Ways to fight Cabin Fever. Have normalcy in quarantine.

Isolation got us down? Feeling disconnected? Perhaps feeling like we have been robbed of purpose (useless)? Well I have come up with a few tips and activities to keep us busy, keep our head strait, and or give some sense of purpose during this quarantine:

  1. Turn on the radio! Forgetting the fact that it is good to be informed on the latest COVID-19 news in our community, it is helpful to hear more than just the voices we are isolated with in our homes. It makes us feel like we are part of our community again. Like we are with other people; and in many ways we are.
  2. Use this time to catch up on activities at home we have been putting off. Whether it is basic home improvement/maintenance, or doing some basic home re-organizing ……. and God forbid …. minimizing.
  3. Pursue new ways to connect with those we are quarantined with.  For many of us, before COVID-19 we had busy lives and perhaps have not really spent time with our loved ones; even the ones we see every day. Being cooped up in our homes with “nothing to do” offers us an opportunity to connect with our families un-distracted, in ways we might not engage in otherwise. Ways more personal. Speak to each other; real talk, real “getting to know you”. Interaction games are a wonderful idea, but I am thinking perhaps more invasive than that.  Ask questions like “Do you have any regrets?” or “If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation In your life, what would it be?” I think many of us will understand our loved ones better. It is amazing how cutting out all external elements, affords us the opportunity to discover beautiful gems in our own homes.
  4. Remember that book we’ve been putting off reading? BOOYAA
  5. Remember, we live in a digital age, so quarantine is not quite quarantine anyway; not as long as essential workers are still providing our utilities. There are many forms of communication to the outside world, and one need merely have a computer or smart phone with internet access. There is:
    • Facetime (iOs)
    • Zoom (Video conference chat)
    • Text
    • Phone
    • Instant Messenger
    • Skype
    • And there are many many more.
  6. Go out for some fresh air and sunshine. Here in NY, quarantine does NOT mean confining us to our homes, It’s only shutting down businesses and avoiding contact with people less than 6′ away. With that being the case, going out for sunshine and fresh air is a must. Outdoor exercise is even better. At the very least we should be going out to our porches, decks, yards.
  7. Exercise. Any way we can.
  8. But ……… If we wanna be helpful during this time of crisis, if we are compelled to be part of the solution, there are still things we can do. For starters, know that just by following the directives of this quarantine, we are already helping plenty. By avoiding others, we are preventing the spread of the corona virus and setting the example. But if we want to help out more, remember that you and others are safe while you are in your vehicle. Likelihood is there are plenty people in your community that need supplies: toilet paper, bottled water, canned food. If we are willing to get these supplies when they stock and bring them to those in need, that would be most helpful. We could also reach out to local hospitals and COVID-19 collection sites to see if they need an extra set of hands. Places like that always need volunteers.


Even in during this state of affairs, we can adapt and and design a life of value and purpose. This very well may be the way things are for some time, so it’s not very realistic to take the stance that we have to put our lives in a holding pattern until it blows over. We must find a way to still grow through this.

The Trouble with excess in crisis (COVID-19)

A minimalist life is humble, simple, below our means. There is a security and dignity in that. We don’t have more than we need and it’s low maintenance. While we may have the means for a bigger life (more things and property), we choose not to live at the limit of our means. Because of this we are usually better prepared for tragic events to befall us.
Those that live bigger lifestyles often do so at the limit of their means. They have a drive, a desire to have something to show for their means, for their wealth/status as far as they can financially take it.
Unfortunately doing that is extremely bold as the lifestyle created stands on the pillars of the wealth that generated it in the first place. One must have a lot of faith that they will continue to have those means if they wish to continue to support that big lifestyle.
That kind of boldness is a bit prideful and pompous as it suggests one has complete control over their life.
Unfortunately nothing can be further from the truth. And now with COVID-19, many are learning this the hard way.
With businesses closing for this recovery period, many have to downsize, and some are even closing permanently. As a result there are people going without the same regular income, and many are being laid off.
It is bad enough that these folks are now out of a job, and need money just for survival. But even more daunting is the need they now have to make enough money to upkeep the lifestyle they’ve already built. They’ve got a large mortgage, and two car payments to make. Since they were at the limit of their means before they were laid off, they will need to make just as much money as they did before just to be able to keep making these payments. …….. or find themselves in an extremely desperate stressful situation.
All this occurring from an arrogant false security that “I will always be this well off”. Anything can and will happen. Control is an illusion. Anything we have, can be taken away in a blink of an eye. The lord giveth, and the lord taketh away.
It is positively arrogant and selfish to live at the limit of our present means. Truth be told we should be setting aside a savings plan and some funds for giving back (to the community ….. I don’t like the word charity).
There is no more responsible way to live than living without excess financial commitments.

Minimalist Habits in the New Eco-friendly World

Finally we have made the big step toward an Eco-friendly world right here in New York by banning plastic disposable shopping bags. This is long overdue. Hopefully this is just the first in many changes toward a better earth, to come.

This wonderful culture change goes hand in hand with a minimal existence. Less waste, less clutter, re-using, retaining only that which adds value. In the end “minimal” and “environmentally friendly” are the same thing.

But with that being said, I see as I go shopping that there are many people that still have a difficult time adjusting to this bag-less change.

I am at the self checkout at the local market and I see most people PAYING for a paper bag to load their groceries in. When I see this I just lower my head swinging it back and forth. This is just replacing one waste for another, and unfortunately stores are forced to supply these paper bags to make up for negligence and ignorance.

C’mon people, it’s time to build the habit of bringing your own reusable bags. Most grocery stores sell ones right there at the registers; pretty ones. These ones are fine and dandy, and very sturdy. Buuuuuut they are a bit bulky for my taste. I prefer something that I can store in an easy to “grab and go” place; something minimal (of course). It is for this reason that I use Timomo reusable grocery bags, or “pocket bags” as I like to call them. When not in use they fold up into a pouch the size of your palm and can be stored literally in your back pocket. These bags, and others like them can be found online, and at most variety retail stores (Target, Wal-Mart n such).

But whatever we prefer, go with it. This is hardly the difficult part of this whole change. The difficult part is building the habit of USING the bag.

For this reason, I wish to bestow some tips/tricks that will make establishing these habits smoother:

  1. Keep the shopping bag/s stored in the vehicle. It makes no sense to keep them in the home, as likelihood is we’ll only forget to grab them when it’s time to go out an shop. This brings me to tip number ….
  2. After we return home with our shopping goods (bagged of course), and have unloaded the bag/s, make a point to fold up the bag/s and put them with our “away supplies”. Ya know, the pile of stuff we keep close to the front door for when we leave the home. Stuff like our keys, coat, and hat. This way, the next time we leave the home we will have the bag/s to stash back in the vehicle. Either that, or just bring the bag/s back to the vehicle right away.
  3. In the event we DO forget to bring our bag/s in the market, and we find ourselves at the register when we realize this, please resist the temptation to buy a bag there (paper or otherwise) for the sake of time and saving a little bit of embarrassment. This actually hinders the process of building the good habit of remembering to bring the bag/s in next time…… and actually begins a NEW habit of just buying one every time. It takes two minutes to push our merch to the side, go to our vehicle, and get the shopping bag/s. PLUS, the time delay and embarrassment serve as an excellent reminder to get the bag/s next time; nothing sticks to the memory like a time lagging embarrassing moment. If we gotta get back on line and wait again at the checkout, so be it. The more of a hassle it is, the less likely we will make that mistake again.

No one said establishing good habits was easy, but as long as we establish a pattern, stick to it, and never let ourselves take the easy path,  we will get into the rhythm in no time.