Santee Cooper: 10 Energy-Saving Activities for Social Distancing
Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
We’ve all been stuck at home with nothing to do before, but this just feels different. As a child of the 80s, I grew up with video games. As a man-child in the 20s – according to my wife – I still play video games. But as a dad in his late 40s, I get to pay the electric bill, which sometimes has me treating the Xbox like the thermostat – don’t touch it. So, in the pursuit of finding ways to stay busy that won’t send my electric meter spinning, I’ve done a little research and put together a short list of “energy-efficient” remedies for how to deal with cabin fever:
Call your mom – You know who else is sitting around waiting for this all to be over? Your mom – or countless other family members you haven’t connected with in a while. Reach out and say hi. You’ve been meaning to do it anyway, and you know they’ll appreciate it.
Read a book – Over the past few days, I’ve found books I haven’t read in boxes I forgot existed. I’ll most likely reread Dune, but it’s nice to know I have options. If you have kids, bring back story time – although Dune may not be the best choice in that situation.
Take a hike – The weather is changing, and the South Carolina landscape is coming alive. It’s a great time to revisit your favorite outdoor space and decompress – as long as they’re open and it’s safe to do so. You also can stay close to home and take a walk through the neighborhood if you’re feeling a little restless.
Meditate – OK, I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking the same thing, but it ends up that meditation isn’t quite as complicated as I thought. And, it’s perfect during a time of social distancing. Find yourself a quiet place and relax. Let your mind wander and recharge.
Board games – Let the games begin! Boggle? Scrabble? Maybe you’re a Monopoly kind of person. We all have some type of board game hiding away in a closet just begging to be played. At the very least, grab a deck of cards. Solitaire is a welcome friend when you’re feeling lonely.
Wash the dog – What’s that smell? Since we’re all spending more time with the ones we love, we may realize they need a little more loving. Give your dog a bath, a good brushing or – if you’re really feeling adventurous – maybe a new haircut!
Play an instrument – You remember that time you were going to learn to play guitar? Me too. I suppose it’s time to dust it off and give it a strum. Don’t have an instrument? You can learn to play the drums with nothing but your hands and feet – although pots and pans can be fun, too. As a bonus, music has also been proven to relieve stress and anxiety. Get practicing!
Exercise – It’s easy to attach yourself to the couch when your typical workout schedule is disrupted. But, don’t give into the temptation. Do some pushups, sit-ups or squats. Run around the block. Do some yoga or stretches. If you’re able to move – do it! You’ll feel better both physically and mentally – and it will help keep you from climbing the walls.
Write – Are you into poetry? OK, maybe not, but there are many ways to write down your feelings about what’s going on and that’s always helped me. Write a short story. Start a journal. Write some lyrics to go with that instrument playing we discussed. You might find that you have a lot on your mind and are pretty good at putting it down on paper.
Spring cleaning – Not many people like spring cleaning, but now we don’t have an excuse. Get the whole family involved. Pick a room and get started. And, since you’re looking for ways to kill time, it won’t matter if you get sidetracked when you find something fun.
These ten examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dealing with cabin fever, but hopefully they’ll help make this highly unusual, and sometimes stressful, time a little more bearable. As for me, I’ll be working from home making sure we keep you all informed as this situation unfolds. But, right now – I think I’ll call my mom. Take care of yourself and stay safe!