10 Things To Do During Stay-at-Home in Haymarket Area
Schools are closed, many businesses are shut down and now a Stay-at-Home Order for Virginia until June 10th presents a challenge beyond anything we have ever known. Whether you are working from home, managing kids out of school or finding ways to keep yourself occupied by yourself, chances are you're starting to go a little stir crazy.
What can you do while at home for yourself, your family and others during this challenging time? We've compiled 10 suggestions to help make your time more productive and fun while staying safe.
1. Virtually Connect with Others
Remember your bestie from college that you hardly see anymore due to the craziness of life? Or maybe a loved one like an elderly uncle or grandmother is home alone. They would love to hear from you and "see" the family via technology. Now is the perfect time to pick up the phone and virtually connect. We all need this now.
Apple users can use FaceTime, or if you’ve got a computer and wifi connection, you may opt for a Zoom chat. For social interaction, get creative and schedule a Virtual Happy Hour on Evite, hold your Book Club on Zoom or schedule a Virtual Trivia Night with friends.
2. Hold a Neighborhood Food "Drop Off" Drive
The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry is open and in need of donations now more than ever. As we all know by now, some products like paper goods are in demand. But, anything you can spare, will be appreciated. Or, cash donations are just as good!
Put the word out via email, text or social media to let your neighbors know you are collecting much needed food and/or donations for the Pantry. Designate drop off days and times and leave bins or boxes out in your driveway or on the front porch. Or, include a link and encourage neighbors to donate as an option. Create a colorful flyer to make it official!
Visit the Haymarket Food Pantry Blog for weekly updates on donation days, times and temporary procedures to make your delivery. The Salvation Army is also taking donations.
3. Netflix and Take-Out
If there was ever a time to not feel guilty about ordering takeout or delivery and binge-watching Netflix, it’s now. If you’ve ever resisted laying around for the fear of missing out or not being productive, use this time to rest and enjoy some entertainment and food of your choice.
Haymarket area restaurants could really use the business and most of them are open offering take-out and some with delivery. Right now, Giuseppe's of Haymarket is offering Make-Your-Own-Pizza Kits (pictured at right) to go that includes one large dough, cheese and sauce and they'll will deliver it to your door!
Eat something delicious, cozy up and check out all of the new binge-worthy shows and movies on your favorite streaming platforms. In fact, you can see what choices there are and what's new at See What to Watch Right Now.
4. Get Creative in the Kitchen
Use this time—and what you may have in stock—to find unique recipes and try them out. If you need ingredients, most stores still have plenty of produce, basic supplies and frozen goods. Have a specific list ready and get the supplies you need without having to spend much time browsing.
Also, Wegmans is offering Curbside Pick-Up and Delivery (with some schedule limitations at the moment.
I just saw a Facebook post of a local family who held an "Travel Around the World" dinner, with a different course in each room of the house. The Kitchen was Japan, Dining Room Spain, Living Room Italy and Recreation Room France. Pair the selections with beer and wine or non-alcoholic treats. Think of the possibilities!
Here's another idea. Pick a base and sauce recipe with and add your favorite toppings for countless combinations. Find the recipes at How to Build a Bowl from allrecipes. Get some chop sticks and have fun.
5. Upgrade Your At-Home Workspace and Habits
You may be finding yourself working from home now full time. If you don't have a designated home office and remote work space, the kitchen table can get old fast—especially if the kids are home. Consider finding a space in your home—a spare room, a corner in a bedroom or even a large closet—to set up as office space. Check out these small space ideas. Make a project of it by installing some shelves and hanging a bulletin board. Use 2 file cabinets with a 5' counter slab from Home Depot on top for a cheap, make-shift desk with storage.
Staples is open and offering Free Delivery. Shop online for files cabinets, desk lights and that oh-so-important ergonomic chair. All of these items may be tax-deductible and some may even be covered by your employer.
Finally, here are some tips to work at home more efficiently:
- Choose a workspace separate from spaces of leisure. Spaces of leisure are for downtime.
- Schedule out your day first thing in the morning and set your timer for project time with no interruption.
- Be sure to take breaks and walk to other rooms. Stretch those legs. Even the shortest dance break can help boost your energy.
- Make it harder to access social media. Delete shortcuts or log out.
6. Keep up with Your Fitness Goals
With gyms temporarily closing across the country you may be left wondering about how your workout routine may be impacted, or if you can keep up your motivation.
The good news is that Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are literally crawling with workout videos and tutorials. There is something for everyone on these platforms—low impact cardio, apartment-friendly workouts, no equipment required workouts (aka bodyweight workouts), yoga and more.
Moving your body every day without or without a class is important during these times and is known to reduce stress and keep you healthy among other physical and mental benefits.
If indoor exercise is hard, outdoor hiking is still allowed so take the family for a hike at the Manassas Battlefield or Bull Run Mountain but keep your social distancing, lot of people have the same idea! Or, simple get outside for a daily walk. Keep moving.
7. Explore Online Learning
If you’ve ever wanted to transition into a different career, start a side business or just learn a new skill for the fun of it, now is the time. You can learn how to do ANYTHING on YouTube as they have free tutorials for everything under the sun.
Believe it or not, you can also take free Ivy League classes online in everything from finance to marketing to An Introduction to Classical Music. Right now 30 Free Courses are starting soon on Yale University. Check them out.
If you are looking for another free resource—one that focuses on creativity—check out skillshare.com for design, photography, business and more. LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda, also has many courses and tutorials you can gain access to with a subscription fee.
With all of the resources available on the internet, you could intentionally use this time off to change your career path into a virtual direction.
8. Get Back to Board Games and Puzzles
With the kids home there is no better time to play board games and build puzzles. For parents who are trying to work, this can keep them occupied for hours. Transform the dining room table into a puzzle station. If you don't have many games, Target and Walmart have them (with social distancing measures). Or, put a note out to neighbors for swaps.
Here’s a list of the 30 best board games of all time.
Taking gaming a step further by setting up an indoor treasure hunt. Here is a great Treasure Hunt with Ready-Made Clues for most household items.
9. Dig into Spring Cleaning
Create a plan and start tackling projects room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer. We recommend purging first. Too many people focus their efforts on getting organized only to find out that their system failed. Once you gather all the things you don't want, put them aside for Summer Yard Sale or donate them to the Salvation Army. They are still accepting drive up donations.
Once you’ve done a good job of getting rid of all the junk, you can move on to organizing and cleaning. Check out this easy to follow spring cleaning checklist to get started.
If the kids are home, get them involved. They can tackle their rooms, help wash windows and identify old toys and books they no longer use.
If you have been thinking about selling your home, you might have put it in hold for the time being. But, it's never too early to get your home ready for the future. If you need to sell soon, The Garcia Real Estate Group is transitioning our services to accommodate our clients virtually. With the health and safety of our clients and the community our first priority we are developing systems to help Buyers and Sellers during this time. See our COVID-19 Message.
10. Share you Talents with Others
If you have a knack for writing, put together an outline for that novel, screen play or children's book you have fantasized about. Here is a good start for budding authors. If you're an artist or craftsman of any kind, get your creative work onto Etsy.
What talent or knowledge do you have that you can share with others? Start a blog or build a web page. Cooking, decorating, photography, art, health and fitness, sports, tutoring, home repair, motivational—all make good topics.
Encourage your kids to journal—especially while they are home. Give them prompts and set aside time to write daily entries and doodles to document their activities and feelings. Teach them how to express gratitude by making a daily entry of what they are thankful for. See the Benefits of Journaling for Kids.
Take this time to do something you love.
We at The Garcia Real Estate Group know these times can be trying on us all, mentally and physically. As best as you can, try to take advantage of this extra time and use it for something you enjoy. Please stay healthy and take social distancing seriously. We are all in this together.