Social distancing is a term everyone’s hearing these days as our globe battles the coronavirus pandemic. What’s it actually mean, though? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the term “social distancing” means “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance from others when possible.” Essentially, that means cancel all plans you’ve got outside of your apartment or house, and get cozy with yourselves, because it’s time to act smart when it comes to trying to eliminate the spreading of this new coronavirus.
Obviously, that’s easier said than done. As I’m writing this, I’m staring outside at 60-degree weather with nothing but blue skies, and, as an avid runner, all I really want to do is lace up my sneakers and go pound the pavement. Of course, based off of the recommendations of the CDC, I’m instead stuck indoors writing this — which is one way for me to stay productive.
Since this is an unprecedented time where our entire population is being challenged and forced to make adjustments to our everyday lives, I figured I’d throw you a solid and give some suggestions on how to stay productive while practicing social distancing. As somebody who’s worked from home for over a decade or so, I know a little bit about staying busy when trapped inside your apartment walls, so take a look below to see some helpful tips to stay on track.
How To Still Stay Productive While Practicing Social Distancing
I won’t even pretend I know the first thing about meditation, but, from people who do it, I hear that it’s a tremendous way to find balance, breathe easy and calm your nerves. According to WebMD, there are tons of benefits to meditating, and, now that most of us don’t need to deal with a morning or afternoon commute to the office, it’s a good way to pass some time during this social distancing time.
I’m doing this as we speak, and so many people ask me how to get started doing something similar. My advice? Just. Start. Writing.
Sure, it helps that I’ve made a career doing this, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the knowledge or talent to at least jot down some notes for yourself to look back on months or years from now. Hell, it doesn’t need to be something you publish online, but just something you’re feeling in the moment that you can look back on. Imagine reading some of your entries to your kids or grandkids 10, 20, 45 years from now when we’re all looking back remembering what a crazy time this was for the world. That’ll be pretty incredible.
3. Read Some Books
None of us are as smart as we think we are — well, at least I’m not — so pick up some books and educate yourself on something of interest. Want to put together a business plan but not sure how to start? Find something to read about it. Looking for a good drama that doesn’t involve Netflix and chilling? There’s more than enough books that’ll do the trick.
In a time when we’re all glued to our TVs and phone screens, now’s the time to slow down and unplug to consume some information and entertainment. Plus, with the weather being nicer in most parts of the country, if you’ve got a balcony to sit in the sun and read from — while still practicing social distancing — you’ll get some much needed fresh air.
— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) March 15, 2020
4. Find A New Hobby
OK, so reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo might not be the second coming of Eric Clapton on the guitar, but, hey, can’t blame the guy for at least trying, right? Whether it’s picking up a six-stringer to learn, trying a few new recipes in the kitchen or just tightening up on skills you already know and use everyday, this is the time to test yourself. Look, you can either sit around all day and be frustrated with doing the same old things, or you can find something interesting to try and learn — the latter sounds so much more appealing.
5. FaceTime With Friends/Family
Want to know something I did for an hour today that I haven’t in almost a year? I talked to one of my best friends and old college roommate who lives in France. Yesterday, I chatted with my 97-year-old grandma. And later this week I plan on FaceTiming with my nephews in New Orleans. Now that you know my social schedule for the week, here’s to hoping you plan something similar and take the time to stay in close contact with friends and family. Now’s the time to build unity and lean on one another during this stressful and uncertain time, so use this social distancing thing as a way to reconnect with people you’ve been meaning to talk to for awhile — because the whole world is on lockdown right now, so we’ve all got some time to kill.
6. Listen To Music
Who the hell doesn’t like belting Tom Petty at the top of their lungs? Or rapping some Jay-Z after a two-hour meeting with colleagues to blow off some steam? Now that you’re at home, fire up the tunes and bring some much needed joy to your life. Just don’t piss off your neighbors.
7. Do Some Puzzles
I don’t care if it’s of the crossword variety or with typical puzzle pieces, because you can keep your mind sharp and pass some time by doing one of these each day. Let’s get this straight: Working from home during this pandemic isn’t a vacation, but it’s inevitable that you’ll have more time on your hands, and working on a puzzle for a little bit each day can help relax you and take your mind off work. The last thing you need is added anxiety from the constant news cycle mixed with all your work stress because you’re not used to practicing social distancing.
— Tough Mudder (@ToughMudder) March 16, 2020
8. Sneak In A Workout
Let me get this straight: Avoid the gym at all costs right now!! The last thing any of us needs is sitting on a machine that’s been used by someone who (unfortunately) has contracted the latest coronavirus, or, generally speaking, just being around a bunch of people who are heavily breathing near one another. That doesn’t mean you still can’t workout, though, because there are plenty of in-home routines to strengthen your core, get a little cardio and stay toned — you just need to find the right one for you.
9. Start A Podcast Or Web Series
You’ll always have an excuse for not starting a podcast, but it’s time to toss those out, because social distancing is the ideal time to test one out. Look, you don’t need to be a pro at talking to people to get a podcast going, you just need to have a few topics and a little direction to launch one — if even just to test for yourself and some friends before actually publishing it. You should have a little extra time with all the isolation this coronavirus is giving us, so get to it.
10. Find (And Stick To) A Daily Routine That Fits Your Schedule
If you normally wake up at 7 a.m. and shower, eat breakfast and watch a little TV before going to work, do the same thing when working from home. As somebody who has worked remotely for so long, the sooner you get into a normal routine, the better off your days will be — and the more productive. Be kind to yourself during this stressful time, because, as we’ve seen, the world is changing every hour with updates on how we all plan to tackle this coronavirus, meaning you’ve got to be able to control what you can. Finding the right schedule for yourself is the quickest way of doing that, so still try to find that ideal work-life balance during this stressful time.
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