It’s only been a few days since communities around the nation issued recommendations for social distancing due to Coronavirus concerns, meaning most of us have felt like hostages in our own homes for a few days now. These are trying times, and while it’s extremely difficult to keep our naturally social minds busy without actual social interaction, it’s also currently necessary. So let’s all be the selfless kind people I know we can be and stay inside. Here are some things to do while social distancing to keep you from going all Jack Nicholson in the Shining on your family around day seven.  

Take a Walk (or Hike)

Skipping around your local trails or parks is a great way to get out of the house. Be sure to drive only to and from the trail/park and avoid and unnecessary stops on the way. Local areas can be busy with others who have the same idea, so to ensure that you keep any germs to yourself, make a wide arc (6 feet) when passing another person on the trail, and definitely don’t hug anyone…not that anyone needs to tell me twice.

Go for a Drive

Getting in my car and aimlessly driving has always been cathartic for me. While I’d be wary of using up all your gas (in case it comes to that), taking a short drive is a good way to get out of the house, without having to actually “go” anywhere. Listen to your favorite podcasts or audiobooks and just cruise with the windows down.

Get Your Sweat On

I’m bummed as much as the next gym rat that all my barre, pilates, and spin classes are cancelled. But have no fear! Many companies and studios are offering online classes in place of the real deal. My ClassPass app has live workouts that I can sweat to whenever I please! Other free apps for working out: Nike Training Club, Nike Running Club, Anna Victoria Fit Body App (free for 30 days), and Daily Burn. YouTube is also a favorite of mine for HIIT and Yoga workouts galore–no need to miss out on a good sweat just because your SoulCycle studio is closed!

Read a Book

Remember that book collecting dust on your shelf for months? Yeah, now is a great time to read that book. Though many of us will be drawn to our phones during this time, taking a step away from the media hysteria can help you decompress and put you in a different reality than the current one, which I know is beneficial for me!

Practice Self-Care

Whatever self-care looks like for you it’s important take care of ourselves during this high-stress time. Some ideas for self-care include: taking a hot bath, reading, baking some bomb-ass cookies, painting your nails funky colors, playing your favorite video game, learning that Ukulele that’s crammed in the back of your closet (me), snuggling your dog, talking to your dog, planting some seeds for a summer vegetable garden, etc.

Play Your Own Round of “Chopped”

With all the craziness around doomsday shopping, I ended up with quite the assortment off odds and ends ingredients. I’ve started playing my own little game of Chopped to see what I can come up with for the ingredients on hand. Grilled cheese with sauerkraut and spinach? Gimme! Chickpea cookie dough? Oh yeah. Soba noodles with sweet potato sauce? Hmm, yeah we’ll try it!

Send noods!

Try [Takeout at] a New Restaurant

While restaurants all over the nation temporarily close their doors amidst the pandemic, many may not reopen. One way to show your support is to continue dining out…inside. I love trying new restaurants, and this is a great way to support local restaurants while also stuffing your face with goodness you didn’t have to cook! Asian restaurants in general are suffering, so plan for a Chinese takeout night and get your DanDan Noodle on! Some food delivery services like GrubHub are even donating service fees to the restaurants themselves.

Support Local Businesses Online

Guess what isn’t closed: The Internet. Most of us will likely drop some extra cash online shopping during this isolation period, so consider supporting small businesses rather than the big-box stores. Small business owners everywhere will experience an impact to income because of the closures, so if they have an online store, consider shopping there first!

Life’s hard, hug a dog.

Love on Your Pet

Everyone is a little on edge and none of us know exactly when things will go back to normal. One thing we pet owners do know, though, is that our pets continue loving us all the same. Pull those fur babies close and hold onto them until this is all over. Give them extended walks, sleep in a few minutes longer, double up on the belly scratches, and provide their favorite treats throughout the day. Research has even shown that petting a dog can alleviate anxiety.

Wine helps.

Lend a Hand

Many people who are at higher risk of COVID-19 are wary to leave their homes at all, meaning they cannot stock up on supplies, pick up medications, etc. If you see an opportunity to help, don’t think twice. You can also help from afar by donating to organizations that are providing safety, shelter, meals, etc. to those in need. Your local food banks, American Red Cross, and local homeless shelters are great places to start.

Connect with Friends and Family

One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen come out of this is all the families in my neighborhood spending time together outside. Many of us (okay, well many of you) are social creatures and without big gatherings with friends and family, we can feel lost. Instead, consider smaller gatherings with roommates, partners, etc. that you’re around regularly or try FaceTime or Skype. Pull out those embossed note cards you haven’t used since your last birthday party and write some heartfelt notes to the ones you love. Connections don’t have to suffer because of social distancing, rather, we can choose to get closer to those we love in new ways!

Social distancing doesn’t have to be a burden. Reconnect with yourself and those you love on a deeper level and do all of the things you’ve been putting off because you were too busy out and about!

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