Time, time, time
See what’s become of me…
So sang The Bangles in their great hit song ‘A Hazy Shade of Winter’ . Maybe that is where we are right now. Rubbing our eyes at the end of Winter and wondering just what the hell is happening. In a just few short weeks, the world has changed and almost all of us must adapt to this new reality. Yes it looks scary and difficult, but we will get through it. On a positive side, we are lucky it is not more virulent and more deadly. In the past, these diseases seemed to happen and stay largely in other parts of the world. Well, now it is very global and very real. But China dealt with it (in their fashion) and we in the West can deal with it too. In the meantime, a lot of people are spending a lot of time at home as schools and work places are closed to slow the spread of the virus. So we have more time on our hands. Here are a few ideas I have gathered together that might inspire you to used that time productively.
Freedom. Block sites out and earn many extra hours.
This is the news ! But, do we need all of it all the time ? I have often heard that a ‘news fast’ is a great way to improve your mental well being. It’s like this : If you hear a constant stream of bad news, how does that affect your positivity? It must, over time, drag you down a bit. I am a news addict. Not on TV, but on the internet. I love to know what is going on all time time around the world. Lately though, I found myself reading the minute by minute updates about the Corona Virus. I was constantly checking the updates. This became quite time consuming so I applied a blocker to my two news site : The BBC and the Guardian. I only see them now for a short catch up at lunch time and after 9 PM. The Freedom App allows you to block any sites or apps that are eating up your time. It can also block social media and you can use it for the devices and screens of your kids too if they are spending too much time online. Break out the board games ! This is the official Freedom app page.
Masterclass. Learning new skills at home.
I have been a Masterclass subscriber since the early days. It is a simple premise that works really well. They take experts in their respective fields and create classes based around that expert’s activity. So, you have Martin Scorcese telling viewers how to direct films. Helen Mirren gives a class on acting. Gordon Ramsay gives a class on cooking amazing food for your friends. Serena Williams teaches tennis. Marc Jacobs teaches fashion design. These are just a few examples. There really is something for everyone. With all the extra free time we have at the moment, this a great chance to learn a new skill by following the examples of the best in their fields. It is 200 euros for unlimited access for one year. At the moment they are running a promotion where if you buy one access another one is offered and you can gift that to anyone. Here is the official link.
Museums and local culture online
Amsterdam has a huge selection of excellent museums. At the moment, they are all closed for the right reasons. That does not mean that you can’t see their collections. Many of the museums predicted their closures and created some great content you can view online. Yes you can still explore the Anne Frank House and teach your kids what it is like to really isolate. The Van Gogh Museum is one of the most cherished and loved museums in the world. There is some much you can still see about Vincent and his works on their website. The Rijksmuseum is one of our all time favourite museums in the world. You can still see their collections online here. The message is, just because they are closed does not mean that you cannot get some lovely culture in these days and weeks.
For sure if you are at home with the kids, you will be burning the calories running around keeping them educated, fed and happy. But they, like you will need to exercise. This is also important for those who do not have kids or live alone. You have a much better chance of recovery from the virus (should you catch it of course) if you are fit and healthy. At the moment, we can all still go out and stretch our legs if we need to. People are still going jogging in the city. Dogs still need to be taken for a walk. However, if we progressively move towards what is happening in Italy and France and other counties with a much more strict lock down, getting exercise will become more difficult. There is a huge selection of very nice apps being promoted at the moment. These can be very effective for some people. It might be the motivation some need to work out at home and they do not require any gym equipment. A home exercise bike is another option. They don’t cost much and having that as a choice might be good for some. Whatever you decide, this is an important element to plan for and prepare.
So there are 4 ideas. I will add to this moving forwards.
Have a safe and healthy weekend.