Dear RV Diary,
Here in Kentucky, we are on day 5 of our self-quarantine and working from home. Bill and I are very lucky that we have jobs where we are ABLE to work from home and that both of our employers have instituted a “work from home until further notice” policy due to the spread of the Corona virus. It is very easy to slip into a depression when you are separated from friends, family, co-workers, and your normal routine. I have created a list of ideas on how to stay happy, healthy, and connected during social distancing and quarantine.
Maintain Your Normal Schedule / Routine
As much as possible, try to maintain your normal routine. If you are working from home or even if you are currently out of work, start every morning by taking a shower, getting fully dressed including your shoes, put on makeup, style your hair. These self-care tasks make us feel human and give us some control when the world feels a little out of control.
Video Chat with Friends, Family, and Co-Workers
Call friends and family instead of texting. You need to hear their voice. Even better than calling, start a video chat through Skype, Face-time, or any other app you have available for this purpose. Seeing your friends and family will truly help to make you feel connected and not so alone. If you have a video chat feature with your job, use that when meeting with co-workers. Seeing facial expressions and body language goes a long way in communicating intent. Texting or emailing sometimes loses the tone you are trying to convey.
Visit Virtually with Zoo Animals
Go on a Virtual Safari with the Cincinnati Zoo. The Cincinnati Zoo is creating live videos every day at 3pm Eastern time on Facebook. Each day features a different zoo animal and the zookeepers spend time showing the animal up close and educating people about that animal. They even provide an activity for kids. Kids love this. And to tell you the truth, adults love it too! If you miss the 3pm time, that’s ok. The videos are there and ready for re-play on the Cincinnati Zoo Facebook video page.
Check out Zoo Atlanta’s Panda Cam.
There are Several Animal Webcams to Choose from at the National Zoo’s Webcam site.
There is a polar bear with her two adorable baby cubs to view here on the Polar Bear Cam.
Take a Virtual Museum Tour
Google has partnered with museums from all over the world to provide virtual tours. You can find links to all of the virtual museums in Google’s Arts and Culture collections.
Take a Walk Through Beautiful Gardens Virtually on YouTube
Visit Some of the Nation’s Best Aquariums Online
Monterey Bay Aquarium in California is one of the best aquarium’s we’ve ever visited.
Check out the Webcams of the Georgia Aquarium to see some really cool underwater creatures.
My personal favorite aquarium – because I grew up there and the aquarium is AMAZING, The Baltimore Aquarium
Discover and Explore the Magnificence of National Parks
Google has 360 degree virtual tours of some breathtakingly beautiful National Parks. You can find links to all of the tours at this Google Arts and Culture National Parks link.
Take in a Broadway Show
Broadway HD is offering a 7–day free trial of their subscription service where you can stream famous Broadway Hits. After the free trial, you can cancel, or keep the plan for an affordable $8.99 per month.
Use Discord to “Hang Out” with Friends while Playing an Online Game Together
Discord is an app where you can set up a private “Chat Room”, to which you then invite your friends. Your friend will receive a link when you invite them, which will allow them into the chat room, where you can then chat by texting in the chat window, or you can speak with your voice through a headphones/microphone set, or earbuds. Go to Discord’s website to get started.
Cook Food with your Immediate Family
Cooking and eating are wonderful family activities. Kids especially love to help out in the kitchen. Take this time to teach them some cooking skills. Have fun while baking brownies, cookies, or a cake. Teach them how you make their favorite meal. Most of all, just enjoy this family time together, which is sometimes rare now-a-days.
Game Night / Movie Night
Take advantage of the extra time you have and turn it into quality time with your family. Have a fun night of playing board games or cards. Pop some popcorn if you have it and cuddle up to watch a movie together.
Have a Netflix Party
Netflix Party is a Chrome extension that you can download on your computer for free. The extension allows you to set up a “NP” and send the URL link to your friends. You can “hang out” with a friend or group of friends and chat online while you view a Netflix show or movie together. You and your friend need to both have Netflix subscriptions for this to work. Check Netflix Party out here.
Get Some Exercise
Unless you are mandated to stay inside your home, go outside for a little while. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Go for a bike ride. Breathe some fresh air. Just keep a safe distance from other people. If you are stuck inside or if it’s raining, pull up a free YouTube Yoga video and do some stretching. Your body will thank you for it and you will feel energized.
Hug Your Pets
Our pets love us unconditionally and they crave our love and attention. Hug and snuggle with your pet. This simple act will release endorphins in your brain and give you a huge boost to make you feel happy and loved. Bonus: Your pet will feel happy and loved too! Post pictures of your pet smiling in the comments.
Make a List of 5 Things for Which you are Grateful
Here’s my list:
- I’m grateful that my husband and I both have jobs where we have the ability to work from home.
- I’m grateful that we have food (and toilet paper).
- I’m grateful that we have pets to hug.
- I’m grateful that my family is healthy.
- I’m grateful for our mayor and our governor who are both doing a fantastic job during this crisis, and for the “helpers” in the community. The helpers include the school workers, who are handing out 15,000 meals per day to our school children while schools are closed. The hospital workers like doctors, nurses, chefs, and janitors. The police, fireman, and EMS. The trash collectors who are still out collecting our trash and recycling to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe. The grocery store clerks who are still working so we can buy supplies. The truck drivers delivering those supplies. This list could go on and on.
Now, go wash your hands. Drink some water. Check in on your beloved friends and family. Stay happy, healthy, and connected.
#COVID-19 #Coronavirus #SocialDistancing #Quarantine