Hello, and welcome to Dressed for My Day. As we all continue to live a little differently than before, I’m also departing slightly from my normal content. Instead of helping you to get dressed for your day today, I’m offering ways to use your time productively while you’re at home. These ideas come from some of my own activities and goals, but also from readers and social media followers.
While some people may actually be reporting to work at grocery stores, hospitals and other “necessary businesses” even more than normal, many of us are hunkering down at home to prevent spread of this virus. And even if you, like me, have work to do from home, you may find you still have additional “time to kill” because you’re not commuting, gathering with friends, showing up for your regularly scheduled activities or shopping in stores.
First, no pressure…
I actually think it’s wise to give ourselves a little grace during this abnormal season and give in to the urge to nap, visit on the phone or just watch some mindless television. It’s absolutely okay to chill a little. So please don’t think I’m encouraging us to fill every spare moment with meaningful, stimulating or productive activities. Instead, let’s go gentle on ourselves and take time to process the stress and uncertainty in the ways that best serve us.
But if you do want to stay on track somewhat and use some of your newfound time at home in a more meaningful way, I’ve got a dozen ideas for ways to use your time at home. Some of these suggestions are productive, while others are simply meant to help us cope. Let me know if any of these spark something inside of you.
Let’s get started! And these are in no particular order.
#1 – Change out your winter clothes for spring clothes.
Okay, maybe everyone else has already done this and I’m just behind. But today I’m finally switching out my wardrobe. And, hey don’t just swap out clothes. Weed out as you go.
You might want to check out this post from last year, 10 Things to Take Out of Your Closet. In fact, even if you have already switched out your winter duds for your spring clothes, you may discover that you need to take a few more things outta there!
#2 – Start your spring cleaning.
This is a great time for going deep with the cleaning. Besides your normal cleaning schedule, consider:
- washing the windows
- cleaning the window treatments
- scrubbing baseboards
- moving the furniture to clean the floors thoroughly
- vacuuming under furniture cushions
- cleaning ceiling fans
- disinfecting trash cans and waste baskets
- flipping and rotating your mattress
- showering down any wicker baskets gathering dust
- vacuuming lamp shades
- cleaning out the fridge
- cleaning out the dryer vent & washing the washing machine
Do you recommend other thorough cleaning activities at this time of year?
#3 – Organize an area of your home.
I don’t suggest setting unrealistic goals when it comes to organizing. Instead, make a list of areas that need to be organized and rank them in order of importance. Intermingle the big projects with smaller, more doable ones so that you can get a little traction and feel good about your accomplishments.
My goal is to organize our basement, which is laden with unpacked boxes from our recent (8 months ago!!!) move.
Okay, enough work already! Let’s move on to activities that are little more fun and stimulating.
#4 – Cook some new recipes.
Start by watching the movie Julie & Julia, in which a New York City blogger (Amy Adams) sets out to cook her way through a Julia Childs (Meryl Streep) cookbook in 365 days. Then find a cookbook by a cook or chef you enjoy and set out to conquer your own challenge at your own pace. I recommend one of Ree Drummond’s cookbooks, Amy Hannon’s Love, Welcome, Serve or The Ultimate Instant Pot Cooking for Two.
I’ve got more cookbook choices in the shopping widget below. These are affiliate links so if you purchase anything while shopping through them, I potentially earn a commission, but at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my small business.
#5 – Take a class on Skill Share.
Skill Share is an online learning community offering thousands of courses for creative and curious people. You’ll find classes on topics such as photography, illustration, creative writing, visual journaling, interior design, languages, music, cooking and more. If you have an interest for which you’ve been wanting a little more training or know-how, you’ll probably find an experienced crafts person or tech geek or cook teaching it.
And right now you can get two free months of premium Skill Share membership, which gives you access to tens of thousands of classes, access to teachers and offline watching. But even if you just want to try the free Basic Plan, you can watch full courses on many topics of interest. I’m taking a class on beginning a YouTube channel. Yay! It’s coming!!!
#6 – Plant a garden.
Whether you plant a full fledged vegetable garden, a bed of flowers or a container garden of herbs, tomatoes and peppers, it a great time to put some seeds in the dirt. And I understand most home and garden stores, as well as Walmart and Target, are open right now. But you could begin planning your garden here at the Home Depot garden center.
#7 – Work out at home.
I definitely recommend getting out for long walks, hikes and/or bike rides during this trying time. But if you’re used to exercising at a gym or with a class and instructor, you may be craving a good workout about now. I love working out with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss app each day. They provide live guided weight training and cardio workouts every day and then add them to their library full of workouts, including barre, yoga, kick boxing and fitness band workouts.
FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a nutrition based weight management and fitness program that I’ve been a part of for two years now. I lost 20 pounds during the first three of those months, and managed to keep most of it off over the last two years. (I’m knocking off a few pounds gained over the winter right now!) The program utilizes intermittent fasting, balanced nutrition, carb balancing, weight training, limited cardio workouts and rest to help you turn your body into a fat-burning machine. And it really does work!
Right now, when so many people are looking for guided workout options outside of a gym setting, FWTFL is offering new members $50 off the registration price for the 6-week program with code STAYWELL. If you have questions about the program, just let me know.
Of course, you can find other workouts online. But you may need the equipment to do them. I’ve got a shopping widget full of the items I use in my daily home workouts.
#8 – Join an online Bible study.
Missing the camaraderie and accountability of a Bible study group. Maybe your group has continued meeting through Zoom or other conference call app. That’s great! But if you weren’t already in a class or yours has disbanded, consider enrolling in an online group.
I’ve taken online Bible studies with Proverbs 31 Ministries before, and I truly enjoyed it. You can “fellowship” with other participants, watch the videos for free and get some accountability. You could also check out LifeWay’s online Bible studies for women.
While we’re on the topic, if I were to offer an online Bible study of one of the studies I authored, would you be interested in enrolling? Let me know in the comments. I wouldn’t start it until this summer probably. But I’m just curious if any of you gals would like to do that.
#9 – Read a happy book.
My daughter is in the other room watching The Hunger Games as I write this post. Hmm. I don’t think I want to watch something like that at a time like this. Hahaha! Well, to each her own. But I’d rather pull a happy book off the shelf right now. For instance, Fannie Flagg novels like The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion make me laugh out loud. I’ve got some light reading suggestions for you in the shopping widget below.
#10 – Give yourself a manicure.
It doesn’t look like most of us will be getting professional mani pedis anytime soon. So I suggest you check out this old post for my tips for a home manicure. I love, love, love my OPI Infinite Shine manicure set. I’ve got all the things you’ll need in the shopping widget below.
#11 – Calm your mind.
While I’m all for being productive, we may need a few diversions that are simply meant to calm our minds. My daughter likes to color with colored pencils in her adult coloring book. I sometimes like to knit. Maybe you prefer to draw or paint or crochet or work with clay.
I also recommend one of two apps for meditation, bedtime stories and gentle background sounds that can calm your mind. I like to use Abide, a Christian meditation app, but I’ve also enjoyed Calm in the past.
#12 – Play a game.
You may be limited by the number of folks in your household, but this is a great time to gather around a table for a board game. I’m suggesting the ones our family loves in the shopping widget below. But you could also find card games for two to play with a single deck of cards.
Or if you’re alone or can’t interest anyone in your household in playing along, check out some of the game apps available for your phone that allow you to play with friends all over the world. You could play a virtual game of Scrabble, Mario Kart Tour or Carcassonne (my favorite!).
Bonus – Simply tackle that thing on the back burner.
We all have a few things we’ve been putting on the back burner, don’t we? This is a great time to finally tackle that project, whether it’s hard labor or all fun. If it’s no fun, set a timer and do a little each day. But if it’s something that really interests you, but you just haven’t found the time to go for it, now’s the time. Maybe you’d like to start a blog, create a photo album or other print project with Shutterfly, organize your family photos, paint a room of your house or sell some items on Ebay. Now is the time!
I hope you enjoyed today’s post. And maybe you got at least one idea for some worthwhile ways to spend your time at home during this awkward season. Let me know what you’re doing. I’d love to hear from you today.
By the way, tomorrow I’ll be sharing some comfy pjs for lounging at home! Hahaha!
Blessed for My Day
About now it’s starting to feel like this season of social distancing may never end. The newness is wearing off and the monotony and inconvenience is rubbing us raw. But let’s not forget that this too shall pass. Let’s put our hope, not in the future we long for, but in the God who holds both today and tomorrow. If we fill our time praising Him and looking to Him with expectation, He will lift our spirits and restore our hope.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God. ~ Psalm 42:11