Simplify Your Life During a Quarantine
Our world is facing social distancing and even quarantines in some places. While scary and full of unknowns, it also presents us a huge opportunity.
Last week, I ran the full gamut of emotions from hopeful denial, to panic, to questions, to fear, to frustration, and have eventually landed in moments of hopeful positivity. I can’t tell you fully that these moments of hope and faith are where I land all the time. I think it’s a daily struggle to fight the fear, but I hit a point last week where I realized this social distancing that is being adopted or mandated in the United States can be a gift in many ways.
We’re in spring here, which means that the busy season around the homestead is just around the corner. I’m often feeling behind on my garden and there are so many projects left undone that I simply don’t have time for. But, if I’m home more, with less social outings and distractions, and I’m also purposeful about my time online (b/c hello – that’s when my fears start really getting serious), then I need some things to do around the house to keep myself going.
Here’s a list of things I might tackle during this time. Regardless of where you live, you can probably appreciate some of these things to do while you’re at home in this season:
- Paint: You probably have some paint sitting around for a room in your home. You can do touchups, or finally paint that room you’ve been meaning to for so many years. I also love painting because it slows my mind up. I find that I pray a ton while I’m doing something mindless like painting. I don’t think we can get enough of prayer right now.
- Puzzles: Go do a jigsaw puzzle, or pull out a Sudoku book. These are easy things you can pull out that will occupy you for hours. You can also do them with other people too.
- Read books: I’m guilty of having about 5-6 books next to my bed at all times, but it takes me forever to get through the stack. I don’t have the excuse right now. I can make a dent in all those books I’ve been meaning to read.
- Sand my porch: Okay, you may not have a porch to sand, but you probably have some project around your yard that you’ve been putting off. It takes time, might make you messy, and you just would rather avoid it. I love this sanding project because we have everything we need for it already, meaning that we don’t have to worry about going to a store for any supplies.
- Rake: We’ve got grass starting to pop up a little, but we also have a ton of pine cones and pine straw that fell on our law over the winter. A little sweat equity and time is all we need to get our lawn ready for summer. Another good thing you lawn might need right now is fertilizer!
- Start garden. We’re starting our seedlings soon and while we need to order a few things for that, this is a project that really requires us to be home daily to care for the plants, so that’s a win-win right now.
- Learn an instrument: I’ve got at least five instruments in our house that I can practice and get better, or learn from scratch. Maybe you’re like me and you did music as a child or teen, but now don’t play as often. Brush off those old skills and enjoy the gift of music.
- Organize and declutter: Stuck and home with nowhere to go? Maybe it’s time to tackle that messy basement or cluttered garage. I know I have a few spots that need to be looked through. This task also requires no purchases. You can declutter without buying organizing containers. Once you know what you will need, you can then find the containers or organizers to user. Start with what you can.
- Clean out your car: Anyone else guilty of filling their car up with all sorts of random STUFF? I have no excuse now. I can get my car looking great on the inside and ready for warmer weather.
- Get creative: An unusual season with extra time, means our brains are open to doing something creative. For me that may mean blogging, but for you it might be painting, drawing, knitting, of any other number of things. Take the time to be create and embrace this time.
- Take a walk: Seriously, the best thing I can do for fear is to get out and in the sunshine. If you’re feeling a little stir-crazy, just get in the habit of walking your dog. They need the exercise (you do too), and it will do wonders for your mental health if you’re feeling cooped up at home.
- Embrace the stillness: Do some yoga. Get silent. Turn your phone off for an hour. We move so fast in our daily lives, that this time might really be a gift.
- Do nothing. If nothing else, you can just relax. You don’t have social pressures to really DO anything. What a rare thing?! (And, I’ll just tell you – I don’t do this one well at all!)
Friends, if we’re working to simplify our life, we’ve just been given a huge opportunity. It’s rare for our world to literally slow down like it is doing right now. Don’t waste this time, but see what you can do to simplify your life and make changes now so that when this season is up, you have embraced some new patterns of life – hopefully ones that allow more simple moments, more appreciation for what God has given you, and more awareness of how we can support each other.