I know this can be a scary time, but if we work together, we can get through this and stay healthy! It can also be a good excuse to learn something new and relax at home!
I’m sharing ways to be healthy (and more importantly keep others healthy) at home while we are all recommended to limit outside contact. To be honest, most things won’t change for a lot of us. If you can already work from home and you don’t have kids, your 8-5 will be the same. If you do have kids, look below for some free online curriculum options.
But gym classes, trivia night, and date nights will have to move home. This post is all about how to stay well during this time while staying entertained!
First and foremost, STAY PUT!
This is about WE not ME and it really takes every one of us staying home to flatten the curve and prevent an overburdening of the health system.
Why you should quarantine yourself
If only 5% of those infected will need hospitalization and only 50% get infected, we’d still be about 150x our capacity of hospital beds, depending on the area.
Learn why Social Distancing works and is so important
- This article on Medium really made me understand the impact and the importance of staying home and self-quarantining!
- This article on Pristiner echoes my concern for my parents’ generations, the Boomers, who seem to be at the highest risk and also the least concerned. #savetheboomers
- Simple Math can show the answers on COVID.
- This disease spread simulator shows the relative impacts of social distancing and quarantine on viral spread.
- Watch the similar trends between Italy, California, and the US as a whole. To avoid a higher death rate, we need to slow the spread of the virus earlier than Italy was able to!
Stay Informed with Reputable Sources
- Check out this article to see how large businesses are responding and to find resources to help through this time, especially if you are a small business.
- CDC update on the cases in the US
- the WHO’s COVID situation dashboard
- WHO updates as they happen
- Corona Virus Infection Maps
COVID WHO situation dashboard
19 Lockdown Ideas
What can you do during this quarantine to stay healthy and sane while staying safely distanced? Well, quite a lot actually!
1 – Learn to work-from-home well
If you are just transitioning to working from home, it can be an adjustment. I’ve had the luxury to work from home at least 50% for the last 8 years and have some tips to share on doing it right… and wrong!
It will happen to you. It may not happen at first, but it will sneak up on you. All of a sudden you’ll be sitting in your office (aka the kitchen table or the couch) and you’ll look up to realize you haven’t showered and you’ve been wearing the exact same clothes since mid-day Monday. It’s Wednesday at 5.
Yes. The hidden dangers of working from home and being on quarantine.
But figuring out your flow can help you make working from home both rewarding and more productive than the office ever was!
See my full guide on how to successfully work from home here!
2 – Do an at-home workout
- Use the 7-minute workout app
- Follow some Instagram fitness experts like @sovigor or @PaleOMG or @natacha.oceane – just make sure to search their at-HOME workouts.
- Many gyms are offering at-home classes like Kindness Yoga and Crossfit Jai
- Use dumbbells, filled water bottles, or cans of soup as weights
- Do some yoga flows, jumping jacks and push-ups
3 – Take this opportunity to refocus on your habits and health goals
This COVID scare is also a reminder that true wellness takes time to build. We have to practice good sleep, healthy eating, mental health, and regular activity for our bodies to build immunity to disease and other threats.
This quarantine might be a good time to start that journey to true health. The good thing is, I have a program that offers just this in 50 small tweaks! This program guides you to make small shifts to your daily habits that will turn into substantial change.
For the month of March, I’m offering this program for FREE in response to COVID.
Sign up and this time next year you can look back smiling on the significant improvements to your overall wellness and environmental impact you’ve made with minor adjustments to your everyday life.
4 – Keep eating real food, but make it at home!
It can be easy to reach for the ice cream, cookies, and wine as a comfort mechanism in all of this chaos. However, the best way to protect yourself is by eating real food that’s nourishing to build your immunity.
- Use frozen veggies and meat to make curries or soups
- Soak and sprout beans to make bean tacos or ham and bean soup
- Blend fruits and vegetables into smoothie bowls
- And if you need to burn some time, bake something from scratch! Like a bundt cake.
5 – Support your favorite local restaurants remotely
Places like Denver, New York, and LA have closed bars and restaurants to force social distancing. However, they are allowing restaurants to stay open to offer delivery and take out.
If you aren’t able to cook for yourself, order take-out from your favorite restaurants but make sure to stay isolated in transit. Drive your own vehicle, avoid public transportation or ride-sharing, and minimizing your contact at the site by paying online.
Alternatively, buy gift certificates
Some restaurants will have to close down during this time. For small family-owned restaurants, this could have a huge impact and be financially devastating.
One thing to remember is they would also be devastated if 50% of their staff got sick and couldn’t work or worse, were hospitalized.
However, you can still support them by calling to purchase gift certificates for later use. This will increase their current cash flow to get them through the hump and potentially share some of that money with their staff who will not be making their typical income.
6 – Take advantage of free education – for you and your kids!
Sites like Khan Academy are offering free classes and lesson plans for students while schools are closed. This can help parents who need to occupy their kids during the lockdown.
They have free courses and structured lesson plans for each grade! Go to the site, select your kids’ grade level, and search for full curriculums!
They also have adult education, so go freshen up on anything you wish you understood better, whether that’s the endocrine system, the US civil war, or marketing and globalization.
Other resources for children’s education and structured playtime so you can actually work from home:
- iReady (Elementary – professional)
- Pebblego.com (k-3)
- ABC ya! (Pre-K – 6+)
- Scholastic Kids (more games and fun activities)
- Khan Academy (Daily schedules for ages 4-18 and adult learning on many topics!)
- Coursera (College level mini-courses)
This is also a good opportunity to teach your kids some basic life skills (or learn new ones yourself!). Maybe like home-economics at home!
- How to cook the basics (Rice, beans, fried and basted eggs, etc)
- How to cook gourmet meals or your favorite take out
- Better ways to Budget
- How to sew, stitch, knit or mend clothing
- Basic home-repair
7 – Get enough sleep, and make it high quality
Sleep is your body’s mechanism for healing and rebuilding. This time more than any other it will be critical to get enough sleep.
Proper sleep hygiene can help you get better sleep. Read the guide on how to improve sleep here.
- A good night’s rest heals your body and allows for daily repairs and long-term maintenance. Things like DNA repair happen in your sleep allowing your body to function optimally for the long-term. If you skimp, you’ll be working with a less efficient system that’s easier to wear down and less able to support you in times of stress or illness.
- Sleep allows our body to recover from the day, store our memories, clear out biological waste and start fresh.
- If we don’t get enough, we can get run down and sick as well as mentally foggy. But how much sleep is enough?
- Biodiversity means there’s no specific number of hours that is right for everyone, but most adults need a good 7-8 hours of sleep. Remember that it is time asleep, not time in bed. And those two numbers can be very different.
- Pay attention to your sleep cycles and restfulness each morning. If you know you don’t regularly hit 7 or 8 hours and you feel tired, try getting more. See how your body reacts and if you feel better getting 1-2 more hours a night. Feeling better could manifest in fewer cravings, more energy, and strength, mental clarity or even a more balanced mood.
- In this unique time, sleep is of the utmost importance because it allows your body to fight infection and protect against foreign invaders like the coronavirus.
8 – Keep a healthy morning routine
Build time into your morning so you aren’t just jumping from bed to your home office.
It works best if you create a morning routine that settles your mind, moves and nourishes your body and gets you ready for the day.
I’ve tested a few morning rituals, and I’ve listed my favorite parts about a good morning routine here.
9 – Make A Difference
If you’re frustrated at how slow the US responded to the crisis, get involved (online)! We as a country had plenty of time to get better testing and contain the virus earlier, but due to some systemic failures, maligned priorities, and politics this effort was delayed.
Start reading about what went wrong and thinking about what can go better!
Maybe it involves calling your government representatives or planning a run for your own seat at the table! I recommend starting with this piece by the Atlantic.
10 – Start a blog 🙂
Writing can be a great way to synthesize your thoughts and focus your research on topics that matter to you. Plus learning all of the new skills of how to manage a website and social presence can be a fun new hobby and challenge.
11 – Watch an informative movie or documentary on nutrition or health
Here are some of my favorites:
- Dark Waters
- This movie dramatizes the heroic and selfless work of lawyer Robert Bilott’s who worked to expose the chemical manufacturing corporation DuPont after they contaminated a town with the unregulated chemical PFOA or PFOS also known as Teflon and linked to several cancers and disorders.
- The Devil We Know
- A documentary that shows the real-life story of the DuPont chemical dumping.
- That Sugar Film
- Follow a man’s journey to eat 40 grams of sugar a day, the amount of sugar the average American consumes. But, he’s not eating cake. He’s getting all of it from hidden sugars in “healthy” food.
- The Age of Aluminum
- Understand the darker side of aluminum and the potential havoc it wrecks on those that have to work with it.
12 – Research how to be a better steward of the environment
You can strategize on how to travel more sustainably once the travel ban is lifted and reduce your waste in general. Here are some resources to get you started:
- How to Travel More Sustainably
- 9 Life Hacks that aren’t Shorter Showers to Save Mother Earth
- 9 Ways to Detox Your Bathroom Routine
- Finding Green Cookware, and Why it Matters For Your Health
- What are Microplastics and How are they Impacting our Health and Waterways
- How to Make 1 Paper Towel Roll Last All Year
Read this study showing that pasture-raised cattle can reduce atmospheric carbon!
13 – Join the Nutrition Book Club
Check out the quick notes of our recent Eat Your Way Clean nutrition book club books. If those don’t speak to you, rent an eBook or audiobook from your local library – no need to interact with another human at all with the online library!
Here’s a list of 11 great nutrition books to get you started.
14 – Join the Library and get Online Education
The library is an incredible resource all of the time, and even more so right now because you can access many of their excellent programs from home!
Most libraries offer similar platforms. If you haven’t already, sign up for your local library and then download free audiobooks and e-books online through the Library app Libby.
Here are the instructions to register with the Local Denver library, but a quick google search will show you instructions for your own municipality.
15 – Research a local charity organization to donate to and begin volunteering after the quarantine.
This pandemic will drastically impact the economy. Many workers in the hospitality industry will be dealing with reduced hours as public gatherings and events shut down.
Find a way to support these people remotely.
In Boulder, a local restaurant Arcana is offering delivery food donations to hospitality workers who will expect reduced pay from the quarantine. Call them and donate money to the cause.
Find someone like that and offer to pay it forward.
16 – Try a 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge
Sign up here for the challenge. Just make sure to order your Groceries via delivery to minimize social contact!
17 – Plan your garden
It’s just about time to start thinking about what you want to grow and plant seedlings. Use any extra time you have to plan what you want to grow and the best time to plant.
- Research which plants grow well in your specific area and climate
- Evaluate the sun levels in your garden and compare that to the vegetables that do well in your climate
- Create a list of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that fit your garden’s growing conditions
- Research where to buy heritage and organic seedlings.
- Make a calendar for when to start seedlings inside and when to transfer those outside based on the individual plants’ needs and typical weather patterns in your area
18 – Wash all of your reusable grocery bags!
Let’s be honest, those probably are not washed as much as they should be. Raw meat could leak out into them and small bits of veggies could get stuck or drip water onto the bags.
And what better time than a viral outbreak to turn towards cleanliness?
The best way I’ve found is to run them on the sanitize cycle if your washer machine has one. If not, just choose a high heat option. Then air-dry them.
19 – Get into Board Games
There is a huge spectrum of board games out there. If you don’t like Monopoly, don’t despair. There’s probably a board game for you!
We’ve been into really nerdy board games lately. They can take hours to set up and hours to play. Sounds perfect for a quarantine!
The good thing about these board games is that they are more interesting to play. There are so many variables that each game is unique and different, so you never bore of them.
- Settlers of Catan – a good entry-level game before progressing to the super nerdy ones
- Pandemic – on the nose but totally fun to play right now
- Terraforming Mars – our all-time favorite, you build oxygen, oceans, and heat to make Mars hospitable over generations. We LOVE this game!
How to Stay Sane during the COVID-19 Shutdown
- Learn to work-from-home well: See my full guide on how to successfully work from home here!
- Do an at-home workout: Use online apps, websites, and Instagram coaches to find at-home workouts. Use dumbbells, filled water bottles, or cans of soup as weights. Do some yoga flows, jumping jacks and push-ups
- Take this opportunity to refocus on your habits and health goals: This program offers 50 small tweaks or shifts to your daily habits that will turn into substantial change. I’m offering this program for FREE in response to COVID.
- Keep eating real food, but make it at home: It can be easy to reach for the ice cream, cookies, and wine as a comfort mechanism in all of this chaos. However, the best way to protect yourself is by eating real food that’s nourishing to build your immunity.
- Support your favorite local restaurants and small businesses remotely: Places like Denver, New York, and LA have closed bars and restaurants to force social distancing. However, they are allowing restaurants to stay open to offer delivery and take out. Alternatively, buy gift certificates for future use at you’re your favorite small businesses.
- Take advantage of free education – for you and your kids: Leverage online courses for adults and kids. Teach yourself new skills you've always wanted like how to plant a garden, how to cook, or how to do simple home repairs.
- Get enough sleep, and make it high quality: Sleep is your body’s mechanism for healing and rebuilding. This time more than any other it will be critical to get enough sleep. Proper sleep hygiene can help you get better sleep. Read the guide and start to improve sleep here.
- Keep a healthy morning routine: Create a morning routine that settles your mind, moves and nourishes your body, and gets you ready for the day. Find my favorite Morning Rituals here.
- Make a difference: Get to know and call your government representatives or start planning to run for your own seat at the table! I recommend starting with this piece by the Atlantic.
- Start a blog: Writing can be a great way to synthesize your thoughts and focus your research on topics that matter to you. Plus learning all of the new skills of how to manage a website and social presence can be a fun new hobby and challenge.
- Watch an informative movie or documentary on nutrition or health: Dark Waters , The Devil We Know, That Sugar Film, The Age of Aluminum
- Research how to be a better steward of the environment: Read this study showing that pasture-raised cattle can reduce atmospheric carbon! And last year's Earth Day post for additional resources.
- Join the nutrition book club: Check out our recent Eat Your Way Clean nutrition book club books. Order one of these 11 great nutrition books.
- Join the library and get online education: Sign up for your local library and then download free audiobooks and e-books online through the Library app Libby.
- Research a local charity organization to donate to and begin volunteering after the quarantine: This pandemic will drastically impact the economy. Many workers in the hospitality industry will be dealing with reduced hours as public gatherings and events shut down. Find a way to support these people remotely.
- Try a 5 day clean eating challenge: Sign up here for the challenge. Just make sure to order your Groceries via delivery to minimize social contact!
- Plan your garden: Research which plants grow well in your specific geography, sun exposure, and climate. Choose the items you want to grow and research where to buy heritage and organic seedlings. Make a calendar for when to start seedlings inside and when to transfer those outside based on the individual plants’ needs and typical weather patterns in your area
- Wash all of your reusable grocery bags: Add all reusable grocery bags to the washer and run them on the sanitize cycle. If your washer machine doesn't have a sanitize cycle, choose a high heat and high spin option. Then air-dry them.
- Get into Board Game – the nerdy ones that take a lot of set up and are always a totally different game each time you play.