With all of the seriousness of this virus, some of us still want to deal with it in a lighter way. I, for one, love the jokes and sarcastic comments. It’s a particularly bad time for those of us who deal with depression and anxiety. Headlines aren’t helping. The news networks are running special programs to supposedly keep us informed of the latest. It’s virus, virus everywhere with no end in sight. So, let’s take a look at an adult version of how to stay sane because you don’t want to die from the virus.
First of all, it’s the worst possible time for us in the North. We were already suffering from cabin fever and now this. It hasn’t even been particularly cold this winter either. It’s just the amount of time without sunlight and too many wet, gloomy days to wake up to. So, like all responsible adults we are staying home as much as possible even though our minds are screaming for warm, sunny, beaches, ocean waters, and beautiful lake streams. Those of you who live near the beaches, it’s so close and yet so far with this quarantine. For some, it might be mall shopping, going to the movies, or touring Europe, but whatever your choice of getting away from it all is, we are all stuck on a boat in the middle of nowhere with no place to go. Now, if that doesn’t make you feel sad about the reality, you’re doing something right. But if it does make you sad, let’s re-evaluate where things stand. Can you imagine what our lives would be like right now if we didn’t have television, internet, and telephones? We’d be going out of our minds and have no idea what’s going on. Since we are lucky to have those things, we need to learn to take advantage of it and use them as the tools they were intended to be, albeit for fun, not just work.
- With food shortages, it might be a great time to find out if you could be a vegetarian! Knowing I can’t be, I have had to be a little more creative with dishes and recipes. I look for meat alternatives and for substitutes for items I might be lacking. It might be a good time to diet and reduce portions too. Maybe planning a garden or raising some chickens for this summer isn’t a bad idea either.
- With toilet paper shortages, (who would have thought that could happen?!), it’s made us more conscious of the waste we produce. We might learn to not be quite so picky on brands and maybe be a little more environmentally aware of the paper products we use and abuse. I have yet to find a substitute, and no, we are not completely out, but perhaps bidets will make a resurgence in American homes now. My bathroom isn’t quite big enough for one, but it does make me think about how long the hose for the shower should be if I need it to reach the toilet now.
- We are learning just how much we love our spouses. Being together 24/7 for a couple not used to it can be a real eye opener. We could perhaps try to be less annoying, more aware of our habits, both good and bad, and realize that even when confined, people need some space! You don’t need to do everything together. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more babies born in another 8 months and possibly, a lot more divorces filed.
- Time for projects! You’ve been putting off fixing something or changing something for too long. You now have time to watch a YouTube video to learn how or to learn a new way. Paint a room, sew a quilt, do crafts, or pick up a new hobby. Look on Pinterest. That’s enough to get you going for quite some time. Just don’t be disappointed if yours doesn’t look quite the same as the picture.
- Read and learn! Read some books you’ve had lying around the house, go online with your local library and do digital downloads, or kick up your Kindle book orders. How about that pile of magazines you never got to? The manual you were not anxious to look at. Try a new language. Study a topic and become an authority on something. You’ll be great at trivia nights when those get rolling again.
- Redecorate using what you have already in the house. Rearranging, changing out artwork, curtains, throws, and maybe even switching out rooms can make a big difference on how you are feeling. Check boxes you have put away in places you never get to for some “new” items.
- Speaking of checking boxes, when was the last time you went through things you have stored? The attic, the basement, the crawl space, and the garage could be harboring hidden treasures you’ve forgotten about. There might be enough to change the whole look of a room or give you a reason to consider a garage sale when this is all over. Mark prices as you go if you realize things are just taking up space!
- Remember those gifts to make, paint, or create things that you’ve been given and wondered when you’d ever have time? Now is the time. You might find a completely new hobby or interest. And if it’s not your cup of tea, pass it on.
- Guys, it’s time to sort or organize your tools, sporting equipment, hunting or fishing gear, or whatever you’ve put off too long and your spouse complains about. Clean it, decide what to keep and what to part with and put it out at that garage sale when you have it.
- Find some self- restoration in the new found quiet you have in abundance. Try taking up yoga online or video, do some meditating, spiritual renewal, or exercise. The sources online are endless and I do mean endless.
- There are dozens of virtual tours of museums, famous places, and beautiful vacation spots to be found at your fingertips. If you can’t go in person, try taking a trip with your mind and no, I don’t mean LSD. There are also concerts, documentaries, and zoo tours.
- Do FaceTime or Messenger video with folks because seeing someone when you talk to them is so much nicer. Also, make those long, put off phone calls to friends, relatives, and neighbors. Write letters again.
- Try doing game night, trivia night, or have a party with friends online using Zoom or other sources to connect with each other for free. Pull out the Wii, the X-box, and all those games you put money into and are now collecting dust.
- Did you always want to write a book, a play, start a blog or write for a newspaper? A lot of the time, it’s just a matter of getting started. You might already be so good at something that you could give instruction. Dedicate a spot and time and get writing!
- You can still take those walks outside, sit on your deck and watch a sunrise or sunset, and in many places, get started on yardwork. Fresh air and exertion make for a sound night of sleeping and keeps your mind off of more worrisome things.
The thing is we are not alone in this and we need each other to keep going. It’s not all gloom and doom and no reason to go there. This situation knows no status, race, color, or creed. Just people trying to get through a difficult time. Reach out, but don’t touch someone! As always, a little humor goes a very long way!