Ecofrugal things to do at home

What are we to do if coronavirus fears forces us to stay at home? Either due to orders from our job or concerns for ourselves or high-risk friends and relatives? Here is a list of different things we can do to help the time go by without feeling trapped.

I don’t know about you, but with the current Covid19/coronavirus situation I find it difficult to focus my attention on other things. It is always there, at the back of my mind. Especially after Norway went into lockdown and everyone who can work from home are strongly encouraged to do so.

So if you, like me, are staying home, what are things we can do? Apart from working from home if that is an option for you, of course. But what about the rest of the time? The time that would normally have been spent commuting? Or being exhausted after a long day commuting and running back and forth?

Below are some suggestions to keep our mind and body active.

Physical activity

If you have the space at home, there are many ways to stay active without going to the gym or to the pool. A carpet, blanket or pillow can help soften the floor for activities such as yoga. And there are plenty of bodyweight strength exercises that require very little room.

My personal favorite is Yoga with Adriene, a youtube channel with loads of different yoga videos for all shapes, sizes and skill levels. I use a thick rag rug laid double as my yoga mat. And it is better and more stable than any conventional yoga mat I have ever tried.

If strength exercises are more your jam, here is a list of activities that can be done from home without any extra equipment. Many of which can be done while standing if you don’t have a yoga mat. Just remember that it is more important to do the activity correctly than it is to look good! Stay safe!

Crafts

Do you have crafts you have been meaning to get to? A knitting project you’ve been meaning to finish? There are so many different things we can do with just a few resources.

How about sewing a new shopping bag out of an old shirt? Or perhaps darn some socks that have been lying around for entirely too long? If you’re extra adventurous or have the opportunity to get some supplies, perhaps you could even try your hand at making your own soap?

There are more crafts than I can list in a small post, and it all depends on your interests and the stuff you have at home, whether or not you have kids, and a whole slew of other things.

But with small kids, a book and a box can be really all you need. I have a friend with an 8-month-old, and it’s amazing the amount of fun we can have just by moving far away and closer to her. No toys required! For older kids, maybe they can make their own board game?

Creating

If you’re not into physical crafts or don’t have the supplies, you still have options! Since you are reading this blog post, you most likely have either a laptop, tablet, phone or other internet-accessing device. From these you can write, blog, digitally paint, and create videos, podcasts, and products we haven’t even thought of yet! I made printables to help people pay off debt and save money. Other people write ebooks or launch new blogs.

All from a small device capable of unimagined wonders.

Cooking

With more time at home and close access to my own kitchen, I am already cooking more than I have done in a long while. I truly do enjoy cooking, but commute, work-life and exhaustion after has reduced that to a trickle of what it used to be.

Now is a time to get creative with what we have in our cupboards and perhaps stock up on some staples that we know we use regularly (but please don’t hoard or buy things you never use, leave some for other people in your community). Restaurant delights such as ramen, fried rice or teriyaki chicken are all possible to hack in your own home kitchen.

If you are not very good at cooking but want to learn, what an excellent time to start! Learning to cook even just one dish can provide both resilience and mastery. A good hot bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning can spell the beginning of a great day.

Learning

Find you have a lot more time than usual on your hands? The web is stuffed to the brim with courses, free and paid that can teach you any number of new skills. I am biased to permaculture at the moment, but who knows what you might lookup? Fixing your own bike? Financial literacy? A new language? With so many institutions going online these days, the sky really is the limit.

Perhaps you just want to unwind and read for fun? Did you know that you can read Kindle ebooks directly in your web-browser (requires logging into an amazon account)? No kindle required! Even if you don’t agree with Amazon practices, there are a plethora of free books available that can keep you occupied.

If reading or watching videos is not your thing, perhaps listening to a podcast is? Again, depending on your interests, there really are far too many possibilities for me to suggest something for everyone. But a few of my favorites are Writing Excuses, In Her Boots, and The Fairer Cents.

Social

Just because we are confined to our own homes, does not mean we have to stop being social. Not meeting in person might be unusual to some, but with the marvels of digital technology, we have many other options.

You can call, text, tweet, blog or otherwise share and listen to other people’s adventures. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to call a friend or relative for some time but you’ve just been too busy? Here’s your chance!

If you don’t have a lot of friends, again, there are plenty of forums for like-minded individuals online.

Community

If, and only if, you know for sure that you nor anyone in your household are at high risk of complications if you contract the coronavirus (65+ years old, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, lung/breathing issues, cancer, and potentially more), you could also consider getting out of your house and asking if anyone in your local community need help.

This could be an older neighbor who is afraid of leaving their house, or a recovering cancer patient afraid of contracting complications.

Perhaps knocking on their door is not the best thing right now. But you could leave them a thoughtful letter with your contact details or send them a text message if you have their number. Perhaps you could get them some groceries when you go to the store and they can Venmo you the cost? Perhaps they don’t have a car and you can take them to the pharmacy to get their prescription, so they don’t have to take public transit?

If you have a stronger financial situation, you could also consider not asking for your money back for canceled events, buying gifts cards from restaurants who are struggling or purchasing services from freelancers who might be losing gigs and income due to the uncertainty.

There are a lot of things we can do to help our community both globally and locally pull through this.

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