Ways to stay engaged, curious and well while sheltering in place
By Monica Parpal Stockbridge
Last week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis urged Coloradans to stay put. The next day, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock mandated Denver residents to shelter in place, leaving home only for essential groceries, doctor visits, and exercise.
If you haven’t been already been feeling a bit isolated, the situation just got a lot more real.
While it’s easy to feel a bit stir crazy, staying home and limiting the spread of COVID-19 is the right thing to do right now. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still be engaged with our communities and hobbies. Here are some creative ways to stay engaged, curious and well while sheltering in place.
Connect with friends and family … virtually
It’s important to maintain contact and connections with our social communities while in isolation. Even though we can’t get together for happy hour in person, many people have discovered that virtual happy hours are a close second to the real thing. Text your friends to nail down a date and time, then get together over Zoom video conference or Google Hangout. Crack a beer or pour yourself a glass of wine (good news — the liquor stores are still open!) and catch up on how everyone’s been coping. Another fun way to connect? Netflix Party. This chrome extension helps sync your show or movie across multiple devices and screens for long-distance movie nights — with opportunities to interact while you watch.
Explore the world without leaving your couch
You may be mourning a canceled vacation, but you don’t have to give up the experience entirely. Check out Travel + Leisure’s list of famous museums you can tour online, such as the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, all from the comfort of your couch. Even the Denver Art Museum has an online collection for browsing. You may also check out the library app, Libby, to check out books and audiobooks online.
Get reacquainted with your kitchen
Try to limit your grocery shopping, but while you’re at the store, why not pick up the few ingredients for that cake you’ve been meaning to bake? Take advantage of your extra free time and try your hand at a new recipe or two. SheKnows put together a list of websites offering baking and cooking classes, or you can always thumb through an old cookbook for inspiration. Of course, you should post whatever you’ve made to Instagram — or at least tell your friends about it.
Enjoy some fresh air, but be smart about it
A big part of staying healthy involves exercise. While there are many opportunities for streaming workouts online, it might be a nice idea to get outside for some fresh air. Take a walk, go for a jog, or enjoy a secluded hike. Outdoor exercise isn’t forbidden, but do be safe about it. No congregating in parks, avoid public restrooms, and wash your hands immediately upon coming home. As the days lengthen and plants begin to bloom, stepping outside every now and again can help you feel more engaged with the outside world.
It can feel like everything around us has stopped, but in fact, the world is still turning. Be sure to connect with loved ones and stay engaged with hobbies, culture and fresh air at this time. As a reminder, we’re all in this together.