Things you can do during pandemic stay-at-home

December 18, 2020

stay-at-homeIs stay-at-home hard for you? I hear you.

Scrolling through my photos from earlier in the year made me miss the time when I was out and about with friends, having fun and even traveling. But now, protecting ourselves and others means we’ll have to stay at home a while longer. I know it feels like it will never end, especially if you get energy from socializing.

For me, resisting it makes it worse. Getting through it requires a bit of magic. So…

Here are some of the things I’m doing to get through these isolating months. Things that go beyond regularly scheduled Zooms (I do them with good friends), phone calls and hanging out on social media. 

Hiking local trails


Also from a hike.

We are in our second home in Rochester, NY (winter!) and have found many preserves and trails only minutes away. Bundled up in the first puffy jacket I’ve ever owned (thanks, Target!), wearing my first balaclava (face mask), shod in my trusty hiking boots and wielding my Leki hiking poles to navigate mud and snow safely, I hike most days of the week. If it’s not raining or windy-cold, I’m out there. That image up top is from one of my hikes. And this one, too.

Some of the trails are easy and some are moderate–but they get me out in the fresh air to appreciate nature. Plus, it’s healthier than eating a dozen donuts, right? Now, I look forward to going, even on packed snow.

If you’ve never hiked before, give it a try! Start easy and be sure to dress for the weather. I don’t want to break a bone, so I use the poles I bought some 20 years ago. They steady me in uneven footing and I wouldn’t hike without them.

Make something fun and delicious

Like your own marshmallows. What?


Yep. A cup of hot chocolate is even better when you’ve made your own scrumptious marshmallows. Not hard at all: Recipe here

And take those marshmallows down to your fire pit (if you are lucky enough to have one) with a piece of chocolate and graham crackers and channel your inner Girl Scout. S’mores are yummy and guess what? Home-made marshmallows make a big difference in deliciousness.

Learn to cook things you’ve wanted to try

stay-at-homeIf you’ve always wanted to make a pizza from scratch, learn to roll sushi, bake a whole chicken–whatever–now is the time. There are so many recipes online and instructional You Tubes absolutely free.

But some things don’t require a recipe. For example, I make soup from things in my fridge: vegetables, cabbage, turkey, chicken.

Look out the window

Our bedroom window overlooks a yard we’ve seen deer pass through. I put a chair at that window and often sit with a book (or not), glancing up, looking out, hoping to see wildlife passing by. Audiobooks are great for allowing me to look out and still go through my book.

stay-at-homeI realized that I rarely slow down enough to enjoy the moments of beauty around me every day. Now, with nothing but time on my hands, I take at the moment.

Even if you don’t have a wildlife path in your yard, spend some time sitting outside or at the window if it’s too cold. You’d be surprised at what you’ll see.

Learn to craft

Or knit, crochet, collage, paint–lots of ways to learn on free Youtube!

Read something new and different: suggestions

I’d lost my lifelong reading habit, thanks to a bit of a social media addiction, but I have regained it during these long months at home. BTW, most libraries will loan e-books if you haven’t tried that option. Here are a few recommendations (all titles are live links):

Inspirational reading: Mark Nepo’s  Book of Awakening is a fabulous daily thought volume. Deep and introspective. I love starting my days with it.

Surprisingly great memoirs: Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run is long and excellent. Well-written and riveting. I had no idea he suffered from depression. I loved every page. Same with Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

Diverting reads (links in title): If you love fashion you will love The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley and if you love Willie Nelson you will enjoy It’s a Long Story, his excellent memoir. Are you a foodie? Consider Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.

Just for fun: Waiter to the Rich and Shameless, Confessions of a 5-Star Beverly Hills Server by Paul Hartford

Netflix and Hulu

If you can’t afford it, ask around. Each subscriber can share their subscription with several users. Maybe a friend or family member will let you use one of their slots. That makes it, well, FREE! Also, your cable system offers many movies (and On Demand programming) absolutely free. Watch something you wouldn’t ordinarily try.

I want to stay safe.

And I want to protect my loved ones from the asymptomatic transmission.

Staying home is a small thing I can do–ok, it’s a big thing–but I can use this precious time wisely. I hope I am doing just that.

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5 comments on “Things you can do during pandemic stay-at-home
  1. Alana says:

    I so enjoyed your post! Let’s see….they built a walking trail in the small park by my house, and, several times now, we’ve seen a bald eagle sitting in a tree by the river. Trying to learn more about birds – watching them is free! I was even entertained by squirrels sitting in my back yard during the summer. So thankful I have a yard! Do your readers know that anyone with a smart phone or tablet living in New York State can download the New York City public library eBook app and take out ebooks? I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it. Get a local library card and chances are you may have access to magazines and various databases. (I am too hooked on social media to take advantage). And I checked out the marshmallow recipe. Tomorrow I may participate in a Zoom dance party a cousin in Florida told me about. Yes, there is so much out there.

  2. Great post, I don’t have a problem staying home, especially as a business owner who has been working from home since 2018. I do however, miss presenting in person at business conferences.

  3. Diane says:

    Such fantastic suggestions! Thank you, Carol!
    I just realized something interesting: Growing up on a ranch 20 miles from the nearest neighbour, these were our everyday activities my whole ‘growing-up’ years! I truly can channel my inner child!

  4. Lauren says:

    I’ve plowed through Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ but your reminded me I should start knitting again! These are great suggestions!

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