Feeling boxed-in while ‘stuck’ at home? Let a 20-year work-from-home veteran help you out with 10 awesome tips to stay sane. 

Our lives have taken quite a turn these the last few days no thanks to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. ‘Shelter in place’ will, or in some places already has, become part of our lives for the unforeseeable future. For some of you, it may be EXTREMELY hard to deal with working from home and spending so much time cooped up in your home or apartment.

I grew up as an only child and have been working from home for the better part of the last 20 years. Yes, it can be isolating and yes, I did feel lonely and left out at times, but I took measures to keep my physical and mental health intact.

My tips below are not only applicable to the current ‘shelter in place’ situation, but for anyone that is working from home in general or for any other reasons.

I want to mention that we don’t have children however the tips below may be applied to anyone’s living situation. I will also include some links for reference to the exact products mentioned.

Disclaimer: I make a small commission if you use any of the Amazon affiliate links below. Not all links are affiliate links.

1. Keep Your Morning Routine & Get Ready To Go Nowhere

Get up at a reasonable time, shower, get dressed and eat breakfast in the morning as if you were getting ready to leave to house and go to work. Getting ready includes shaving, a little makeup, perfume/cologne, small jewelry, etc.

Ladies – this presents a good opportunity to give your hair and hot styling tools a break. Btw, last time I got a haircut was Oct. 16th, 2019 – that’s 5 whole months. And who knows when I will get another…

2. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Good

You don’t need to wear your ‘work’ clothes, just a comfortable pair of jeans and cute shirt will do to make you feel more motivated and put together.

Wearing ‘regular’ clothes and taking care of your appearance will make you feel so much better when you see your reflection in the mirror or computer screen.

I like to wear Levi Strauss Pull-on Skinny Jeans (they feel like leggings but look like skinny jeans), a cute graphic T-shirt, Jockey Seam-free Bralette for comfort, and Ked’s on my feet.

3. Bring Your Coffee Shop Home

Years ago I used to take (almost daily) trips to my local coffee shop to grab my favorite drink just to ‘get out go the house’ for a bit.

In December of 2018 I gifted us a Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine and Aeroccino Milk Frother and OMG do I love it!

Now I get to enjoy an amazing cappuccino in my beautiful, white, porcelain cup while ‘stuck’ at home and perhaps catch some rays in the backyard or catch up on the news.

FWI – I return the used capsules when the return bag is full and Nespresso will recycle the grinds and aluminum capsules.

No matter if your coffee preference is French press, pour-over, or a fancy Espresso drink – give yourself the gift that keeps on giving: great coffee at home. Show some support for your local coffee shop and place an order on their website: Temple Coffee, Chocolate Fish, Identity Coffees , PachamamaOld Soul Co., to name a few.

4. Cook A Meal

I know you can still order out or have food delivered, but maybe instead cook a meal for you and your family. You may not be able to pick a recipe and go shop for the ingredients, so try using what you have in your fridge, pantry, and freezer – you’d be surprised what you can do with all kinds of random ingredients you already have. Just get creative or google some of the main ingredients you have and recipes will come up.

I’m a trained chef so I love tinkering with random ingredients to create new dishes and interesting flavors.

5. Workout At Home With DVDs & Online Streaming Services

I started doing workouts from home in 1982 with a cassette tape and foldout instructions and later moved on to Beachbody’s Workout DVDs like P90, then P90X, Insanity, Brazil Butt Lift, and many others. About four years ago (2016) I stumbled upon Inferno Hot Pilates at Purely Hot Yoga which ticks all of my boxes.

Sadly, all classes are currently canceled. However, they just started streaming workouts via Zoom and pretty much all regulars have shown up. Yay!

Alternatively, go for a walk or run (if allowed), order a few workout DVDs that do not require any equipment like pilates or yoga, or sign up for one of the many streaming workout services.

Get moving and stay fit! This is also good for your mental health.

6. Learn Something New Like A Foreign Language Or Instrument

The next few weeks or months present the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill. My better half decided on to take on German while I picked up an instrument on Nextdoor for cheap.

Last year I was playing with the idea of picking up an instrument after my teenage piano lessons were a complete fail; perhaps learn ukulele?

After watching countless YouTube videos and searching for the right size and model for me … BOOM! A Kala Long Neck Soprano Ukulele popped up for sale in my Nextdoor feed (3.3.2020). I jumped on it and within 3 days I already learned 8 chords and I can play just about any song I want thanks to a few awesome free YouTube courses. And whenever I take a short break from my ‘at-home-work’ I practice a song or two.

Check out: Andy Guitar on Youtube, Tabs4Ukulele, UkeTabs

What instrument would you like to learn? Maybe you have one laying around the house or check out Amazon.com.

If you are interested in learning a foreign language there are tons of free apps to download to your phone that will get you started.

7. Catch Up On Chores Like Cleaning And Fixing Things

I just finished cleaning the filter in my dishwasher and earlier today I vacuumed, swiffered, and mopped the entire house. I also finally fixed that rattling real licenseplate frame on my car. At this rate will run out of things to clean and fix by the weekend. I do have a few pieces of clothing draped over the back of my chair that are in need mending – but those can wait a bit longer.

What may you tackle in your home? Perhaps deep-clean the fridge or oven door? Fix that dripping faucet? Finish that necklace or sweater you started knitting years ago?

8. Dust-off Puzzles & Games

I know you’ve got some cards and games stashed under the bed or on the top shelf of a closet. Now maybe a good time to dust them off, refresh your dice-throwing skills, and reconnect with your family perhaps over a game of Sorry?

9. Take an Online Class Or Webinar

May it be a photography class or something that advances you at work – take an online class or sign up for a webinar. Check out TED Talks on Youtube or Masterclass.com.

10. Read That Book

You know which one I’m talking about. The book you bought and never read. What? You don’t have a book to read? Amazon can help.

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