Social Distancing Ideas for Keeping Yourself Sane, Sharp, and Stimulated

I am creating this list both to share with all of you and to remind myself in the long days ahead when having everyone at home will start getting overwhelming.

  • If you live with others, take this time to truly enjoy the company. I have the feeling that this is a make or break time for a lot of relationships. Keep the communication flowing, let the little things go, and find the humor whenever possible.
  • Keep moving. Get fresh air if you are able to, get some kind of exercise routine going for you and your family, if you have one. I like putting music on and dancing like a fool and doing workouts at home anyway. My son’s karate is live streaming his classes and he has P.E. recommendations that I participated in with both kids tonight.
  • Get done those organizational or cleaning or yard projects that you have been putting off. Today I realized that light fixtures in the bathroom aren’t actually frosted like I thought… oops.
  • Consume media that you wouldn’t normally do. Project Gutenberg is a great resource for free books (though throw them a donation if you can).  Try to learn something you’ve never learned before.
  • Create as much as you can, in any way as you can. The creative process keeps you happy and healthy.
  • Take the time to get to know yourself as you currently are. As you can handle this, of course. There is so much opportunity to really grow through all of this.
  • Stay connected to other loved ones as much as possible through phone calls and video chats. Check on people. This is tough when you have kids you are trying to manage through school work and not destroying your home, doubly so if you are trying to work at home on top of it, but even if it’s just a couple people a day, it will make a difference to both you and them.
  • Stay connected in your community if you can, and help those that you can as opportunities present itself.
  • Do something kind for yourself every day, and do a teeny random act of kindness for each person in your household.

I am a creature of action, and I refuse to allow this time of social distancing to bring me to my knees. I know many people are trying to cocoon themselves, and by all means, do what you must for your well being. But we owe it to ourselves and each other not to succumb to apathy and neglect. Take care of you, take care of your loved ones, and let love win over fear.

Do any of you have big projects you are tackling or tricks to keeping yourself sane in this time? Please share them with me!

The Things You Love

Painted Polymer Clay Heart Pendant by Shing Yin Khor of

Painted Polymer Clay Heart Pendant by Shing Yin Khor of

I began working with Deena Metzger’s Writing For Your Life again as part of my effort to reconnect with my self. And the exercise I was up to was to create a list of the things I love. It was incredibly easy to write, and the list kept growing over the next few days.

Deena Metzger writes – “How we care, what we care about, what we care for are the qualities that reveal character… it is not by one’s sins that you know someone but by what the person celebrates. We often make a fetish out of our failures, losses, and inadequacies. As a consequence, we rarely come to know what gives us joy, what we love, what and how we celebrate. And yet, at the core, we are our passions and our commitment to what we love.”

So, I’m going to share my rather long list with you, and it’s in no particular order.

The Things I Love

  • My son, my husband, my family, and my soul friends – each deserves a list of their own for their individual traits and significant moments that make me love them
  • The animals that have been a profound part of my life
  • Water – waves crashing, water falls, calm ponds, long soaks in the tub – love it all
  • The laughter of children
  • Cuddling babies
  • Autumn in all its glory – the color, the smell of the leaves and people turning on their fireplaces or burning brush, the first frost, the bite in the air
  • Wearing twirly, swishy skirts and spinning to make them swirl
  • Making friends with animals and calling every dog I meet “sweetheart”
  • Seeing the moon huge and orange in the sky and seeing too many stars to count
  • Watching flames move in candles and fireplaces and bonfires
  • Watching thunderstorms
  • Dancing and playing in the rain
  • Running and skidding across slippery, slushie sidewalks, arms out to hold my balance like I’m surfing
  • Frolicking in the snow
  • The smell of tomato sauce cooking and a bold, red wine
  • The smell of drying grass
  • The feel of grass beneath my bare feet
  • Walking barefoot on a beach with the water lapping over
  • The breeze playing through my hair
  • Hands playing with my hair, human connection
  • Hugs that are strong and last almost a moment too long
  • Sleepy lovemaking, when kisses start before you are fully awake so you feel like you might still be dreaming
  • The feel of fine fabrics between my fingers
  • A book or work of art that makes me think or allows me to escape
  • Music so beautiful that it moves me to tears or makes my body dance
  • A witty, effortless conversation
  • Creating – the process of creating anything – feeling the connection within and without as I make – music, art, writing, cooking, even carrying and birthing my son – feeling that spark of inner divinity through creation is so profound
  • Recognizing that creative spark in other people and trying to get them to recognize it within themselves

I’m not sure what kind of portrait this paints, but feel free to let me know if you have an opinion. Also, please share with me some of the things you love most in life, if you are so inclined. I would enjoy reading them.

Getting Organized – I Need My To-Do Lists!

I have been having a hard time focusing in my new location.  Oh, there are lots of reasons.  High humidity and heat that even having an A/C running doesn’t help.  Having hoards of boxes still unpacked and no designated workspace set up (by Tuesday, I hope). Getting sucked into family craziness a bit.  My son having an adjustment period to the new location, leaving him clingier and needing me, which I’m happy to give him what he needs.  I think I may be going through an adjustment period myself, where I’m now the one home with my son rather than working a full-time job.  But one of the main reasons I’m not getting more done in the day is because I haven’t been making my daily to-do lists.

I live for my to-do lists.  My daily planner is written out in detail, I have lists of lists, and even though I don’t always accomplish everything I want to in a day, having the list keeps all my juggling balls under control and brings me back on track when I do stray.  So why haven’t I been doing my lists?  I’ve been trying to be flexible and kind to myself and not stress myself out by having things I need to do, but I think not having the lists makes me more stressed.

So how do I organize my daily to-do list?  Generally, I assign different days of the week to work on different things.  So for my exercise, I rotate through different DVDs (which are still in a box, so guess who hasn’t been exercising beyond chasing after their toddler?) depending on certain days of the week.  Same with projects.  A couple of days I focus on my art, a couple of days I focus on music, a couple of days I focus on my writing, but I try to do at least a little of everything everyday.  Every week on Saturday or Sunday, I sit and plan out the week with specifics, plugging in my appointments, any freelancing work, etc  I try to get specific, even down to which blog I update which days, when I say “writing” I actually put which writing project, etc.  I include any daily chores that need to get done, and I suppose now that I’m home with my son, I’ll start including time for outings and projects with him.  (Have I mentioned I’m a Virgo?).  I also put meditation and something to do for fun on the list everyday, even if I know I won’t be able to do it.  The effort of putting it on there makes me feel better.

I adore checking off items on my to-do list, but I’ve learned not to stress if I’m unable to accomplish all the tasks I’ve set out to do in the day.  I do, however, feel very proud of myself  when I do actually accomplish the entire list.

Now that I’m trying to build freelancing work, I’m also going to set up a big binder as my personal “Bible” this weekend.  This will be a binder of my current projects under each tab – all sketches, all notes, a copy of the contract with ship dates, etc.  I’ll keep my daily planner and mileage worksheet in there as well, because we’ve gotten VERY bad about tracking our business mileage.

How do you like to keep yourself organized?  What brings you back on track once you stray?

Want to learn more about making to-do lists effectively?  Check out these two articles!