Posted by Suzi Fox on Apr 21, 2020

We see a lot of frustration from people over the sheltering in place orders. But there are many who have turned a negative situation into a very positive experience! Here are some creative ideas folks have adopted to make their time at home a memorable one.

For Those with Children at Home – Some parents have taken mealtime to a whole new level! Dads are dressing up as waiters serving their family as if they are in a fancy restaurant. Others are seeking out international type menus. As they explore new cultures, they are learning with their kids the history behind it all. What a great time to involve their children in the meal preparation, teaching them kitchen safety and teamwork. For the real creative types, they are designing costumes from whatever is in the closet to wear to mealtime with music from their country of choice! Just ask Alexa - she can help you with this: Alexa play Italian dinner music!

For Young and Old - Another fun inspired activity for all ages is the creation of a time capsule! Family members can seek out news clippings, photos and trinkets that would represent their life. Think about describing your life to someone in the future who you may never meet! Make the capsule a fun experience by encouraging participants to draw, write poems or essays about themselves, their neighborhood, friendships and lessons learned in life. Create this as if it is intended for someone to find 100 years from now. They will get to learn all about life back in 2020! Bury the time capsule in a safe spot in the yard and include letters to whoever the lucky person is that will discover your treasure box.

For Those Who Need a Lift – Many are getting tired of sitting in front of the flat screen, so they found exercise videos and turned their room into a workout studio! Movement is medicine especially during stressful times. Why not explore a new aerobics instructor or yoga teacher? Maybe a dance routine is more your style, but it’s up to us to find healthy alternatives and if we can’t find them, we must create them! Filming this to send to Gramma would get you extra gold stars!

Especially for Seniors – One assisted living property has implemented a wonderful idea to combat the feelings of isolation. This particular property went into lockdown mode immediately to protect their residents from visitors who could be carrying the COVID-19 virus. Because of this decision, they realized that their residents would not be able to see their family members for their usual visits. So, they implemented a plan: they contacted all family members, gave them a link so they could now send emails and photos through the link to their loved ones! The staff of this residential care community responds to the family letting them know they received the emails. They print out the email with photos and deliver it to the senior all within 24 hours! How wonderful is that? The senior can get a touch of love from their family via email every day now! This is especially helpful for the elderly who may not have the skills to navigate a laptop or face time session on their own.

Relaxation Ideas – If you find the news to be abrasive, choose to unplug, find some spa music or nature sounds and create a work of art. Adult coloring books have made a big comeback and seem to engage the brain to focus on colors and patterns instead of stressful times. Painting on a canvas small or large can also contribute to focusing our energies on something enjoyable. I have seen some pretty amazing rock paintings that look like baby animals, so take the limits off and just have some fun! Some hospitals have rock gardens that display painted rocks with messages of hope and healing. What message can you impart?

Families Who Are Struggling – Many have had a job loss and are trying to figure out how to feed their family. Some towns and organizations are collecting donated food items to share. There are companies that have sprung up now providing grocery deliveries! The delivery person does all the shopping at the requested store and delivers to the door all via text without any personal interaction just to keep everyone safe. What a great resource for frail individuals who may not have the strength or endurance for trips to the store.

Missing Your Friends? – There are people across the land who are scheduling face time, skype or phone calls with friends just as if they are meeting them for lunch! Perhaps you were in a Book Club, why not keep the meeting and just use Zoom? You can see each other’s smiles; discuss the books you love and explore new authors all at once! Many networking groups already do this, but if that has not been your world, perhaps start a reunion of a few close friends and see where it goes!

Tired of the Same Old Meals? – Have you heard of the Quarantine Recipe Exchange? One person selects a few friends to create an email group and each participant can invite at least 20 people. Once you are invited you mail one recipe to one person. If it’s done right, each person receives 30+ new recipes that are supposed to be easy, tasty and have endured the scrutiny of family and friends. No one likes to be stuck in a rut and this is a delicious way to examine recipes you may not have known about otherwise.

During this season of self-quarantine, perhaps we should look at this time like an opportunity to do life differently. We can face the sun, or we can dwell in the shadows. We can grumble or we can instigate healthy choices. We can complain or we can be a source of encouragement and inspiration to others. What message are you relaying? The world is watching…