Week two of quarantine/social distancing begins today. And I am here you to help you become the best version of yourself while stuck in your anthill. You’re welcome.
Practice these, keep them close to your heart, and may they allow you to become simultaneously less restless, and less productive.
- Aim for only one productive thing per day: this can include exercise, cleaning out a closet, taking down spider webs, cleaning behind your ears, trying out a new recipe or grooming your partner/spawn chimpanzee-style. I am counting this blog post as mine for today even though it serves absolutely no productive purpose for myself or society at large. In turn, you can count reading it as yours.
- Aim for one slight physical activity per day: this can include an online workout video (following along or just even watching), a walk outdoors (or just sitting at the window looking outside), going upstairs/downstairs to retrieve your phone from another room or restorative yoga (a type of yoga practice that requires you to lie down and be absolutely still).
- Aim to revive an old hobby or take up a new one: this can include writing (I am counting this blog against this one too), painting, knitting, unfinished renovation projects, cooking, and grooming your partner/spawn chimpanzee-style.
- Aim to do one and only one good thing for your spawn(s) per day: this could include teaching them a new concept, helping them do their lessons (for no more than one hour), failing at one Pinterest craft with them, or making them one edible, healthy meal. Rest of the time, keep expectations low, of them and of yourself. As long as they aren’t starting fires, eating dog poop, and choking each other beyond an acceptable level, you are an accomplished parent.
- Find your form of meditation: this could include restorative yoga (lying completely still), watching trash TV, staring at one specific spot on the wall for extended periods of time, staring contests with your children/dog/cat, or target shooting with nerf guns. My preferred form of meditation is usually found at the bottom of a tub of ice cream.
- Make travel plans, for all the rooms in your house: This may feel silly but try and do the same activity in different parts of your house. Read a book in a corner nook one day and on the toilet the next. This change of scenery will make the activity feel new and novel each day, and will feel practically like you traveled to the Bahamas.
- Self-Care: Take a shower, or at least wash your face every day. Just changing out of your PJs and putting on some makeup can make you feel like Beyoncé these days. I’ve personally been mastering YouTube hair tutorials and then Skyping with folks to show off my glam curls. If self-care is too hard, encourage your partner/spawn to groom you chimpanzee-style.
- Negotiate with/threaten your spouse to earn some kid-free time: For everyone’s sanity, tag-team with your spouse (or other adults in the house) to take turn watching the kid(s). This will change the experience for the kids too (much like the reading-on-the-toilet scenario above) and will allow each adult some peaceful time to work on a hobby, clean behind the ears, or watch a workout video while eating Cheetos.
- Connecting with other humans: Take the opportunity to connect with long lost relatives over the phone (to ensure they start sending you Christmas gifts again), watch terrible movies together on Netflix Party, and gossip about others as much as possible. The only downside to calling people these days is that you have no legitimate excuse as to why you want to cut a call short and “need to run”.
- Forgive yourself: We’ve lived for too long in a go-go-go society where we are measured by the time we don’t have and the things we can’t accomplish because of the time we don’t have. Free yourself from the shackles of productivity and illusions of self-importance. Forgive yourself for just…being. Just existing and just breathing will easily accomplish most of the points above.
If all else fails and you must scratch the itch of being productive and making the most of these never ending hours at home, groom your partner/spawn chimpanzee-style.