10 Things to Do When You’re “Young at Heart” and Practicing Social Distancing

My broadcasting sisters have covered, quite nicely, some great suggestions for keeping kids of all ages busy and engaged during what may be an extended time of uncertainty! But, what if YOU’RE the kid? Even if you’re an Nth degree introvert, chances are being stuck at home’s going to get REALLY old, REALLY fast. You need a plan to get through this.

If you’re used to a daily routine that has you running from the time you get out of bed until the time you drop back into it, this is going to be a challenge. It might SEEM dreamy to endlessly binge “Grey’s Anatomy” and watch “Breaking Bad” all over again, but science has shown definitively that too much screen time simply isn’t healthy. And, right now, we just don’t need any more threats to our health and well-being. So here are my humble suggestions for how to use some of the extra hours many of us will be looking to fill.

Explore Your Family Tree – My aunt got into genealogy about 10 years ago and, while I’ve only ever dabbled, I can’t tell you how fascinating it is to sit with her and sift through some of the information she’s uncovered! The time flies when you’re researching and there are some great resources to get you started. Ancestry.com is the best-known, but FamilySearch.org is free, and FamilyTreeMagazine.com has some great tips for beginners.

Learn Something New – Just one thing. And commit to it! You can find instruction for just about anything online. Want to know how to speak French? Change your own oil? Learn how to play an instrument? Play chess? Code? Pick it, practice it, and come out on the other end of this with a new skill – maybe even a marketable one!

Get a Little Closer to Inbox Zero – This is a personal goal of mine. I think it’ll make me feel like I’ve lost five pounds! And you may just find that, in skimming old correspondence, there are some contacts you’d like to renew, and ideas you’d like to re-ignite.

Organize a Space – It’s so…empowering! Start with a cabinet or a drawer that’s been driving you crazy, and maybe move to a closet, or your basement. Right now there’s so much we can’t control and this is a way to create order.

Journal – No one doubts any more… what we’re going through right now will be in our grandkids’ history books (or on their tablets, or VR learning devices, etc.) Chronicle your reactions and your experiences, even if it’s just a few lines a day. One great side effect is that it may help you hold on to some really GOOD habits you’re developing in the midst of crisis. (Anyone else keenly aware of how unwittingly wasteful they’ve been in the past? Like, last month?)

Exercise – Remember that New Year’s Resolution you made to get more fit? Let yourself off the hook for breaking it, but THIS would be the time to pick it back up. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty much a requirement. Take walks and do some strength training indoors; there are a million online videos to guide you in everything from weight lifting to toning to yoga.

Go Through Your Bills With a Fine-Toothed Comb – Sometimes we let subscriptions, memberships, and fees for features we don’t use any more slide because we just don’t have the time to sort through what we need to do to cut them back. This might be a good time to check on all of that, and trim the fat in your budget.

Download an Adult Coloring Page – And pretend your fifth-grade art teacher is going to hang it right at the front of the class! There’s something primally comforting about coloring. Indulge.

Reach Out – Make one phone call or send one message a day to someone outside your frequent contact list. This is not only a great time to catch up, but you never know who might really need the lift. Maybe touch base with that friend you only correspond with via Christmas card, or the uncle you haven’t talked to in ages. It’ll make you feel more connected, too. And, finally…

Go Ahead and Binge Watch – Not all day, but do it. We all need the break, and our favorite TV characters make great company. (Looking at you, Jim and Pam!)

This is a weird time. Even the best predictions for the next few months are speculative. What’s crucial is that our spirits and our BRAINS stay strong. Don’t forget to tend them.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay PUT. And stay informed. We’re updating national and LOCAL news constantly at CapeCod.com Covid-19 Updates.

And, by all means, please touch base and say hello! Email me at CherylPark@CCBMedia.com.

Listen to Cheryl on 99.9 the Q

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