Ok, so the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has got you on self-imposed quarantine; practicing social distancing. Or maybe your state governor has issued a “Stay At Home” order as ours has, here in Ohio.
The bottom line? We’re all GROUNDED. Remember those days?
Let’s face it. Nobody was truly prepared to “do time” in their own home. But now that the gavel has banged on the sound block and you’ve been hauled off, excuse me, hauled IN your house, let’s capitalize on this opportunity to hopefully prevent a case of cabin fever.
Whether or not you realize it, there are many tasks needing completion or waiting to be activated in your personal life. It’s about time you got into them, wouldn’t you say? I definitely have mine. So since you’re here, I’d like to offer a few suggestions to hopefully help you realize your needs and encourage you to get at it.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Here are “10 Productive Things You Can Do While On Coronincarceration”
1. Read, Read, READ. I can’t impress upon you enough. Whether it’s business correspondence, a magazine or a good book, sit down and fill your mind. Build your awareness level. Spend some time improving your knowledge base or pleasing your entertainment palate. And if you can’t figure out what you’d like to read, there’s always “Kenny’s Camera, Cooking & Crazy Confessions” to keep you busy. See? You’re reading already! One down, nine to go…
Me? I intend to read up on Photography and Business Management. I’ll also be getting in some online research.
2. Work On Your Culinary Skills – Get in that kitchen and learn some new dishes. If you’re already the primary chef in the household, this is an excellent opportunity to try out some different items. We all have meals we’ve enjoyed at restaurants that we’d love to know how to prepare at home. Well, now’s the time to learn. And if you don’t know how to cook, pick up a recipe book for beginners or search online. Two excellent starting points are All Recipes and Big Oven. I’ve uploaded about 30 of my recipes on the latter. At some point in the coming weeks, I intend to make my first quiche and learn my favorite Mexican dish. Tamales!!!
3. Exercise – Just because you’re unable to visit your local gym does NOT mean you can’t get your body in order. If you’re in a “Stay At Home” location, most, if not all states allow for you to go outside. You’re just supposed to maintain a minimum distance from other people. So go for a walk/run or take a bike ride. Take those clothes off of your home gym equipment or dust it off. Buy some inexpensive accessories like kettle balls, dumbbells, aerobic step platform, exercise mat, etc. Pop in that “Insanity” DVD or whatever cardio video you have in your collection. Check out those online videos for purchase or free viewing on YouTube.
Most important, don’t forget to open a window. Please.
4. Learn A New Dance – Or an old one. Crazy as that sounds, I’m sure you’ve seen kids do something that looks really cool that you want to try, but wouldn’t dare in public. “Baptism by Fire” does NOT apply on the dance floor, especially if you don’t want to be seen on Facebook Live. And even if you’re not interested in current trends, try out some classics like the Merengue, Salsa, etc. And what about those group and line dances like the Cha Cha Slide, Wobble, Cupid Shuffle? Hell, some of you don’t even know the Electric Slide.
I have a list of African dances I’m sweating it out to over the break: Kiganda (Uganda), Vosho (South Africa), Rosalina (DRC), Odi (Kenya), Pilolo (Ghana), Shaku Shaku (Nigeria), Kwangwaru (Tanzania), etc. I’ve also become a huge fan of Makossa and Bikutsi, two styles of dance music from Cameroon.
One more thing. Ladies, if you’re top-heavy, don’t take on River Dancing without a sports bra (some of you men fall in that category too) and please leave Belly Dancing alone if you can’t already see your feet. Trust me, your belly is already dancing.
5. Reach Out To Family/Friends – When was the last time you actually SPOKE to some of those old friends on your Facebook list? Or an ex-coworker that you used to hang out with? Take this time to contact your family and tell them how much you love them; how much you miss them. Catch up on each other’s lives, reminisce and share a few laughs. Now is the time to build or improve those relationships. And don’t forget to call Aunt Rutabaga! She hasn’t heard from you since your son’s wedding. He’s been married twice since then…
6. Clean/Repair Your House – Lord knows there’s plenty of work to do. And I don’t mean the traditional sweeping and mopping. Get behind your entertainment system or computer desk and (dry) wipe down those wires. Clean those blinds. Get the top of that ceiling fan. Pull that refrigerator and oven out and scrub that floor. Tighten the screws on your kitchen chair and table. I’ve got to put in a new stair rail and get some electrical work done. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to do some bathroom installation in our basement. We’ve always used that space for storage.
7. Get Organized! – Related to, but not restricted to #6. Now is the time to evaluate just how much you may have outgrown your apartment or house. But that may not be the case at all. It’s probably just time to toss some stuff. I won’t go into detail because there are tons of books on organizational systems and I don’t want to glaze over something I could talk about for days. But I WILL remind you that if you’ve got boxes in your basement that you haven’t touched in 2 years (and don’t know the content), you might consider discarding or donating them.
Get those letters off of your desk and put them in a filing cabinet if they need keeping. Got magazines? Put them in a rack or get rid of them. Put your books and movie discs on the shelves if you’re not reading or viewing them. Consider donating to the public library or charity.
Be honest with yourself. If you don’t need it, let it go. If you like it but can’t use it, let it go. I have some really cool airbrushed sweatpants from college that I’m too large to fit and too old to be sporting. I took a picture of them before throwing them away, among other things. Yes, I have boxes of clothing from over the years that had to go for being too small or “out of style” (and probably won’t be back IN style this lifetime).
8. Get Started On Your Yard Work – Maybe it hasn’t been reflected in the weather, but it became Spring, officially, a few days ago. You may not need to mow the lawn just yet, but it’s not too early to remove some of the items you want to replace. I’ve got to hit those bushes in front of the house because they look like trees (I’m not a gardening kind of guy and would just as soon create a concrete jungle. But since the neighborhood is big on green, I guess I have to fall in line). Get ahead of the game.
9. Catch Up On Your Local Shows/Movies – This needs no explanation. Get your binge on. Watch your favorite shows or take on a new one. I think I’ve seen more movies than any other person in history, including movie critics! Still, I have 49 shows on my binge list in addition to 153 movies, all waiting to be checked off. No, it ain’t gonna happen any time soon for me, but I’m sure you have many to tend to. Just remember to peel yourself off of that couch every 2 or 3 days and wipe your butt.
…and open a window.
10. Start A New Hobby – Knitting, painting, toy model assembly, star-gazing, domino trail, stamp collecting. Try something new. I’ve spent the last 10+ years researching my family history and have learned some fascinating things (I’m of Nigerian, Cameroonian and Ghanaian descent, among others) in addition to expanding my family tree to over 1,000 people. I’ve also seen my interest in photography evolve into an obsession which is now a legitimate business! As you obviously have seen, I’ve become a Blogger, over the past year and a half, which has really been fun.
Some of you have suggested I take writing seriously and work on a book. That’s already in the works and, as soon as I finish this particular blog post, I promise to get back on it (Microsoft Word is open on my computer as I type this, waiting or me to close my Firefox browser and get back on it). I only stopped to write this article because some o’ y’all are suffering from boredom already and have forgotten how to get along.
And that’s it! I haven’t touched on things to do with your family because that’s enough for another blog. Yup, another blog, coming soon. In the meantime, try some of these on for size or figure out what else you can do to pass the time. Just try to make it something of use. There is nothing worse than taking time off and having nothing to show for your break.
Ok, I’ve helped you kill 7-8 minutes. You’re on your own from this point on. Call somebody and get in a good conversation. Just don’t call me. I’ll be wearing out my replaced knees on some of these dances. They looked smooth as hell before I dishonored them with my worn-out bones and extra ounces.
But give me time…
…and yes, I opened a window.
Thanks for reading! Stay safe, stay healthy and stay at home!
If you need some laughs, feel free to check out some of my previous blog posts and be sure to leave a comment and sign up at the bottom for email notification of future posts.