Today marks three weeks since I started living fully in isolation amidst the COVID-19 crisis. It’s easy to feel helpless when we’re instructed to do nothing (stay home) to protect ourselves and others, but I know it’s healthy for us to fill our time rather than simply stand on the sidelines and watch everything unfold. When I polled you on Instagram to learn what you need during this time, your responses were evenly split between encouragement, entertainment, and a sense of normalcy. I hope today’s post provides a little bit of each! Here’s a list social distancing activities that aren’t scrolling through your phone.
Social Distancing Activities
1. Have a Game Night or Work on a Puzzle
We’ve loved having a family game night with a board game or card game and working on puzzles. Pretty puzzles make things a little more exciting (love these vintage flowers, these portraits of empowering women, and this Cinque Terre beach. Our favorite two-person game right now is Tuki. For my single ladies, I love the New York Times crossword app or a paperback Sudoku book like this one.
2. Curl Up with a Tea and Read a Book
This is the perfect time to dust off the book on your nightstand and curl up with it in bed. Reading can reduce stress, and I definitely sense that I’m more calm and collected when I read. If memoirs and novels aren’t your style, pick up a magazine, the newspaper, or a great cookbook. You could also listen to a podcast that aligns with your passions before bed (I’m currently loving Radio Lab, How I Built This, and This American Life). Here are the books I’m currently reading:
— Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Fiction/Humor)
— Aesthetic Intelligence (Growth)
— Thinner, Leaner, Stronger (Fitness)
3. Order In/Make a Homecooked Meal and Actually Watch a Movie
Friday and Saturday night, we try to order takeout from our favorite local restaurants, but we cook at home Sunday through Thursday. We’ve been using our Traeger grill daily for lean proteins, fresh veggies, sweet potatoes, and herbs for flavor. For those looking to try a new recipe for a homemade dinner, I recommend the The Defined Dish. My sister used it for Whole 30 and said everything is flavorful, healthy, and simple.
After dinner, we’ll change into lounge clothes or pajamas and watch something. Like, actually watch it. We stack our cell phones on the coffee table so that we can relax and enjoy a classic movie, a documentary, a binge-worthy TV series, or a home video. It feels really good not to have our attention split between two screens!
4. Journal About Your Day
This is an oldie but a goodie—it’s soothing to put my thoughts on paper at the end of a long day. I try to keep a journal on my nightstand (not in a drawer) so that I’m reminded to put pen to paper for at least a few minutes every day. I get a mental reset from putting everything that’s swirling around in my head—thoughts, feelings, or special moments from the day that I want to remember—onto paper.
5. Do Something Self Care-Related
Making time for self-care grows harder with age, with little ones, husbands, and work to attend to. You guys already know I have an appreciation for a healthy, glowing, minimal makeup look, so one of my favorite things to do is complete my full skincare routine and then finish off with a face mask.
Sometimes I’ll draw a bath, light candles, and put on my favorite Spotify playlist to decompress. If you’re strapped for time, a simple home mani-pedi (here’s a gel nail removal kit) or 15 minute yoga class qualifies as pampering.
6. Talk About Your Day with a Friend
Reaching out to friends is so important in this season. We may be isolated, but that doesn’t have to mean lonely. Talk on the phone or reach out to catch up over Facetime. In my experience, calling someone is one of the easiest ways to show you’re thinking about them, and catching up with friends over the phone is somehow more intimate and meaningful than text messaging.
You’re both sure to have a better day if you share what you’re going through, how you’re feeling, or even talk about topics not related to the crisis that will lighten the mood.
7. Check Off that To-Do List
You know those random things that take too much time to do normally? Now’s the time to do them. I’m grateful that this crisis is taking place during spring, when spring cleaning is already on the brain. I’ve been taking care of housekeeping items, like folding the laundry, organizing, and. decluttering. I’m also selling more clothing on Poshmark lately in an effort to clean out my closet, and I have a fun to-do list of new home projects that I’m excited to check off.
8. Tend to the Yard or Plant a Garden
I share peeks of our yard on Instagram stories, and I’m looking forward to getting back into our garden this spring. Even though it’s “work” to plant, prune, and water, the sights, smells, and fresh air are worth it. There’s also nothing more rewarding than watching things you’ve planted bloom and grow.
Here’s my garden inspiration Pinterest Board to get you started. Our current favorites are spirea, dogwood trees, and limelight hydrangeas. I’ve linked some practical gardening items, like watering cans, a gardening apron, and gloves below.
I hope these ideas for social distancing activities help you guys have a fun weekend in spite of everything that’s happening in the world. If you have more ideas for fun, creative weekend isolation activities, let me know in the comments below or on Instagram.