Ideas For Staying Sane While Social Distancing

Hello friends.  At my house, we are officially starting week two of working from home, and my first grader, after “enjoying” April vacation, will be starting online learning.

I have literally no idea how I’m going to make this work.  Conduct virtual meetings, interviews, numerous phone calls, and teach my child math, reading, music, library, art, health, and gym?


Dr Evil

I don’t mean to complain.  I realize that I’m lucky to even have a job right now, and my hearts go out to those of you who are filing for unemployment, even if it’s temporary.

That being said – I’m also lucky to have a child who’s relatively clever and can probably do a lot of this with minimal supervision (but still, she deserves better than that).  Either way, it’s a daunting task, and worse, I have no idea how long we’ll have to keep this up.  My understanding is that some states have already closed schools for the rest of the year.

My plan right now is to figure out some sort of schedule for her and stick to it.  Make it as much like school as I can, with a planned lunch hour where she and I and our chihuahua can get out of the house for a bit and away from our screens.

But what about all those other hours we are home?  I know many of us are having trouble concentrating enough to read, and there are only so many decent shows to binge.  So here are some of the things my daughter and I are doing to try and keep ourselves sane.

Diamond Painting

Diamond Painting

This is probably one of the most relaxing, mindlessly fun activities I’ve discovered in recent months.  You can find kits for less than $15 on Amazon and they will keep you busy for many, many hours depending on the size.

The downside, I realize, is some children will find this boring, or simply not have the level of focus required to sit at a table and stick plastic gems to a page.

Cooking and Baking


With restaurants across the country closed for dine-in services (I hope we were all able to stock up on food), what better time to take up cooking?  My daughter loves helping me in the kitchen, and I love a good meal (and a good dessert).  Admittedly, baking is not even remotely my strong suit, but it’s more about the decorating for the kids anyway.

Some of our favorite things to make include: Tacos (make them kid friendly and bite size by using Tostito’s Scoops as your shell), Pizza, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Mac and Cheese.

Virtual Family Game Night

65609494 - the colorful word trivia on wooden table

I actually stole this idea from a coworker.  His family is using ZOOM to video conference with his family and play trivia games.  Trivia questions are easily available for free online and players could take turns prepping and hosting the game.  

Build a Fairy Garden

Fairy Gardens

My daughter and I have been doing this every spring since she was three years old.  We typically incorporate plants or flowers into ours, like above, but I would imagine those might be hard to come by right now.  (Don’t worry, fairy gardens are still cute even without real plants.)  You can purchase some fun fairy furniture online, or even better, you can make some yourself using items from around the house or found in your back yard, like the DIY furniture found in this video.

Virtual Tours

Sunset over the Louvre - Paris

Okay – admittedly, I stole this idea from two sources.  One was a random list of stuff I could do at home with my daughter and the other was from a team building exercise we did at work.

There are plenty of museums offering free virtual tours (including the Louvre!).  To make it more interactive, pick your favorite piece, and do your best to recreate it.  My seven year old is super passionate about her artwork, so this is something I’d absolutely love to take advantage of while we are stuck at home.



Quilling is taking strips of paper, rolling them up into different shapes, and gluing them down to make a picture.  Again, kits like this can be found on Amazon for less than $15, and have everything you need to get started.  Some of the shapes are more difficult than others but otherwise this activity isn’t as difficult as it looks and the resulting pictures are very pretty!

And of course, I hope we’re all getting outside for some fresh air.  I’ll be very happy when the weather is warmer in our neck of the woods.

What are you all doing to keep from going stir-crazy?  Have you got any fun ideas we can try at our house?





18 thoughts on “Ideas For Staying Sane While Social Distancing

  1. My cousin is in the same position as you, and she had a good point. She’s not a teacher. She didn’t go to school for it and she’s not going to feel bad about it. She was lucky enough that the teacher gave an at home lesson plan, but she’s not going beyond it because that’s not her job. It’s her job to teach them to cook, teach them the clean, teach them to be good people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We also have an at home lesson plan. So far it’s going better than I expected- I just feel guilty I don’t necessarily have time to listen while she reads out loud, and in correcting her homework I don’t have much time to go in depth with her about it. I’m sort of questioning how much good it’s really doing her but we are trying. I guess at this point a big part of it is just trying to keep them in the habit of doing schoolwork in case we do go back.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Whatever work you are doing with her is better than what she would have done if she just sat around on a screen all day. Don’t feel guilty!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! I appreciate the support. It’s definitely a difficult time but we are trying to stay optimistic. We are healthy right now and that’s what’s important.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m wondering, is your school district telling parents they have to home school? Or is that something you’ve decided to do? It seems unfair to expect parents to suddenly become teachers on top of trying to keep their jobs by working from home. Just curious. My kids are in college so this isn’t something I’m dealing with. Anyway, love your ideas! If only I could find baking/cooking supplies at the store these days, since EVERYONE is now baking and cooking, I can’t even find a lousy bag of chocolate chips or flour!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh gosh that’s rough Tammy. Have you tried going during the week? Our market restocks on Tuesdays.

      And yes- the district has told us to homeschool- they have online assignments and sent home packets of work. They’ve handed out Chromebooks and free wireless to kids who needed it. We already have that stuff, but a 7 year old needs a lot more help than say a 12/13 year old. So it’s just super difficult for those of us still working. I’ve been wondering if I could do some good by hiring a part time nanny to help her and get her out of the house for a few hours a day or something, but I’m so cautious with everything going around I’m not sure I want to.


      • At least they are supplying you with equipment. Our school district isn’t, as far as I know. It’s a rough situation all around. I feel for both the kids and parents!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That surprises me- usually CA is so on top of things. In fairness to our governor, she has been recognized as being exceptionally prepared. But we have a very small state.


  3. Crafting a schedule was SO important for me. Having to make a choice while having all the free time in the world gives me crippling anxiety. Basically, I think my brain will know what to do and what I need, but it doesn’t. Instead, I found a free online scheduler, including everything from blog hopping to taking a shower, and printed out some copies. I feel much, MUCH calmer now. After each activity is through, I cross it off, which is satisfying if you’re a list lover. Plus, with kids, I think it’s important that they can see a schedule and know what’s coming. I remember when I was in elementary school the teacher would write the schedule on the board every morning, so we would know what subject was coming up and at what time, even though we had the same teacher. It’s simply about having expectations of ourselves. Speaking of, in four minute I shall transition to doing homework for my continuing ed. class. Good luck!

    p.s. your Dr. Evil gif made me wheeze/snort/laugh really hard. Good on you! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Glad I could put a smile on someone’s face today. I’m really bad at sticking to schedules though I probably need to. Plus I have so many random virtual meetings it’s hard to know when I’ll be available to move my daughter on to the next phase of her schooling. Today she didn’t technically end until 7:30 but she didn’t spend the whole day on class work. I just feel bad. Recruiter life is so hectic right now.


  4. The fairy garden looks so lovely! And it would be possible even for my postcard-sized balcony, so I will have to give this some serious thought. Meanwhile, baking is still my main non-reading or non-tv-watching activity, although I must be aware of the much-needed balance between staying sane and not gaining too much weight! 😀 😀


  5. I’ve been sticking to my regular work schedule since I’m able to WFH, and that helps. (I saw in the comments that you don’t always have a regular schedule though, which makes it trickier.) But a perhaps bigger thing: I’ve given myself permission to not be as productive as normal. There will be times I freak out. There will be times I scroll endlessly on Twitter or Facebook trying to see if my friends are okay. There will be times I have trouble coping. And that is perfectly normal.

    But to echo Tammy: baking supplies are really hard to come by right now where I am. Luckily I had a good supply on hand before this started because I was preparing to bake birthday cookies for a work friend (which has been postponed now until we’re actually back at work.) My sister has been complaining though that she’s been unable to restock their regular baking supplies (yes, we’re a family who bakes for fun normally) because of all the people who want to try making “quarantine bread” even though there are loaves of sliced bread on the shelves available to buy.


  6. I’m also on week 2 of working at home and I think if it were just me I’d be fine but having both my husband and myself home, I’m going nuts. He’s driving me crazy because he’s bored LOL. I know one of my friends is also an HR/Recruiter and working from home, she’s doing a lot through zoom meetings as I understand. Good luck to you! Stay safe out there.


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