The Corona pandemic has struck us all very hard. The whole world seems to be holding its breath while this disaster ravages the economy and health institutions, but also our everyday lives. For those of us who are lucky enough to be healthy and safe, the isolation is the biggest of the problems.
Younger generations don’t really have a problem with communication during this time - we all use social networks and chat apps to get our social fix. But many seniors are not that familiar with online socializing and the lockdown is hitting them really hard. All the usual places they frequently visit are closed and in many countries there are very strict movement restrictions for people over a certain age.
This might be a great time to rekindle all the neglected family relationships, especially with the elderly. They need company and compassion now more than ever. Call your great uncle you haven’t heard from in years. Or make a list of all the cousins and relatives you’ve been meaning to call, but never found the time.
Don’t worry about what to talk about or how to start the conversation with someone you haven’t heard from in months. We’re all in the same peril after all, the all-present frustration with the isolation is a great icebreaker.
Remember that shoe shelf you were meaning to install months ago? Or the big closet cleanup that will always happen next year because you just can’t find the time? Well, there is really nothing else to do now, so get your tools out and do it!
Home improvements are a great way to spend time while doing something constructive. This is also a fantastic way to bond with your spouse or kids and avoid unnecessary frustrations and conflicts. Many couples say that the lockdown has put a lot of strain on their relationships. The usual daily routine is broken and we’re stuck with our loved ones 24-7, which sounds nice, but only in theory.
The wise thing to do here is to shift focus. Organize a family project - fixing up everything that has been painfully neglected can bring you closer together while also teaching or learning a new skill. Diving into the closet that needed cleaning is also a week-long project that can involve the whole family. And you never know what old memories will pop up from the forgotten drawers and cornes.
While most of us regularly feel guilty about not exercising enough, at this time it is absolutely essential to be physically active. This can seem like a mission impossible in a small apartment, but there are many fantastic fitness instructors who offer free exercise routines you can easily do at home.
Most essential exercises don’t require a lot of space or any type of workout equipment. Be creative. Use water containers instead of weights. A ball can be used for many pilates exercises. If you’re crafty, you can even make a low-budget bench that will come handy even after the lockdown.
If push comes to shove, you can always just turn on your favourite music and jump around the room. FIY, the air guitar is officially recognized as an exercise routine.
Most dog owners are very frustrated these days, as the dog parks and recreational areas are off limits. The easiest way to keep dogs at their best behaviour is to get them properly tired out, but the exercises don’t necessarily need to be physical. Mental exercises are equally beneficial to dogs and all other pets.
There are many dog puzzles that you can make from stuff you have lying around the house. One of the simplest ones is putting a colander over your dog’s favourite treat, and letting him figure out a way to get to it. If your dog is not the adventurous kind, you can always just work on the commands and new tricks.
This is also a good time to think about how your pets feel being confined to a small living space. If you have a strictly indoor cat, you can see the world from her perspective. Do you think she might need more toys? More play time? You’re both stuck in the house together, why not find a way to make it more fun?
Since you’re already stuck in the apartment feeling lazy, why not own it like a boss? Get your streaming service up and running and enjoy epic movies everyone keeps talking about, but you never had time to watch. Many countries have mandatory curfews during evening hours. You have probably spent a good portion of the day running around getting groceries and doing work, so let yourself enjoy the downtime instead of resenting it.
There are countless museums and theaters which offer virtual tours and shows for free. Many fantastic artists livestream their concerts and performances for us to enjoy from the safety of our homes. All you need to do is get some snacks and enjoy the show, cosily wrapped in your favourite blanket. It doesn’t sound half bad now, does it?
A smart woman once said to me: “If you are in a dire situation and you feel helpless, find something to do. Anything. Just don’t sit on your hands.” This is a very powerful concept to remember in situations like the one we’re currently experiencing.
There is no worse feeling than having no control over your life. It is true that we really can’t help what’s happening, but we can decide how to spend the time we’re given. This perill will pass, and we’ll get back to business as usual. But hopefully we’ll learn valuable lessons and learn to count our blessings.