The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is here just as the leaves are starting to turn and the colder weather is greeting us. Many of us are attempting to ride out the pandemic’s waves in the comfort and safety of our own homes, but cabin fever is a definite risk no matter how you slice it. If you’ve run out of movies to watch, video games to play, and recipes to take a crack at, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to remain stimulated and entertained during this extended waiting period. Plus, it just might be the perfect time to spruce up your home to make it more special.
Here are some ideas to help you do more than simply survive the second wave – this fall and winter, it’s time to thrive, social gatherings or not!
Been putting off that home office upgrade or home theatre renovation? It’s a great time to keep busy by tackling your long-neglected house to-do list, making those upgrades you’ve been thinking about, or simply changing up your indoor surroundings. Even subtle tweaks can help your home feel more spacious, inviting and brighter – definitely a plus when considering how long and dark Canadian winters can get! From a fresh coat of paint to knitting a new throw for the sofa for movie night, there are plenty of ways to get crafty and feel more at home at the same time.
If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space of your own such as a yard, terrace or even a balcony, there’s no reason not to utilize it. Patio heaters, fairy lights, and the biggest mug of hot cocoa you can find are just a few ways to enjoy the fresh air, even if it’s cool and snowy. And, if you’re in the festive mood and have outdoor holiday decorations handy, that redecorating time we mentioned can also apply here, helping you create a brighter and more cheerful outdoor environment. If you have a large enough yard, those snow forts – and subsequent snowball fights – with the kids never have to be cancelled, either.
Monopoly nights, card games, reminiscing over family photos by the fireplace – there are plenty of ways to keep the mind invested in positive emotional triggers rather than the uncertain times in the world outside. As far as we’re concerned, now is the time to enjoy the company of your household and maintain healthy relationships, find joy in simple things, and not worry about the typical demands the outside world puts on your time. By being stronger at home, we can be stronger in facing this difficult situation together in the long run. If we don’t take care of ourselves and remain stimulated rather than stressed, how can we stick together as a team?
If you’re missing your group cycling trips, run clubs, or the fall race season, virtual races and events can help scratch that competitive and social itch, and many are available online for free or at a low cost. As for alternative ways to stay fit in the safety of your own home, there are also video games such as Just Dance and Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure, the latter of which comes with special hardware designed to keep you breaking a sweat (it’s not for the faint of heart)! If you’re used to going to the gym, some fitness activities you can do easily in your own home include stretching, push-ups, crunches, balance exercises, yoga, Pilates, and much more. You may not be able to replicate your gym routine, but it’s a great time to experiment and find fun new ways to stay fit.
Today’s digital communications solutions have played a huge role keeping people connected throughout the pandemic by ensuring everyone can socialize if they have an internet connection. For example, do you miss your book club and wish you could catch up with friends? Host your usual gatherings virtually over Zoom or Google Meet, and you’ll catch up on the latest news and chat about that latest page-turner in no time. Do you worry about family outside your household? Facetime or Skype with them for a more personal chat. There are plenty of other ways to take advantage of this technology including setting up online gaming groups and sharing Spotify or iTunes playlists to brighten someone’s day. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination!
We all cope with these tough times in our own way, but it’s possible to find something new to enjoy every day by both getting back to basics, while also taking advantage of the technological resources available to us to stay connected. Look for ways to remain stimulated, emotionally supported and positive, and this fall and winter will provide the potential for you to reconnect with yourself and those you love. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay focused on feeling good. We may be apart, but we are in this together!