Wow, the world is really a different place today than it was last Monday! So much has changed in just a week. I don't know about you, but I am feeling a bit overloaded with information (and disinformation and misinformation!) and need to find my center again.
So let's do something different this week, and look at the positive aspects of social distancing (lots more time to do things) and some ways to deal with any stress we may be feeling. It's still a list, one I've been working on all day as ideas come to mind.
Let's start with ways to deal with stress...
1. Take a walk or run. If you've been meaning to start, this is a great time! Start small and work your way up. In two weeks, you'll be walking further or running better!
2. Get some sun. You can do this while walking/running, or you can just sit in a chair in the back yard. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to sunlight. Vitamin D fights disease, reduced depression, and boosts weight loss. Win/win/win!!
3. Try yoga or tai-chi. There are great DVDs out there that allow you to try both without chance of embarrassment - I like "Gentle Yoga: 7 Practices for your Day" by Jane Adams and "Tai Chi Fit Over 50" by David Dorian-Ross, mainly because they are a little less intense than some I've seen and it's easy to succeed soon after you start. Yoga and tai chi are great for toning your muscles, but don't feel like a hard core workout. There are also added benefits of a meditation-like activity, deep breathing and core building (without sit-ups!)
4. Self care! Do something you've been putting off (like dealing with winter hairy legs - the better to get that sun/Vitamin D! And it will be shorts season before you know it.) Take a bubble bath. Color or deep-moisturize your hair. Paint your toenails an interesting color.
5. Take time to play! Enjoy your kids. It's going to be a long two weeks (or more) and parents and kids are going to be getting on each other's nerves, for sure. I can tell you from experience that you got on your parents' nerves when you were a kid, too, so it's not a new situation. So set aside a little time each day when you just enjoy your children without acting like a parent. Put away your phone. Be silly with them. Blow bubbles, or draw huge pictures with chalk on the driveway. Give them permission to make mistakes or maybe not listen as well as you would like (as long as they are still safe!) for a little while. Make memories!
Now how about something to fill up your extra hours at home? There are so many options available - let's start with doing things for others. Because doing things for others will make you feel better too!
1. The Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2020 starts this Sunday. So look at your stash, your orphan blocks, those UFOs you have gathering dust in a closet, and see what you could turn into a quilt to bring comfort to someone in need.
2. If you are healthy and able, consider volunteering. Check with your local Meals on Wheels and see if they need replacement drivers, as many of their drivers are also senior citizens who should be self-quarantining. I've heard that some Humane Society locations are looking for people to foster pets from their facilities right now. Maybe you have other suggestions? Share them in the comments!
3. Use social media for good. Leave encouraging comments on Instagram or Facebook posts (because everyone loves comments!) Refrain from harsh criticism. (Avoid politics and sharing things that could be misinformation regarding COVID-19.) Let's build one another up! And if you're not on Instagram already, I suggest giving it a try - it's a great place to find your "community" and get a little instant gratification!
I heard some good advice this week that I want to share with you.
"Become acquainted with the things that you do have, instead of wishing for the things you don't."
As I've been unpacking this week, I've discovered a lot of things that I have, many of which I had forgotten about in the joy of acquiring other things! So my goal this week is to...
1. Use what I have. I am working on emptying out my orphan block tub and trying to see how many quilts I can make from it. These will be great comfort quilts for H2H! And as a reward, I'm hoping to make that Christmas wall hanging that has been in my stash for about seven years!
2. Learn a new skill! It could be simple - learning how to make half-square triangles several different ways - or more difficult - maybe paper piecing? (That's my particular Waterloo!) Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to make yeast bread. You've been pinning things on Pinterest for years now - go look through those pins, pick out something and do it!
|Homemade chicken ramen with an Instant Pot soft boiled egg!|
3. Try a new recipe! I don't know about you, but we eat out - a lot! Staying home and cooking isn't my idea of fun, but I have learned that I can take my available ingredients and ask Google for recipes using them - like rice, mango and cilantro for example. I put those ingredients in and got a whole list of possible recipes to try. Fortunately my husband is a brave soul, and my cooking skills have improved in the 40 years we've been married!
4. Organize your photos - and get your kids or grandkids involved! They will love hearing the stories you have to go with the pictures, especially about themselves as they were younger. And if you have pictures of your parents and other family, they will enjoy learning a little bit of their own history.
5. Clean the garage. Doesn't sound like fun, does it? But if you're parking outside on the driveway, you'll be amazed at how nice it is to be able to park inside a clean garage! And this suggestion segues right into my next one...
6. Organize and purge! One of the most influential books I have read in the past year is "the life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. I read this book one afternoon at the beach, pausing frequently to laugh and read portions of it to my husband and daughter. Parts of it are totally wackadoo! But Ms. Kondo has a very good philosophy on "stuff" that has changed the way I look at my belongings and made it easier to get rid of some of the excess. Which leads right to the next suggestion...
7. Read a good book! My husband is currently reading this book...
...which he says fits right in with the idea of getting rid of excess stuff - just keeping what is essential. Looks like I've found my next good book to read!
8. Clean out your sewing machine! I do mine fairly regularly, but when I opened it up today, it looked like this...
Cue the "ewww!" And that doesn't even count all the lint around the bobbin case! Here you can see what I cleaned out of my machine...
...along with my favorite tools for cleaning it out. The soft bristles on the paintbrushes are great for catching elusive lint balls and pulling them out of the machine, and they slip into tiny spots easily.
I hope this post has given you some ideas and inspiration for the upcoming days of "coronacation"! And please know, I'm not making light of the situation by calling it coronacation - it just seems like an interesting way of identifying what we are actually in.
So what are you doing to stay busy, healthy and happy? Share in the comments below - your solution may help someone else too!