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The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe, and as most everyone knows at this point, that means “social distancing” – a term none of us had ever heard before 2020 and now, it’s the new norm. This means many people are stuck at home, spending time in ways we had never considered before.

If you’re starting to feel a little stir-crazy, that’s perfectly reasonable, especially at this point. Even if you absolutely love everyone you live with, so much time with one set of people can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created a list of things you can do that will help you recharge and reconnect with your team, while social distancing and sheltering in place.

Creative Activities

When the government tells you to stay at home, there’s a little bit of guilty pleasure in knowing that you have an excuse to park yourself on the couch and watch TV, play video games, or even read a book for hours on end. However, the fun here only lasts so long. Eventually, even the most binge-obsessed among us is going to get bored and tired of staring at a screen.

Finding creative activities that help you relax, de-stress, and work your brain is vital. From jigsaw puzzles to brain games to adult coloring books, there are plenty of ways to have fun while also stimulating your brain. According to Harvard Medical School, playing games like crossword puzzles or chess can improve your decision-making and short- and long-term memories as you age.

Stick to a Routine

Like lounging on the couch, your routine can quickly get out of hand now that there are no definitive lines between home, work, or school. However, the lack of a specific routine can wreak havoc on your life in a variety of ways, including some you might not expect, such as increased stress, difficulty sleeping, and poor diet and exercise.

To combat these effects, we recommend that you establish a new routine for this new normal. Try starting your day with a cup of coffee and then a short (or long) walk – while staying six feet apart from others, of course. When you get back, your home is now your office or classroom; no messing around. Once done, you could go on a second walk, or spend 20 minutes reading. This creates dividing lines between your leisure time and working time. There are plenty of ways to do this; the important thing is the routine itself.

Try New Recipes

A social distancing quarantine is a perfect time to try out some new, fun recipes. No matter what level of chef you are, from amateurs to experts, there are always new things to learn. If cooking scares you, start with something indulgent and fun, like spinach artichoke dipor turn it into a melt for an easy, tasty dinner!

For the more adventurous chefs, you could try your hand at a challenging (but equally rewarding and indulgent) dish, like fried chicken. Or, for the more health-conscious, try crispy, spiced cauliflower steaks. The possibilities are endless; just think of a food or flavor you enjoy, then type it into Google with “recipe” after, or go straight to Pinterest for meal ideas. You’re sure to find something that will pique your interest (and your tastebuds).

Support Local Business

Still, sometimes cooking can be exhausting when it’s practically all you’ve done all week. When it’s time for a break, take this chance to support local businesses. We’ve written about some of the best reasons to live in Norman and Tulsa, both of which have excellent dining options in the local scene. The same goes for Oklahoma City, with popular restaurants like Empire Slice House offering delivery and curbside pickup.

Many local businesses are hurting right now with the loss of revenue due to social distancing. You can help ensure your local favorites remain fixtures of the community by being a patron during this difficult time.

Spark Joy

Last year, Marie Kondo and her unique brand of decluttering methodology swept the nation, leading to many people finally taking the time to “spark joy” as she says, by removing excess from their homes. Now is the perfect time, as organizing can lead to reduced stress and a feeling of accomplishment – something we all need right now.

You can start wherever you want, or just do a bit at a time. Set a timer for an hour on a Saturday and organize your home for just that stretch. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make.

Relax

Perhaps the most important of everything on this list: we suggest trying to relax, however you can. Stress is devastating on the human body and brain (both short- and long-term), and these are stressful times. There are a variety of ways to reduce your anxieties, and we recommend trying a few to see what works.

You can try breathing exercises, releasing tension in your muscles, and stretching. You can also start journaling again for the first time since high school, or spend some time in the backyard with no phone, book, or any other distractions. Just enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, even in a small space.

Stay Safe

During this unprecedented time, do what works best for you. You don’t need to emerge from this period of social distancing with a six-pack or as an expert in a new hobby. You just need to stay safe and try to be as healthy as possible. Remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and stick to other CDC guidelines to remain healthy.

We are here for you during this time. For information on Northstar Properties, or if you are a current resident in need of assistance, contact us today. Our team is still hard at work (from home) to make sure your apartment is in the best condition possible.

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