Maintaining Friendships and Sanity While Stuck At Home

I’m the first one to say that I’m not at all an introvert. I’m 100% happy being out and about talking to people and going to new places. Don’t get me wrong, I love being with my family, and a good stay at home day, but I’ll admit this enforced home time is starting to chafe a bit. I’m all about helping to flatten the curve, so I won’t be going anywhere, but I started looking for ways to stay in touch with my friends and loved ones. (It’s especially hard as my Dad is in Texas and I’m super worried about him!) I asked blogger Jaimie Tucker for some tips on how to maintain my friendships and sanity while being stuck at home.

· Schedule a “ladies night” via a group Zoom call with friends. With a glass of wine in hand, it’s the closest one can get to going out for drinks with the girls. The free plan on Zoom allows up to 100 participants. In former times, imagine trying to schedule a night out with that many busy ladies!

· Sign kids up for virtual classes. Many businesses catering to children’s activities are now offering virtual classes at scheduled times. There are art, music, dance, and many other classes being held online that entertain children while moms can hang in the background catching up on housework and other tasks. It’s also nice to continue to support our local community businesses in this way. We want them to survive so we can continue to patronize them after the pandemic is over. (Heck, I want to sign up for a few classes myself! ASL, anyone?)

· Get outside and get moving. More than ever, health and well-being must be prioritized. A healthier body is better able to withstand illness, and a more resilient mind is able to counter the feelings of anxiety and isolation many of us are feeling. If you can go for a walk, a jog, or even hit tennis balls against the wall at a local outdoor tennis court, you are doing your mind and body good. This may not be possible for everyone depending on where they live, though there are an abundance of online fitness classes to choose from. Get creative and do yoga outside on your balcony if you have one. Just get moving! I’m starting my spring outside cleanup and planning a vegetable garden. I’m guessing it’ll be our version of a Victory Garden. ( a Beer Garden?)

· Call a friend or family member every day. Take this time of decreased activity and reconnect with loved ones over the phone. Even just a quick call to check in with a friend can leave both of you with a greater sense of well-being and support during these challenging times. I have a list of a few people that I want to check on- neighbors, friends, and of course, my Daddy.

· Move activities previously enjoyed with friends online. In a book club? Enjoy going to the movies with friends, or out to dinner? You can still read your book club’s selection as planned, watch a movie in the comfort of your own home, or cook the same meal as friends or family members, and then hop on a video-enabled call to share your experiences. You could even enjoy some activities in real-time via these calls. Anything goes!

My husband told me that I’ve said often that “I just want ONE DAY AT HOME” and now that I have them, I didn’t know what to do with them. Jaimie suggested some great ways to practice social distancing and helping your community and I do volunteer with our town CERT team, so I can look at other ways to give back, as well. Now that I have some great ideas, I can embrace some downtime and make the most of it. I have a garden to plan, and some Girls Night Out Online to plan. Hmmm- I might just restart our Ladies Night Out Trashy Novel Book Club and meet online. It sounds like a great plan!

I fight bullying, help end the stigma of mental illness, and prep for the Zombie Apocalypse! Anti-bullying advocate for both kids AND Parents.