Turning Quarantine Into Quality Time

With the world practicing self-isolation and social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, all individuals have been urged to stay at home if they can. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and keep boredom at bay.


Start By Stocking Up

Many local grocery stores have dedicated the first hour of business to seniors, expecting mothers and shoppers with underlying health issues.  Another option that’s incredibly simple to use and even safer, since you don’t have to step foot out of your home, is an app called Instacart. Save yourself the trip to the market — Instacart delivers groceries right to your front door.  They connect you with personal shoppers in your area to shop and deliver groceries from your favorite stores.  There is even a “Leave at My Door Delivery” option so you can avoid any direct human contact. Check out this 5 minute video on how to use Instacart:


** Instacart is currently experiencing higher than normal wait times due to the increased demand during this time. The average wait time on an order is about 2 days so make sure you plan ahead! 

Use discount code JPIERCE44319E for $10 off your first order!


Maintain Mental Sharpness:

It is important to make sure that you’re stimulating and engaging with your mind. There are a number of apps and computer programs out there with the sole purpose of developing the player’s mental functions and providing countless benefits and brain stimulation.

Some of the best online brain games include:


Get Moving:

Physical activity contributes to both our physical and mental health. As many people are currently confined to their homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to find creative ways to keep active.  The following are some tips on how to stay active while at home in self-quarantine:

Take short, active breaks during the day.
Short bouts of physical activity add up to the weekly recommendations. Dancing, playing with children, and performing domestic chores such as cleaning and gardening are all great ways to stay active at home.
 Take advantage of the wealth of online exercise classes. Many of these are free and can be found on YouTube. If you have no experience performing these exercises, be cautious and aware of your own limitations.

           Try this quick, 20 min workout we found:


Even in small spaces, walking around or walking on the spot, can help you remain active. If you have a phone call, stand or walk around your home while you speak, instead of sitting down. If you decide to go outside to walk or exercise, be sure to maintain at least a 6-feet distance from other people.
Stand up
 Reduce your inactive time by standing up whenever possible. Ideally, aim to interrupt sitting time every 30 minutes. Consider setting up a standing desk by using a high table or stacking a pile of books or other materials, to continue working while standing. During leisure time prioritize stimulating activities, such as reading, board games, and puzzles.
 Meditation and deep breaths can help you remain calm. When you meditate, in general, the breath slows down, heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases, stress decreases, digestive function improves and the sense of tension in the body decreases.

While there are many types of meditation, most share these four common elements: a quiet and distraction-free location, a comfortable position (sitting, walking, or lying down), focused attention (using intentional breathing, a cherished object, or by repeating words), and an open mind.

How Do You Meditate?

Here’s how to start:

  • Find a comfortable, quiet place around the house, in your backyard.
  • Sit in a chair, put your feet up, or prop yourself up with pillows in bed—do whatever is the most comfortable position for you. Experiment a little at first to find what produces the least amount of discomfort, as you’ll stay in this position for an extended period of time.
  • While 15 minutes is recommended by the experts for optimal outcomes, it’s okay to start small, with even just 5- or 10-minute meditation sessions.
  • Don’t worry if your mind wanders or if you lose focus while trying to meditate. Experts say it’s best to observe your thoughts as they arise and then return to the breath.
  • Like anything, “there’s an app for that.” Download a meditation app to help you get started. Here are a list of some that are top-rated:
  • Aura
  • The Mindfulness App
  • Breethe
  • Calm
  • Headspace

Meditation Techniques

The goal of meditation is a calm mind and body; however, any challenges you may have with being able to focus can produce the opposite effect. For those struggling to quiet the body and mind, following a specific script or model may be helpful. This one is adapted from Psychology Today:

  • Think of a word that stirs a positive emotion for you—an emotion perhaps you’d like to feel during and after meditation—such as joy or peace.
  • Picture that word in your mind. Spell it out on your arm with your fingertips. Tap out its syllables on the palm of your hand. Whatever helps you keep that word front and center, go with it.
  • Think of that emotive word as a color, and picture it in that color. Then picture the backdrop to the word in another color.
  • Keep writing the word in your head, one letter at a time, perhaps even saying the letters out loud in a soft voice.
  • Repeat these steps for 10 minutes (setting a timer will help you stay on track).

As with anything new, your comfort and ease with meditation will grow with time and practice. Don’t get discouraged if you find that your mind and/or your body is distracted the first few times you meditate. Keep moving forward, even if you don’t feel any noticeable difference. As time goes on, these mindful moments will add up and eventually transform your restless mind and body into one at peace.

Take a Virtual Cooking Class!

84-year-old Nonna Nerina usually runs pasta-making workshops in the countryside just north of Rome, Italy, but thanks to the current quarantine measures, she had to cancel all her classes. Now, with her granddaughter Chiara, Nerina has taken her classes online. You can book a live two-hour, virtual pasta class where you’ll be taken through Nerina’s family recipes using simple ingredients and equipment from a shopping list you’ll be sent a week before class. Dishes on the menu include classic lasagne and ravioli with butter sage sauce.



Video Chat With Your Loved Ones

 Group video platforms are making a tremendous rise from last resort to daily routine. For some, they’ve actually resulted in a busier social life than pre-coronavirus days. Below are a few good options with videos on how to download and use them.

Facebook Video Chat 

House Party
Beware of E-mail Scams

The overwhelming amount of news coverage surrounding the coronavirus has created a new danger-  phishing attacks looking to exploit public fears about the sometimes-deadly virus.

Cybercriminals send emails claiming to be from legitimate organizations with information about the virus.

The email messages might ask you to open an attachment to see the latest statistics. If you click on the attachment or embedded link, you’re likely to download malicious software onto your device. 

For more details on what to watch for: https://www.kcci.com/article/coronavirus-crooks-exposed/30882222#

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