Staying Sane While Social Distancing

OK. So, you’ve mastered the art of working from home—now what? In a time of uncertainty and an unprecedented level of mindfulness, it’s easy to get bogged down with maintaining workflow and keeping up with the rapid-fire news cycle. And as the pandemic escalates in the U.S., social distancing is even more crucial, with states issuing “stay at home” orders to emphasize just how important it is. It’s difficult knowing when to step away from it all. Here we’ve compiled a list of activities that will help get you offline and keep you busy while practicing social distancing.

Spend time with friends, virtually.

Host a virtual Happy Hour or dinner: Zoom, Google Hangout, FaceTime—pick your favorite video platform to link with your pals and cheers, from a distance! Or, prop them up in the kitchen while you cook and enjoy a meal together. And, no need to meet in person to discuss your recent read, celeb news or Netflix series– schedule a video call and chat it up about who’s still together from ‘Love is Blind’ or why Rihanna continues to make us wait for her next album drop.

Get. Out.

Not the movie (although if you haven’t seen it, now’s a great time to see what the hubbub was about). Spring has sprung and we’re all wishing for warmer weather. Dodge cabin fever and get some fresh air! Virtual picnic? Yes, please. Go all out for Instagram-worthy photos. Go for a jog or hike your nearest (secluded) trails. Getting fresh air can do a world of good to combat that stir-crazy feeling indoors.

Start your spring cleaning.

Winter hibernation often leaves our home cluttered and stuffy. So whether you’re going full-on Marie Kondo and purging everything that gives off “negativity” – because who needs that right now – placing winter clothes in storage or collecting items to donate to your local foster home/shelter will help focus your energy and relieve you of sitting around clutter all day, ultimately, helping you enjoy your time at home in a pleasant, clean space.

Now is the time to flex that green thumb!

Pick up a new hobby that will help brighten your home and purify the air you breathe. There’s a subscription service for everything—plants are no different. Bring the outdoors in and spruce up your workspace with these plant delivery services:

If you’re a beginner, consider these low-maintenance plants:

  • Pothos – almost impossible to kill, they can keep growing 10 ft or more, and tolerant of all types of lighting conditions, even artificial office lights.
  • Cast Iron – lives up to the name as it’s known to survive under the worst conditions, preferring low light.
  • Peace Lily – its gorgeous white panicle and spathe prefers warmth and humidity but does tend to adapt as long as it’s not put near drafts or cooler rooms.
  • Chinese Evergreen – extremely forgiving and can adapt to most room conditions, preferring low, indirect light.
  • Snake plant – otherwise called the “Mother-in-law’s tongue” due to its long, sharp-pointed leaves and long life, prefers low light and minimal watering.
  • Aloe Vera – while a useful plant with sap that can treat cuts and burns, it’s an attractive one that needs light watering and prefers bright indirect sunlight.
  • Succulents – these little guys are easy-going, preferring little water and accepts indirect sunlight.

Take date night and home-cooking to the next level.

No need to leave your living room for date night. Click on your favorite rom com, open a bottle of wine and sit back. And, depending what you (or the kids) feel like, be it Kraft Mac n Cheese or a pasta dish you can’t pronounce, now is a great time to get creative, try new recipes and even try making things from scratch such as: a DIY Taco and Tequila Party, homemade sushi and these at-home date night ideas.

Sweat out the pandemic by streaming workouts.

No weights or a Peloton bike? No problem! You can keep up your fitness goals at home by streaming classes with little to no equipment through the Sweat app, Daily Burn, Aaptiv or Barry’s Bootcamp’s live classes on Instagram. Many others are also offering free trials and discounts right now to keep us all moving.

Keeping the kids entertained.

Kids at home? Then you have no time to get bored. Everything above is kid-friendly, but with no playdates or playground equipment releasing that pent-up energy while staying productive can seem daunting. A tip from a Strata-mom: Little’s love to imitate, so put on your workout gear, grab a yoga mat and stick a few sun salutations. Your tiny ones will have fun climbing all over you. Older kids may want to try a different workout, but the benefits of demonstrating healthy fitness habits and putting down the phone to bond will outlast social distancing.

These are just a few simple ways we can continue to stay calm, healthy, informed and spread the positivity and mindfulness to one another – without spreading germs.

Ava Frakes is a senior account executive in Stratacomm’s Detroit office.

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