A friend’s Instagram story the other day really put into perspective our new reality. I can’t find the exact phrase, but it went something like:
“For some this is a quick sprinkle, a little inconvenience that will end shortly. For some this is a downpour, and they’re just struggling to see the light. And for others this is a full on tornado, one they’re not sure how they’re going to survive, with the roof ripping right off above them.”
Perspective is always important—but especially now. As a food allergy community, we were already accustomed to monitoring for invisible killers. But this. This is different.
Despite these trying times, in every situation—even the darkest moments—I’ve tried to find the silver lining. Right now, that lining seems to be the opportunity to spend more quality time with loved ones.
In that spirit, I thought I’d share a few ideas that might help you all make the most of this uninterrupted time we have together.
1. Cook together
My family has started cooking more together in the kitchen. Usually our dinners are thrown together quickly, but now that we have nowhere to be, we’re spending more time cooking together! If your loved ones aren’t with you, you can also pick a recipe and jump on a call or video conference as you whip it together—or just share a glass of wine over the phone or FaceTime!
2. Watch favorite movies
We’ve been going old school lately. Now is a GREAT time to dig up some of those classics. On our list are: The Sandlot, Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Grease, The NeverEnding Story, Hook, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and The Goonies, to name a few!
3. Create masterpieces
I can’t remember the last time we had a couple hours free to just create with our kids. Last week, we pooled all of our recyclables together and built robots. The next day, we created a cool design on pavement with painters tape and sidewalk chalk (see Allergy Amulet’s Instagram for this idea!). On the docket this week is making origami. The creative juices are really flowing around here!
4. Read more
We’ve been reading more books in our house. Reading is a great way to escape, without escaping! Find out if your local bookstore is delivering—it’s a great way to support local businesses right now.
Finally, below are 20 ideas for activities that I’ve found are helping keep our family sane:
1. Write letters to old friends, teachers, and family members
2. Explore the surface of Mars
3. Fill a donation bag (or three!)
4. Visit the Louvre Museum via virtual tour
5. Go on virtual Disney World rides
6. Examine the 11 bodily systems in depth
7. Workout with virtual courses—our kids like Cosmic Kids Yoga, GoNoodle, or this Avengers Tabata workout
8. Play trivia or a board game
9. Learn about ocean life with the Smithsonian
10. FaceTime (or WineTime!) with family and friends
11. Teach your kids how to code
12. Listen to podcasts or take online courses (Yale’s popular “happiness course” on the science of well-being is available for free online during the pandemic)
13. Learn a new craft (like knitting or drawing)
14. Create a summer bucket list
15. Take long walks around your neighborhood
16. Have a Houseparty group video chat/gaming session
17. Complete a puzzle (you can even do it online!)
18. Have an indoor picnic
19. Conduct science experiments like an erupting volcano
20. Take a virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park!
Once this is all over, I hope we can look back and remember the silver lining. In the meantime, our hearts go out to all of you—especially those in the middle of a storm.
– Meg and the Allergy Amulet Team