8 Tips for Sheltering in Place Without Going Crazy

I still can’t believe how much the world has changed in such a short amount of time. Like everyone else in the world, I’m constantly wondering how long this will last and what life will look like when it’s over. It’s important that we follow the advice of healthcare professionals and governments – even if it seems like their recommendations change daily since they’re still learning about this, too.

You’ve probably gotten dozens of emails telling you, “We’re all in this together.” And we are. But the best way to be “in this together” right now is to stay in our own homes. Not having the hustle and bustle that we’re used to is an adjustment.

And, staying home for weeks on end is enough to drive anyone crazy. So, check out these eight tips for staying sane while sheltering in place right now.

1. Go outside

It’s easy to go stir crazy when you’re looking at the same four walls all day, every day. Take a break and get out in the sun as much as possible. Go for a walk or sit on your porch. If you don’t live in an area where it’s possible to go for a walk without running into tons of people or don’t have a porch, open the window to get some fresh air and soak up some vitamin D.

2. Finish a home project

I am the queen of unfinished projects around the house. Sometimes it’s because I lose steam, but other times it’s because it’s going to cause a huge mess for a long time – a mess that I don’t want any guests to see. But we can’t have guests over for at least a few more weeks, so finish those projects. Not only do you have the time, but you’ll feel a lot better crossing it off your to-do list.

3. Turn off the news

I love the news and have always spent at least part of my day watching or reading it. I was a journalism major, after all. But now, I find myself obsessed with it. I want to watch every press conference, read every new article, and track statistics and projections. With everything going on right now, there’s not always a lot of good news. And that can really wear on you. If you’re not careful, it can mess with your mind and damage your mental health. So, make sure you turn off the news for a little while every day.

4. Find new ways to socialize

I’m an introvert. When this first started, I (naively) thought that I would be able to handle social distancing and self-isolating just fine – I have been training for this my whole life after all. But the truth is that we were built for connection and relationship. Being separated from friends and family is hard. It’s lonely.

We might not be able to have people over for a game night, hang out with friends at a local bar, or wander Home Goods aimlessly right now, but technology lets us connect and help flatten the curve at the same time:

  • Zoom (or FaceTime) – Just last weekend, I helped my mom update a blog post through Zoom. And, my Bible study group has gotten together virtually every Monday. We’ve even set aside 30 minutes at the end of our discussion just to chat and check in on each other.
  • Stream a movie – The first Friday we practiced social distancing, we watched a truly terrible sci-fi movie with some friends in Raleigh (offering commentary Mystery Science Theater 3000 style). You can use sites like Netflix Party to stream shows and movies with friends down the street or across the country.
  • Play a game – If you’ve listened to our podcast for a while, you’ve probably heard me and Jaclyn talk about The Jackbox Party Pack at some time. This is a great group of games you can play online with friends!

5. Binge a new show (or an old one)

Let me start this by saying, if you haven’t watched Tiger King on Netflix yet, you have no idea what you’re missing. If anyone outside the U.S. has watched it, please don’t think this show represents our country. We think it’s just as crazy and bizarre as you do.

Right now, the responsible, adult thing to do is stay home and do nothing. How weird is that? So, burn through your watchlist. Or, rewatch an old favorite. With so much changing in the world, it can be really comforting to watch Lorelai fall in love with Luke for the 48th time.

6. Read more books

I have a problem where I buy books and then never read them, so one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read 20 books this year. I’m using this time to work through some of the books that have been on my Kindle or nightstand for way too long.

I’ve also added some new ones to the list. My sister-in-law suggested Little Fires Everywhere, and I highly recommend it! Plus, it’s now a show on Hulu, so it’s the perfect way to practice social distancing – read the book, then binge the show.

7. Start a new hobby

Huge shout out to Jaclyn for suggesting this tip. She just shared one of her new hobbies on her blog, so go check it out!

Right now, every day can feel the same, but finding a new hobby – something that you can do with your hands without too much thinking – can help give you the satisfaction of progress and let you see the fruits of your labor.

You might choose gardening, like Jaclyn. But I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever owned, so I’m sticking with vinyl and paint.

home is wherever I'm with you state of georgia
This particular project came from my local AR Workshop.

I’ve done some cross-stitching before, too, and I’m eyeing a few new projects on Etsy. Like this one.

8. Get dressed up

Don’t get me wrong – I love wearing sweats all day. And not wearing makeup all the time is doing some great things for my skin. But, if you need a little pick-me-up, I highly suggest taking a shower, doing your hair and makeup, and putting on “real” clothes. It will give you a confidence boost and a small sense of normalcy.

What are y’all doing to stay sane and calm right now? Let me know in the comments below!

windows with open navy curtains

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