Not your Everyday Things To Do List: COVID TOP 12

Contrary to what many might be thinking right now, life isn’t canceled. Yes, this pandemic has turned many things around for us. It has uprooted us in all of the ways. Some are working from home, some now have kids in the mix, some have no work at all right now or have had hours cut back. Some are scared of what is coming and what might be. 

The mind has a natural tendency to focus on what has gone bad – the economic impact, the political issues that may have stimulated this, the people who we should blame, the supplies healthcare workers are not provided with, everything that has been taken away from us. I’d love for you to take a moment to think about what HAS NOT been canceled and in turn some OPPORTUNITIES that this abrupt change might bring. Despite these times of social isolation and stay at home orders, we are seeing communities come together on a global scale, which in turn will help shed light on some challenges we as a planet have been facing (health prevention, climate change, and so much more). 

If we accept any and all feelings we are having around this event, we are less likely to amplify them and become more anxious. 

Here are some “COVID” survival tips that hopefully will spark some positivity and action.

Think on what hasn’t been canceled: 

Music and Dancing

Love, Laughter and Joy

Physical Activity out in nature 

Family Bonding or time with our little furry ones

Gratitude

Sunrises and Sunsets 

Conversations and Relationships

Creativity 

The start of my kids time capsules!

Here are some tangible ideas to help bring joy to this time for you: 

1. Connect. It turns out that because of the internet, we actually have an amazing opportunity to increase our connections with people despite being “alone.” For a few days, write kindness letters to a few people you know. Or reach out and call or Facetime with people that you might not get a chance to connect with regularly.

2. Try new foods, or new way to prepare them. You can use pantry staples for this – things you already have on hand. Ferment pickles, try soaking lentils, or making hummus. Maybe even make bread from scratch! Going to the grocery store means getting more creative in the kitchen and using what you have wisely. Experiment with this one!

3. Support local. Many local businesses are suffering. Buy or give a gift card to a local establishment or donate to a local organization that is stepping up to feed the hungry in this time of need. Use the gifts you already have to raffle off to those in need. A friend supported a local inflatables company and the kids had a blast with it on their staycation at home.

4. Go on a cleanse. Now is the best time to boost your immune system. Sugar is highly inflammatory and this is not the time to stay home and binge on sugar loaded snacks all day. We cannot control the virus but we CAN control the host (us). Check out functional medicine guru Mark Hyman’s take on sugar and the detox.

5. Create a family scavenger hunt in your own home or backyard. When do we ever take this time to really savor what is right in front of us? Search the attic, the basement, the corners of the yard. Places where you might not go otherwise. 

6. Complete some puzzles! Now is the time to break out some of those 500-1000 piece puzzles you’ve been saving for a rainy day. This is a great activity to just have sitting out for whenever you feel like coming to it. Its been a great family activity for us!

7. Think up family physical activity adventures, at home or in the woods (maintaining social distancing precautions, of course). Get on bikes for a family adventure to a destination (again, could be to pick up to go lunch out to support local), or build an obstacle course outside. Head into the woods, to the creek, to a place that you have always wanted to go but haven’t yet. 

8. Learn to play a new instrument. Voice, ukelele, whatever. Many of us even have instruments at home that aren’t being used. Online instruction is available!

9. Garden! With the start of spring, this is the perfect time to get your hands in the dirt. Gardening is great physical, mental and family exercise and also gets you a great Vitamin D immune boost.

10. Mealplan and prep ahead. Now is the best time to turn this into a habit. If you have been meaning to make this shift but “haven’t had time,” make a commitment to this and put in the effort. You can subscribe to mealprepping apps and online cooking schools for guidance. Check out Forks Over Knives and Plantrician Project. Restaurants are closed anyway – you won’t be missing out!

11. Camp in the backyard. Do the whole thing. The s’mores, the campsongs, the sleeping bags and the outdoor cooking! Take turns around the fire sharing gratitude thoughts.

12. Last, complete a COVID “time capsule”. Remember these times through writing down thoughts. This is an awesome resource for kids that helps journal gratitude, feelings and also allows parents to write letters to their children.

Happy doing!! 

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veena somani md

integrative  lifestyle  coach