Overnight, our country became a work-from-home nation. For some, this is a dream. For others, it’s a huge adjustment that happened without much notice or preparation. If you’re working from home, you are adjusting to the new normal. If you’ve been laid off and are hoping to be rehired, this time is much more anxiety-ridden. It can be hard to find positive vibes when everything is so uncertain.
None of us is an expert at how to deal with this unprecedented situation. We are all feeling it out. To keep your sanity during an admittedly crazy time, here are 18 projects and pursuits that can bring a bit of instant gratification and maybe even a feeling of control while we wait for the world to return to normal.
- Organize your photos. Looking back through old memories can bring a rush of nostalgia and happy thoughts. Use sites like Shutterfly, Zazzle, or Costco Photo to create the photo books that you’ve been putting off.
- Get fit! There’s no better time to start getting in shape. Many services have made their online classes free for the next few months. Physical activity can really boost your positive vibes. Here are just a few: Peloton–90 days of classes for free for new users. Their classes include yoga, meditation, strength, stretching, and cardio, in addition to their famed bike rides.
Crunch Fitness–Crunch Live, their online workout class portal is now free for 45 days, even for non-members. This trial gives you access to more than 100 workouts in a variety of modalities.
Yoga With Adriene–YWA is an international phenomenon on YouTube with hundreds of yoga videos that are always free. YWA is excellent for beginners but still has enough substance to make seasoned yogis dig deeper to “find what feels good.”
- Jumpstart a new healthy lifestyle such as Weightwatchers, Zoom, Keto, or Paleo. You finally have the time to meal prep!
- Learn to cook–speaking of meals, this is a great time to cook your way through an essential cooking instruction book. Try Julia Child’s The Joy of French Cooking, Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat, or Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.
- Read–Amazon may be shipping only the essentials, but your local bookseller is happy to find something for your reading pleasure. Another option is your e-reader. Save some dough by downloading your local library’s app. Overdrive and Libby offer thousands of titles for free 24/7.
- Socialize! There are many video platforms available now. Facetime, Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Houseparty all make it easy (and many times, free) to interact with family and friends.
- Learn–now is the time to dive into a new podcast, watch a TEDTalk, or learn a new language. DuoLingo offers many options for languages for free.
- Netflix–it is entirely acceptable to lose yourself in a new series. We are loving Ozarks, All American, Tiger King, and The Crown right now. For a bit of travel escapism, try Extraordinary Homes. What are your favorites?
- Get creative! TikTok is letting us all stretch our creative muscles. Don’t forget to share your creations on social media!
- Clean up your database, your phone contacts, and your photos–these kinds of tedious tasks often get pushed to the backburner. Now is the time to clean them off your slate completely.
- Create an ongoing calendar for birthdays and anniversaries for friends and family on your phone. We all rely on Facebook for those reminders, but it’s nice to have a backup reminder of those special dates.
- Make a date, every day. Call and check-in with friends and family members one on one. Making an effort to call or text to say that you are thinking of someone can make their day, especially when we are all feeling isolated. Positive vibes multiply when they are shared.
- Follow all the companies that you love on social media. If you’re wondering how your favorite company is adapting, make sure you’re in on the updates.
- Send snail mail. There’s nothing better than getting a handwritten note in the mail. Make or buy a card and send it to a family member, friend, or co-worker. It will brighten their day.
- Start a gratitude journal. Even in a day time, there are things to be grateful for. Write them down, and when you’re feeling low, look back at your journal for inspiration.
- Do something nice for someone. Donate to a GoFundMe. If you have elderly neighbors, help them with yard work (from a safe distance). Sew a mask for someone in need. There’s always something that we can do for our friends and neighbors.
- Create a new playlist through Google Play, Spotify, or Apple Music. Pick a topic and start compiling–morning inspiration, workouts, cleaning, dinner, relaxation, or dance party. Get those positive vibes working while you work on your project list.
- Play a game! If you’re at home with kids, play something simple like hide and seek. Cards or dominoes are great games to play while having a good conversation. Or do a puzzle. Those 1000 pieces aren’t going to assemble themselves.