How to Fill Time While Social Distancing

I still can’t believe this is a blog post I’m even writing, this feels like a simulation. I’m putting this out in hopes of helping anyone feeling worried, scared, or trapped by the current situation. To my lovely readers who are social distancing for the first time, allow me to be of assistance to you. I have been social distancing for quite a few years so I’ve been preparing all along for a pandemic unbeknownst to myself! Since I began working from home, it’s been nothing but me at home alone. While I do get restless from time to time, overall it can be a pleasant experience. Here are some tips for living in semi-exile inside your home and how to fill time while social distancing.

Get Dressed

This seems like a random item to include, however, it’s with good reason. Normal work days are often punctuated with transitions – changing into appropriate work attire, commuting etc. One of the biggest issues I’ve faced with working from home is the fact that there isn’t a transition time. I go from bed, to breakfast, and walk down the hall to my office. It can be difficult to get into the swing of the day when I’m still dressed for lounging. While I don’t go full out editorial mode every day (as seen above). I’ve made a point of at least changing into my favourite leggings (Lululemon Aligns, of course) to at least give the illusion to myself that I’m now in work mode. Plus, I find I’m less likely to feel like a serious piece of trash at the end of the day when I’m not still in my jammies. (As comfortable and wonderful as they are.)

Make A Schedule

If you’re also working from home, this is essential! Figuring out how your day is going to look before it starts sets you on the right path. With set time blocks for different activities you can make sure to balance work, breaks times, and personal time for yourself so you don’t “lose it”. Typically, I try to get my most mentally arduous tasks done in the morning. Any emails that aren’t urgent can wait until after that. My job is dependent on light as well so I use that as a barometer of when I should be doing things as well. Making sure I break to drink LOTS OF WATER as well as staying active in some sort of capacity. Also here’s my Quiet Work Day playlist in case you need some tunes.

JOURNAL!

Journaling has been the one constant in my life. It’s helped me through many difficult times in my life and I’m so very grateful for it. Not only was it a great way to get all my feelings out, I now have a log of my life. It’s such a gift!!!! 

Stay Active

Staying active both physically and mentally will serve you in so many ways. It alleviates the doomed feeling of being trapped in one’s surroundings. It can be as small as dancing with wild abandon to your favourite songs for 15 minutes or meditating for 5 minutes. All of this will drastically improve your mental well-being. There are countless workout routines on YouTube and guided breathing exercises (my friend Cecily just turned me on to this one). Be sure to schedule in some dancing / meditating / and stretching sessions throughout the day. Even if you run around the house with a string for your cat to chase once every hour, you’re doing great! If you live in a sparsely populated area, even treat yourself to a walk! (Use your best judgment on that one). If you need some upbeat music, I’ve made several playlists on my Spotify account.

Reading Lists

I know many of us have stacks of books we slowly pick away at. Oh to have the luxury to read for long stretches of time! Guess what, that time has come. Get through those books many of which will hopefully spark some joy or creativity in your life! 

Bath Time!

I feel like this goes hand-in-hand with reading. No further explanation is needed.

Digital Declutter

Boy have I been putting this one off. My phone is ALWAYS at capacity and my computer could use some organizing. Perhaps this is the time you get around to cleaning out your phone (and while you’re at it, cleaning the exterior too.) All those random screen grabs of books I’ve meant to read and blurry shots my camera took by accident… it’s time for them to meet the trash. 

Crack Open A Cookbook

If you’re anything like me, there’s at least a couple cookbooks you haven’t ever used yet. Perhaps now is the time to try making something new? Not only is cooking a great way to actively spend time, you also have a physical reward at the end – something (hopefully delicious) to eat!

Consume Positive Media

While I believe it is important to stay informed with such trusted sources as the World Health Organization, I also think that we need a healthy dose of entertainment to balance it out. My trifecta of media is YouTube, podcasts, and streaming movies/tv. (I will be creating a post about all my favourite podcasts shortly as a follow up to this post!) Figure out what media you enjoy the most. Is it PR hauls on YouTube, reruns of Daria, or the rewatching the entire series of HBO’s The Wire? Mine is all of the above in addition to the latest garbage Bravo is shilling. Whatever it is, make a list and start peppering doses of it into your daily schedule as little easter egg treat. Also feel free to check out my YouTube channel or read other posts from my blog too!

Crossing off the To-Do List

This excess of time spent at home is a great way to finally tackle a to-do list. I’m finally painting my hideous office because I’ve got the time, baby! I also plan on finishing my taxes, organizing my vinyl record collection, and cleaning my makeup brushes! There is always a never ending to-do list that keeps getting put on the back burner because life goes on. Try to incorporate one small item from your to-do list every day and one large item every week. 

Stay Connected

While this can vary in meaning to people, part of what keeps me sane is staying connected to my inner circle. Whether it’s calling my parents to catch up or leaving my best friend voice memos on what’s app, having some sort of verbal connection with people who I care about and who care about me is imperative for the daily isolation.

Start a New Hobby or Rekindle an Old One

Just the other day I was thinking about how I should start sewing again. Perhaps it was the mounting pile of garments that need to be fixed. Either way, it’s a hobby I used to love dearly and I believe fashion school ruined for me. But I’m ready to get on that horse again! Is there an instrument collecting dust in your house? Did you used to enjoy drawing? It’s time to revisit or start up these hobbies!

How to Fill Time While Social Distancing

And if all else fails…. play some stupid board games. My all time favourite is Mille Bornes. Thank you for coming to my Sandy Talk. Also, if you have any other suggestions I may have missed, please leave a comment below! I’ll be updating this list should other things come to mind. Hopefully, together we can all flatten the curve by choosing to stay home. xo

p.s. wash your hands 🙂

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