Thursday, March 26, 2020

From "Becoming Minimalist" - 25 Things to Do with your Family While Stuck at Home

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25 Things to Do with Your Family While Stuck at Home

As with most the world, we’ve been spending a lot more time at home in recent days.
It’s important, in these unique times, to redeem the hours and make the most of the moments we have together. There are negative ramifications to the current state of affairs in our world—and you don’t need to see them broadcast in the media, many of you are experiencing them firsthand.
But the negative effects of the Coronavirus do not need to overwhelm us. We can also choose positive effects: spending time with family, taking longer rests, finding solitude, and escaping the busyness of our normal lives.
With that in mind, here’s my list of 25 things to do while stuck at home to redeem the time and make the most of it.
0. Wake up, get dressed. I need to include this one here because it’s important to start each day with the right attitude. Every day is an opportunity to make the most of it. Don’t miss a single opportunity—regardless of the circumstances around you.
1. Declutter. Minimize your possessions and declutter the stuff in your home. The more we spend time in our home, the more we can recognize what can and should be removed—and the more time we have to do it. Check out Clutterfree if you’re looking for steps to get started
2. Learn new card games. I grew up playing cards‚ even as a young child. And not just Go Fish and War, but strategy games like Hearts, Spades, Rook, and Pinochle. They taught me how to think ahead, play out scenarios, and learn from others. All valuable life skills.
3. Make phone calls. Safe to say the phone call is making a comeback. All those people you would usually see at work, church, or social gatherings, give them a call to say hello.
4. Teach your kids life skills. My son is a junior in high school and my wife and I have a long list of life skills we want him to know before he leaves the house. We’ve been using these weeks to make up for lost time. If you haven’t already, use the time to teach your kids cooking, laundry, cleaning, car repair, budgeting, or any other life skills that come to mind.
5. Go outside. If still allowed in your local area, go on long walks or hikes. Spend time in the park or walk along the river.
6. Workout. We need to be taking care of our physical bodies and taking care of our physical fitness during this time as well. Look up at-home workouts/yoga on YouTube or Google and do them together as a family.
7. Watch educational programs. I see a lot of people spending time on Netflix—binging movies and television shows. And there’s certainly a place for that. But you can also watch educational documentaries on Netflix and YouTube about history, science, or events in the world.
8. Learn a new skill. Been wanting to pick up a hobby? Now’s your chance. Learn a new language or how to code. Pick up an instrument or new artistic skill. Because of the Internet, finding a teacher (free or paid) has never been easier.
9. Create. I started this blog as a hobby—somehow it grew to over 2M readers/month. Start something of your own. Create a blog or a YouTube channel. Write some stories or poetry. Or use your hands in the workshop. Create something, we need you now more than ever.
10. Do a Facebook Live. Nothing to it. Just click a few buttons on your phone and suddenly all your friends can see you. It’s super fun. If you haven’t before, now’s your time.
11. Write letters. To a family member or friend you haven’t seen in awhile.
12. Invent a game. Looking around the room at the supplies you have, make up a game to play with your kids. Or better yet, invent an entire Family Olympics where each member of the family gets to pick 1-2 of the events. Keep a running total of the points.
13. Read books. You should probably be doing that anyway.
14. Late night movie with the family. Depending on your local school situation of course. But if it works, there’s nothing more fun for little kids than staying up past bedtime, eating popcorn, and watching a movie with mom or dad. Make it happen.
15. Video chat with friends. Whether it’s on FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger or Zoom, connect and hang out online for a little while.
16. Home repairs or a deep clean. Make up some ground on that list of yours.
17. Sort through boxes of old photos. Keep the best and put them in photo albums or digitize for future generations.
18. Clean up your computer digital files. Here.
19. Curate and organize your recipe/cookbook stash. I use index cards to keep all my favorites in the same place.
20. Make up TikTok dances with the family. I see a lot of those short, choreographed dances being posted. Super fun for everyone.
21. Create games to share with family members. Invent a WordSearch or Crossword Puzzle using the members of your family and send them out for everyone else to complete during their downtime.
22. Take a class online. You can find plenty of courses for kids and adults available for free online. Including Yale’s most popular college course ever.
23. Order takeout and have a picnic. If your local community still allows that, you can support local business and enjoy time outside as a family (weather-permitting of course).
24. Research your family tree. You can use online tools or do it the old-fashioned way—calling family members to begin piecing it together.
25. Learn online tools for business. One’s thing is for sure—business is going to change going forward. Learn as quick as you can how remote work is accomplished: Zoom, Slack, Skype, Dropbox, and numerous others. Now’s your time to learn them.
There are so many options to make the most of the time now—and probably ahead of us for a little bit longer.
What have you been doing that could be added to the list?

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