Now that everyone has their TP, cleaning wipes, water, canned goods, etc and we all hunker down into our homes waiting out the Coronavirus everyone seems to be concerned that they will have nothing to do.
Plans have been cancelled. Schools have been closed. Yes, for the most part we are each stuck in our own homes. But that doesn’t mean you need to complain about it or worry that you will be “bored” and have nothing to do for weeks.
My mind has been racing with suggestions for myself and others. So this post is an attempt to capture those ideas. This isn’t rocket science people. This is simple human existence. We should all know how to do it. I will add to this list as I think of more. What do you plan on doing to bide the time?
IDEAS FOR ANYONE
- Clean up. I typically call it “redd up” and do superficial cleaning, but if you have the time you can actually clean-clean. Though perhaps think of items to clean which don’t need disinfected so you can save those wipes for what/when it matters. Think of: Bedrooms, Basements, common living space.
- Organize. You may be one of those highly organized and 100% perfect people. If you aren’t there is always something you could better organize. Think of: Bathrooms, Closets, Basements, Storage of Entry Way items, Pantry. (Don’t have a designated pantry? Now’s the time to make one!)
- Garden. You are still allowed to go outside. If the weather is nice get your yard ready for Spring.
- Listen to a Program WITH others. Instead of withdrawing into a podcast or streaming radio via headphones dig up a radio or speaker and listen to something with whoever you happen to live with. Beforehand you could even have a long discussion on what you both would enjoy listening to.
- Have a Conversation – like, with your mouth. Don’t withdraw into the online world. Brew some coffee or tea or hot chocolate. Pull up a chair. Sit and just talk with each other. If you live alone call someone. Novel idea for anyone and everyone: Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while — they surely would enjoy the company.
- Go outside. Sit in the sunshine. Again, you are allowed to go outside. If you aren’t bold enough to go on a walk or a hike just sit on your steps or the porch and have a chat with someone or some quiet time.
- Is there something you want to do but never get to because you “don’t have the time”? How about right now?
- Have you ever wanted to learn something new or cultivate a particular skill? Now’s seems like a good time to start.
- Cook a meal. You can make something new, healthy and then sit down together to enjoy it.
- Open the Bible and read it. By yourself. With your family.
- Reflect then Go to Confession. (…hmm, especially if the end times are coming this seems like the perfect time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation!)
- Start a Prayer Journal and write in it. Find a few quiet moments to read and reflect then write.
- Listen to a Godcast you’ve never listened to before.
- Read a book. You might not want to borrow from the library right now so I’m sure you own a book which you haven’t yet read. Dust it off. Read it now.
- Nap. Naps are delightful.
- Write. On paper or on a computer. But don’t write only comments on or posts to social media. Go deeper! Now is a break from the routine so think of different ways you can engage your mind and spirit. Think of: Letters (on actual paper), Poetry.
IDEAS TO BURN ENERGY (AKA WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS)
The internet would likely be able to help give you ideas here. But also you can just sit with your kid for about 10 seconds and be bombarded with ideas of what to do.
- Obstacle course. Your house has stuff in it, some of that stuff won’t break if you move it, stack it, climb on it, run into it. Find those things and make YOUR HOUSE one large obstacle course. Want to get intense? Time it. Who doesn’t love trying to get a faster time than their last one? Think of: Going on, under, around, and thru. I find the best Finish Lines are ones where you jump over an obstacle and land on a bed.
- Tug of war. Find a scarf or something long you don’t mind being pulled. Have fun tugging. (When you play: Tugs not Hugs. When you end: Hugs not Tugs).
- See how many [X] you can do. Push-ups, Jumping jacks, sit ups, etc. If your kid has never done the thing all the better! Enjoy time providing instruction and demonstrating it yourself.
- Burn Mental Energy. Give a kid a challenging idea – maybe it’s something they haven’t yet done in school (think even a few grades ahead) and explain it and work on examples. Get your kid to really use their brain to puzzle their way thru it and challenging them to keep going even when they think it’s impossible. This is good on so many levels — and if you do it right all the mental exercise will burn off some of that limitless energy. Think of: Math. [This is a great option when you really want to sit still for a while]
- Arts & Crafts. You probably have some supplies somewhere. Use them! Think of: Painting, coloring, creating scenes/whole worlds and tape things to the wall or create a 3-D world. Think of a subject like “animals” and go from A-to-Z thinking of animals and drawing each one.
This is just the tip of the iceberg… I would love it if everyone challenged themselves to not sit at a screen, and not just listen to the news, but instead take some time to JUST BE. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.