20 Ways GH Editors are Staying Sane While Sheltering at Home

Photo credit: courtesy
Photo credit: courtesy

From Good Housekeeping

The Good Housekeeping staff usually spends hours together devising fun crafts and cooking projects, home decor ideas and cleaning hacks, beauty tips and the best products for, well, everything. We get such joy out of working as a team and then sharing the results with you, our readers. And over the past few months, we’ve kept on keeping on – just from our separate abodes and living situations. Throughout our time sheltering at home, we’ve all had to get creative to keep ourselves and our families safe and entertained and to find a moment of sanity wherever and however we can. That looks different for everyone, just like our circumstances do, but we realized all of our techniques have one thing in common: They might be useful for others, too.

As many of us face an uncertain summer, we thought you might like a little peek into how we’re handling things. Many of these ideas require few products or items you may already have laying around your house. They span the gamut from mental health and fitness tips and tricks, to activities that can help pass the time. Take what you need, leave the rest, and stay safe wherever you are.

Take time to connect as a family

“My husband and I enjoy reading to our kids, including our four-year-old daughter, but ever since Michelle Obama partnered with PBS Kids on virtual read-alongs, we’ve let her become part of our routine. It’s a fun way to mix things up and let’s be honest—steal a bit of time for ourselves.” – Monique Valeris, senior home editor

“Because my husband and I both work outside the home and have long commutes, we never eat dinner together as a family during the week. Since being at home, we have been cooking and eating together every night and it is quite nice (at least when everyone isn’t fighting). I would like to try to continue to do it a couple of weeknights even when we get back to work and school.” Kim Cheney, executive managing editor

Commune with nature

“I dedicate 10 minutes every (sunny) afternoon to my little garden — whether that’s weeding, planting, watering, or texting pictures of my flowers/seedlings to my (equally plant-loving) best friend in Colorado.” – Allie Early, senior editor

Fresh flowers. I’ve been picking up a bouquet of tulips from my corner store once a week (on my way home from the grocery store – no extra trips!) throughout the quarantine. I’ve always loved having fresh flowers around, but they’re providing extra cheer nowadays. – Juliana LaBianca, SEO editor

Get crafty

“One way I’ve been coping is with a little T-shirt crafting. I’ve been experimenting with reserve tie dying some of my old black t shirts using 1 part water, 1 part bleach in a spray bottle, because I’ve found it so satisfying just to make something with your hands and end my crafting with something I can wear. I’ve also played around with making DIY iron-on patches, printing an image out on computer paper, wrapping in cling wrap, then ironing under a piece of parchment paper. It’s actually turned out surprisingly well for a craft I’ve found on TikTok! – Katie Bourque, editorial fellow

“I’m making sock puppets out of my kids’ mismatched socks. They live with their dad half the time so half the socks are maybe at his house and after 10 years of being divorced we always seem to have more important things to discuss than mismatch socks. It’s actually very calming!” – Stephanie Dolgoff, deputy health director

Create unexpected joy

“I’ve been leaving my 4 (almost 5) year old “presents” under her pillow every morning. The weekdays are long and difficult, and it starts it off on the right foot so she wakes up in a cheerful mood. I use plastic Easter eggs (we’ve never celebrated Easter before!), and fill them each night with something like a sticker, a drawing I make for her, or sometimes even a little toy. Even the little drawings make her happy. – Lexie Sachs, textiles director

“I’ve been trying to set a fancy dinner table most nights, with a tablecloth, real napkins, and flowers from the yard. It helps make leftovers feel more like a dinner party!” – Elisabeth Englehart, visual styling director

Squeeze in some fitness

“One highlight has been the soccer juggling challenges I’ve shared with my nephew in Mississippi. My brother sends videos of my nephew’s attempts and I send them of mine. It’s been a cool way to connect with and hopefully motivate him. This is definitely something I wouldn’t have time for in ordinary times.” – Beth Dreher, executive editor

“I signed up for an app that does online yoga and Pilates classes. Because they have offerings that last as little as 15 minutes, I can squeeze one in whenever I need a little stress relief or to stretch muscles stiff from sitting in my home office (aka, my couch)!” – Catherine Lo, food editor

Find focus with food

“My favorite one has been creating my very own sourdough starter. It’s been a great project to look forward to during quarantine and I’ve successfully made sourdough pizza, sourdough bread, and sourdough bagels! It’s affordable and so tasty, you never want to buy store-bought bread again.” – Stefanie Sassos, registered dietician

“I’ve been cooking loads of new things, combining recipes and improvising more in the kitchen. My favorite right now is pressure-cooking chickpeas and making different kinds of hummus.” – Clare Ellis, research editor

“I’ve been eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables as snacks instead of sugary things.” – Benay Bubar, copy chief

Cultivate connection from afar

“My experience has actually gotten me closer to my family. Strangely, talking everyday I realize the importance of staying in touch. – Miguel Rivera, art director

“Before quarantine, my biggest extra-curricular activity was going to trivia night at the local bar. Now, they’re doing it over Zoom. The hosts read the questions, then send all the teams to breakout rooms to discuss their answers, which are submitted through a Google form. Plus, each player donates a little bit of money to a fund for the furloughed employees of the bar. The biggest challenge is making sure players don’t mouth the answers while on camera.” – Marisa LaScala, parenting and relationships editor

“I’ve been having Zoom time with friends who live far away and it’s been wonderful. I always wondered, ‘Why didn’t I do this before? I’m going to keep doing this!'” – Jane Francisco, editor in chief

Create time for self-care

“I’ve started doing a 10-second aromatherapy treatment every morning (or whenever I need a reset during the day). I roll Tata Harper’s Stress Treatment with sandalwood, bergamot, and neroli essential oils on my palm, rub my hands together, then cup my nose and mouth, taking 10 deep breaths. It immediately centers me and feels like a relaxing escape, even though it’s only a few seconds.” – April Franzino, beauty director

Every night my two boys and I take 10-15 minutes to do a sleep meditation class on an app I have. This helps all of us take a moment to think about the day and relax our bodies. It has been really great and I hope we can continue to do this once our life gets back to “normal.” – Dana Levy, managing editor

“To destress and relax, refocus and refresh mentally and spiritually, I immerse myself as much as possible in all the free music, opera, and dance performances now being streamed daily online. I try to fill myself with positive energy daily and thank the universe that I, my family, and friends and colleagues are still safe and well.” – Janie Matthews, research director

“I’ve made it a point to eat lunch away from my computer every day that I’ve been home—I rarely eat away from my desk at work, and sometimes I forget to eat altogether. When we return to the office, I’m going to make it a point to enjoy lunch away from my desk at least twice a week, and commit to eating it every day! It gives me the break and energy recharge I need to get through the rest of the day.” – Alyssa Jung, senior health editor

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