We have lots of time on our hands. Once we learn to take a breath and put the brakes on typically intense lifestyles, always on the go, always more to do than there is time, constantly putting aside interface time with friends and family, and relying on technology for our entertainment – we might just be able to find solace in life.
Here are some thoughts:
 CHALLENGE YOUR PERSONAL COOKING
Whether a professional cook or an amateur – page through those cookbooks on your shelf or on-line and push yourself to try something new. Learn how to make pasta or tortilla, bake bread, save those vegetable scraps and keep a stock going in your kitchen, try your hand at a soufflé, poach fruits for dessert, or pick up some cheese curd and try your hand at pulling fresh mozzarella. Cooking is an adventure – now you have the time.
 MAKE ALL OF YOUR MEALS SPECIAL
Take the time to enjoy every aspect of a meal. Set the table, serve your dinner in courses, allow enough time to truly enjoy each meal, talk about food and family traditions that surround it – this is the time to truly embrace all the healing power of a meal.
 READ A BOOK
Fiction or non-fiction, enter the world of storytelling and align yourself with the characters (stay away from stories that involve natural disasters, pandemics, and war).
 READ A COOKBOOK
They are on your shelf – take the time to dive in and read about the process, the history, the writers passion for food, and earmark those that you intend to try at some time.
 LIMIT YOUR TIME WATCHING THE NEWS
There is little news nowadays that will brighten your day. You need to stay apprised of what is going on, but give yourself a break. Catch up in the morning, a few minutes mid-day and an end-of-day wrap-up, but avoid staying glued to the doom and gloom of minute-by-minute horror stories.
 FACETIME WITH FAMILY
What a great tool – use it and set aside a time daily or every other day to check in with family. Isolation is tough – seeing those close to us, even via video is comforting.
 TEXT AND CALL FRIENDS
Sometimes even that short text: “How are you doing”, or “miss you”, means the world and can bring a smile to a friends face.
 WRITE LETTERS
Here’s a novel idea – pull out a pen and piece of paper and write a snail mail note. We have lost touch with this important means of communication. A letter is personal and shows a commitment of time to express your feelings or simply keep someone up to date. A mailbox with a letter is a small thing, yet an important one to look forward to.
 GET OUTSIDE
Social distancing does not mean that we can’t get outside and breathe in some fresh air. If you are near a country trail or woods – all the better. Nature is a healing friend and can invigorate you after a day of indoor isolation. Make it a daily habit.
Go for a run or walk if you are so inclined (just keep your distance from others), or at the very least schedule in some indoor exercise every day: sit-ups, yoga, stretching, walking up and down stairs, lift weights, keep those muscles moving.
 MAKE YOUR LIST FOR THE DAY
People need schedules or they become introverted and lethargic. Before you go to bed write down your schedule for the next day. Act as if things are normal and stick to the schedule that includes something educational, exercise, fresh air, chores around the house, reading, music, cooking, communication, etc. Keep the body, mind and spirit moving in the right direction.
 BUILD IN A DAILY POWER NAP
A nap is invigorating (30 – 45 minutes is all you need) and is not reserved for those over 60. Any age can benefit from a refresh.
 CHECK OUT MASTER CLASSES (www.masterclass.com)
If you have the funds (the cost is very reasonable – classes priced individually, or for $15/month you can access all 80 classes – unlimited) this is an excellent opportunity to learn a new skill, or at the very least inspire you to try something new. Take a series of cooking classes from Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsey or Alice Waters, photography from Annie Liebovitz, writing from James Patterson or Dan Brown, polish your guitar licks with Carlos Santana, or learn about business leadership from Howard Schultz of Starbucks. Amazing stuff.
 LEARN SOMETHING NEW THAT WILL HELP YOUR CAREER
Pick up a book of skills, read about food history, work on different knife skills, master writing a business letter, discover QuickBooks, there are countless skills that can be added to your portfolio – now is the time!
 FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH ZOOM
Sign up for zoom video conferencing (at an intro level it is free) and schedule times to network with your team from work or friends. This is a great tool that will serve you well even after this immediate crisis is behind us.
Time is all we have, and now it is important to not waste it. We are living through a very challenging time in history – we will get through it and find a way to bring back a new positive normal. This time of isolation can be used to our advantage.
PLAN BETTER – PERSONALLY TRAIN HARDER
Challenges can become Opportunities
Harvest America Ventures, LLC