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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Nelson, RD, LD

6 Ways to Improve Your Life during Social Distancing

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Coronavirus. Anyone tired of hearing that word? You hear it everywhere on television, radio, conversations with friends and family and overheard conversations of strangers walking by (6 feet away). Many people are feeling fearful and down with all that the virus is doing to disrupt their lives – cancelled vacations, events, social gatherings, schools, and for many, even work! Anxiety and depression are rising in our country and around the world with this pandemic and all the “what ifs” going through our minds. With so much out of our control, how can we make good out of this situation?

If you’re an introvert, staying home all the time might not sound that bad to you! When else have you been forced to stay home when that’s all you really want to do anyway? For the next few weeks, you don’t have to make up an excuse to say “no” to a social gathering. If you’re an extrovert, maybe this forced time at home is just what you need to take a break and focus on things that you otherwise don’t. Whatever your situation, use this recommended #socialdistancing and #flattenthecurve time to make lemonade out of lemons. Here are 6 ways to make something positive out of this crummy situation.

1. Reconnect with Family

If you live with your family, use this time at home to reconnect and make memories with each other! Most American families are running a hundred miles a minute between work, school and extracurricular activities that they rarely have good quality family time at home. Play some board games, watch your favorite family movies, look at your favorite family photo albums from the past, take a walk at the park together, make dinner together, the ideas are endless! To be even more present during these family-bonding times, ask everyone to put their screens away so everyone can truly enjoy each other.

2. Reconnect with Yourself

When’s the last time you spent time alone to reflect, think, or just be? Everyone – introverted or extroverted – needs time alone to relax your mind and be still. Have you ever tried journaling? Try writing down what you are grateful for; the small things and big things. This is especially useful to improve your mood when feeling down in the pits. Journaling your thoughts can help you sort through your thoughts, reflect, and plan for the future. Meditation is another great tool to help calm the mind and practice gratitude and mindfulness. If you’ve never tried meditation, there are lots of free apps out there with guided meditation to get you started.

3. Declutter Your Space

Did you know that clutter in your space can cause clutter in your mind and increase anxiety? Does your home feel like a peaceful refuge when you walk in the door after a long day, or do you feel more chaos? Getting rid of items in your house that don’t serve a purpose – or “spark joy” as Marie Kondo says – can help you decipher what to keep and what to sell or donate. If you need some inspiration or ideas on how to declutter and organize, check out Marie Kondo’s Netflix series or book on her Konmari method, or check out books from the library on minimalism, like Joshua Becker’s book The Minimalist Home for a detailed guide. Other helpful resources on simplifying or minimalism include Allie Cassaza and The Minimalists.

4. Deep Clean

What better time to spring clean than smack-dab in the middle of a pandemic? Get out your cleaning supplies to sanitize and deep clean your home to kill germs and to just have a clean home! If you’ve first decluttered your home, you’ll have even less things to clean and maintain, so cleaning takes less time.

5. Finish to-do Lists

Ever feel like your to-do list is never-ending? Use this time to cross some of those things (or dare I say all those things) off your list! Even though a lot of these tasks may be boring (does anyone really enjoy sorting through paper work or dropping off recycling?), crossing these tasks off of a physical list can lead to a feeling of accomplishment and take some weight off your shoulders.

6. Move Your Body

Another thing we all struggle to find time for – exercise! Even though gyms are closed, take some time to get outside and go for a brisk walk, or do some yoga or other exercise like push-ups and squats inside your home. If you have kids, put on some fun music, and do it together as a family. Don’t know where to start? There are lots of free videos on You Tube.

Bottom line: use this extra free time at home to catch up on things you don’t normally have the time to do, and head back into our new “normal” life feeling caught up and hopefully refreshed. Delivered meals from Wolcott Foods are one way to reduce your exposure and practice “social distancing”. We are doing all we can to keep you well fed and as safe as possible. Above all, take the necessary precautions, and stay healthy.

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