How are you holding up? Now that we’re all settling into the fact that this quarantine situation might be longer than we initially thought, the reality of the situation has hit all of us. It’s time for a new normal! We need a new plan for work, meals, exercise, maintaining our relationships, and in some cases, even parenting. I’m determined to quarantine with joy! How about you?
Today, I’m sharing what I’m doing, and offering you some tips to help you move forward and quarantine with joy! And I hope you’ll share your ideas with me in the comments below. We’re all in this together, friends!
Quarantine With Joy: Time With Family
For empty nesters, quarantining with joy could well mean more time with your adult and college kids! That could present a significant challenge, so I’d encourage you to sit down with your family and intentionally set some guidelines and boundaries for this time. Talk about expectations and sharing the load. With more people at home, that means more mess, more laundry, and more trash to take out! It also means more meal prep. You all need to share the load!
We’ve got our 23-year-old daughter back in the nest. Since she was recently back home for three months, we’ve got a pretty good set of expectations and boundaries already in place. (I detailed them in THIS post on welcoming your boomerang kids back to the nest.) When she was here before, she handled all of her own meals, but this time, we decided to pull together and make a joint plan. She’ll be cooking some, I’ll be cooking some, and Bob will do his part by ordering delivery and supporting local businesses when it’s his turn! 😂 (In all seriousness, we’re ordering take out 🥡 and delivery more than usual, in the hope of making a small difference for the local establishments we love.)
If you’re worried about spending extra time with family, I want to encourage you! You might be surprised by how much things might improve while you spend this extra time together. Hear me out on this one! Instead of thinking that you’re going to be “stuck” with one another or “drive each other crazy,” you’ll be forced to be present and in the moment with one another. Undoubtedly, you’ll have some conflicts, but you’re also going to reconnect, as you learn how to communicate better, and give each other space. In the end, I believe this time is going to strengthen your relationships and improve your communication skills.
Quarantine With Joy: Work on Your Health & Fitness
During a time like this, we all feel anxiety due to a loss of control and ever-changing circumstances. Just remember that the one thing you can always control is your attitude about a situation. So, do your best with what you can control. When it comes to your health, this might be a good time to tackle some of the things you’ve been making excuses to avoid. Work on things like getting more sleep, staying hydrated (post on that coming next week!), as well as your general wellness, fitness, and eating healthier.
I’ve heard that many local yoga and barre studios are offering virtual classes free or at reduced rates during this challenging time. Look into that! This might be a great time to learn a new type of exercise. 💪🏻 I work out with FitnessBlender.com‘s free workout videos all the time anyway, so I’ll continue to do that. If you’re looking for an especially challenging workout, you can try my jumping jack workout HERE.
If you’ve fallen off the wagon with your New Year’s diet, this might be a good time to reboot the system and try again. Bob lost weight on Noom last fall, and he’s kept it off! (I wrote more about Noom in THIS post.)
Quarantine With Joy: Take Action on Your Goals
There’s no time like the present to focus on your goals and dreams. It’s time to make that to-do list and get after it! Just remember to break down your to-do lists into bite-size actionable steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Then aim or move forward (even just a little bit) every single day. If you need a little extra motivation, check out what Mark Cuban says are the two words that guarantee success.
As empty nesters, we can sometimes get “stuck,” giving into fear when it comes to learning new things. I get it! I confront my fears every single day in my job. I’m in a field where most people are younger and wayyyy more tech-savvy than I am. It’s tough and can be intimidating.
No one likes to feel dumb or behind on things like tech, social media, or whatever. (Honestly, I think it’s especially difficult for moms, who’ve spent the past 18+ years as the “expert” while they parented.) Know that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may feel somewhat (or really) uncomfortable, but that’s okay! It’s hard to have growth when you’re sitting firmly in the comfort zone.
If your dreams of what you wanted to accomplish as an empty nester have stalled out, use this time to take another look at them. Spend this time researching. (Repeat after me: “Google is our friend!”) You can also learn how to do most anything by checking out YouTube videos or Pinterest! (Hint: Use the search engines to search for keywords!) Also, if your kids are home, ask them to tutor you on tech stuff for an hour at a time, and pay them for their time. (I pay mine $18/hr.!) If you pay them, it demonstrates that you respect their knowledge and their time. (And BTW, they’ll love being the “experts!”)
Quarantine With Joy: Get Stuff Done
- Deep clean your house. (Ever heard of “spring cleaning?!”) 🧽🧹
- Put together boxes of old clothes to sell. 📦
- Clean out and organize your makeup drawers.
- Clean your makeup brushes. (Did you see this makeup brush cleaner I shared on my last SO in the KNOW post?)
- Rearrange, paint, or even repurpose a room in your house.
- Tackle a new recipe! 🥘
- Dream and discuss ideas for your next empty nester getaway. I love to browse the “Get Inspired” section of Travelocity’s website. 🌍
- Try out some new skincare products. Did you catch my recent post called Help For Your Dry Skin? I’ve been working diligently on tackling mine since January with the help of my dermatologist. In the post, I shared her recommendations and the products I’ve been using.
- Cook as a family. My daughter asked me to teach her my special guacamole recipe! We’re going to do that later today. 🥑
- FaceTime a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while.
Quarantine With Joy: Regroup and Recharge
- Catch up on old Empty Nest Blessed posts you might have missed. Use the search engine at the top of my site to search for keywords. I have entire sections on Tech, Parenting Adult Kids, Marriage, Food, Travel, and lots more!
- Get organized for upcoming family birthdays and special occasions! 🎉 Check out the gift guides on the Empty Nest Blessed Amazon page for everyone from Senior Adults to Grandkids!
- Explore the Amazon Prime benefits you may have been missing.
- Relax with Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime. Check out my post on What to Watch When There’s Nothing Worth Watching for guidance on some of the high-quality, family-friendly shows and movies that are out there.
- Take a virtual tour of a well-known museum like the Guggenheim or the British Museum in London. Check out THIS article for links!
- Jimmy Fallon has been doing a mini version of The Tonight Show from his home! It’s hysterical! His kids, Winnie (age 6) and Frannie (age 4), handle the graphics, his wife operates the camera, his writers send him jokes for the monologue, and he even has guests on video from their homes. (Last night’s was Lin Manuel Miranda who played the piano and sang!) Jimmy’s kids climb all over him while he’s trying to deliver the monologue, you get a BTS glimpse at his house (I’m obsessed!), and his wife giggles in the background. It’s fantastic! You can watch it on The Tonight Show’s YouTube channel HERE.
Quarantine With Joy: Grow in Your Faith
- Take some time to deepen your relationship with God.
- Start a prayer journal where you can record your thoughts and prayers and keep track of answers! I love the beautiful, personalized journals from Papier! Want to start praying more diligently for your kids? My most-read blog post ever is How to Pray for Your Adult Children | 6 Bible Verses to Use. (Much to my shock, it’s gone viral on Pinterest! 🤭)
- Start a Bible Study. If you’ve never done one before, I highly recommend How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life Changing Approach to God’s Word by Kay Arthur. (That’s how I started!)
- Watch church online. Many churches like mine offer a way to attend services virtually.
- Call or FaceTime a friend and pray for each other.
Quarantine With Joy: Get Down to Business
- FINISH your taxes!
- Organize your Pinterest boards. (Please follow Empty Nest Blessed while you’re there!)
- Clean out your email inbox, delete old emails, and organize your emails into folders.
- Delete old files on your computer.
- Clean up and organize your office or desk area. You know those drawers need attention!
- Clean out your Facebook or Instagram followers. If you can’t remember who they are, you might not need to be following them! 😂 I’ve been doing a massive cleanout of my Instagram followers. Because my account is public, I get a lot of creepy and spammy followers. My assistant, Natalie, and I have almost cleaned out 1K spammy accounts that were following me, and we’re not finished yet!
Quarantine With Joy: Bless Others
- Support small businesses by purchasing gift cards to use later.
- Donate to organizations that need help right now. We gave to Samaritan’s Purse to support the field hospital they airlifted to Italy, the current epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Call your local school district or food bank to see how you can help kids who will miss out on free meal programs while on extended leave from school. FeedingAmerica.org is helping bridge the gap with local food banks.
- Check on friends who own businesses and ask how you can support them. Small acts, such as sharing a website link, can mean a lot.
- Help older adults around you by taking trips to the grocery store for them.
One of the things I’ve been doing to quarantine with joy here at Empty Nest Blessed is to take on something I’ve never done before! I’ve branched out into videos! I’ve been sharing #adressaday on my Instastories! Every single day I share a new dress, show you how to style it, and share styling tips and tricks. I’d love for you to join me on Instagram and check it out! It’s been quite the learning curve for me, but I’m getting better at it every day! It’s been so good for me to challenge myself with something new.
This is one of the dresses I shared this week! It’s a comfy jersey tee dress with the cutest multicolored mini poms at the edge of the sleeves and the neckline. It also comes in blue, and two striped versions (which are 20% off right now)! Click HERE to see them all!
I’d love to know how you’re quarantining with joy! Please share your ideas in the comments! Stay safe, y’all, and know that I’m thinking of you! xoxo