s not even get me started on Netflix. When it came to movie night, we chose to rent Knives Out, which came out earlier in the year. It was a really good movie featuring Daniel Craig (not my favorite role of his, but still a good movie), Ana des Armas, and Chris Evans, among others.

8. Paint and Craft

I started picking up painting, drawing, and crafting again. I walked into my mother’s room the other day and noticed she was using a bookmark for her book (how vintage!). I asked her where I could get one too, and then thought to myself, heck why don’t I just make myself one. I bought some acrylic paint, paint brushes, and hard mixed media paper. I’m trying to refresh my memory on how to use a paint brush, but once I brush up on my skills again, I’ll tackle my moms bookmark and make one for myself as well. Painting, drawing, and sketching whether it’s of a still indoors or a landscape in your backyard or outside your window is another calming way to pass the time. Put on your favorite smooth music and paint. If you want to spice it up, include your significant other, add a bottle of wine to the mix, and challenge one another to paint what the other person looks like (abstract or not). It makes for a good time I promise!

9. Take Pics of Food and Cooking

Let’s be honest, the thing we probably all look the most forward to during our day when social distancing at home is food. Especially comfort food. This is the best time to come up with new meals, fine tune your cooking skills, and try some exotic not so common dishes. My parents decided to get creative as well from asian fish with tofu and bok choy to chicken tandoori. What’s even more fun then making food in my opinion, is taking pictures of your masterpieces and sharing them with people. We all are looking for inspo and comfort food during this time of need, so share away!

10. Cardio (Indoor or Outdoors)

Ok, walking and hiking is great and all. But you still need to include some cardio in your mix. Especially with all the eating you’ll be doing. Walks are great and all, but you need to get your heart rate up. Whether that’s a 2 – 4 mile run around your neighborhood or an indoor workout class on a rainy day. There are so many indoor workout classes you can take part of, both pre-recorded and live. I personally prefer the live ones because it makes me feel accountable for showing up at a specific time. Some classes include ObE fitness classes–they offer free 7-day trials and a variety of HIIT, dance cardio, barre, yoga, full body, sculpt, pilates, and more–ClassPass‘ pre-recorded classes, Barry’s Bootcamp’s IG lives, Rumble’s IG Live, PureBarre’s Facebook videos, and the list goes on.

11. Write

Whether you’re journaling, working on a blog, writing emails to friends, texting, chatting on social media, or whatsapping. WRITE. Make sure you are letting all tensions and feelings out on paper, in a word doc, or to friends. As a kid, I would journal every day about what happened, what I did that day, who I was angry at, why I was happy etc. I kid you not when I say I have over 20 diaries and journals stashed in a box under my bed. I occasionally go back to read them. They were such a therapeutic way to express my emotions growing up and to this day I believe there are some very important health benefits to writing.

12. Happy Hour with Friends via Video Chat

My friends recently had Pat and I join the HouseParty App, an video chatting app that allows you to play virtual games or drinking games with your friends as if you were there with them. Think Cards Against Humanity, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, and Heads Up. Spending an afternoon or two during the week catching up with friends, playing games, and drinking wine or beer uplifts your mood, even if it is just virtual.

13. Puzzles

Last but not least, puzzles. Oh how I love puzzles. They are hypnotic and addictive in nature. You walk by one and as soon as you take a look at a few pieces, you’ve spiraled into a trap that will keep you playing for hours on end. It’s a very easy pass time that will make the days go by much faster. Since I’m in the suburbs of New York and miss New York, I was considering purchasing a New York puzzle in order to fulfill my nostalgic void.

They key to social distancing at home is to keep your mind busy. Especially if you’re current workload is a bit lower than usual. But also take this time to rethink your current priorities, what you value, what you enjoy doing in your free time, and maybe rediscovering some old or new found creativity or activities. For a one-stop shop of all my activities recommended above, visit my Amazon storefront store for quick and easy purchase!

FYI, there’s no shame in napping during this time. This is the best of times to take advantage of this free time and truly give your body some well-deserved R&R if possible.

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