4 Creative Ways to Thrive While Social Distancing

Stay safe, healthy and feeling connected with these fun, clever tips.

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- Posted on Mar 27, 2020

Woman using a laptop while cooking

Well, here we all are: at home. While in past times, many of us have longed for vacations and daydreamed about the elusive downtime, now that it has arrived with a thump—albeit a global health crisis—many of us don’t know what to do with ourselves.

Of course, trying to work from home (for those fortunate enough to have that option), while caring for our bored and bewildered children and battling the anxiety of these uncertain times, can leave the best of us feeling paralyzed. Try the suggestions below to lift your spirits and get your mind and body moving.  

Complete a jigsaw puzzle.

Nobody was more surprised than me to fall in love with jigsaw puzzles a few years ago—and I’m not alone. Jigsaw puzzles have been enjoying a robust resurgence for the last few years. And no wonder—there are many mental, physical and social benefits to doing them. Multiple studies confirm they can sharpen your brain, help you relax and improve your memory. Plus, they’re fun! Get your family off their screens—and gathered around the table.

Try a new—and simple—recipe.

By all means, if you have the inclination, maybe now is the time to channel your inner Julia Child and tackle that soufflé or molten lava cake. But for most of us, it probably makes sense to keep it simple. That refers to both ingredients and recipes, as hopping out for that one missing spice is not recommended at this time. I’m a big fan of Epicurious and their “Pantry Meal Plans for Emergencies” guide.

Play a board game.

Yesterday, my sister mentioned that an Amazon package had just arrived on her porch. Toilet paper, I asked? But no, she had ordered a slew of board games.  With her two college-age sons back in the nest, she was longing for some old-fashioned family fun, but found too many missing pieces in their game collection. The classics still hold up: Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Life.  


Go exercise outside, insides—or online.

Yes, I miss my gym and my work out buddies, too. A lot. But I know that exercising will help every aspect—physically and mentally—of surviving this difficult time of self-isolation. Most evenings this week, I’ve trekked to the local track in my town to run a few laps. I’ve been delighted to find it’s turned in to the new social center, with different workout groups—from seniors to some buff young motorcycle guys—holding different classes while following the six-feet rule. I also signed up for a free 14-day trial for an online fitness program to get myself moving in front of the television (and dreaming for the day when we’ll all get back to the beach). Finally, stay in touch with your favorite trainer; they may well start holding classes via a digital video platform.

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