A lot of us are “stuck” at home or indoors right now, living out self-isolation for a noble cause. But that can be challenging, especially if you’re an extrovert. But even for us introverts, staying inside for extended periods of time can give you a claustrophobic and trapped feeling. Even though I relish my time alone, I do like to be outside and interact with other people on a regular basis, you know?
Whenever I start to feel negative thoughts and emotions creep in, I work on reframing my negative thoughts into positive ones. And not just during tough times like the one we are facing right now. Being based in Seattle, my experience with the current situation was during the first wave of when things came to the US. Things were closing and changing here before the rest of the country really knew what was happening.
Wrapping my mind about what’s going on is a work in progress but I’m working on reframing negative emotions that are popping into my head about it all. Being stuck at home might not always feel like the most enjoyable thing, but there are positive things about it.
6 Positive Things About Being Stuck at Home
1. You get to create a new schedule.
I’ve always worked at home, and was the stay at-home parent during my son’s first year, so I’ve learned how to be really flexible with my schedule. Now that my husband is working from home as well, we’ve had to learn how to create a schedule that allows all three of us to thrive.
Now I was resistant to this at first. I’ve been accustomed to working around one schedule, not two. But we’ve quickly fallen into a routine that means a regular nap time for my son, work time for each parent, and family bonding time. We each also get intense one-on-one time with our son multiple times throughout the day.
It’s a blessing to be able to set up a schedule that allows us all to be our best and create a routine that helps our toddler know what’s coming up.
2. There’s more time for things you didn’t have time for before.
Now that your commute is cut out of your day, you’re getting some time back that you didn’t have before. Let this be the time you do start your new fitness routine, pick up books you’ve been meaning to read, or try new recipes.
You now have time to declutter your closets and bathroom drawers. You can deep clean your kitchen. You can show your kids how to help you. Build this time into your day and your new schedule.
I’m making sure I also take an hour for self-care of “me time” each day. I need alone time to be my best and I often spend my time alone in the bath and reading. It’s essential for me and I don’t feel fully myself and present when I do not take this time on a regular basis.
3. You can connect with other people near and far.
I’ve already been setting up Facetime an Skype “dinner dates” where my friends near and far will sit at our table virtually. We can’t all get together in person right now but there is no reason we can’t make time to connect.
Life is different right now but there is still time for human connection. Carve time out in your schedule for it! Marina and I (pictured below!) have a dinner date set up for tomorrow. Make virtual plans with someone right now!
4. You’re keeping other people safe.
Watching my generation continue to go out to bars and post about it all over social media is so disheartening. Staying home right now is vital unless leaving your home is absolutely necessary. The world is adapting quickly to still supporting workers who have to go out into the world to keep services running.
Staying home, whether you are feeling ill or not, is keeping everything from getting worse. Even when you’re tempted to leave, remember that being home right now is the best thing you can do to keep everyone else healthy and safe.
5. You can bond with your family.
We aim to have ample family bonding time on a daily basis but sometimes there are other time-sensitive responsibilities that reprioritize things.
We generally limit my son’s screen time… and by limit I mean he basically has had none. I don’t really have strong feelings on whether or not people use screens for their children — we’re all just surviving here. But what I’m trying to say here bonding with your family takes on all shapes and forms.
Bonding might be watching a movie together — even if it takes all day to get through and you watch it half an hour at a time. Yesterday we watched the new Jumanji movie and he cared about it for five minutes and spent most of the time picking things up and putting them in a bowl and dumping them out again.
For you, it might be playing games. Putting on a show together or acting out a play. My son just loves it when I use silly voices for characters and sing in my most over-the-top voice.
Bonding can also be quiet time together or talking about serious subjects. There are so many ways to bond. And speaking of that…
6. You can get comfortable being silly.
I love being silly and having fun so much that I wrote a book on it. Shameless plug here but my book is full of so many ideas to break out of the norm and have fun. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Target. The ebook version is also a safe way to get the book immediately for ideas!
I’ve seen my friend Alissa from Not Ok That’s Ok camp inside with her kids, play board games, and make s’mores. They’re making incredible memories during a tough time that none of them will ever forget.
I hope that you are finding peace during this time of so many unknowns. Be kind to others, practice generosity when you can, and remember that we are all in this together.