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Occupy Your Time While Hiding at Home from the Coronavirus

The next several weeks are promising to be a challenge for all Americans. If you are one of those who are either working from home, sent home because your workplace is no longer open, or just home because you have children to care for, be aware that being cooped up can add to personal stress levels but there are some things you can do to make the time at home more bearable. Read along for a few ideas to help you handle your time in the house in a positive manner. As long as the kids are home, get them involved as well.

Who says you have to stay inside? If the weather cooperates, get a head start on your spring garden chores. Being out in nature can have a mentally boosting effect and if you feel you're also accomplishing something at the same time, that's a big bonus. As long as the ground is not too wet, begin raking out those flower beds and bagging the leaves. You can also reuse raked leaves as compost in your vegetable garden if you have one. Pruning shrubs is task that can be done now. Be cautious, however, because shrubs that flower before mid-June such as lilac, forsythia, and azalea should be pruned after they flower. Garden tools can be cleaned and oiled in advance of being needed. Rust on hand trowels and shovels can be removed with a wire brush or fine sandpaper. Remember to use eye protection. Then wipe tools down with a light coating of either household or motor oil to protect.

When was the last time you cleaned the interior of your car? Now is a good time to get the shop vac out and fix a warm bucket of soapy water and wipe all surfaces clean. Murphy's oil soap is ideal and leaves a fresh scent. A final cleaning of glass surfaces with window cleaner will finish the job.

Most homes are receiving their official Census Form about now. Sit down with the kids at the computer and let them see the importance of participating in the census, as census results are used to direct federal funding to communities and helps to determine the number of seats the state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and representation at the state level as well.

How about giving yourself-or even your pet-a little pampering? Try a home pedicure, complete with foot soak in a basin or the bathtub. Use a pumice stone to scrub away dry skin built up on your heels over the winter. Finish with a bright color of nail polish. If Fido is the recipient of the pampering, a good brushing and warm bath with shampoo formulated for dogs will help the pooch stay fresh smelling while inside with the family. If you're confident, trim puppy's nails at the same time using dog nail clippers.

If you're looking for something different than streaming films, try basic cable channels such as TVLand, which offers reruns of classic TV show such as Bonanza and The Andy Griffith Show. National Geographic Channel brings the world of the wild into your living room, and the Weather Channel presents not only the daily forecast, but Weather Underground at 6 pm., which investigates the science behind the weather. It's a great way to keep kids engaged in science. Just add popcorn.

With restaurants closed, cooking at home can take on a creative twist right now. If there's a recipe you've been wanting to try but never had the time, now's a good a time as ever. Cooking can be an invaluable skill for young people also, so learn something new together. Maybe, it's spaghetti sauce from scratch, chicken a la king, or French Onion soup. Check your leftovers in the refrigerator and what you have on hand in the cupboards. If you must head to the grocery store for additional ingredients, remember to maintain a distance from other shoppers.

If you need to get away from a house full of family, take a walk around the block. Whatever you decide to do to pass the time spent home, remember to focus on the positive things: you can accomplish tasks you've been putting off for months, you should have more cash in your wallet because few businesses are open, and you're likely not going to use up the fuel in you gas tank this week. And always remember time spent learning something new is never time wasted.


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