3.16.20 4

How to Stay Busy While Social Distancing

Editor’s Note—this post was last updated on 3/24!

HELLO FROM DUPONT CIRCLE! How is everyone fairing out there? I feel like I’ve lived a whole year in the past week!

Let’s back it up a little bit: last Monday, my company had us all work from home so we could test the VPN and make sure it would stay up with increased demand. Tuesday, we headed back into the office like normal and I went to OTF with my squad after work—and looking back, that day was probably my last normal day for a long time! On Wednesday morning, I had a dermatologist appointment before work, so arrived late and then went to a lecture-style training meeting. On the way back to my desk, I somehow managed to chip my front tooth on my laptop—you literally can’t make this shit up! Luckily, my dentist could squeeze me in over the lunch hour, and afterwards, I just headed home to work from there for the afternoon. While I was at the dentist, my company asked all employees to work from home, effective Thursday. So, since then, I’ve been spending a lot of time at home, settling into a new routine of web-conferencing work calls and eating too many of my ‘rona rations.

While I ventured out some Friday and Saturday, since Sunday, I’ve fully embraced social distancing and plan to for the foreseeable future so I can do my part to flatten the curve. If you want to better understand why this is our best chance to stop the spread of Coronavirus, I cannot recommend this interactive Washington Post article enough. (And while you’re at it, check out their TikTok because it’s amazing!)

I consider myself *SO LUCKY* to be able to work from home and to have circumstances that allow me to socially distance, since I know many do not have these luxuries. And I am especially grateful to all the healthcare workers who are on the front lines, putting themselves at risk for us!

Growing up, my mom always told us that only boring people are bored, and I am fully embracing that mentality over the next couple of weeks at home. So, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite media—books, podcasts, TV shows & movies (and where to stream!)—as well as a few other ways I plan on keeping busy during this time. I am still keeping a normal schedule during the workday, but since all my social plans after work and on the weekends for the foreseeable future have been postponed, I, too, will be looking for more ways to stay busy at home!

Also, if you’re not following me on Instagram, I am sharing a ton of content in real time over there—I’ve also saved everything in a highlight called “Quarantine”—I would have named it “Social Distancing” but it was too long! I am doing daily work from home walk + talks where we can check in with each other about how we’re feeling and talk about a topic of the day and I’m also sharing a ton of non-Coronavirus related content that’s been on my list for a while that I just haven’t had the time to create—like my makeup tutorial!

I’ll plan to make this blogpost a “living, breathing document” as we say at work, and will update it regularly throughout our time at home—please live any suggestions you have in the comments below so we can all help each other out during this crazy time!

One last thing before we dive in. Today, I really beat myself up for not being able to focus and be super productive at work like I normally am—and then I decided to stop and just give myself a pass. And, last night, I had a really hard time focusing on my book and going to sleep—two things which usually come to me no problem. There is so much information coming at us on a 5-minute news cycle and the world today is a different one than we were living in just let week. So I’m trying to be really nice to myself and others during this time—let’s keep morale high and support each other, even from afar!

apartment bedroom decor ideas

BEST BEACH READS /

Ok, so I’m reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz right now and while it is such a moving piece of historical fiction, I think it’s adding to my anxiety right now. So after I finish it, I’m going to read a few mindless beach reads.

As a reminder, you can read all about how I get my Kindle books from the library HERE and I also want to flag that one of my favorite authors, Colleen Hoover, has made for of her books free on Amazon right now—you can get more details in THIS Instagram post. Now would also be a great time to sign up for a free trial to Kindle Unlimited—I did a trial this summer and didn’t love it (you can read my review here), but think it’s a great way to get a lot of books for a great price.

Here are ten great beach/lighter reads, in no particular order:

  1. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  2. The Peachtee Bluff Series by Kristy Woodson Harvey
  3. Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer
  4. Waiting at Hayden’s by Riley Costello
  5. Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn Dingman
  6. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
  7. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  8. The Royal We by Heather Cocks
  9. One Day in December by Josie Silver
  10. Southernmost and Southern Solstice by Sarah Sadler

And, you can see all of my past “On My Nightstands” here—and I’ve reviewed all of these books in previous posts if you’re looking for descriptions!

BEST PODCASTS /

Ok, so fortuitously enough, I updated my post about my favorite podcasts back in January—you can check it out HERE! It highlights the podcasts I subscribe to and listen to week after week, along with favorite episodes of each so if you’re new, you have a promising place to dive in—and there are 40+ episode recommendations in that post!

A few others I wanted to call out, though, that aren’t in that post:

tv mounting tips for a small apartment

BEST TV SHOWS + MOVIES /

Luckily for us, we live in a time where we can watch pretty much anything, anytime! Here are my favorite TV shows that are currently on streaming services—most are free, but some you do have to pay to rent or buy:

HULU
  • Everwood
  • The Bold Type
  • This Is Us
  • Younger
  • A Million Little Things
  • Keeping Up With the Kardashians
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Home Town
  • Parenthood
  • The OC
  • One Tree Hill
NETFLIX
  • Cheer
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Gilmore Girls
  • The Crown
  • Queer Eye
  • West Wing
  • Gossip Girl
  • Young & Hungry
  • Mad Men
AMAZON
  • Bachelorette Weekend
  • Very Cavallari
  • The Hills
  • Laguna Beach
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • This Is Life With Lisa Ling
DISNEY+
  • Boy Meets World

And, my favorite movies:

HULU
  • Passport to Paris
  • Billboard Dad
  • Switching Goals
  • My Best Friend’s Wedding
  • No Strings Attached
  • Free Willy
  • I, Tonya
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette
  • Morning Glory
  • Anastasia
NETFLIX
  • It Takes Two
  • A Little Princess
  • Life As We Know It
  • PS I Love You
  • About Time
  • Julie & Julia
  • Country Strong
  • Yours, Mine & Ours
  • Sex & The City
  • Dumplin
AMAZON
  • Sweet Home Alabama
  • Home Again
  • Morning Glory
  • Maid in Manhattan
  • Roman Holiday
  • What If
  • How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • Because I Said So
  • Second Act
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  • 13 Going on 30
  • First Daughter
  • Raising Helen
  • The Proposal
  • 27 Dresses
  • Father of the Bride
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Crazy Stupid Love
  • The Family Stone
  • The Devil Wears Prada
  • Sleepless in Seattle
DISNEY+
  • The Parent Trap
  • Pollyanna
  • Jungle 2 Jungle
  • Remember the Titans
  • The Princess Diaries
  • The Lion King
  • Toy Story
  • Cinderella
  • Snow White
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Beauty & The Beast
  • The Aristocats
  • Pocahontas
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • Aladdin
  • Mulan
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Cheaper by the Dozen

And like I said, I’ll keep adding to these lists—so send me your favorites, too!

OTHER WAYS TO PASS THE TIME! /

One of the things that has always helped me so much with reducing stress and managing anxiety is moving my body! Since my workout studios are closed for the time being (and for good reason!), I have turned to long walks around my neighborhood. I keep my distance from people on the sidewalks and seek out routes I know aren’t too crowded. I actually walked around the DC Monuments tonight—there is enough wide open space down there that everyone can spread out and enjoy the scenery safely!

And, if you’re looking for something in addition to or instead of walks, a lot of classes are also being offered online for free—two that I’d be interested in are Peloton’s offering a free three-month subscription and Tone It Up is offering a month free in their app. If you do sign up for a workout class and it don’t have weights, full bottles of wine weigh about 2.5lbs ;]! My favorite Soul Cycle instructor, Kathleen, also has some virtual classes she’s offering for $25—a breathwork class and her Krush workout, which just uses your body weight. I know a lot of companies are offering free classes right now, but I am choosing to support my favorite fitness instructors by continuing to pay for their classes like I normally would—and if you’re in a position to do so, I’d encourage you to do the same!

I’m also moving a lot of my plans to virtual hangouts! Yesterday, my friend Emma and I both went on walks around our neighborhoods and called each other while we were walking so it felt like we were going on a walk together. Later this week, I have plans to do virtual happy hours with friends and FaceTime them while we drink wine at our respective homes and catch up like we would at a real happy hour. And I’ve been checking in with my friends and family a lot via text during the day!

If you’re looking for a more creative virtual hangout, I’d recommend getting the House Party App for your phone. You and your friends can essentially FaceTime into a virtual “house party” and then once you’re all together, you can play a range of digital games—trivia, heads up, pictionary, chips + guac (their version of Cards Against Humanity). It’s really fun and a great way to mix up a standard FaceTime date!

Other ways I’m keeping busy around the house include:

  • Baking—and eating way too many cookies!
  • Cleaning my makeup brushes
  • Deep cleaning my apartment
  • Organizing junk drawers + closet
  • Trying new recipes

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Like I said, I’ll update this post in the coming days and weeks with more ideas, and I’ll make a note at the top when I do so you’ll know if you’ve seen the most recent version. Please drop any suggestions you have for social distancing in the comments below—we got this! x

Leave a Comment

4 Comments

  1. Annaliese wrote:

    Such great ideas! Working in radio, we don’t really have a WFH option so I’m still going to work, but I’m looking forward to catching up with a lot around my apartment this weekend and staying in!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    Published 3.18.20
    Reply
  2. If you haven’t checked out Virgin River on Netflix I recommend it highly! I think you’d really like it!

    Published 3.18.20
    Reply
  3. Thank you so much for recommending The Peachtree Bluff Series! Can’t wait for you to read Feels Like Falling! Stay safe and well ❤️ xoxo Kristy

    Published 3.18.20
    Reply
  4. Loved seeing Mary Kate and Ashley movies on your list! I loveeed them growing up, so it was so exciting to see a couple of their movies on Hulu. I’ve been on a quest to find more digitally, but can’t!

    Published 3.18.20
    Reply