I haven’t felt this level of angst since the summer before going into the 9th grade. My mind was filled with all the apprehension of starting High School, anxiety about fitting in, and summer boredom. Here we are 15 years later and not much has changed. Luckily, the Internet has also grown with me, but we both would like to forget dial up Internet and AOL Instant Messenger.
It’s been 6 weeks (maybe 7) since everything was shutdown. I’ve been working to keep myself busy and distracted from the uncertainty outside. So, I came up with 10 things you can do at home to keep yourself sane (or somewhat sane).
When I go on vacation searching for museums to visit is usually at the top of the list. Since going to a museum is not possible right now, why not bring the museums to you? Most of the bigger museums have access to their galleries via your computer. Have you ever want to go to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, but just haven’t had the time or funds? Maybe you are more into the Smithsonian brand of museum. Not to worry, I got you.
If staring at paintings of wealthy aristocrats isn’t your thing, zoos and aquariums all over the world have live streams into their animal enclosures.The Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam has recently taken over my life. Their lifestyle of eating and sleeping all day is relatable. I have more screenshots of pandas on my computer than I would like to admit. There is no denying the cuteness factor when they sit upright like a person eating their bamboo.
If pandas aren’t your thing, here are a few other animal cams to distract you from the news.
If you use Google Photos this process is super easy. I made one for Aaron with all the pictures from our recent D.C. trip. We went to so many events and museums. It’s nice to reflect on the memories and have a photo album for guest to flip through when their waiting for you bring them a snack. The short captions under the photos allowed me to write the names of the museums, restaurants, bars, or a special memory attached to the photo. This way, years from now, we’re not staring at each other racking our brains on that one bar with the tiki mugs and the rum and we don’t remember how we got home. Yeah… make a photo book, thank me later. It also makes a great gift. If you want to surprise a friend you can have it shipped directly to them.
Speaking of great gifts, now is the time to start window shopping to get a head start on finding the perfect gift for that person who has everything. While we may not be ready to make those purchases, I find it is easier for me to feel less stressed around the Holiday season when I have a game plan. I keep a running list in my phone with links to products. This way when the time comes I can click the link and boom, Christmas has been won.
5. Clean. Mask. Podcast.
It’s kind of like Gym. Tan. Laundry. But the gyms are closed, laying out is the sun is terrible for you, and there are more chores to do around the house than laundry. Cleaning and organizing your house may seem like an obvious thing to do. Many of us completed this step on week one. But I feel even more productive when I think I’m multitasking. Not all three things have to be done at once; you can take any two of the three and still be a superhero. My personal fave combo is to listen to a podcast and clean.
What are my current favorite pods to listen to? I’m glad you asked.
Art class was always my favorite elective in school. My brain focuses so hard on the project I can’t think about anything else. There are a million different crafting projects to do. I’ve been focused on two different mediums: Sculpey clay and an embroidery project.
Sculpey clay is great because you can create something and if you don’t like it you can just squish it and start over. It will not dry out until you bake it in the oven. If you don’t have this on hand at home, not to worry. Michaels is doing curbside pick up. I ordered online, they told me when to show up, I showed up, called the phone number provided in the email, and they chunked in my car. I then drove off like I just robbed a bank. I when with the basic white because I want to have the option to paint my creations.
I have never done an embroidery project before. I landed on this idea when a random YouTube video showed up on my suggested list. Down the rabbit hole I went. I order the kit from amazon, opened it, and have yet to start it. I’m kind of scared of it. I don’t know why. When I do attempt to start it I’ll take you along for the journey. Maybe it will end up as a Christmas gift or find its way into a white elephant gift. I apologizes in advance to the poor soul that gets it.
7. U-Pick Blueberries
Ugh, picking your own blueberries? Can’t I just pick them up from the grocery store? You could, but then you wouldn’t get the bragging rights when making blueberry muffins with berries you scavenged for.
I when to Keel Farms to pick my blueberries. They have acres of land to roam around, a few farm animals to see, and if you want more then just the berries you can also take home some of their wine, beer or hard ciders.
After collecting only the best and bluest of blueberries, I transformed them into muffins. I’ve been using this recipe for years and I can confirm they are a real crowd favorite. I also use Reynolds Foil Baking Cups. They allow for the tops of the muffins to spread out a little giving it a grander look.
8. Sourdough Starter
I kind of knew this was a trend people were beginning to experiment with while stuck at home. But I didn’t really take it seriously until I listened to the Ologies podcast on Gastroegyptology (Bread Baking). I’ve been following the steps from this site. I’ve been feeding my starter for a week and she doesn’t quite look like shes ready. Making a starter is an experiment, not an exact science. So knowing that, I haven’t made it to the actual baking part. But I’m hopeful it will be eatable in the end. More to come on my bread baking journey.
9. Movie Jar
Tired of spending more time deciding what to watch on Netflix, rather than actually watching something? Make a movie jar. I recycled a Tostitos salsa jar, painted the lid to make it more aesthetically pleasing, and added 20 classic movies to choose at random. The movie you pick is the movie you watch.
10. Adopt or Foster an Animal
This one is not for everyone. Depending on your life style and commitment level, self-isolating doesn’t mean you have to be alone.If you’ve been thinking about adopting a new fury friend now is the perfect time. I don’t mean to get all Sarah McLachlan on you, but you can make a difference not only to your life, but also the life of an animal in need.