Right now the best thing we can do as a community to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home! This is such a simple thing we can all do to help those that are elderly or immune-compromised and to ease the burden on our wonderful health care workers. The more people who choose to do this, the quicker we can get back to normal life. However, being quarantined and social distancing can be hard because it's nothing we've ever experienced. Getting cabin fever or feeling stir crazy? Here are some ideas to get through this!
1. The old stand-by's
Chances are somewhere in your house you have a stash of puzzles and board games that don't get used much. Now is the time to dust them and settle in for a game of Monopoly. When else will you have time to play it until the end?
2. Facetime happy hour with friends or family
With social distancing, making connections with friends and family can be tough. Luckily we live in a time of technology so you can still check in on your friends and hang out virtually. Stay comfy on your couch, grab a drink or cup of coffee, call your best friend or mom and settle in for a chat. Think of how much money we'll all save! If you have kids at home, chances are they are missing their friends as well so maybe loosen up the screen time rules and let them connect and catch up.
3. Take a hike
We don't know about you, but we have never been happier to live in Montana! The mountains have not closed and we are lucky to be in a place where we can get out to nature AND social distance at the same time. Getting fresh air every day will get us through this! Just stay respectful on the trail, keep 6 feet from others and as much as it's hard to resist petting cute puppies that run up to you, now isn't the time. Click here and here and here for some trail suggestions!
There are several groups still looking for volunteers in this uncertain time. This is a good way to get out of the house in a safe way and to help out the community. The Gallatin Valley Food Bank has been busy prepping emergency food boxes and have opportunities to help with this. They are limiting the number of volunteers and following all the CDC requirements for social distancing and hand washing. Click here for more information. Many non-profits are unable to take volunteers right now so financial contributions are more important than ever.
5. Support local businesses
Bozeman has always prided itself on supporting local and these businesses need our help more than ever. We may not be able to dine out, but several Bozeman businesses are offering free delivery or take out. As for retail, some stores are open and taking into account CDC recommendations and some have gone to online shopping. Click here for a list of what restaurants and shops are offering during this time. Take a break from cooking while supporting your favorite local restaurant.
4. Spring clean
With all the extra time on your hands at home, now is the time for that deep spring cleaning! Clean out the garage, wash the windows, go through that junk drawer, do all the things you put off because we live in a busy world. You know what they say, a clean house creates a calm mind. If you have donations to make, keep in mind most of the thrift stores in town are not taking donations at this time so you will have to hang on to it for the time being.
5. Go for a walk in the neighborhood
Has anyone else noticed how many people are out and about in the neighborhoods? It's like taking a step back in time with kids riding bikes and neighbors chatting in their front yards, 6 feet apart of course. Nothing cures cabin fever faster than some fresh air. Make daily walks a part of your quarantine, it will keep things in perspective.
6. Check-in on the elderly/immune-compromised in your area
COVID-19 has reached our area and unfortunately, Gallatin County is the hot spot in Montana. Check-in with anyone you know who is elderly or immune-compromised to see if you can help them with a meal or grocery shopping because they are probably hunkered down right now. This pandemic is scary for everyone, but even more so if you are in a high-risk group. Even a phone call so they can hear a reassuring voice is helpful right now.
7. Create some inspiration
This is a great one if you have kids. Have them make posters to hang in the windows or on the front porch. Include some inspirational quotes like "We're all in this together" "We can do hard things" "Stay home, save lives" to bring a smile to everyone outside. Once the snow melts the same thing can be done on the sidewalk with chalk. With all the social distancing, this is a fun way to connect with the outside world.
8. Learn to cook or bake
Now is the time to try all those recipes from your Pinterest boards! Learn to bake bread, make spaghetti sauce from scratch or bake a cake just for the heck of it!
9. Watch old classics or binge on Netflix
We're not suggesting everyone become couch potatoes but our lives are busy so when else will you have an excuse to watch Netflix all day? Catch up on your favorite shows or introduce your kids to all the old classic movies. We can worry about limiting screen time when this passes.
10. Start planning for camping/garden/fishing/golfing season
Summer is right around the corner so start planning your adventures. When times are tough it's nice to have something to look forward and if there's one thing Bozemanites look forward to, it's summer! Need some inspiration? Click here!