Redeeming the Time: 20 Things to do While Social Distancing

We're into our first week of homeschooling and social distancing and I have to be honest - I don't hate it
These are very frightening times to be sure, yet the increased and even mandated time at home with those we love is one heck of a silver lining. 

Certainly not everyone has the ability to work from home and hunker down in the way I'm describing - especially health care and essential service workers who are absolute heroes - but for those who are restricted to a work-from-home or simple be home capacity, my hope is we'll spend the time well. One day this will be over (hopefully soon!), and we'll look back on how we spent these days. I really hope to look back on them with fondness, knowing that I followed expert's advice in staying inside, but also that I used the time wisely and fruitfully. 

Here's a simple list of 20 things to do while you're social distancing. For many of us, the time at home is not optional, but the way we spend it is completely in our hands. 

  1. Sleep more - even if you're working from home, you'll likely work somewhat reduced hours and choose your hours unlike the typical 9-5. Kids aren't rushing off to school so why not catch up on an hour or two per night? 1 in 3 adults aren't getting enough sleep, but now is likely the best chance you'll get to allow yourself to sleep a full 8 hours (or more!).
  2. Master a new skill - I suggest you perfect my sour dough-ish bread recipe! But other ideas are to try out a new instrument or start knitting. 
  3. Read the entire New Testament - I have the David Suchet NIV audio version on Scribd and it's 20 hours. Thanks to social distancing you have 20 hours. This is well worth your while! Here's a link for your first two months free on Scribd, fyi!
  4. Learn a new language - As someone living in her second language, I assure you it's worth the time to invest in language learning! Oli is trying to learn a third language (Arabic!) on Youtube during the time off school, too.
  5. Clean out your closet - I did this to my upcoming summer wardrobe and the kid's too and it was so satisfying. I sell my quality kid's pieces to Boutique Mini-Cycle and give the rest away to charity. 
  6. Wash weird things and places - Now, if ever, is the time to deep clean. Not only are you going to be home (and it's much more preferable to be in a clean home, no?), but you also have the time. Today we washed the walls and baseboards. Seriously. It was oddly satisfying.
  7. Do facials and hair masks and all the things - self-care alert! Those time-consuming and totally optional beauty activities are really fun when there's nothing else to do.
  8. Learn to cook new things - Social distancing means we aren't rushing to the store every time we're out of one ingredient, so use up everything you have first and along the way, stretch yourself with cooking. I plan to explore some of my lesser-used cookbooks and focus on my pantry ingredients.
  9. Get back to family dinners - I know my family has a lot of evening work and engagements normally so we are loving the chance to all be home for 6pm supper each night. I light a candle and dust off my secondhand English china and it feels very Norman Rockwell in the best way. 
  10. For the married couples out there: have sex every day! Seriously, why not? Didn't see that suggestion coming, did ya? ;-)
  11. Read good books - You will eventually get tired of Netflix, and if you don't, well, trust me, it's good to take a break. Favourites I've read in the past year include Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, Educated by Tara Westover, Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Simonson, Women and God by Kathleen Nielson, and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
  12. Don't wear makeup! You're not going out anyway, give your skin a break!
  13. Workout at home - Even a simple workout like 10 burpees followed by 10 pushups x 3 will get your heart pumping and muscles awakened
  14. Ask questions - of your roomates, spouse, kids, anyone you're stuck inside with, or even friends elsewhere online. Get to know people. 
  15. Help a health-care professional - these people are truly on the front lines and we ought to do our best to serve them in any way right now. For my part, I've offered to make lunches for a nurse friend. Anything you can do to ease their stress, give them a bit of respite, and say "thank you".
  16. Shop online - I usually love browsing thrift stores and I miss it already, but I've done my shopping online and plan to continue to. My favourite online shop for secondhand and quality clothes is Boutique Mini-Cycle, which satisfies my desire to thrift a bit! I've also bought books from Indigo for the kids, and a new kettle from Canadian Tire. There's no need to be in stores right now!
  17. Clean out all of the kitchen drawers - toss that utensil or small appliance you never use, wash the drawers and cupboards, because wow they got disgusting over the years! It's a task you'd probably never do under normal circumstances but feels great to have done.
  18. Order takeout - restaurants are being hit very hard financially right now so why not order takeout from your favourite local place? Most restaurants are running at a reduced capacity to comply with the new limits for people gathering in one space but almost every restaurant offers takeaway.
  19. Watch your film bucket list - this is the time to re-watch your very favourites (BBC Pride & Prejudice, The Holiday, Count of Monte Cristo), to introduce your kids to the classics (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter), and to lessen those screen rules. I'm preaching to myself here!
  20. Keep calm and carry on - this too shall pass, and God is still on the throne.

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