Staying busy and engaged while at home

Thursday, March 19, 2020

staying at homeThe COVID-19 outbreak has forced many of us to remain in our homes to avoid exposure to the virus. This isolation can cause feelings of helplessness and depression. While it's tempting to watch the news non-stop, the Ohio Department of Health reminds us that taking a break from the news is one way to take care of our health and well-being during this difficult time. So, how can we stay busy and engaged while isolated at home? Try some of these ideas:

  1. Spend time reading. Maybe you can pick a friend who is stuck at home, too, and read the same book at the same time. Then call each other and talk about the book’s story. It can be your own “book club.”
  2. Cook. Cook. Cook. Cooking doesn’t require a lot of moving around and can be very satisfying. Consider donating your food to a neighbor who may need it.
  3. Explore regular exercise. Check out some chair exercises.
  4. Get creative with adult coloring books and colored pencils. 
  5. Spend time outdoors each day – even if it’s on a chair on the porch.
  6. Watch a documentary on a topic you don’t know much about. 
  7. Listen to music. You can reminisce with Louis Armstrong, Doris Day, Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra.
  8. If you can, get online. Look up your alma mater, play games, stay in touch with family and friends or learn something new. A number of organizations are currently offering free virtual access to their facilities and events. Here are a few:
    1. CNN's List of Free Streaming Events and Tours
    2. Free Telephone Topics Sessions for Seniors – a wide range of discussions and topics for seniors
    3. Met Opera Streaming Encore Performances 
    4. Cincinnati Zoo Brings the Zoo to You
    5. Georgia Aquarium Webcams
    6. Google Arts and Culture Exhibits 
  9. Don’t forget the view. What is outside your window? Are there birds in the trees? Is it sunny? How many cars are out and about?
  10. Write a letter. Perhaps write a thank-you note to someone in the service.
  11. Document your family history. Write down all the life stories you have to share with others.
  12. Call a friend or family member. There’s nothing like a simple phone call to connect with others.
  13. Make virtual visits to friends and family using FaceTime or other video conferencing software.
  14. Start or tend an indoor garden. 
  15. Start a journal. Write down your daily thoughts.
  16. Meditate. Try lying down with your eyes closed, palms up and focus on your breath.
  17. Finish a jigsaw puzzle. Many of us have them lurking in the back of our closets.
  18. Download and complete this free wellness workbook.