You’re probably very familiar with social distancing by now. The practice has recently gained momentum in an effort to slow the worldwide spread of COVID-19, which is now present in 187 countries and territories around the globe, according to the World Health Organization.
Schools, colleges, movie theaters and retail stores are closed. Restaurants are only open for takeout, and many employers are having their staff work from home (if possible). In other words, everyone is being urged to stay home as much as possible and keep their distance from others in public.
This is a new normal we’ve all had to adjust to. But it’s a necessary one. Just take a look at the impact social distancing has on “flattening the curve” of the exponential growth of coronavirus cases in these simulations by The Washington Post if you need further proof.
With this in mind, here’s a few ideas to make the most of this time of social distancing.
Take care of your body.
It can be tempting to skip workouts and take on unhealthy habits while spending more time at home, but we need to take care of our bodies in order to stay strong and healthy. And just because you can’t go to the gym right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise right where you are. There are plenty of online resources for indoor workouts. Motivate yourself to try them out a few times a week to stay active.
You’ll also likely be doing a lot more cooking in your own kitchen. Why not use the opportunity to try out healthy recipes for yourself, your family or roommates? Put your culinary skills to the test, get creative and try new healthier options that will benefit you in the long run.
Check out this list of fitness companies by NBC offering free workouts across different video platforms.
Strengthen your relationships.
You’re spending a lot more time with family and friends who live with you. Take this opportunity to really strengthen your relationships with them.
Have meaningful conversations. Share a meal, watch a movie together or play board games at home. Do the things you enjoy together and make memories. But also make time for the serious talks to offer the support needed in this unprecedented time.
If you have kids, really enjoy and make the most of the time you have with them at home. Use the extra time you have with them to do the things you haven’t been able to do as much as you would have hoped. Make art together, read a book or dance. Laugh with your children and bring them joy with the time you’re now able to spend together.
And don’t forget to connect with the people who don’t live with you. Call, text or video call them to see how they’re doing. Show them your genuine care and support. Be someone they can count on.
Get some fresh air and embrace nature.
While yes, we are being asked to stay home, it doesn’t mean we can’t go out for fresh air every once in a while. In fact, it’s important for your mental wellness.
Go for a walk around your neighborhood (if it’s not too crowded) or at a park that’s not too busy with your dog. Go jogging in an open area to get some physical activity outside the walls of your house.
If allowed, explore some trails nearby and go hiking. Soak up some time in nature and embrace the outdoors. However, always practice social distancing and avoid close contact with others.
Looking for new hiking trails? Discover some near you.
Pursue your passions.
Do the things (indoors) that you are passionate about in your spare time. Study a new language you’ve been wanting to learn. Work on crafts you’ve been saving for when you have time. Write, paint, learn how to play an instrument or finish a huge puzzle. Challenge yourself to pursue your ambitions.
Engage in the activities that make you happy and fulfill you as a human being—no matter how impossible they may seem.
Enrich your mind.
Don’t let your brain turn to mush as you spend more time at home. Stimulate your mind by reading all the books that have sat unread in your bookshelf. Watch documentaries on the issues you care about. Take every chance you can to learn something new.
Come out of this time of social distancing with some newfound knowledge to thrive in the outside world.
Don’t forget to make time for yourself, especially if you’re now working from home or are still reporting to work every day to make ends meet.
Do some yoga videos, practice relaxation and pamper yourself at home. Have a spa day with your spouse, roommates or children. Get out the facial masks and nail polishes lying around in the house. Enjoy a relaxing time with one another.
Take care of yourself. Because to get through the outbreak, you need to be healthy physically and mentally.
Social distancing can be lonely and even boring, at times. But it’s an important piece to putting this chapter behind us and moving forward. So, make the most of this time at home. You’ll be able to look back at it in the future—maybe even out in public—with a big smile on your face.
- Find these Do Gooders Podcast episodes and more at caringmagazine.org/podcast.
- Visit westernusa.salvationarmy.org to find The Salvation Army nearest you.
- Give to support the fight for good in your community.
- Did you know The Salvation Army served more than 23 million Americans last year fighting hunger, homelessness, substance abuse and more—all in a fight for good? Where can you help? Take our free quiz to find What’s Your Cause and how you can join in today.