Here in Minnesota, we’re rounding the corner into week seven of social distancing (or longer, or shorter, depending on who you ask). If you’d have told me back in the middle of March that we’d still be at this now—that I’d still be home alone and all my meetings would still be over Zoom and that sharply swerving away from people on sidewalks would still be the norm—I wouldn’t have thought I’d be able to make it this long. And yet, here I am, more resilient than I apparently realized.
We all are.
This is a weird time. We can write that over and over again, a million different times in a million different ways, and it’s never going to fully encompass all the ways this experience is affecting us. This is hard. For everyone. We’re each doing our best to cope and on some days our best looks better than on others. But we are resilient. We are figuring out a way through this and we’re finding new ways to lean on each other and we’re discovering, all over again, that the simplest things in life—laughter and connection and really solid snacks (kidding…sort of)—are what mean the most. We’re figuring out how to be okay, even when we’re not. We’re moving forward, even when we feel like we can’t.
We recently asked Wit & Delight readers on Instagram what they’re doing to keep their spirits up during this lonely season and the answers came pouring in (nearly 200 of them). Ideas included talking with your mom on the phone while you both go for a walk, sticking to a routine (any routine!), giving yourself unlimited access to “unhealthy” snacks, and tackling projects around the house. My personal favorite responses were the two folks who just wrote “Wine?”
Wine indeed friends. Wine indeed.
Anyway. The answers were really, really good—they were thoughtful and creative and relatable. And mostly, it was nice to read through them and realize we’re not alone in searching for meaning and normalcy and comfort right now. We sorted through all of the responses and are sharing a number of them with you today—we hope you find some solace in these recommendations. And we hope you have a really nice Sunday, too.
- Bring your baked goods to your friends and neighbors. It makes their day and yours!
- Sending mail! I love getting mail and it is an easy way to brighten someone’s day.
- Texting my friends something funny first thing in the morning.
- Treating friends (specifically with kids) to surprise orders from their favorite restaurants!
- Weekly trivia nights with friends. Each week, a different group does the questions.
- Reading and discussing Little Women with my son while he’s in CA and I’m in IL.
- Making care packages for friends and family with small business goods. Bonus for including fresh bread.
- Pets and foster pets help immensely.
- The Marco Polo app has been a lifesaver! You can use it to send videos to your friends on your time instead of calling.
- Taking a 20-minute drive to nowhere with my husband—thinking of it as a “car date”!
- Talking on the phone with my mom while we both take a long walk!
- Lots of Zoom happy hour calls, Skype calls with friends and family, and using the Houseparty app.
- Online Zumba, HIIT, Pilates, and yoga classes. There are so many studios offering classes via Zoom right now.
- Walking every day even when it’s cold AF.
- Starting every day with a workout: running, Pilates, thirty minutes of weights, even a dog walk. Just moving in general!
- Bike rides with my husband for literal breathing room and a shared positive experience.
- Getting outside! Going for long walks, hikes, and runs.
- Walks in the woods. We are so lucky to live two blocks away from Forest Park in Queens.
Food and Drink
- Join a wine club or get shipments of wine to do blind tastings!
- Lighting a pillar candle, putting on jazz, and putting out cloth napkins to zhuzh up that 75th meal at home in a row.
- Bellecour’s Dirty French Martini Kit.
- Making and eating a loaf of bread every day. And an old fashioned as a nightcap. (Editor’s note: my hero.)
- Bon Appétit Test Kitchen videos!
- Keeping the tradition of Friday pizza and wine.
- Unlimited access to “unhealthy” snacks I never usually buy.
- Finish using up your least favorite foods before your favorite so you can get them out of the way!
- Homebrewing hard cider! It takes patience and care and is an easy + fun long-term project!
- Recreating a meal from a restaurant that you love!
- Having gratefulness that I am employed and have food, shelter, and health!
- Keeping perspective! We can do this to protect vulnerable populations and frontline staff!
- Reminding myself that the longer we’re home, the longer I don’t have to worry about my mom, who’s high risk.
- Writing down ten things I’m grateful for every day and baking/cooking (something I love).
- Laughing and finding humor in the dumb, hard shit of daily life has been a saving grace.
- This one is simple, but gratitude. 🙂 Finding the silver lining and seeing how unique this time is.
Entertainment and Noble Distractions
- Embroidery: It keeps my hands busy so I don’t (over) check media.
- If you can afford it, home improvement projects and redecorating your spaces.
- Playing games. Our favorites right now are Sequence, Bananagrams, and Heads Up!
- Purging things and listing them for free on Instagram. It doesn’t need to be a full-out Marie Kondo effort!
- Cleaning up my house! When it’s a lovely place to be I’m slightly less miserable.
- Using this time to try out new hair tutorials. If my hair looks horrible, no one is going to see!
- Animal crossing. I haven’t played video games in a long time, but it’s so cute and fun!
- I took up water coloring! I’ve been painting little gardens and mailing them to family and friends.
- Gardening and trying to grow or maintain a plant. Basil plants count!
- Craft projects. Even shit ones you know will end up in the trash. It helps fight stress.
- Taking any and all online courses.
- Embroidering on shirts for friends! It feels good to create a gift I know will bring joy.
- Sidewalk chalk. So many fun ideas and it has entertained me and my kids!!
- Endless hobbies! Sewing, pottery, painting, and laughs with my daughter.
- Small projects with physical results (vs. computer work)—reorganizing a drawer, organizing summer clothes, etc.
- Ryan Heffington dance classes on Instagram Live.
- I’ve been adding freshly cut florals to my home. Bloom day is the best—that’s today at my house!
- Lots of CBD.
- As a therapist, I tell people to get into comfort routines, kind of like on Christmas—movies and snuggling all day.
- Taking a long shower, shaving, exfoliating, and putting on some self-tanner.
- Lighting candles only when work is done to simulate a shift in the day in my mind.
- Practicing a hardcore nighttime skincare routine.
- Headspace! Baths! Cheesy fiction novels! Therapy!
- 21 minutes of a breathing app every day. I’m dead serious. It works!
- Perfume and lip gloss after work every day—even if I’m just making myself dinner!
- Meditating, relaxing, and giving myself space to not do something all the time.
- Taking time to just sit and look out the window. It sounds so simple but it’s so rewarding.
- Singing at the top of my lungs and dancing (while I work at my dining room “desk”).
- Solo drive (or with a napping toddler in the back) with an audiobook and iced coffee!
Time Management and Routine
- Splitting Saturday/Sunday with my husband! He takes the baby from 6:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. I take the 12:00 p.m – 6:00 p.m. shift.
- Schedule out plans on the calendar for stuff you’re doing at home (i.e. movie nights).
- I try to mimic what I’d usually do each day. Tomorrow is my weekly cleaning day.
- A to-do list of only three items!
- Taking vacation days if you can. I have been working 55-65 hours a week!
- Making to-do lists of everyday obvious stuff just to have the satisfaction of crossing items off.
- Showering and getting dressed by 10 a.m.
- Making a schedule with highlights built in so certain days feel special and different.
- Changing clothes at the end of the workday, just like I would if work was still not at home.