COVID-19 has changed our lives. Some people are going into panic mode, some are ignoring the warnings and the threat, some are missing loved ones that they’ve been separated from, some are frightened about what it will mean for them financially, their parents’ health and their children’s education. Others are breathing deep and taking each day as it comes.

Now more than ever is a time to follow government directions about social distancing, isolating and taking every precaution possible.

But it’s not a time to stop living.

Here are my tips on how to keep life rich while we’re finding our way through this pandemic.

  1. Talk your friends and family down from the panic if that’s where they’ve gone (but let them stay there if that’s what they’d prefer – but then keep your distance).
  2. Take an online course. There are 450 Ivy League online courses you can take today. If you’ve always wanted to study something and you can study online, search it, find it, enrol and do it now!
  3. If you’re concerned about a drop or loss in income, work on your spending plan. Take a look at what you’re spending your money on and see what you can reduce it.
  4. Create a meal plan for the week to limit your essential shopping trips. This will also reduce the amount of money you spend on groceries because it’s rare to get out of the supermarket for less than $50 even if you’re just going for milk!
  5. Talk to me and see if you can reduce your expenses for your home loan and talk to your bank to see if you can reduce the costs of your bank fees, credit card interest.
  6. If you’re reducing your costs, think about sharing your Netflix or Stan accounts with your friends, family or neighbours – even with people overseas. You can increase your screen limit for a couple of dollars a month which could help someone cancel their account entirely. (Just make sure you have rules as to who gets booted if you hit your screen limit.)
  7. Stretch, walk, exercise, order equipment for a home gym – whatever you do, keep moving!
  8. Read.
  9. Buy, borrow or swap puzzles.
  10. Play board games.
  11. Learn new card games.
  12. Make TikToks.
  13. Join the Bin Isolation Outing page on Facebook and either join in the fun or laugh at the antics of other people going about their normal lives in isolation.
  14. Keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours.
  15. Take up a craft or hobby that you’ve always wanted to do. (I’ve heard that Fender are offering 3 months of free guitar lessons)
  16. Host virtual happy hours, cocktail parties, dinner parties or family dinners via Zoom or HouseParty.
  17. Find an online DJ and have your own dance party.
  18. Have a family/friend dance off or karaoke party.
  19. Bake, cook and read all those cookbooks that you couldn’t live without and start exploring new dishes.
  20. Clean out your wardrobe, laundry, kitchen, linen press, garage, shed – everything.
  21. Clean your windows and gutters, gurney the front path or the back deck  and do any other maintenance that’s required on your house (try to limit the number of times you need to go to the hardware store though!)
  22. Create a home exercise program for just you or for the whole family.
  23. Write a list of all the things you’re going to do when you’re free.
  24. Ring a friend a day.
  25. Plan an epic post-pandemic holiday.
  26. Write in a journal daily.
  27. Sign up for an online exercise program and do it with a friend via Zoom or FaceTime.
  28. Create a daily challenge with friends or family where you set a challenge one day and then deliver the challenge at a set time the next day, eg create something funny with a toilet roll core, or act out a scene from your favourite movie and everyone guesses what it is)
  29. Have crazy hair, clothes and make up days.
  30. Binge watch anything and everything (obvs).
  31. Write stories.
  32. Walk the dog.
  33. Walk the cat (not really…).
  34. “Autumn” clean the house.
  35. Rearrange the furniture in your bedroom, kids rooms, lounge room, living room, rumpus room – anywhere you can mix things up a little.
  36. Do some gardening.
  37. Make a time capsule and bury it.
  38. Write a letter to someone you haven’t heard from in a while.
  39. Post birthday cards to friends.
  40. Learn a new language.
  41. Clean up all the files on your computer.
  42. Have a themed movie day – ie action movies one day, rom coms the next.
  43. Learn how to dance the flamenco or tango.
  44. Turn off the lights, light a candle and have an aromatherapy salt bath.
  45. Listen to podcasts or watch TED talks.
  46. Turn off the news.
  47. Block people on social media who are fixating on the negative.
  48. Find people online who are talking about the good stuff and join that conversation.
  49. Focus on the solutions rather than the problems.
  50. If all that fails, sleep. And then sleep some more.

Do something good for you every day.

Good luck. Let’s stay home and stay safe!