Updated: Mar 29, 2020
It’s no doubt that quarantine life is sending many into a tailspin. For the vast majority of us it is learning new ways of doing things such as working from home, a new normal or how to homeschool your kids, which is not ideal to many. None of us prefer the discomfort of being forced to stay inside, the uncertainty of whether or not TP will be available again any time soon, or simply living in the unknown of how long this might go on. There are a lot of negatives that we can choose to focus on. I won’t downplay the serious concerns for those who may be worried about how they are going to pay bills next month or whether or not their susceptible loved one will stay healthy. If you believe in a higher power like I do (or maybe you believe in the universe, etc.) remember that good can come from even the most unpleasant of situations.
It makes me think of the story of Joseph starting in Genesis 37. I think even if you aren’t familiar with it or don’t believe the Bible to be more than a collection of stories, this story is an impactful one. Joseph was a good man and blessed dream interpreter favored by God. God had big plans for his life, however, before these big plans were carried out Joseph went through some pretty crappy things to get there, and although he knew that he would eventually rule over his brothers from a previous dream, I’m sure he had no idea when or how any of that was going to happen. Even more, I’m sure he had no idea how crazy that journey was going to be to get there.
First, he was sold into slavery by his own brothers. I’m sure it was difficult to see the light in a situation like that. Then, while in slavery he served an Egyptian master whose wife came onto him and when he rejected her out of loyalty to his master, she lied and said Joseph tried to sleep with her. As a result, he was sent to prison. He spent two YEARS there for a crime he didn’t commit, yet eventually the Pharaoh remembered Joseph when he needed a dream interpreted. He was so impressed by the interpretation that he put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt. Eventually, Joseph would become Pharaoh of Egypt and the same brothers who sold him into slavery would come asking for assistance in a famine, not knowing who they were actually talking to. Joseph got to an AMAZING place, but he persevered some uncomfortable and hard things first. Amazing things are coming, but in the meantime, let’s focus on now.
No matter what seemingly bad things may happen, something good can come out of them. So, what good can come from something like this? In the short-term, depending on your situation, here are 10 potential things that we can choose to take advantage of while we are stuck at home:
1. Spending More Quality Time with Family
This may look different since no two families are the same. For some it may be having a family board/card game, karaoke, or going through old photos and videos as a walk down memory lane. That’s something none of us seem to have much time for. Other families may finally having regular meals together or learn to homeschool to be part of their child’s learning process. Wow, what a great gift! It can be stressful for parents to figure this part out when they’ve never been a teacher before, but once you get the hang of it you may decide you actually really like it. My daughter has always asked me endless questions about the human body (like mother, like daughter), so I started teaching her about that and she is loving it! If you know your kids are really into something from coding to a school subject to learning how to podcast, it can be a gift to help them with it, even for just 15-30 minutes every other day.
2. Learn Something New
With the hustle of family and/or work life we don’t often have time to dedicate to learning new things, although I’m sure there is a long list in your brain of things you wish you knew how to do. We could spend all day scrolling on Facebook for the next funny COVID-19 meme, article, or rant, but it’s such a time-suck and, for some, can breed anxiety. I’ve even talked to people who recently decided to completely delete their social apps from their phone during this time. Why not take that time and put it into learning something new instead of social media? I recognize the irony of this as you are likely reading this via social media…
Some ideas might be learning to cook a new recipe, a new cooking technique, how to sew, play an instrument or a new song on an instrument, etc. Maybe it’s spending time on one of these other categories, or, just maybe, it’s not helping you learn something new, but helping the family. Teaching your kids simple cooking skills that will help you make meals when things get back to normal could be an investment of time with a long-term benefit. You could even teach them how to do their own laundry, clean the bathroom, or wipe down counters. GASP! I know that seems less fun, but in busy-world I know the parents’ motto is sometimes “I can do it faster” and you end up just doing things yourself. Build this into your day, but also learning or do something new that is fun. YAY for YouTube videos that teach us so many things! Thank you, YouTubers! Dylan has been learning guitar via YouTube…we never had time for that during our “normal” life.
3. Read A Book You’ve Wanted to Read for a While
I think this one doesn’t require much explanation. My job requires a lot of clinical reading and research, so I’m taking the time to read my new favorite fiction author, Taylor Jenkins Reid, since I never have time for fiction normally. Plus, I’m usually so tired from driving everywhere my brain cannot even fathom the idea of reading and I just watch something instead.
4. Start a New Exercise Routine
Hey, you’re not going anywhere! YouTube has great free workouts, trainers are offering free workouts online, Beachbody on Demand is super convenient (and not too expensive for what you get), dance studios are offering free streaming dance classes, and the list goes on. I’m a big fan of 30-minutes a day. Get your kids involved because they need “recess” too!
5. Spend Less Time on Devices
6. Write a Handwritten Letter to Someone You Love
Who does this anymore? Almost no one. Take the time to write to someone you love and tell them how they’ve brought so much to your life. Sure, you could call and tell them too, but having something hand-written unexpectedly come in the mail that they can also stash away and read again later will mean so much to them. Share a great memory you have with them! It would also be pretty good if they wrote back. Who knows, you may even inspire them to write to someone they care about. It’s like spreading hand-written kindness!
7. Catch Up with People You Haven’t Had Time to Talk to in a While
Personally, in just the first week of quarantine life, I have had many conversations of all types: Facetime (friends), Zoom (my former mom’s coffee group from 3 years ago), Alexa (family), Facebook Messenger (my former MOPS group from 8 years ago), text (this is a long list of people)…you name it!
It’s been an amazing opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t had time to talk to in months or even years. It has been such a gift! Zoom has free 40-minute calls (and sometimes they will give you some more time for free), so you can even do a group chat with a group of women you haven’t talked to. Who could you catch up with? What former group could you bring together for the first time in forever? I know you just sang Frozen right now…don’t deny it.
8. Organize or Clean
This may not be the sexiest option, but an opportunity nonetheless: you will feel a sense of accomplishment in getting rid of some things kon mari-style to take to Goodwill or other organization your prefer (when they open again). What if you finally organize under the kitchen sink or that junk drawer you always tell yourself you need to reorganize? Get to it! You’ll feel great after.
I don’t know what your jam is, but now is the time. Is this the push you needed? Whether it is sewing, writing, painting, building, remodeling, sculpting, string-arting, printing, drawing, stenciling, creating a game, singing, screenwriting, filming, designing, coloring…I mean, I could go on…DO IT! DO IT NOW (said in a Chandler voice)! Could this BE a better time?
10. Take a Walk Outside (yes, even in the rain)
There is something so peaceful about being out in the fresh air and getting some movement. You see things you didn’t notice before or just get out of the dang circulated air. It feels good, so try to do this at least once a day for at least a half hour. Just try to keep your social distancing from others to keep them (and yourselves) safe.
Despite the uncertainty of these times, I encourage you to focus on the positive. This is coming from a glass half-empty kind of girl, but I guess this change has forced me to think in a way I’m not always accustomed to. I may be a Clinical Nutritionist, but health isn’t just about what we eat, how much water we drink, or how much exercise we get. Those things are all foundational, but our stress level can impact how our body uses nutrients and even our immunity. At this time, having a healthy immune system is especially important. Even if you’re unsure where your next paycheck is coming from or how the heck you’re going to teach these kids anything at all, remember these 10 potential gifts and choose to focus on those positive things. You’ll find you’re healthier for it and you’ll be getting a gift you didn’t have before.
If I were to write a #11 I would tell you to take the time to talk to someone like me about your nutritional health. Have you been meaning to find out why your body doesn’t feel quite like it used to? Has no one been able to tell you why you’re not feeling yourself? Have you just been meaning to learn more about health, weight loss, habits or stress management? Feel free to schedule a free 15-minute consult to see how we can take advantage of this time to learn new things about managing your specific health situation. Everyone is different and needs a personalized approach! Find out more about what I do here.
Article Written by; Autumn Beam