Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the world seems to change in ways that we never really expected. Things will most likely never be the same again after this and the current uncertainty is hard for us to tolerate.
One of the first effects is that almost everybody is online now and this comes with its own effects. I think it helps to see that this crisis will take out the best and the worst in some of us.
Every time there will be stressful updates and events, hateful trolls will start popping up like mushrooms, commenting all sorts of unrelated to the topic things. But it is really not personal.
But the way we look at what is going on matters. If we focus on feeling connected and safe, if we reach out to groups online where people truly help each other out, if we basically continue doing all the things that are good for us – we’ll pull this through like we always have.
Research shows that shared pain makes people naturally bond and work better together. This can be a transformational time, and as soon as it’s over, we can only hope that our top priority will be to work together on being prepared for future situations like this one.
Or as Warren Buffet says: “Predicting rain doesn’t count, building the ark does.”
My husband and I have been working a lot lately, we both work from home and now we also have to juggle Luna staying home the whole day and Nadja walking around checking out every corner of the house.
So loads to do, but we see it as a good thing. We feel incredibly grateful for the fact that we have so many hardworking and dedicated people around us, and there is a huge community here ready to support one another. Wherever you are, I hope you have the same thing around.
We are in self-quarantine since March 13, so I have compiled a list of things that we can all do while in self-isolation, and they’re all much better ideas than filling up the internet with panic.
1. Budget and mean plan
It’s the first thing to keep in mind in these times. Like most people, you are probably interested in saving money on groceries, since most of our budgets go there.
I have been budgeting and meal planning for the past 2 years and it changed our entire lifestyle for the best. We’ve improved our health and saved up money in the process. It’s a great time to start, you will find online so many supporting materials that will help you and your family thrive.
Here are my 52 ways of saving money on groceries, which pretty much compiles all the hacks that I have learned in the past years. And here I show you how to grocery shop once a month in detail and meal plan comforting foods that are also easy and cheap to make.
2. Start a blog
A mom blog. A dad blog. A dog blog. The cat niche is a bit overcrowded, but I hear toilet paper is very popular these days. How about a mix?
It is important that we know what is important to you, what you care about and stand for. Even if you don’t know what your niche is just yet, getting into blogging will teach you so many online skills, from building a website, to writing, editing images, marketing and social media.
These are all skills that turn out to be crucial and that you will be able to later monetize. Especially in these times where work from home will be further proved to work just fine.
Start a blog and you will have around many people who write and create, who solve problems, people that you will admire and that can provide you with feedback and support.
You will inevitably get better at this. Constantly showing up for blogging is the most important part.
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"I can't finish my work today, I'm too tired," becomes, "I can finish my work today, but I choose not to because I'm tired." ⠀ ⠀ "I can't do it, I'm not smart enough," becomes, "I can do it but choose not to because I believe I'm not smart enough." ⠀ ⠀ "I can't come, I'm busy that night," becomes "I can come but this other thing is more important to me." ⠀ ⠀ Quite a reality check, ain't it?
Just start and don’t give up. You can do this.
Check out Suzi from Start a Mom Blog. Start with her Blog by Number e-book if you are saving money right now. Get the Blog by Number course if you can afford it. This is not an affiliate promotion and I keep recommending Suzi just because there is something very motivational in her method.
She loves blogging and she’s nailing it. You can see this from how much she has achieved in blogging with 3 small babies at home.
I believe she has the specific “engineer brain”, she is honest and gives facts, shows and tells stories from which we can learn and most importantly, she does it with words and examples that anybody can understand.
3. Delete Facebook
It is just good for you. A new study shows that people who deactivated Facebook for 4 weeks were so much happier. Today’s feeds are filled with fear, panic, hate, emotional shares that are not fact-checked or even fully read. Meh.
It is enough to check the news once a day from your browser. Not having the Facebook app for the past 2 years helped me get more things done, I deliberately spent time on things I care about and also grew some skills in the process.
4. Make sugar free homemade jam
Last summer we picked fresh local strawberries and made jam by just adding a little bit of erythritol and xanthan gum. It was so good Luna was eating it with a spoon directly from the jar. So this spring we will try raspberry and blueberry jams.
I also recently got from Romania some very interesting jams, that have no added sugars. They seem to have 2 ingredients – concentrated apple juice and fruit, so I am going to try and learn how to make natural concentrated apple juice at home and try some of these recipes as well.
5. Make a keto meal plan
And basically quit sugar. If you stay home and you can also manage to meal prep for a week ahead, you could definitely try out the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet if you haven’t so far. Getting all my energy from fats and not from sugars made me a lot more focused and energetic.
Not to mention that in periods of high stress like these ones, having a balanced mood and a healthy diet is essential. Keto will help with that a lot. Broccoli, parsley, kale, cauliflower – all great sources of vitamins that will boost your immune system.
Keto is surely not a lifestyle that works for everybody, but it is worth trying. Most people report terrific results with keto. I wrote extensively on this in another post and you can download my free 7-day meal plan here.
6. Post Instagram stories
There is much more positivity on Instagram. It is not that I believe we should always be positive – even in the face of hardship and cold facts. But we can choose to respond from a place of calm – ish.
Or maybe it just seems to me like Instagram has a more motivating vibe, with loads of positive things and challenges you can join. It feels like a much friendlier way to share ideas. Anyways Insta stories are fun + you get to create things.
7. Put nice clothes on everyday
It helps you get things done. Period. It doesn’t have to be my business attire. It doesn’t matter that I can only go out to the trash bin. Wearing the raggedy T-Shirts that I used to color my hair is just not making me feel all shiny and new and ready for adult responsibilities.
Throw away all the clothes that you don’t use and the extra clutter, Marie Condo style. If it does not spark joy for you, either sell it on eBay if you want to make some extra money or consider donating it to support someone who might need it more.
My rule is simple now – if I do not wear it at all during a whole year, it means I probably don’t like it enough. It is so much simpler and fulfilling to have only a few things that you really enjoy.
9. Cook and bake
Cook comfort food. Learn to use your Instant Pot to the maximum with these 21 Tasty Instant Pot Spring Recipes. Try out low-carb baking. Learn how to make sourdough bread. Here is a delicious keto brownie recipe.
10. Follow the Holistic Psychologist on Instagram
Yes, just go ahead here and get your mind blown by posts that you can relate to 100% and that will help you see the world through a totally different perspective. You will get support to create a better version of you, free of your self-defeating patterns. If you sign up for her newsletter, you can download her free future journaling material.
I have been trying it in order to gain more self-awareness of my emotional reactivity. It works wonders for me and I look forward to all of the things I am becoming, through conscious choices and through doing the work.
Awesome Bonus: there is free future-journaling material for those of you who have kids.
11. Create and make
Make DIY – candles, lip glosses, creams, make clothing, jewelry, paint, try playdough with the kids – the sky is the limit. Especially if you have birthdays coming up. Here is a list of 30 DIY gift ideas. You can involve the kids and being creative together is such an enjoyable thing to do. You might discover bits of yourself in the process, perhaps you will even find a hobby that you can share with the world.
12. Work from home
I wrote a whole post about this that contains 26 realistic work-from-home jobs you can try out in 2020. You can choose to see this situation as a time to reinvent yourself and try out something new. For those of us already working from home, these times have come already with big opportunities and some of us will be creating new businesses and new ways to work.
So if you have not yet given working from home a try, but you are considering doing this full time – I have prepared a list of jobs that I tried personally and that brought me more than 1000$ a month just by working part-time.
A true commitment to writing every day will probably be the best thing you will ever try. Even if you feel like you are repeating ideas, even if you wish you did a better job, if you put in your hours, it will open up so many opportunities for yourself.
Tip: if you don’t know where to start, just find writers that you like and try to copy their writing style. Unpopular tip, I know, but virtually everybody starts by imitating and modeling people whose lifestyles they aspire to have.
14. Read books
There are countless books I loved this past year. Here is a shortlist of what I have been reading in the past 2 months:
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life by Diane Tavenner
Healthy Gut, Healthy You by Dr. Michael Ruscio
Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa Hartwig Urban and Dallas Hartwig
The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression by Edward Bullmore
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi
Montessori for Toddlers: 3 books in 1 by Olivia Orlando
The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick Carnes Ph.D
15. Arrange your pictures
Probably like most of us, you too have in your PC tons of pictures from your phone. It is so easy to take pictures of our little ones today since they’re so cute all of the time. So whenever I get the chance, I sort out our favorite pictures from the last months, I print them out and put them into a physical album. It just smells a certain way and I want to hold on to that.
16. Watch Oscar-winning movies
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Parasite, The Irishmen, A Marriage Story, Joker, Frozen 2, The Lion King – all worthy of your newly found time. Avoid Netflix and Chilling all of your time away.
17. Learn to play an instrument
You’ve been dreaming to be an *insert instrument* maestro but you never had time to get jamming? Now is the time to start practicing.
18. Plant things in your kitchen or balcony
Basil, dill, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, marigolds, petunias or any seasonal flowers of your liking. Kids can join along and help with the watering. It is great for the little ones because they learn how to take care of the plants and they also observe their growth. Also, by this time we’ve started to understand how practical it is to grow your own food.
19. Take an online course
If you added courses in your Udemy wishlist or if you always wanted to learn something in particular, this break from social interactions is an opportunity to get into learning. If you prioritize this daily, it can really change your life.
I remember that this Photoshop for web design course changed the game for me back in 2017. I went through it and basically started making money on 99 designs within a few weeks.
I went on and learned UI and UX and I ended up getting web design clients from home and now I can have my clients for web design and marketing strategy and also run my blog while staying home with my girls. It was one of the best decisions I made, frankly.
20. Learn to code
You seriously don’t need to go to school to learn how to code, it is something that you can learn from home. You do need to do a whole lot of repetitive exercises and play around with the code in environments like this one.
21. Learn to code CSS FLEX with Froggy
Flexbox Froggy is such a friendly way to learn CSS Flex. I totally recommend trying it out, if you are committed to learning web design.
22. Play music on youtube and get moving
You can super go freestyle. I added 2 and 3 kg weights and I went crazy dancing with weights for about 30 minutes. It gives me very positive feelings and helps deal with stress.
23. Paint eggs
Easter is still coming and we can use the opportunity to practice normal and familiar activities in order to stay grounded. Painting eggs is so much fun for kids, especially if they like to explore with color. Here are 9 unique ways to paint Easter eggs.
Take deep breaths – 4 seconds in and 8 seconds out. Focus on your breath. Try anxiety reducing guided meditations from Michael Sealy. This is a great time to start and make meditation a constant practice. You just need to commit to 2 minutes of meditation a day in the beginning. Remember the Future-Journaling material at the beginning? It can be something that you practice for 30 days. In 2 days I will finish a 30 days practice to less emotional reactivity. I fell in love with journaling.
25. Play pretend with your kids
My 2 and a half-year-old started loving this. It is what she wants to do all day long, apart from making messes around the house, of course. We mostly play pretend doctor and cooking now, but here is a list of 25 play pretend ideas that I am going to pull out myself in the next days.
26. Video call your loved ones
We call grandma and grandpa almost daily, as they also stay home in isolation. They both have conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus. Luna started talking a lot so she basically tells them all that she recently did and I am her interpreter.
We call friends who stay at home to check out on them and we try to keep them positive and looking forward during these times. It doesn’t always work, but I figured by now it is nothing personal, they are just stressed by what is going on.
I’ve been trying the night routine for a few days now from youtube Yoga with Adrienne. But you can start any yoga video that you want and give your body and mind some love and some deep stretching.
28. Play the radio
Radio Paradise is all the radio that I will ever need. Their music is just divine and it puts me in the most amazing state. There is something truly enjoyable about good radio music in the background.
29. Make Toilet Paper art
This might just be the year where the internet king and queens – the cats – will be dethroned by toilet paper posts. If you want to see that happen, you can make toilet paper roll art and post it on your Instagram – #toiletpaper. Here are 20 ideas.
13. Cardboard Tube Bee Craft for Kids Using Yarn | Buggy and Buddy
14. Toilet Paper Roll Space rocket craft | Mas and Pas
15. Toilet Roll Crafts: Hula Girl and Mermaid | MollyMooCrafts
16. Toilet Paper Roll Butterfly Craft | The Resourceful Mama
17. Toilet Paper Roll Ladybug Craft | Easy Peasy and Fun
18. How to Make Toilet Roll Ninjas | Frugal Fun For Kids
19. Paper Roll Dragon Craft | Fire Breathing Dragon
20. Rainbow Butterfly with free Printables | Hello Wonderful
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