By now you probably know that the reason we’re all self-isolating is to keep the spread of coronavirus as slow as possible so that hospitals don’t get overrun and people who come down with the worst symptoms can still have access to the care they need.
It turns out that if all of us simply stay home with our families, we can take a big chunk out of the pandemic’s mortality rate while keeping our loved ones safe and sound all hunkered down.
Still, sitting at home watching movies or playing video games can run its course, and after a few weeks, it’s likely to drive more than a few of us stir-crazy with complete boredom.
But with a little imagination, we can turn this extended at-home time into a special period of adventure and learning for little ones or a chance to take on that new project we’ve always been hoping to get around to. To get the creative juices flowing, here’s our List of Top 10 Ways To Make the Best of Self-Isolating.
1. Get Fit
If you’re like us, you’ve got a few pounds you’d like to drop so you can fit in your jeans a little better. Or, maybe you’d like to get those abs a little more chiseled out. Either way, now is your chance to dedicate a whole lot of time to getting as fit as you’ve always wanted to be.
Get the whole family up off the couch and into the fresh air for a daily dose of stress-relieving exercise. Hop on your bikes, walk the block, hike the trails or take a jog — it’s all in what you’re up for. We enjoy a lap or two around Getzendaner, but all the parks in town are nice, and there’s plenty to enjoy just taking a stroll through the neighborhood — keeping a safe distance from everyone else, of course.
If you’re new to the physical exercise scene, take it slow at first — maybe just 10 minutes a day — and work your way up to an hour or more over time. After this whole virus thing blows over, you’ll have the benefit of better health and a slimmer body.
2. Learn a Language
The best time to learn a new language is childhood, but that doesn’t mean that adults should forego getting bilingual. Self-isolating presents a perfect opportunity to learn a new language online or the old-fashioned way, from a book. If you’re a parent wondering how to fill your kiddoes’ time, why not teach them a few phrases from a language textbook. For those who prefer learning online, apps like Babble or Duolingo can help you and your family emerge from the pandemic with a whole new language skill.
3. Grow a Garden
You’ve seen how fast HEB’s shelves can go bare. Gardening can help you to fill in where grocery stores may run dry. You can go all in with a tilled area for growing a huge, traditional garden. Or, you can build a raised bed or two out of spare lumber. You can even grow a container garden in a few old flower pots or converted soda bottles if you’re short on space or experience.
If you’re a newbie, start small with basil, cilantro and other herbs, or if you’ve got experience, go big with tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes and more.
And, if you need supplies and advice, Garden Variety Organics is local and ready to help with whatever you might need.
4. Cook Something New
Even if you’re practically Waxahachie’s own Rachel Ray, there’s likely something in the cooking world you’ve yet to master.
And if you’re like the rest of us, breaking out of a food rut of cooking the same old meals is a worthy goal. The grocery stores aren’t closed, and delivery is really in style right now, so gather some supplies, crack open your grandma’s old cookbooks and give something new a shot.
You may want to focus on a new skill set, like baking breads, mastering cakes or adding more healthy plant-based items to your menu. Got little ones, now’s your chance to impart a fundamental life skill by teaching them the basics of cooking.
5. Develop the Artist Within
Inside everyone is a novelist, biographer, painter, sculptor or musician just waiting for a time to blossom. Well, now is your time! Free online videos can get you started in the right direction, and for many pursuits, there’s a bunch of online resources for one-on-one tutoring.
6. Quit a Bad Habit
If you’re a smoker who’s always trying to quit, or a junk food junkie addicted to unhealthy carbs, or even someone who’s simply always procrastinating, a little time away from work may be just what you need for a boost to your resolve to change your life for the better. Time’s 5 Science-Approved Ways to Break a Bad Habit is a good primer for getting started.
7. Start a New Business
We’re possibly heading for the worst recession in a century; businesses are closing, and no one knows what the future holds. So, you may want to put your mind on how to take the bull by the horns and start your own business.
Maybe you’ve got an idea for how to disinfect homes affected by coronavirus, or maybe you can help families keep fit at home while maintaining a safe social distance. Or, maybe a take-out meal delivery service is more your style — you know, like maybe you pick up from Pop’s Burger Stand and deliver to homes nearby.
If you’re ready to jump in, we have a word of advice: start small, keep your investment reasonable and scale up as your idea takes off. Too many people rent the commercial floor space before they know their idea has legs.
So, stay cautious, don’t exhaust your savings, but do what you can to test the waters. Every cloud has a silver lining, and every challenge presents an opportunity, so get your creative juices flowing and bring something new to Waxahachie. We’re waiting for you and your great idea.
8. Read the Classics
We like Netflix, but reading has its own merits that leave videos in the dust. There’s so much more character development in novels, and so much more revelation about a character’s hidden motives and ways of thinking.
You can gain insight just from picking up a book and reading someone else’s perspective. For younger ones, it’s imperative that they be exposed to as many ways of thinking as possible while their minds are open.
And if you’re up for a challenge, try reading some of the books that movies are based on, and then watch the movie. Whether you do this as family or all alone, you’ll explore the creative license directors take with their productions, and we bet you’ll like the book a lot better.
9. Plan Your Next Trip
The pandemic may last for months, maybe even a year. But, when it’s over, you’re going to be more than ready to get out and visit a new place. Spend your time now planning for the future and putting together the details for your next vacation. This can lift your family’s spirits and help you to develop a strategy to make your ultimate vacay ideas come to life.
10. Improve Your Home
With all the free time on your hands, now may be the chance to paint that back bedroom that’s been left to itself for a couple of years. Undertaking a tile project in the bathroom, or simply putting shelves up in the laundry room can give you a project that will fill your time and make your home more comfortable. Get the kids involved too, so they can develop a few more skills that they’ll need in their adulthood.