From the Outside, In
It’s getting to be that time of year, where the shorter, cooler days tend to force us inside. And as we head into the 8th month of the pandemic, finding things to do at home is going to be more important than ever.
In addition to the obvious health concern caused by COVID-19, there is also the documented, but not often discussed issue of our mental well-being. I’m not a psychiatrist, but I thought I might share some of the ideas I had about keeping busy and patient during these strange times.
Cook, Bake, Create
Maybe you’ve always wanted to try making a 5 course gourmet meal. Now’s your chance. Create a menu, research recipes and mark a day on your calendar to spend in your kitchen. If that doesn’t interest you, and you or someone you know has a sweet tooth…bake! Cookies, breads, pies..whatever your heart desires. Follow the recipe to a T, or, if you’re like me, you might adjust it a little to address your likes and dislikes. Prefer maple syrup or honey to regular sugar? Try it and see how it tastes. Don’t like onions, but can never have enough mushrooms? Load that soup with them. Of course you’re hopeful about the outcome, but there is something comforting about the process of cooking when you have or make the time for it.
Send recipes to loved ones
Whether you hop on the computer and start copying and pasting to emails, or you painstakingly write out recipe cards with family favorites and mail them to your loved ones, sharing recipes is like sharing a piece of ourselves. Don’t let your grandmother’s fudge recipe get lost in a cupboard somewhere, but share it with the generations below you. And if you’re really feeling motivated, create your own book of family recipes. You only have to write them out once, then have them copied and collated into a bound book. They make great holiday gifts!
Start, or continue a journal
Recording your daily or weekly activities can often be a treasured gift for your family in the future. But regardless of whether anyone else ever reads your words, writing down your thoughts and feelings can be therapeutic in times of stress and uncertainty. A simple daily log of what you did each day, documentation of important conversations you had, or simply a list of what you are grateful for, are all fantastic topics for journaling.
Whatever you do, don’t sit and stew. Well, OK, if you’re making a stew, that’s one thing, but stay busy, stay in communication with those you love and stay positive. Embrace the inside time and use it to your advantage.