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So You're Stuck at Home...

March 25, 2020

Periods of self-distancing and isolation can make us feel anxious and BORED. Here are some recommendations for ebooks that help you fill the time with activity or stillness.

Does it bring joy?

Being at home aaaaaaaall day can be particularly overwhelming if your space is cluttered with things you don't even really need or like. Do you even HAVE the space to work from home? Perhaps this is a good time to be honest with yourself—you'll never wear that sweater from Aunt Judy or use that retro ice cream maker. Once you're done organizing your space, you could even have a virtual yard sale! Marie Kondo had a big moment last year with her Netflix show, "Tidying Up." Binge the show for inspiration while you read her book! Double quarantine points!

Do it yourself!

On day 4 of self-isolation, my partner asked me if I could sew his pants button back on for him. Now, I'm happy to do little favors for him, acts of service are my love language after all. But with such an abundance of time, why not make this a teaching moment! In fact, all of this stuck inside, staring at the walls time makes me realize, I really hate our yellow kitchen. What's the proper way to paint a wall anyway?

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Look to nature...

Now is a good time to find balance and beauty in nature- solitary walks in the woods, a private picnic in your backyard, or looking through your window! When we take our dogs on their morning walk, we like to see if we can guess the birds by their songs. Bird watching is super rewarding and peaceful. Set up a feeder and see who shows up!

Get your hands dirty!

Speaking of nature, now is a good time to plan your spring garden and to start the good habit of composting! Did you know that your kitchen scraps can't properly decompose in a garbage bag? The lettuce you throw out today will still be around in 50 years if you just send it to the landfill! Turn it into worm food and grow yourself some pretty flowers.

Let's talk...

We may all be isolated physically, but thanks to technology we've never been more connected. Call up a family member or old friend and take their oral history. There are many ways to record and edit your interview with phone apps. Turn it into a game with your children or roommates. Maybe now you'll finally discover who took the cookie from the cookie jar!

Get creative!

So, you've read every book in the house and just been scrolling through the Netflix menu for the past hour. Sounds like you're ready to flex your creative muscles! Writing prompts can help you write your own short stories and comic storyboarding is a great way to give it form. Voila! Homemade cartoons!

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Break on through to the other side...

Straight up, the world is kind of crazy right now. Maybe you're ready for some escapism. I took a lucid dreaming class for a psychology credit in college (yes, it was a liberal arts school) and it was a pretty wild experience. With some practice, you can turn your nap time into island time. Step further into the mysteries of the universe and try telling fortunes with palmistry. Way safer than a ouija board!

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Be here now...

As the world comes to a standstill, you may come to realize that you've really been wishing for this stillness and free time for a while. Maybe now is not the time to busy yourself with distractions. Maybe this is a time to breathe. Ram Dass was a beloved spiritual teacher best known for his beautiful book, "Be Here Now." Here are some books that teach about meditation, mindfulness, and internal peace.

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Dixie Rose works in the Special Collections department. Her favorite subjects are true crime and art history. She loves the summertime, thrifting, gardening, and looking after her three dogs, one cat, and five fish tanks.