So we have to stay at home. Or at least I will. With all the negative aspects that might have. I will lose money. I will distant myself from my loved ones physically. I will miss the nature, the clubbing, the restaurants, the social fun. And that is OK. Even if there is not a Saturday I have not gone out, even if there is not a day that I did not spend it with my friends, even if I need to earn my living financially. Like everybody. And that is OK.
If other generations or parts of the planet had to go to war, if other populations had to go through famine or severe terrorist attacks, if other people at some other time or some other place have been through tougher situations, I can do that. We can do that. We can stay at home. It is not the end of the world. It will not be the end of the world.
I will stay at home, because on my way out I have to touch a dozen door knobs, I have to breath in elevators and confined spaces. I might people who tend to come to close to me and I might not be comfortable telling people to back off a couple of meters. In the case that I am asymptomatic of the virus, then I might put other at risk. The elder people in my building or anywhere I go and other people with conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus. I also want to be the example to the people around me. Being so social, outgoing and open minded, if I decide to stay at home, this might make them reconsider their hardship.
I am also staying at home because the government said so. Or at least they should have said so. They failed a bit till now, with the half measure of closing down only the big spaces. This confuses people. Like it is OK if we are all packed in a small space with another 48 souls breathing to each other’s face. But if I want the government to protect me, to take care of me, then I cannot Not do what they advise me.
Staying at home is not the worst thing that can happen to me. How many times have I said “who has time for that?” Well now I do have time to do all the things my busy out-of-the-home reality kept me away from. As we speak, I am making a plan to undertake a number of the below activities. I am sharing them with you in case some seem fun or useful to you too. They are based on a class I took a while back on “the Science of Happiness” at Berkeley University. The main ideas from that class to be happy are to stay productive, avoid stress, keep learning, stay healthy, enjoy life, be social and help others.
THINGS TO DO AT HOME
(For simplicity I am grouping my ideas into productive and fun)
Now you might have time to… HAVE FUN
…Make yourself even more beautiful
How about a mask for your face or your hair? Or even look online for a new haircut? Exfoliating, trimming, grooming, rejuvenating are some words that inspire fun times for yourself.
…Exercise with others online
From yoga to Pilates and aerobics, there are tons of videos on youtube to follow. Take a up a notch and organize facetime, viber or skype group sessions with your friends.
…Play games online
there is something for everybody. From very brainy ones to keep you mentally acute to just have ones that take your mind away and relax you.
…Master some new cooking recipes
You will not have the chance to visit your favorite restaurant for a while, but how about attempting yourself to prepare that delicious dish you always order? Google it and you will find numerous ways to give it a go.
…Learn new things
eLearning is so amazing and limitless these days. I have taken classes in Psychology, Medicine, Computer Science, Economics, Arts, etc. All can be free depending on the site and if you do not need a certificate. They are so well designed that they keep you engaged with videos, lectures, case studies, quizzes.
…Have a virtual coffee/tea with your friends everywhere
You can make this a ritual, a habit. Everyday at 6pm you prepare your favorite afternoon drink )wine is totally legitimate) and connect with your camera with your friends and family all around the world. Capture it and send it to me. I will repost it and we will make it a fun trend.
…Discover a new App
Do you know Tiktok, Drops, Duolingo, Mint, Feedly, Blinkist, Masterclass, and many more. You can introduce one of them to your routine to make your life easier or more fun. It takes some time to get familiar with an app and now you might have that time.
…Reveal the artist in you
Yes you are good in some form of art. Or at least you will have fun being involved in one. There is fiction writing, poetry, painting, signing, song writing and much more. Or even just blogging. If I can do it, then many of you might as well.
Now you might have time to…
BE EVEN MORE PRODUCTIVE
…Make a Stay-at-Home Agenda
This is the first and most important of everything on the list. Having a schedule, a plan, will grant you daily a sense of achievement and normality. It is better if the list is populated with Productive and Fun items.
…Rearrange Cupboards and Closets
Yours might be perfect already, but mine need some serious work, specially since the recent move.
…Cleanup the Inbox and social accounts
Unless your email has less that 20 messages (definitely not mine), it might be a good idea to delete or archive messages, towards a better peace of mind. And of course, answering some of them that were at the bottom of your priority list.
…Find Stuff to sell
Out of the rearranging and sorting, you might identify items that you do need or use anymore. Now you have the item to learn how you can sell these on ebay or in Facebook groups. We all need that extra income at these challenging times. You can even donate them, which fills up your emotional and solidarity bank account.
…Attempt some Clothes transformation
I say “attempt” because I have no confidence in such an activity. However I was told that it can be fun to cut, stitch, recolor, etc clothes that today seem uninspiring for further use, into new items that might excite us again. A cool recycling and sustainability activity.
…Cleanup the phone
From photos that you do not like or need, apps that you never use, contacts that are not valid anymore. So next time you want to capture a cool video, you do not get that annoying message “Out of Memory”.
…Learn a language
Only in Switzerland we have 4. How many do you speak? Plus the languages of your favorite travel destinations. I know that I have no excuse NOT to improve my German. Ich muss studieren.
I am 100% sure that you are an expert in more things that you think. Have you thought of creating a learning class about that topic, no matter what it is? From cooking to managing finances, from gardening to meditation. The sky is the limit. A class in the form of a presentation that can be used online (you can actually make money with this on udemy) or that you can share with your friends virtually today and with our colleagues live when back in the office. Such a nice gesture.
…Get on top of your Finances
Not one of my favorite things to do, but it is needed and I do it. How much money I spend and on what. What is left. Where to invest. Budgeting is even more critical during this financial crisis.
…Prepare the Tax declaration
This is clearly my least favorite thing to do. It has to be done by end of March in Switzerland. I do not have to say much about what it takes. I do not want to.
Please send me or comment on Facebook or Insta any other cool ideas you have. This time at home can be fun and fruitful. Stay home and safe. Keep your spirits up (see also here). See you online and soon live.