Lover’s Lane’s home state has been on “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders from the governor for over a week now. Any kind of travel is discouraged, except for seeking necessary medical attention, getting groceries, or caring for someone else. Depending on where you live, you are probably dealing with a similar situation right now to some extent. If you don’t work in an essential line of work, you’re probably spending many more hours at home than you may be used to, but it’s for the best. By following the recommended social distancing protocols, we can help keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy and stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus. If we all stay alone together, we can win this fight! So, what are you to do with all of this free time at home, especially if you feel like you’ve already found the end of Netflix? Read on for some fun ideas to help keep you safe and sane during this challenging time.
Sheltered in Place Together??
If you have to stay at home, hopefully you’re home safe with your loved ones. If you have kids, they’re likely out of school, and their schoolwork and energy are probably keeping you busy during daytime hours, not to mention working remotely, extra cleaning, more cooking at home, and just all around messed up routines. Make sure you still claim some grown-up time in the evenings to unwind from the frustrations of the day. Hey, if nothing else, look at this forced togetherness as a good chance to reconnect!
1. Build a Blanket Fort: Have a creative camp-in, quarantine style! This is a fun one for families OR just you as a couple! Pretend you are kids again (or recruit your actual kids to help!) Use whatever is at your disposal to make it cool, comfy, and unique…dining room chairs, couch cushions, throw pillows, old sheets, you name it! Either build it during the day and enjoy it with the kiddos…have a picnic lunch in there, read books, watch TV…then reclaim it as adult territory after they go to bed! Make it extra cozy with cushions and blankets and some soft lighting, turn on a favorite movie, and cuddle until you both fall asleep in each other’s arms. Or, you know, completely defile it and get your freak on in a tent made of blankets. We won’t tell! 😉
2. Have a Game Night: Speaking as one of those people that owns probably 100 board and card games but rarely plays any, this extra downtime at home can be a great excuse for you and your partner to connect over a game night. Play an old favorite 2-player board game (Battleship, anyone?), or one you have on the shelf but have never played. Not into board games? Do a jigsaw puzzle together while you enjoy a carry-out pizza or wine & cheese plate. Two player or cooperative video games are a great option as well! Romantic or kinky games for lovers are always fun, but you may not be able to order any and receive them right away due to the Coronavirus shutdowns. If you don’t own any already, you can make up your own, print one at home like this fun and flirty version of Spin the Bottle for couples, or just add some sexy stakes to whatever card or board game you want to play. (You can get more ideas for couple’s games here and here!) Love is more fun when you make the rules!
3. Look Into the Future: There are a few fun ways you and your partner can connect and get to know each other better by thinking about your futures together. While it may seem a bit morbid, making a “Bucket List” (for the uninitiated, this is a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket!) is a great glimpse into your deepest desires. You and your partner can sit down separately, write your own bucket list, and then compare and see what (if any) items you have in common. Include everything, from what you want out of your career and general life goals, to specific foods you want to try, places you want to visit, and things you want to experience. If you’re feeling more creative than just making a list, Vision Boards can be a great future-oriented planning tool that are also fun to make. Look through old magazines to find images and words that describe things you want out of life this year, then cut them out and glue them down in whatever way pleases you most. Share your visions for the future with your lover, then pin up your vision board in a place you’ll see it every day. How many visions will YOU fulfill this year? You can totally do these activities on your own, too, which brings us to…
Sheltered in Place Solo??
If you are making the wise decision to stay home as much as possible, but you live alone, these social distancing days may start to seem extra long and lonely to you. Look on the bright side, though! You are the only one you have to please. Set your own agenda, or have no agenda at all. While it makes the days feel more normal if you establish a routine for yourself, don’t beat yourself up if you ever just need to stay in bed all day. Think of it as a time to improve yourself, read and write, or work on projects you’ve had laying around forever…all of those things you don’t have the time or energy to do when you’re busy having a social life. It’s okay to not be at your best or most productive during an unprecedented global pandemic…be kind to yourself! Here are some fun ways you can pass the time if you’re social isolating solo:
1. Have a Spa Day: When life throws a curveball like this, it can feel hard to even perform the basic daily human functions like showering, shaving, and eating normal meals. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, it’s time to really treat yourself…and this is important for girls AND guys! Take a day to really pamper yourself to perfection. Salons and spas may be closed, but you can do everything you need to keep you looking and feeling your best in the privacy and comfort of your home. Swap the daily shower out for a warm, relaxing bath, with softening scented bath salts, or Epsom salts and a drop or two of lavender oil. Exfoliate your skin with a sugar scrub, and moisturize from head to toe after. You can always do a moisturizing face mask if you have one, or the old cucumbers-on-the-eyes thing and a brief nap can be refreshing and de-stressing. Give yourself a mani-pedi, complete with your favorite color of polish if that’s your style, and you’ll be looking and feeling great, which is great for your self esteem even if you have nowhere to go!
2. Pick a Hobby, Any Hobby!: With all this extra time on your hands at home, it’s a great time to indulge a new pastime, hobby, or activity you’ve always been interested in. Fellow hoarders of craft supplies, it’s our time to shine! Get that stuff out and make something…anything! Have a guitar gathering dust in your basement? Brush it off and check out the free online guitar lessons being offered by Fender! Download an app to help you learn a new language. Rearrange your furniture and wall hangings to give a room a fresh new feel…you’ll be looking at it for awhile! Try making some of those cookbook recipes you’ve had dog-eared forever (you can still go to the grocery store! Just be clean and safe with your purchases!). Lots of people are at home watching Twitch, but have you ever thought of streaming on there? It has channels for whatever you want to do and share with interested viewers! Find literally anything you want to spend free time doing, and start doing it! Have fun!
3. Virtual Happy Hour: If you’re not currently partnered (and even if you are), you no doubt NEED your friends to get you through these times. Maybe it’s a group of coworkers, a parent group you belong to, or even your besties you’ve known since high school…but plan an online meet-up with them! Zoom meeting, Skype, Facebook Video, and FaceTime are all great ways to hang out “in person” with those peeps you’re missing human contact with. Set a date and time, put it on your phone calendar with a reminder or five (we know, time doesn’t mean much these days). When it’s time, pour yourself a drink (hey, it’s cheaper at home than at the bar anyways!) or your favorite tea or coffee, and chat away like you would over a four-top at your favorite pub. Make sure to dress comfy and sit in a casual spot so it doesn’t feel like you’re at work! Set ground rules for the conversation if you need to (i.e. no virus talk, no politics…though it can be helpful to vent about those things if everyone is on board) and then go to town. Sip and talk your worries away, and cherish the laughs you will no doubt have together. Try and appreciate everything you DO have going for you right now, even if it feels like things are falling apart on the surface. Taking this time to hang out with your true friends will help you feel normal again, even if you can’t physically be with each other!
While these times are difficult and scary, if those of us that can do our part by staying home, we are letting those that need to be on the front lines fight this battle and get closer to finding treatments & vaccines that will help life get back to a more normal rhythm. In the meantime, stay home as much as you can so this virus can stop finding new hosts, and we’ll all get through this together. Remember to be gentle with yourself and those close to you…anxieties may be running high, and everyone responds to a crisis differently…whether you feel the need to write, pray, see a therapist (online counseling is an option from many different sources), sleep a lot, or deep clean your house…there’s no wrong way to get through this. You can literally save lives by staying at home and binge-watching Tiger King (make up a drinking game as you go…you’ll thank me later). Love yourself and one another through this, and we’ll all come out heroes. Lover’s Lane holds their employees and customers in the highest regard, and we can’t wait to be able to reopen when it is safe, and see all of your smiling faces again. For now, stay home, be safe and healthy, and play together to stay together!
~The Intimacy Advisor