I don't recall hearing the term 'social distancing'. until recently. Now, March 2020, with the Coronavirus, everyone around me is talking about it. Fortunately humans are capable of adaptability. What can we can do to keep ourselves occupied at home instead of going out to the cinema, gym, swimming pool, restaurants, hotels and all those other places where groups of people congregate and are in close proximity to each other?
Some people are already in the habit of spending much of their free time at home and have hobbies that are home based. Those people who enjoy their own company may find social distancing isn't too difficult. Others will be scratching their heads and asking, 'What can I do instead of going to the gym, restaurants, social groups, theatre and such?'
Here are some activities to keep you occupied-
1. Exercise at home Having recently started a Fit For Life program at a nearby gym, I don't want to lose any of the fitness I have started to build up. No, I won't order a stack of fitness equipment and set up a mini gym in the shed. Instead I will search You Tube for exercise videos at my fitness level.
Perhaps I will actually use the Tai Chi DVD I bought from an op shop years ago, the one I have to admit I have never watched and certainly have never used.
I am thinking about buying a resistance band thing like they have at the gym to do the two exercises I have been doing with it. Some people might get a skipping rope and skip daily to get their heart pumping.
Image:Pexels from Pixabay
2 Decluttering This could be a good time to do some decluttering although dropping your good quality surplus items at an op shop probably isn't possible at the moment. If you are going to store boxes of donations in your shed until a later date it's probably a good idea to seal them so spiders can't take up residence.
In the last few days I have read a few articles saying minimalism is on its way out so if you really really don't want to part with your stuff, well there are a growing number of people speaking out in support of holding on to things.
3. Spring cleaning Regardless of whether it is spring or not in your part of the world you could use this time to do spring cleaning.
4. Reading Now is a time to tackle that pile of books you haven't been able to find time to read. I came across the term tsundoku which is the condition of acquiring books, magazines etc and letting them accumulate in your house without reading them. If this term relates to you it means you have a good stock of reading material to deal with.
5. Improve your vocabulary Use the internet or an old school paper type dictionary to research the meaning of words that look and sound interesting. Practise using these words in sentences. Perhaps you could make it a daily challenge to swap emails about new words you have discovered with a friend who shares your love of the English language.
6. Learn new internet/computer skills Either google your desired skill to gain the knowledge you are looking for or ask a household member to teach you.
7. Do an online course There are always plenty of online courses and some short ones are even free. Some places are currently offering online courses to replace things that are usual taught face to face.
8. Write letters You may be asking why not just send an email. Well you could email. However, there are many older people who are going to be feeling isolated by the social distancing policy and they would love to receive a letter, especially if they don't use email. Many aged care facilities are limiting visitors. However, if Nanna's preferred mode of communication is email or Skype or Facebook video, well use that.
Some of your letters may be kept by the recipient and they will make interesting reading in the future.
9. Create cards Cards aren't sent much any more but now could be a good time to get creative and then send those cards to family and friends. You could even make Christmas cards because before you know it December will be here once again. Just make sure you remember where you store those creations.
10. Experiment in the kitchen Try some new recipes. There are sites on the internet where you can list the ingredients you have on hand and a suitable recipe will appear.
If you run out of certain ingredients substitute something similar and see how it works out.
11. Write down the recipes you create When you come up with an original recipe that tastes great, make sure to write it down for further use.
12. Sort your paperwork Do you have a bulging expanding file of paperwork such as warranties and bills dating back to the time when those things came as a hard copy? Sort through and organise it while you have time on your hands.
13. Write a daily diary Record (by hand or on computer) your activities and emotions about these uncertain times.
Image:DarkWorkX from Pixabay
14. Try creative writing The internet can provide plenty of guidelines for writing poetry, short stories and the like. As well there are competitions you can enter.
15. Tidy up your computer Do you have heaps of computer files and folders you never use? This is an opportunity to sort through them.
16. Organise USBs and external drives I have heaps of outdated stuff saved on USBs. It makes interesting reading but normally I am too busy. I also have photos I honestly don't need. I hope to clean up some of this stuff while I am spending more time at home.
17. Get 8 hours of sleep each night If you are in the habit of short changing yourself in regard to sleep, perhaps you can do your health a favour by going to bed earlier. Being a night owl I find this tip hard to follow but I don't know what my excuse is now.
18. Check the Facebook page for groups you belong to. They may have alternative activities or ways of staying in touch My writers' group will present some online sessions instead of its annual writing festival. This will require creativity and thinking outside the box.
19. Get to know yourself Spend some quiet time in contemplation instead of racing around all the time. Time alone can be good for the soul and allows personal growth. Read more
20. Gardening Now is a good time to spend more time in the garden. You will have more time to tend your plants, perhaps even fuss over them a bit. Growing veggies is a good idea. I didn't have much luck with summer veggies this year but I have planted some silver beet and plan to pop other autumn varieties in the ground and cross my fingers.
I expect people will be using the internet and their mobile phones even more to communicate with each other. There is plenty one can do to cope with social distancing.