How to make the most out of social distancing

The positive side of social distancing

Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, quarantine, social distancing. I bet you’ve seen or heard a few of these words a time or two over the past several weeks. I’d be willing to bet you’ve probably heard one of these words in the last hour. If you haven’t, you must literally live under a rock but hey, that means you have this “social distancing” thing down!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged Americans to practice “social distancing” to help slow the spread of COVID-19, which means we should avoid groups and limit our contact with people.  Great, as if we North Dakotans/Minnesotans didn’t just spend the last 4-5 months cooped up in our homes. But seriously, look on the bright side…at least it isn’t during the couple months of summer that we do get to enjoy, when we are more likely to be out and about.  AND the temps are no longer below zero, so we can still go outside- keeping your 6ft distance, of course 😉

It’s hard not to get a little down with so many activities around us being canceled or postponed, but social distancing doesn’t have to put a damper on your days. Think of it as extra time to do the things we normally may not have the time to do.  It’s all about perspective! I know I’m guilty of saying “there just aren’t enough hours in the day.”  Well, what better time than ever to get these things done. But if you’re still struggling finding things to do, here are some ideas to help you out.

  • Create a list of meals– Do you find yourself struggling to decide what to make for supper? Create a list of your favorites, easy meals or go-to’s. The next time you can’t think of what to make, just take a peek at this list. I have this under my “notes” section in my phone and it has come in handy many times.
  • Clean out your email inbox– Getting a lot of emails on how various places are dealing with COVID-19? Emails from months ago on deals that are now expired? Better yet, unsubscribe from some of the emails you maybe signed up for long ago but are now no longer relevant- trust me, that alone will free up a good portion of your inbox.
  • Clean out your phone– Searching for more storage? Go through old text messages you no longer need. Get rid of apps you don’t use. Go through your photo albums. There is sure to be a screenshot of something you messaged to someone but you don’t actually want saved on your phone. How about that picture you have about 5-6 shots of with practically the same pose because someone “took a few pics to make sure to get a good one.”
  • Buy gift cards to support local businesses and use them later– What a great way to make sure your favorite store or restaurant is getting some type of income right now when things may be slow.
  • Work out– Some gyms have already started closing but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get in a good workout. Go for a run outside, just keep your distance from others. Check out our Apex Facebook page for some easy workout ideas you can do at home.
  • Relax– take a bubble bath or better yet, a bubble bath with a glass of wine.
  • Make a photo book– Most of our photos are now on our phones and I don’t know about you, but I know I don’t look through them too often. Making a photobook is a great way to remember vacations or other exciting times in our lives. Even making a “year in review” book will be fun to look back on years from now. I like to create the book and save it on my account until there is a good deal before ordering it.  I’ve even gotten some free, just paid shipping and handling.
  • Clean, clean, and clean some more– The first day of spring is a few days away, get a head start on your spring cleaning. Go through clothing you no longer wear, organize your sock drawer, throw out those pens that no longer work but are still sitting in your junk drawer, organize your Tupperware and make sure each has a lid. Listen to a podcast while cleaning to keep you entertained.
  • Update or write your will– Sounds a bit morbid but it’s probably something you have been putting off. It is too important to ignore. Many things can affect a will such as changes in relationships or family, assets or your location to name a few.  Your will needs regular “check-ups” to stay in good working order, sort of like a car.
  • Rearrange some rooms in your home- Those spots behind furniture that rarely get cleaned will get some much-needed attention. Rearranging can give you an incentive to declutter and donate those items you no longer use. Plus, it’s like a free makeover for your home!
  • Call or video chat– If you’re like me, text messages are your main means of communication. Pick up that phone and actually CALL a family member or friend.
  • Don’t forget about the older population– They are some of the most vulnerable. Check in with your elderly neighbor or relative to see if there is anything you can do to help. Offer to bring them groceries or run errands to help them keep their distance from groups. If nothing else, call them just to chat. This population is probably no longer going for morning coffee, meeting a friend for lunch or having visitors, which could lead to increased loneliness.

You know the saying, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”  I’m sure this pandemic has thrown a curveball in many of your lives and it’s easy to become angry or frustrated.

Remember this isn’t going to last forever. Take the time to appreciate and be thankful for all the good there still is around you.  Be kind and stay positive!

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