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Things have simplified by a lot. Have you noticed? There is much less “to do” i.e. no more social gatherings, sporting advents, or kids games to attend. Even traffic has decreased; traffic has whittled down to the “essential” and everyone else getting groceries. Our world has certainly taken a collective pause. In some twisted way, this allows us to reevaluate our priorities since now we have time. So. Much. Time. The question is will be able to survive and stay sane?
Well, friend, you have come to the right place! Here are a few things to do that are not only good for your bank account but your sanity.
Free Things are the Best Things
It may have been challenging to find time and money to tour museums before but not anymore! Many of the big museums are offering free virtual tours. As a bonus, this can help you decide if someday you want to go visit that museum or if a virtual tour is enough. That’s the beauty of this build-your-own-museum adventure. You choose.
Libraries are still my favorite, even when they are closed. Everything is closed right now, so I can’t blame them. Most libraries have digital catalogs of books, typically it’s called Overdrive. Visit your local libraries website and they will typically have an area that details how to download the software. You will need your library card number and then add a book to your queue. Its digital books on demand! What is better than not having to put on real pants to get a library book? No overdue fines! When your book is due, they just take it off your account. It’s so easy your three-year-old is doing it. Speaking of – why is it so quiet?
Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.Anne Herbert
Super Charge your Human Assets
How to cut your hair, why can’t I stop touching my face, and how is toilet paper made? These are excellent research questions for our current mandatory-shelter-in-place lifestyle. All those things that you had on your back burner can now come to the toasty front burner and start cooking!
With the limitless options available at your fingertips, think about personal growth you can learn during this mandatory staycation. What about a new recipe to add to your kitchens creations? Perhaps looking into Zumba to figure out if it’s something you want to try. Now is the perfect time to practice some deep breathing and stretches with yoga. It may, or may not, make you feel less stabby.
How are your finances? What does your budget look like? This is a great time to plan your financial freedom! Or at the very least, increase your emergency fund because it will help you to feel a lot more sane in this insane time. I mean, the world cant stop binging on Tiger King if that doesn’t indicate insane times, I don’t know what would!
This is also a great time to pick up a party trick. Sheldon’s throat singing is a fun idea.
I mean, for you. I’m practicing my juggling over here.
Then at the opposite end of the spectrum, you could increase your professional skills. Typically the more skills you have the more marketable you are. Do you have any interest in marketing, customer service, or leadership skills? These seem to be highly valuable soft skills. I enjoy using free online platforms like edX but there are many online university options. The hard part is picking one.
Don’t touch your Money, Pretend it’s your Face!
There is a lot of emotions going around now. They are spilling into everything. Do not let them spill into your emotional spending. This is going to be hard because everything is on sale: stocks, designer dogs, Lamborghinis. A nifty way to counteract that is to avoid those websites. Deleting the bookmark and unsubscribing from the email blasts are handy options too.
Invest in the Digital Visit
Connect with people. Digitally. We are all trying to navigate this choppy sea of social distancing. For you extroverts, use that inner love of people to reach out to those shifty introverts. You know us, we are secretly rejoicing about this containment staycation. Introverts, remember at some point you will have to go out and interact with humans again so keep working on those people skills.
Board Game Bonanza!
Break out those board games! Board games are the best because they are fun, cheap, easy, and repeatable. Plus, it’s a good way to unplug from the anxiety-inducing news or waiting until you get another like on your post (not that I would know about any of that…). If you don’t have any board games, what if you made one? One of the biggest ways to make it big on Kickstarter is through creating an epic board game. What a time to be alive!
Self-Care = Self-Love
I love it when science agrees with all the good things in life. Recently it was suggested, by science no less, that baths are good for your heart. Go take a bath because science said so.
Perfect time for a dance party! Find your favorite jam and just keep moving to the beat. Getting rid of stress and sweating off the worry is a great way to pass the time!
If I can be so bold and make a suggestion – write about this. How did we get to where we are? What is our new normal? Someday you will look back on this and wonder how you did it. Plus there is a good chance your squirrelly great, great, great-grandchild will ask. Pro tip: Turn it into a teachable lesson and have them read your memories to you!
Caution: Heavy Load
There is so much we can do to help. Even if it’s something small like sending a card or calling an elderly friend. These small acts of support is what got people through dark times. World Wars, Spanish Flu, and the Dust Bowl, are testaments to humanities knowledge of hardship. We have all read stories of incredible strength, resilience, and hope during those moments of sadness and despair. This is our moment to be a part of that community of hope. When this is all over and were gathering together as friends, don’t you want to say, “It was hard but this is how I made a difference”? How are you going to make a difference?
The least we can for ourselves and our loved ones is be sane. If you can’t handle being productive, having fun, or relaxing, that is fair. It is a pandemic after all but it’s our patriotic duty at this point to at least stay sane. This is an emotional time, including but not limited to, anxiety, fear, anger, and disappointment. That’s expected. We’re all grieving for what we had and are still unsure of how this will change our future.
We are limited by our resources but not our time. Let’s try not to waste this finite resource because soon we will be back to a hectic schedule and a busy life. Take a moment to breathe before I pose this question, how are you going to retain your sane?
You got this!