Are you bored, lonely or going stir crazy? These unprecedented days of isolation are causing new feelings for all of us, but these are the words I hear most often when asked how people are doing. So, what is a person to do? I have found creating a schedule and following it has helped tremendously. I haven’t been bored yet! So, what does one put on a schedule? These are just my recommendations, but some ideas include: all your regular cleaning chores, some items off your to do list that you never get around to doing, taking a walk through your neighborhood, calling friends and family members, writing letters/cards and sending those off to friends and family, reading a book, putting together a puzzle, or whatever else you like to do that relaxes you.
In creating a schedule, it can be done the old fashion way on a piece of paper, in your electronic calendar, or however you choose to keep a calendar. Personally, my week already has some basic structure with Zoom meetings and responsibilities, so I have those in my calendar to start. Then, I put in my regular cleaning responsibilities, followed with things that I would like to accomplish. It is helpful for me not to fill a whole day with something I’m not looking forward to, because then I find myself procrastinating and not ever getting to it. Which is how it ended up on my list of things that never end up getting done to begin with! For these things, I find it more productive to schedule in an hour of my time. This reminds me to work on it, but then there are other things to accomplish when it gets monotonous. Since these items usually take more than an hour to accomplish, you will need to put these in your calendar multiple times to make sure they get finished.
Taking walks through my neighborhood, is something that I have been doing for years, but now I usually get two walks a day in, instead of only one. Walking is so good for you in so many ways. Spring is such a beautiful time of year to be outside and enjoying the beauty around us. Unfortunately, it is spring, so I have to take my allergy medicine before venturing out! But it is so worth it. The flowers are starting to bloom, the grass is green, the trees are bursting forth in full color, and your neighbors are out and about as well. Take your time on your walks. Enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass, the beauty of creation around you, stop to say hi to a neighbor (at a safe distance of course!) and watch for wildlife. We’ve seen bunnies on two of our walks over the last couple of days. If you live in a neighborhood, like I do, look in the windows for bears, hearts, eggs, or other decorations. Enjoy the chalk drawings of the neighborhood children. Saunter, take your time, there is no hurry. If you can’t get out to walk, at least try to get outside to sit and experience a change of scenery.
Connecting with others is one of the best things we can do to stay sane during these days of quarantine. Just because we are called to stay home and stay safe, doesn’t mean we can’t communicate with loved ones. One of my favorite things to do is to make and send cards. This keeps me busy, is something I enjoy doing, and hopefully is encouraging to the recipients. If you don’t have cards, pick up a piece of paper and write a letter. I love to get non junk mail! You don’t have to write a long letter, just jot down some things you think will be encouraging to the person you are writing to. If you have a lot of time on your hands, and enjoy writing, you might want to document your experiences of this time for the next generation. Some people find journaling a good outlet for their thoughts during difficult days. If you don’t like writing, pick up the phone. I also like to call and stay in communication with family members, to see if they need anything at the store, how they are feeling, and what is going on in their lives. If you are able, there are multiple ways to serve others during this time, including shopping. Of course, with the advent of technology, our means of communicating is endless: texting, Facebook, e-mail. . . Find a method that works for you and connect with others. If you are able, find ways to serve.
Last, but not least, we all have hobbies. Mine include reading and sewing. Some people like to do puzzles, everyone has something they enjoy. Remember what it is that brings you joy, and spend time relaxing and enjoying life. This season will pass, life will move on and people will get busy again. Take some time to appreciate this season, and encourage those around you in the process.