Sadness, disappointment, and worry are common emotions that have been circulating my body and mind in recent days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one thing that has become increasingly clear to me during this time of uncertainty is that the health and safety of my family, friends and the greater community are what matters most. Social distancing is necessary and our responsibility at this time.
However difficult and uncertain these times may become I hope that as a result there is a change of consciousness. I hope people learn to live simpler with much less. I hope that people feel more present. One thing I am certain will happen is that the use of electronic devices that we already spend so much time on will increase during this challenging time. Sadly, we will rely even more heavily on our screens. There is so much information we ingest through our devices, with SM news updates, while also navigating working from home.
At this time it is not safe to spend time in person with the ones we love, so we will support each other through the use of technology. However, I hope that when COVID-19 is finally behind us that we will all be thrilled to put our devices away and fully appreciate face to face interactions again with our colleagues, friends, and family and learn to be more present.
I have put together a very random list of ideas. Sustainable things we can do, while our overly scheduled lives become much simpler while we have the opportunity to simply stay at home. Many items on this list are things I always hope to do but feel like I never have enough free time or energy. Hopefully, one or two ideas on this list will be useful for you or at least entertain you in a way that is gentle on our planet.
Stay Sane While Staying Apart:
- Be kind, think of others. You can still be social (just not in person). Wave hello and smile at everyone you see from afar. Offer senior citizens you know to get their groceries for them so that they do not have to put themselves at risk by going to grocery stores.
- Breath. Take time to focus on your breath and try to clear your mind of worries every single day.
- Be grateful. Uncertainty is so challenging and can really leave you feeling negative. Take time to write down something you are grateful for every day. Call someone who always makes you laugh and reminds you how lucky you are.
- Start a journal. Who knows the experiences you have while you are self quarantining might make you laugh or cry when you revisit them years from now when this is all behind us.
- Support small businesses and try to shop locally. Small businesses need your support now more than ever. Go to the little grocery store in your neighborhood. You will come into contact with fewer people there too.
- Organize your pantry. Take stock of what you have and please don’t buy more than you need.
- Don’t waste food. Here are some fantastic ways you can put your food scraps to great use. And for even more ideas look here.
- Exercise. Start a new healthy habit indoors or outdoors. It will help you to stay healthy both mentally and physically.
- Make compost. No excuses, you’ve got time now, build that worm farm you have been putting off making. Here is how you can get started. Ask someone if they’ve got worms to give you, its a great way to start a conversation.
- Plant a garden inside or outside. Use whatever you have around the house. Old coffee tins, baskets, plastic containers lying around your home can be transformed into plant pots. Get planting that old pack of seeds cluttering up a drawer. Maybe you could grow sprouts. I am positive you will find something in your pantry that you can sprout. Sprouting almonds is an easy way to start.
- Play board games or do puzzles.
- For all of you out there who are missing their fantasy sports leagues, find a family member or friend to play an online game against.
- Dance! Make a playlist of your favorite tunes that always make you feel good and get moving! If you use Spotify share your playlist with others who might enjoy those tunes as much as you do or will at least get a laugh out of the fact that your taste in music has not changed with time.
- Make those photo albums you never get around to making.
- Build forts inside or put your tent up in your backyard and camp outside.
- Raid your recycling and make recycled crafts.
- Take homeschooling/distance learning into your own hands. Think about your favorite activities from when you were a child and recreate them for your children. I loved playing “Find the Button” when I was little. As I searched around my home for the hidden button my mom would tell me if I was getting hotter or colder.
- Reach out to others. Make a list of people who you always want to call and have a catch up with but rarely make the time. Call them, it will brighten their day. Take this time to reconnect with people (at a distance of course).
- Have an online scavenger hunt with friends and their children. Simply video chat with another family and share the experience of a scavenger hunt.
- Make dinosaur eggs with leftover coffee grinds, you can put little dinosaurs or other random surprises inside. Here is a great recipe to try.
- Create a home spa. Use leftover avocado, coffee grinds or other items you already have in your kitchen and make daily face masks which you can enjoy while working from the comfort of your home.
- Exercise your mind. Read, listen to podcasts, write, sketch, create music.
- Declutter. It will feel so good to clear out cupboards and have things ready to pass onto second-hand shops when this pandemic ends.
- Dust off your recipe books. Bake or cook daily. Get your kids involved as much as possible.
- Batch cook meals. Freeze them or share them with neighbors who are social distancing solo.
- Get pickling, if you have some vinegar and empty jars. If this pandemic continues you will be thankful for all of your fermented foods.
- Put your phone away. Its hard during times of uncertainty and constant information overload to switch off but it is so important. I am going to work much harder at disconnecting.
- Celebrate the fact that our air is cleaner as fewer people are driving or flying. Fewer factories are running and fewer people are shopping. Especially now that all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer are gone.
The possibilities of how you can distract or entertain yourself and your family during these days are endless. Try to remain calm and optimistic (I repeat this to myself daily). Take a moment to celebrate that by being forced to change our habits our planet is healing.
What have you been doing for our planet, yourself or family during social distancing? We would love to hear from you!