If only I had more time I would…how often have we uttered those words? Many of us are now faced with what we may feel is too much time. While this pandemic has afflicted us with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, it can also be a time to reflect upon our blessings and to accomplish some of those “one day” agenda items we never seem to get to. While we’re all self-isolating, here are a few ideas of how to give your day more structure and content:
- Take an online course on a subject you’re interested in or want to learn more about.
- Go through your cookbooks and try those complicated recipes you’ve never had the nerve to try before.
- Listen to Ted Talks and learn something new with over 3300 videos.
- Punic Wars? Mythology? Pre-Raphaelites? Geography? Classic Noir? Indulge your interest and study it like you have to pass an exam.
- Go through your old photos and organize/label them.
- Make online photo books from all those trips where you took loads of pictures but never did anything with them.
- Keep a daily journal. A professor of history suggests keeping a record of life during a pandemic. This could become a piece of history in the future.
- Visit historic sites online. Here are a few of the places that offer virtual tours on their websites: The Louvre, the Sistine Chapel, Guggenheim Museum, Yosemite and Yellowstone, The Great Wall, MOMA, British Museum. The San Diego Zoo has a live cam tour here: https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams
- Write a letter (or letters) to mail later.
- Start an online book club with your neighbors or other friends.
- Learn a new hobby like origami. Everything has a “how to” on Google!
- Get out in nature if you can. Take a walk. Bird watch.
- Fun science experiments for kids that are easy to do at home and use ingredients most of us have in our pantry can be found on this site, as well as other activities for kids to do at home: https://www.kiwico.com/
- Get some SUN every day. Twenty minutes of sunshine per day triggers your body to release over 200 antimicrobials that fight fungi, parasites and viruses.
- Think of ways you might help someone, even if it’s only to check in with someone who lives alone. A friend of mine mowed the lawn of her neighbor––a recent widow in her eighties. There are ways to help without exposing ourselves or others.
- If you’re a praying person, pray for our health workers around the world and for the vulnerable everywhere.
- And of course, as Henry James said––“only connect”. Whether through phone calls, Facetime, Zoom, Skype, or Texts – we all benefit from social contact, even from a distance, so stay connected to family and friends.
“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”
What are some of the ways you’re managing in this challenging time?
Now that was a most creative list, Liv — I like so many of your ideas — especially going through old recipes, trying new ones, organizing photos, studying subjects I always "intended to"…as for how I've been coping so far: swimming laps every day, biking to friend's homes – calling them to come to the front door so we can chat (from afar), doing research for a new novel (including emailing our veterinarian for info on German Shepherds because my new hero rescues one.) Yesterday I "met" with local book club members through Zoom.com. I've also been reaching out – through emails – to many friends across the country to see how they are. And every Sunday I watch our Naples Community Church service on Livestream. Now, I'd love to see how others are coping – while praying for an end to all of this. Thanks for a great post.
Fabulous ideas! I, however, am lucky—or unlucky, depending on your point of view—that I am still working a semi-normal schedule (only 3 less hours per shift). So I still have, mostly, my normal schedule. However not going anywhere except work and maybe the grocery store now and then frees up a lot of time! I have three major projects to keep me busy: revising my current manuscript (nerve wracking), finishing up a discarded dollhouse that I am turning into a mini reconstruction of crime scenes at work (when I know nothing about creating miniatures or clay figures, and have a hard time sewing people-sized clothes, much less 6” high people-sized clothes!) and cleaning the garage, having finally given up on my husband ever getting off the couch. I will undoubtedly be yelled at many times in the future for moving some obscure item from a place he ‘was sure’ it had been at, but I’m frustrated enough to endure the heat. I’ve even, to avoid making myself crazy, divided this into a schedule for my off days: work on the book in the morning, break about one for workout and snack, clean garage for a few hours, get in the pool and actually read a book until dinner, and after dinner sew another pair of tiny pants and shirts.
It’s important to have a plan.
Like most people, we're staying at home these days, and it is far from boring – our lives have gotten exciting because my grandson & his parents are staying with us during this time. No quiet writers' life now. John & I are both busy & challenged & having fun with the little boy. He gives us a new structure, but I look at Liv's photos of home-made goodies & I'm thinking I need to branch out and do that, too. Yum!