Things to do While Social Distancing
Updated: Mar 29
Hi everyone! This has been such a crazy and unpredictable past few weeks, and being quarantined has given me some extra time to reflect and adjust to new day-to-day life. I want to start out by recognizing that it's a privilege to be able to take off or work from home, and I know a lot of people are having to stay vulnerable to the virus in order to keep their jobs or relocate to a place that might not be the best for their mental/ physical health. That being said, I think the feelings of stress, isolation, and disappointment we feel are completely valid, and we should all be allowed to experience them. This is HARD and no one has experienced something like this before. I've moved back home to Dallas for the time being, and my college has decided to shift to online classes for the rest of the semester. I'm graduating in May, and am likely not going to get to walk across the stage or have any type of in-person celebration. I left my friends without knowing it would be the last time we would be together as students, and am having to miss out on senior celebrations that I have been looking forward to for months now. To be honest, I'm not feeling particularly positive or inspired, so I think a change of pace is much needed- and a lot of you reading this can probably relate too.
I wanted the focus of this post to be about how to stay mentally & physically healthy while social distancing. I'm incorporating all of the tips I list into my daily routine, and have found them to be really helpful for boosting my mood and staying productive. Later this week I'll be posting about some amazing resources and important information for those who are more seriously impacted by the Virus, but for now I wanted to just share some tips and positive thoughts for staying healthy while house-bound! We're all in this together, and now more than ever kindness and understanding is needed.
1) Clean up Your Work Space
I think it's important to feel inspired by the place you do your work in, and I certainly am more productive when my space is clean. After moving back into my old bedroom, I am in the process of converting my vanity into an at-home "office". Just simple changes like tidying up or burning your favorite candle really make a difference, and I think its a great time to do some spring cleaning. This goes for your virtual life too- take this opportunity to clean out your email inbox or delete old photos taking up room on your computer. I'm a bit of a procrastinator & I haven't updated any of my technology in forever, so I'm taking this time to de-clutter and update my life.
2) Get Creative!
Every second of the day doesn't need to be geared towards school or work, and I'm a firm believer that everyone needs a creative outlet. In case you don't feel comfortable going out to the store or don't want to wait on an online order to come in, you can print out these free coloring sheets hand-designed by one of my favorite artists, Lilly Ann. Click the image below to download & print these cool templates, I hope it brightens your day a little! Her Insta handle is @allthingslillyann if you want to tag her in your finished product or get a little positivity on your timeline!
There are tons of other ways to be creative, so whatever inspires you most go for it! When I was walking the dogs with my sister we found this cute chalk art by some neighborhood kids, and I had to share.
3) Do an At-Home Workout
It is so important to keep your body moving and remember to take breaks to get up and stretch throughout the day. Without the regular schedule of an office or school it's easy to forget (for example, I believe yesterday I looked at the clock to realize it was 4 PM and I had been in the same position on the couch for about 6 hours) so I am reminding everyone to set a timer or do what you have to do to remember to stay active. Thanks to the internet there are thousands of workout videos you can access for free at virtually every fitness level. These are becoming more and more popular as the days go by, and I'm glad fitness influencers are utilizing their platforms to make working out at home inclusive and extremely accessible! Click the photos below for workouts that you can do for free, anywhere/ any time.
High Intensity Interval Training is a great way to burn calories and build up a sweat in the shortest amount of time possible. Perfect if you are looking for a quick, effective work out in between meetings.
Insta handle: @krissycela
This one does require dumbbells, but anything heavy will do- books, water bottles, fur babies, etc. (Just kidding please don't use your dogs as weights)! This is a great alternative to traditional weight training in the gym, and took me about 45 min to get through.
Insta handle: @Whitneyysimmons
In order to health and wellbeing of their community, CorePower Yoga is offering free online classes you can access from anywhere (including Sculpting, Yoga, and Stretching classes). This is a fantastic deal and can be a great way to keep up your practice, or explore a new passion you might not have been able to before. (If you want to show them a little love please buy a gift card to use towards a membership or some gear later on!)
If you are missing the energy of a fitness class, you can tune in to Jasmine Johnson's IGTV workouts each week! She is one of my favorite cycling instructors, and is currently teaching at Equinox in Dallas. Her next live workout will be Saturday, March 28th at 9:30 AM CST. Give her a follow & turn on notifications to stay up to date!
Insta Handle: @jasminexrose
4) Pick up Takeout From Local Restaurants
It's easy to forget that in times like these local businesses are relying on their community to keep them afloat. Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses are facing extremely hard times right now and might not be able to come out on the other side of this pandemic. So many are offering specials, including takeaway alcoholic drinks. A great example is Nom Nom's Mexican Grill, a local authentic Tex-Mex restaurant that is currently offering a $45 family meal (includes 12 Tortillas, Two Proteins of your choice, Three toppings of your choice, Two Salsas of your choice, Large Chips and Queso, Large Side of Rice, Large Side of Beans, and a quart of their Award Winning Ice Cream)! They'll even run it out to your car to avoid any unnecessary contact. They have two locations (in McKinney and Plano) and could really use your support. Click Here to Order
I'm also including up-to-date lists of restaurants offering to-go and special deals in the DFW area:
Downtown McKinney (They are currently offering free front door deliveries from downtown businesses Wednesday-Sunday if you live in the historic district!)
Changing up your coffee routine can be extremely helpful too! LaLa Land Kind Cafe is a local coffee shop located in Lower Greenville that employees fostered youth. They are still doing carry-out orders, and if it is in your neck of the woods please consider getting your caffeine fix here instead of a big corporation like Starbucks. LaLa Land's website and addresses are below, for up-to-date information it is best to give them a call!
Location: 5626 Bell Avenue Dallas, Texas 75206
Up-to-date info on Coffee Shops in The Dallas Area can be found under the "COVID-19 UPDATE" tab on this profile
5) Call relatives/ friends
This is something I am very guilty of not doing. I am a natural introvert, and while I love being social, I definitely recharge by being alone and tend to avoid my inbox at all costs. But with some extra time on your hands and a lack of a social life, facetiming or calling relatives and friends is a great way to feel less isolated and stay connected. (Even sending hand-written notes can be fun & is sure to brighten someone's day!)
6) Volunteer your time & resources
As we have seen, things have drastically differed from one day to another, and we don't really know what tomorrow will bring. It's normal to feel al little disempowered and helpless right now, but there are lots of ways you can get your confidence back and help those around you from home. I am linking two amazing facebook groups you can join, Dallas Neighborhoods in Need & Dallas Neighborhoods in Need. They offer volunteer opportunities and different ways you can give back to the DFW Community.
In addition, local food pantries are in desperate need right now for donations. Minnie's Food Pantry is an amazing 501c-3 that is facing an increase in families needing assistance, and there are tons of ways to help from home. Due to the increased need for families affected by the economic effects of The Coronavirus, Minnie's Food Pantry has been contacted by Plano Independent School District to assist these families by supplementing the additional meals, including dinner. This need is not going to go away any time soon with public schools switching to online classes. Please click the infographic below to find out how you can make a difference. $1= 3 meals for those in need!
If you live in a suburb or neighborhood that uses platforms like Nextdoor.com, a free community based site, they just released a “Help Map” feature of neighbors in the area who have offered help for all sorts of things. I know a lot of neighbors in my area have offered themselves up to childcare services, cooking meals, cleaning, and errands to those that need them, and it's a great way to stay up to date on those closest to you.
Last but certainly not least, if you have the means please consider fostering or adopting a pet! The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the American Veterinary Medical Association have all stated that pets are not at risk of spreading COVID-19, and science has shown time and time again that adding an animal to your life makes you happier and healthier. Animal shelters across the country are having to deal with an increase of dogs and cats in need of homes because fewer people are visiting shelters right now, and in some cases, shelters are having to temporarily close to the public. In order to help alleviate this burden, the SPCA of Texas has expedited the foster and adoption process so you can get approved in a day! Click Here start the process in Texas, or check with your local animal shelter for how you can help out if you're located in another state!
This is an obvious one, but not only is cooking is a great way to save money and eat healthy, but it is perfect for passing the time and staying connected with friends and family. I am not a huge chef personally, but I love home cooked food and have enjoyed making dishes with my family the past few days. Here are a few free & inexpensive cookbooks/ recipes for a variety of dietary needs & preferences.
This local E-cookbook only costs $5 and features 8 vegan recipes
Caulipower Pizza and Chicken Strips (1/2 a pizza is only 340 calories!)
One of my favorite things in life is listening to a really good podcast. I listen to just about everything, and no topic is too random or weird. If you are a fan of podcasts you've probably heard of or already listen to a lot of the ones I list below, but if not I hope this gets you into a new productive habit! (These can be found on streaming platforms such as Patreon, Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple Music)
Business & Tech • Work Party • Business Casual by the Morning Brew • By Example • How I Built This • Online Business Bestie • Second Life • Skinny Confidential • StartUp • The Female Founder • The Panel • The Pitch
Wellness & Motivation • Girls Gotta Eat • Diet Starts Tomorrow • Fitish • Hertalk • RISE • She Lives by Michele Hancock • The Curious Cowgirl
• The Health Code • The Financial Diet • The Goop
Crime *my personal favorite*
• And That’s Why We Drink • Crime Junkie • Dirty John • Dr. Death • Cold Case Files • Monster: DC Sniper • My Favorite Murder • Sinisterhood • Forensic Files Podcast
• Someone Knows Something
9) Netflix Without the Chill Because WE'RE SOCIAL DISTANCING!
This is another obvious one, but I'm loving so many different shows & movies right now. Here are my faves! (Not gonna lie I binge-watched Love is Blind in like 2 days and did not get off the couch once, please do not be like me and take breaks to go outside or talk to another human being)
Hulu: Little Fires Everywhere, Game of Thrones, Bob's Burgers, Say Yes to The Dress, The Act, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 911, Nathan for You
Netflix: John Mulaney, Lost Girls, Love is Blind, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, The Stranger, Billy on The Street, Dynasty, The Staircase, Self Made, Vampire Diaries (for the hundredth time), The Circle, Self Made, Tiger King
10) At-Home Spa
Many people have been cancelling their trips to the nail and hair salons to avoid getting sick, and in recent weeks salon owners have put their employees' & clients' health first and decided to shut down. Whether you're due for a routine manicure or a root touch-up, there are plenty of ways to maintain your beauty routine until the next time you make it to the salon.
^This is me, I'm Girls
How to Keep up Your Hair at Home:
If your salon is still open, call your colorist and ask them to put together an at-home color kit so you can touch up your roots on your own. It's a safer way to go it alone and allows you to financially support local salons.
Want to extend the life of your color? Try using a dry shampoo to avoid overwashing and prevent fading until you can get back to the salon. (My personal favorite is from Batiste).
Now is a great time to not wash your hair and give it a little extra TLC. Conditioning treatments are perfect for this. If you don’t have one at home, you can always make one using coconut oil or olive oil. And it’s great because you can leave it in for the whole day and then rinse it out since you’re not going anywhere.
Use this time to grow your hair out so you can experiment with new styles (Kind of like how Rapunzel did when she was quarantined). You can also practice air-drying your hair and avoiding hot tools to keep it healthy.
Shop your salon's website. Ask you stylist for some product recommendations to get you through until your next appointment. You get healthy hair and your salon or stylist can get some much-needed financial support.
Nail Care at Home:
DIY pedicure anyone? While it probably can't compare to the real thing, there are affordable kits and tons of online tutorials for giving yourself some much-needed cuticle care. Click here for my favorite mani pedi kit on Amazon!
If you're anything like me, you currently have grown-out gel on your nails and are putting off doing anything about it. Here's an easy self-removal process to avoid going out of the house.
Buy a gift card for your next appointment. You might not be going for a while, but it gives you something to look forward to and helps ensure you have a salon to go back to after the next few weeks
Eyelash Extension Removal:
I held off on getting my three week fill because in the words of my sweet mom "Its only going to be you and the family for the rest of the semester, who are you trying to impress here?" To be fair, she had a point. If you need a safe way to remove your lashes once they start to get a little scraggly, click here! (Of course, if you can book a removal appointment that is always the best way to go, and if you choose to remove them yourself please wait until they have grown out a little to avoid plucking premature lashes)
The after-effects of having extensions can leave your natural lashes looking a little lackluster, but using a serum can help restore them to their former glory! Click here for 5 great drugstore serums that work just as well as the high-end stuff! (They're all under $15 and can be found online or at your local convenience store)
I'll make a post soon with some of my Amazon beauty must-haves, but for now this should get you started!
11) Last, but certainly not least, remember to take time out of your day to be thankful and reflective.
Whether you pray, meditate, or just simply take a few moments for yourself, remember that the reason we're housebound is for the common good, and will help those who are at risk. This could be your grandparents, friends with compromised immune systems, or even your child. It might be frustrating for now, but it is important to remember that this isn't going to last forever and you can still make the most of being at home. Times like these make us extra grateful for the little things, and gives us an opportunity to take a step back and remember what's important in life.
Feel free to leave a comment if any of these tips helped you, or if you want to share more ways you are navigating social distancing and quarantining. I would love to hear from you! Stay safe and take care of one another, wherever you might be.