Let me be frank, “guide” is a loose term. “Guide” presumes I have a plan to navigate this quarantine successfully. I. Do. Not. 90% of the time, I don’t feel like I’m handling this whole lock-down thing very well. I’m sure most of us feel this way on any given day under these current circumstances. I do have to admit, there are times, moments actually, where I feel ever-so-slightly in control. And those moments I accredit to the help below. So feel free to browse the list, follow the recipe (or not). Just know we’re in uncharted territory, and now more than ever, the little things really count.
Guide to Survival Mode:
1. Virtual Gym Classes. Nobody is more surprised than I to put working out at the top of this list. But it deserves its first-place ranking. Working out helps calm my anxiety and jitters of what a new day in this life will bring. Live, group classes provide a sense of community and connection. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, The Fit Inn offers a range of times and classes. Not only will the classes keep you on track for your summer beach bod (because there will be summer, I promise), but you’re supporting a local business with a great husband and wife team who creatively pivoted their business model to survive and provide during this quarantine.
2. Meditation App: Meditating has always been an outlet for me during bad (and good) times. Whether 5, 15, or 50 minutes, stillness can go a long way. I love the meditation app Insight Timer. It’s free and offers a range of levels, guided meditations, and soundscapes. Perfect for taking on the morning, or releasing the day for a restful night’s sleep.
3. Arts & Crafts: Take the guesswork out of arts and crafts for your kids by using a monthly subscription box. I realize most people don’t need directions on making hand-print spring flowers, but my creativity reserve is drained. After working all day while simultaneously keeping my child alive, I have little desire to plan a Martha Stewart worthy craft table. So I leave it to the professionals. Green Craft Kids allows you to pick the level of crafting activity appropriate for your child and delivers all necessary ingredients right to your door. No thinking required. No more guilt for the copious amounts of screen time your child is enduring!
4. Noise-canceling Headphones: Zoom meetings and three-year-olds don’t mix. Drown out the background noise on those all-important conference calls. My co-workers tell me not only can they not hear my son screaming because his cartoons are over (although I think they’re just polite), but that the built-in microphone makes me sound crystal clear. The Jabra 75 headphones also come equipped with hours of concentration music, which we could all use right about now.
5. Commitment Journal: I have a tendency to lean into the type-A personality. My Commit 30 planner helps me log my daily mediation and workouts. With a satisfying little check-mark, I have a tactical and straightforward way to feel accomplishment on the daily!
6. Home Made Chicken Nugget Recipes: I am not a cook. I repeat I am not a cook. So while I try to buy organic, vegetable-laced frozen chicken nuggets, I do feel the need from time to time to give home-cookin’ a try. Not make bread-from-scratch home-cookin’, just a simple DIY chicken nugget recipe. Double points for dusting off that air fryer finally!
7. Educational Apps: ABC Mouse…enough said.
8. YouTube: No surprise here. You can find anything on YouTube. I always wanted to learn to knit. It seemed like a productive way to sit in a rocking chair (or subway). I took a 15 minute YouTube tutorial and $7 on amazon for yarn and needles and voila’, I’m officially old. Knitting has been a great release for my nervous energy during this pandemic. While I’m not exactly sure what I’m making, it’s a visual representation of progress, holes and all. Just keep moving regardless of what the stitch before looks like. Just. Keep. Going. There’s a ton of content out there, but I found How To Knit with RJ Knits super easy to follow.
9. Podcasts: Podcasts are great in general, but I find them strangely comforting during this time. While the news can feel like a never-ending loop of pessimism, podcasts can break up the monotony with a refreshing perspective. I particularly like all things NPR, but Planet Money & The Indicator are short, digestible economic-focused podcasts updated daily.
10. Daily Deal Blogs: This serves as my guilty pleasure AND a practical money-saving site. Maybe I’ve been known to indulge a bit on the Kendra Scott deals, BUT I’ve also landed Clorox Wipes and Charmin toilet paper. So it’s a wash. My two favorite (follow them on Facebook) are Blame it on the Deal and Love it For Less!
How are you surviving?