Work Out at Home – Stay Fit During the Lockdown!

Work Out at Home – Stay Fit During the Lockdown!

Work Out at Home – Stay Fit During the Lockdown!

Actually I wanted to write a different article. But when my fingers flew over the keyboard, they typed the title of this post instead of the one I had originally in mind. Well then, I guess it’s meant to be. I am currently in a forced fitness break: My body has clearly told me “So far and no further! My joints and muscles are sore and sometimes they won’t even let me sleep. And to prevent this from happening to you, I’m now writing a blog post about how you can stay fit during the lockdown (and of course afterwards when you want to work out at home) while staying healthy. These are my experiences:

Ways to Work Out at Home

First of all, it is important to say that there is not ONE method for your workout at home. There are numerous ways and you have to find out which one is best for you. Of course, there is only one way to do this: Try it out. What is ideal for me can be unthinkable for you. I have also tried a few things and got stuck with one method that I liked most.

 

Apps

The first method here is also the one I have chosen for myself long term. Apps allow you to create training programs or have the computer compile them for you to run through. I have trained with three apps so far:

  • SEVEN: With this app, you can do circuit training, each of which takes seven minutes. In principle, you can do as many circles as you like. But when I start after a while of not working out, seven minutes are usually enough. Then I work my way up. I’ve never been able to do more than three circuits if I remember correctly. Maybe four a long time ago. I have been training with SEVEN for five years now, even if not regularly. Until yesterday I had a streak of 28 days for the first time in a very long time. With the free version, you can unfortunately only run one program. The 60 Euros per year are worth it in my opinion and I am happy to invest them, as I have a lot of different training programs to choose from with the paid account.
  • Gymondo: Unfortunately I can’t say much about Gymondo, because I only used it once for a few weeks when a friend of mine wanted to train with it. But the exercises and the principle were similar to SEVEN and probably, in the end, it’s just a matter of taste concerning layout and usability. The app is a bit more expensive and costs a total of 83,99 Euro for a subscription of 12 months. However, there are recipes and motivational messages that you can request or cancel.
  • 30 Day Split Challenge: A sports program of a different kind is the 30 Day Split Challenge. This is designed to do the splits at the end of the 30 days, but it is basically nothing more than a warm-up with cardio exercises and then stretching. What I particularly like about this app is that it automatically includes rest days. You train for four days and then you have a day off.

 

YouTube

It shouldn’t surprise you to read that YouTube has an incredible number of channels on the topic of fitness. I picked out three different channels that seemed cool to me.

  • DoYogaWithMe: On this channel, you will find mainly yoga videos, but these have different orientations. For example, you can train specific areas of your body, do a 14-Day Challenge, or find a video that is right for your level of experience. There are also meditations to round off the program. And to make sure it doesn’t get boring, there are various trainers teaching.
  • Caroline Jordan: Health Coach Caroline Jordan puts fitness videos of various kinds online. For example, extra workouts that you can do on a chair (perfect for a quick workout during a break in the home office), or stretching for situations like After Travel or End of Day.
  • Amanda Russell: Amanda Russell mainly makes videos with workout quickies. The training sessions last between three and 15 minutes and are aimed specifically at people with little time, but who still have high goals. In addition to the training units, there are also videos with tips for healthy eating.

I have to admit that I’m just not the YouTube type of person. I don’t follow YouTubers and only go there when I am looking for trailers or other videos. But for How To tutorials I still use Google. But if YouTube should be your preferred medium anyway, then have a look at these three channels.

 

Your Own Program

Of course, you can also set up a training according to your own rules. For quite a while, for example, I did 50 push-ups, 100 squats, and 200 crunches a day. But on the long run, I got a little bored with that and so I switched back to the app.

The advantages of a self-made program are clearly that you can easily integrate any fitness equipment you might have at home. Therabands, gym balls, or kettlebells can become part of your daily routine.

So, make a plan with the exercises that will bring you closer to your goal. Be it a better condition, better flexibility, or a flatter stomach. You decide what your program will be. You can either base this on the number of repetitions or you can set a timer and do an exercise for a certain amount of time – which is usually 30 to 60 seconds.

 

More Tips

Now that you know how to get to the exercises in the first place, it’s time for some tips that will make your training easier or help you get through it in the long run. Build yourself up for success, my coach used to say. So if you think about everything from the beginning, nothing can go wrong!

 

Don’t Forget to Drink!

When working out it is even more important than in our everyday life: drink, drink, drink! Our body consists to a large extent of water and must always be hydrated. So don’t be afraid to reach for a water bottle between two exercises.

If you also want to add a little taste and vitamins to your water, I can recommend Fruit Infused Water. You simply cut a few fruits and leave them in the water for two to twelve hours so that they release vitamins and minerals into the water. That’s healthy and delicious!

 

Pimp Your Equipment!

While I didn’t even own a yoga mat in the past, today I enjoy thinking about how I can incorporate various sports equipment into my training. I have treated myself to a mega cool new yoga mat (nice, not slippery, practical with a carrying strap), I use my Therabands again and have taken out my finger dumbbells to train my wrists. Next on the agenda is a fascia roll with which I can massage my trigger points and loosen knots.

 

Take Breaks!

Between the exercises, you should be able to rest your body for ten to 20 seconds at a time. But even more important are the breaks between the individual training units. Especially when you try to get fit again, you should not overdo it. That is the reason why – as mentioned at the beginning – I have to take a forced break.

I have trained every day for 29 days in a row. And this after not opening SEVEN for months. I thought my body could take it. I changed the areas to train – I did abdominal training one day and the next day I trained my legs. So I wanted to train my whole body, but I also wanted to give the individual body parts breaks. Well, unfortunately, it did not work out. Now I sit in front of the computer with sore shoulders and while I was able to do the splits three days ago, I’m so in pain when I’m halfway down that I have to stop.

Hence my clear appeal to you: Give your body the necessary time to regenerate! You can’t go from zero to hero. With a dusty cape.

 

Go Out!

Nothing is more liberating than a walk at the fresh air. Depending on the lockdown regulations in your country, try to go out for half an hour every day, get some fresh air, and change your mind. You will see how this will make you feel better.

 

Stay Motivated!

There are many ways you can motivate yourself to go through your training program as planned. One of them is, for example, that you do the training with friends. Meet up on Zoom or Skype and give yourself a kick in the butt if needed. Personally, I wouldn’t even think of chickening out if I knew that my friends had pulled themselves together and would train without me. That’s one of the reasons why I pulled it through for 28 days. Alone I would not have done that and would have given in much sooner. I know this from past experiences. As a consequence, I didn’t train for months. I hope that the fact that I have friends who continue training will help me to restart in a few days. You are welcome to give me a digital kick in the butt that will make me fall off my office chair if I don’t do that. Permission granted!

 

Treat Yourself!

Not only to stay motivated you should also treat yourself regularly to something nice. But because you deserve it! And I’m not talking about a candy bar or a box of gummi bears. No, I’m talking about a hot bath, a massage, or anything else that will do you good physically or mentally. Or maybe it’s an offline weekend. Whatever “luxury” means to you… …plan it and treat yourself.

 

See Body And Mind as a Unity!

As I mentioned in my blog post on physical and mental health, we must always take care of our physical and mental health equally. So if you want to be fit in general, it is essential that you take care of your mental health as well. The best way to find out is to have a look at the other blog post. But in summary, I can advise you to do the following: Try to switch off, meditate, try to focus on the positive. Also reading a good book can contribute to your mental health.

So always remember: physical fitness alone is not enough!

 

Get in The Mood!

If one thing can put you in the mood, it’s music. So either create your own playlist if you like to train to certain songs. If you don’t have a playlist or you can’t spontaneously think of suitable songs, I can recommend the Workout Playlist by Decathlon: Motivational Playlist. Or simply look on YouTube.

 

My Final Thoughts

Today it seems more important than ever to take care of our health. Physical fitness is an essential part of it. That’s why it was important to me to write this blog post, to give you ideas about how you too can stay fit and above all motivated.

Let me know in the comments how your workout looks like and if I could inspire you to try something new or implement something new into your routine.

PS: Alle mit einem Sternchen (*) markierten Links sind Affiliate Links!

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My Book Tips – Reading During Quarantine

My Book Tips – Reading During Quarantine

My Book Tips – Reading During Quarantine

I don’t know about you. But I basically have a reading list a mile long that just won’t get any shorter. When I was a teenager I was a real bookworm and people almost always found me with a book in my hand. But later as I started writing books myself, I read less and less. Nevertheless, I try to absorb as much as possible – be it through physical books, e-books or audio books. So I have now put together a few reading tips for this difficult time. I hope there is something for you too!

Non-Fiction

I must admit, it took me a long time to become friends with non-fiction books. In my youth I read mainly fiction and only picked up non-fiction books when I had to read them for school or university. My love for non-fiction only began in the year I became a nomad. I got my first non-fiction book from someone I didn’t really know. A friend of a friend who took me to a city festival, since I was only staying at home at that time because of heartache. The book, which probably even changed my life in the following, has never been translated into English, unfortunately. So it’s only listed in the German version of this post. The title – literally translated – is: The decision is yours.

So, little by little other genres have found their way into my life and into my e-book and audio book media library. And I am very happy about that today. Because they have taught me a lot and accompanied me a lot in my thoughts.

Travel Books

As Barbaralicious is and will remain mainly a travel blog, I start with travel books. As you can imagine, I love to travel around the world through authors and either to travel to places I know through their eyes again or to discover new places. I like both equally. Although I have to say that now I prefer to read about places that I already know. So my bucket list won’t get longer than it already is…

 

 

Mindfulness & Law of Attraction

I strated reading about mindfulness quite late. Consciously, I have only done this since my stay in the Buddhist monastery Wat Pa Tam Wua. The Law of Attraction, on the other hand, came into my life a little earlier. I will explain more about this in the next paragraph.

 

Self-Development

Also with the topic of self-development or personal development I started late. Three years ago I did a life coaching with Nik from Life Athletics, which was the starting point for me to think about self-development. I started to work on myself and to analyze myself more. The highlight of this process so far was my participation in the event Unleash the Power Within by Tony Robbins.

 

Business

If you need a round of motivation or even a kick in the butt – especially if you’re self-employed – the following books are gold. Apart from The 4-Hour Work Week that every digital nomad knows, of course, The 10X Rule and Expert Secrets have had a strong influence on me. I also read both of them while I was in Singapore – a place where money and professional success play a central role. This has pushed me a lot.

 

Biographies

Biographies can be a real inspiration and are a great alternation between the other non-fiction books. My favourites are these:

 

 

Other Non-Fiction Books

Here are some non-fiction books that I didn’t know how to categorize:

 

 

Fiction

As I mentioned before, I have spent more than two-thirds of my life reading almost exclusively fiction. And to this day, I still love novels and often prefer them over non-fiction. Depending on my mood…

 

Historical Novel

Stories that make me travel through time have always been particularly appealing to me. Pompeii, Aztecs, Titanic… I devoured books that let me witness historical events through the eyes of the protagonists who took me on their adventures.

 

Romance

And sometimes, I like to have a book that makes me (almost) cry. The first one is my favorite author in this genre:

 

Comedy

 

Mystery, Action & Thriller

 

Fantasy

Vampires, dragons, sorcerers and such are not for everyone. Personally, I have always liked to get lost in these strange worlds, even though I am more choosy in this genre than in others.

 

My Final Thoughts

As you can see, when it comes to the genre of books, I’m not too picky. But when I like a writer, I like to read everything he or she has written.

What about you? Are you an avid reader? Do you like to read different genres or do you stick to one? Do you read everything you can find or are you more loyal to your favourite author?

I look forward to your comment!

 

PS: All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links!

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Health – How to Cope With Quarantine Physically and Mentally

Health – How to Cope With Quarantine Physically and Mentally

Health – How to Cope With Quarantine Physically and Mentally

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Our health should always come first. But especially in times like these, it is important that we support our body and mind equally to function as they should.

Not for nothing did the ancient Romans say Mens sana in corpore sano est. Because body and mind form a unity and to really stay healthy, both have to be taken care of equally.

But while we have been educated in body hygiene from childhood on, the hygiene of our mind is different. So, today, I have put together a few tips for you to keep both healthy.

But first of all, I would like to point out that I am not a doctor, physiotherapist or psychologist. This blog post is based on my personal experiences with my own body, which I would like to share here. If you have physical or psychological problems, you should definitely see a doctor and not treat yourself with my tips.

Physical Health

This section is about physical health. What can we do to support our bodies. Because health is anything but guaranteed. There are many things we can do to stay healthy.

Drinking

It is no secret that the human body is largely made up of water. In fact, we’re talking about 80 percent!

So it is no wonder that water is, so to speak, our elixir of life.

I myself, especially when working in the home office, often find myself not drinking enough because I am so in my little bubble. But it is important to stay hydrated at work so that the body and especially the brain have enough energy to do what we expect them to do.

In principle, drinking is generally good. But it is best if you really drink water. If you – like me – don’t drink so much water, but prefer something with flavor, I have a tip: the magic word is Fruit Infused Water!

Fruit Infused Water brings two advantages:

  1. It tastes really good and you automatically drink more water
  2. It is well known that fruits contain vitamins and minerals, but did you also know that they release them into the water?

Yes, you read correctly! The water then contains the vitamins and minerals of the fruits, so you simply take them in with every sip when you drink.

Smoothies and juices are also healthy, they have more calories though, which is why you can drink more of the tasty water.

 

Furthermore, when you drink, you also flush any bacteria and viruses down into your stomach, where they are killed by the gastric acid. So: Ready for the water bottle, steady, go!

 

Eating

Meanwhile there are numerous nutritional concepts and everyone who chooses one of them believes to have found the healthiest nutrition for themselves. And that may be true. Because every person is different! This might also be connected for example to food allergies, intolerances or ethical/religious reasons. In addition, the energy and nutrient intake looks a little different for each person.

However, there are nutrition guidelines of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). These guidelines help if you want to eat a full diet based on the latest scientific findings.

What they mainly say is that you should have a balanced and varied diet. Too one-sided is not good and does not give your body everything it needs. Makes ssense, right? These are the 10 rules of the DGE, which serve as an orientation:

  1. Eat a variety of foods
  2. Lots of grain and potatoes
  3. Five portions of fruits and vegetables per day
  4. Milk / dairy products daily
  5. Fish once or twice a week
  6. Meat, sausage and eggs in moderation
  7. Little fat
  8. Sugar and salt in moderation
  9. Plenty of liquid
  10. Gentle food preparation

I know it can be tempting to throw a frozen pizza in the oven during quarantine and then just keep watching your favorite Netflix series. But please, please try to get over your inner bastard and eat a healthy diet. This is more important now than ever, as your body needs a strong immune system to fight bacteria and viruses in case you get sick.

 

Food Supplements

Of course, taking in the necessary vitamins and minerals through food and water is best for the body. Nevertheless, it makes sense to consider food supplements, as the name suggests, can support the body in addition to a balanced diet.

When I am in Germany, for example, I like to take vitamin D tablets because I am much less exposed to the sun here than when I am traveling in South East Asia.

Apart from that I take the following:

  • Zinc: I also try to support my immune system with zinc.
  • Magnesium: From time to time I take magnesium, which supports my muscles when I work out a lot – like now in times of social distancing. I prefer sticks that contain a powder that foams in my mouth. Personally, I don’t like effervescent tablets at all, so I choose different variants.
  • Turmeric: Among other things, turmeric has anti-inflammatory effects. As I unfortunately often suffer from tendinitis and cystitis, I take turmeric in the form of so-called golden milk to help my body heal itself. Golden milk is a powder of turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and ginger. Other effects of turmeric are: help the digestion, prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s.

 

Working out

In order to stay fit and healthy, it is also essential to be physically active at least occasionally. This can be a walk or a round of circuit training in the living room. The main thing is that you do sports. At least three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes each time.

Reasons why exercise keeps you healthy:

  • The immune system is strengthened. The reason for this is the release of adrenaline, which causes the defence cells to multiply more quickly. Thus the body automatically produces more natural killer cells, white blood cells, T and B lymphocytes. This only happens during training, but you also train your immune system to react faster in case of illness. If you do sports regularly, you reduce the risk of getting sick in general and can even counteract serious diseases such as cancer.
  • The cardiovascular system is kept fit, because your heart muscles are strengthened by endurance training. The stronger the muscles, the less often the heart has to beat. Your heart is thus spared and better supplied with blood. In addition, the blood vessels become elastic and the resistance in the vessels is reduced. This reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Sport has a positive effect on cholesterol levels, which can prevent arteriosclerosis. This in turn can result in secondary diseases such as stroke or heart attack.
  • It can prevent a variety of diseases

 

Washing

And even if this point could trigger a shitstorm, I can’t help but write my opinion on it: Dear people, of course washing is important. And especially in times of Corona you should wash your hands more often. But in my opinion, two things are important:

  1. Attentiveness: You don’t have to wash or disinfect your hands indiscriminately all the time. Be aware of where you are and what you are touching and then wash your hands accordingly. You should also be aware of when and how you touch your face. But honestly? It was like that before Corona, too! I will never forget how I once fed a few goats when I was about six years old and didn’t wash my hands afterwards. I was sick for a week. But really, really sick. And you know what? I’ve learned my lesson! But the lesson was not to wash my hands every time I get a chance for it…
  2. We do not support our body if we constantly destroy what it is trying to build for us: which is a natural layer of fat that our skin needs. Besides, I grew up with the phrase ‘dirt cleans the stomach’ and I am firmly convinced that this is true. Of course, again, every body is different. And if you basically have a weakened immune system and/or previous illnesses, it is complete nonsense to burden your body with even more bacteria. But a healthy body grows on such small challenges. Unless it’s bacteria from goats that a little six-year-old girl is feeding. But joke aside: I think even through setbacks like this my immune system just grew in the end. I am very thankful that it is doing such a good job for me and I am sure that it has something to do with the fact that I don’t walk around with hand sanitizers. Not even in Asia or Latin America. And when I see a street food stand I’m the first one ordering and eating with the hands…

The same applies, in my opinion, to body and hair. You don’t have to shower twice a day and you don’t have to wash your hair every day. Both skin and hair will thank you and be much healthier if you give them the necessary attention, but only at the right time.

 

Mental Health

“You can live 100 years without sickness if you don’t worry for a second”

This Chinese proverb is probably difficult to put into practice – who lives without worries? – but that doesn’t make it any less true. Worries can also make you ill. Why do you think we are “sick with worry” when we are extremely worried? What happens in our mind has effects on our body. Because, as I wrote at the beginning: they are a unity.

So a few ways how to take care of your mental health you will now learn:

 

Meditation

The basic prerequisite for mental health is inner balance. And how could you achieve this better than through meditation? You can approach this topic in different ways:

  • Guided meditation with apps: Apps like HeadSpace can guide you through the meditation. You will be guided on how to breathe and what to focus your thoughts on. Personally, I think this is the perfect way to get started!
  • Meditation with YouTube: On YouTube you will also find numerous videos for meditation. Either with instructions or purely with pleasant music, which should make it easier for you to come to rest and direct your thoughts inwards.
  • Meditation with friends via Zoom: Since you currently do not have the opportunity to meet with others and this would be more time-consuming anyways, you can consider whether you have friends who are also interested in meditation. Then you can meet via Zoom and meditate together. This way you are less tempted to be distracted.

 

Mindfulness

I do not write or talk about mindfulness very often. Because I have to admit, I am not yet 100% clear about the concept of mindfulness. In the Buddhist monastery Wat Pa Tam Wua, where I spent a few days last year, mindfulness was the highest commandment. Mindful eating, mindful walking, mindful cleaning up. I am also reading a book written by a Buddhist monk: Anger: Buddhist Wisdom for Cooling the Flames*. This book is also very much about mindfulness, with which we should treat and then embrace our anger and resentment.

The crucial point of mindfulness seems to be that you are completely in the here and now. That you are attentively observing yourself as if you were looking at yourself from the outside: your thoughts, but also your actions. But you should not evaluate them. One could also say that mindfulness is the basis of meditation. Because meditation – at least the Samatha technique – is also about mindfulness, mostly about mindful breathing.

Through mindfulness exercises you can increase your well-being… And thus improve your mental health!

 

Gratefulness

Worries and fears very often cover up all the positive things that happen in our lives. These can be big, but also very small successes. Or simply lucky situations that make us lucky by birth or events over which we have no influence. We should be thankful for all this and also keep them in mind. I have been doing gratitude exercises for over two years now. Firstly, since January 2018, I have been writing a gratitude diary, in which I write three things every day, preferably in the morning, for which I am grateful. On the other hand, I also do visualization exercises, in which I visualize situations in my life that have resulted in something for which I am grateful. Like this, I start my days with positive thoughts.

 

Priming

Priming is a technique I learned at Unleash the Power Within from Tony Robbins. It is a mixture of breathing exercises to oxygenate the brain, gratitude exercises and visualization techniques à la Vision Board. I do priming sometimes more, sometimes less often. Basically, however, I usually have the feeling that it helps me more than ordinary meditation. This is because I have an active monkey mind. That’s what it was called during my Vipassana in Thailand: a very active mind that is difficult to disconnect. When I want to meditate, my monkey basically decides that he absolutely needs to throw a wild party immediately, while I can keep him calm during priming by visualizations.

 

Positive Thoughts

Our thoughts are important in all this. They influence our emotions and our mental well-being. In order to focus on the positive thoughts, you can, for example, use the techniques mentioned above. But there are other ways with which you can spread small crumbs of positivity in your life.

For example, I have a bracelet that I only take off for showering. I can turn it around and on the inside it says Believe in Yourself. In the beginning, I turned it over and over again, but now I just look at the bracelet and the three words appear in front of my inner eye. It floods me with new energy every time.

In addition, I have various things here in my room and even in the whole apartment that remind me of beautiful moments in my life: souvenirs from my travels, photos taken by me printed on canvas, clothes that I bought on my travels and that make me travel back to the place mentally.

Currently, I am thinking about setting up a small house temple. Not because I want to become Buddhist, but because it would give me a bit of Thailand feeling here in Germany.

 

Being Offline

Believe me, the Internet and social media are incredibly important to me. They are a part of my life and I can hardly imagine to live without it. After all, I am something like an influencer (no, I don’t have flu or corona). Nevertheless, it is essential for my mental health to give me a little bit of space from time to time. Away from Likes and the share button, with which I can show the world what makes me laugh or cry.

I can count on one hand the days I’ve been offline for the last decade. Okay, two hands. But that’s only because I was offline for four days straight at the monastery last year. And especially the time there and my offline time afterwards have been incredibly re-energizing for me.

One factor is crucial, which is why I included it in the title of this section: You should make a conscious decision. Of the eight or nine days I was offline, some were neither conscious nor intentional. And then there is a boundary in my head and I can hardly control myself. If I can mentally prepare myself for being offline, finish all the open tasks and then decide for myself when to turn off the Internet, I’m totally cool with it. But if the opposite is the case, my monkey goes completely crazy again.

Therefore my tip: Plan consciously times, in which you switch off the Internet! Use this time to go out, read, meditate. Whatever you enjoy.

 

Moving And Fresh Air

I have already mentioned above how important sport is. But exercise is also very important for mental health. You don’t need 200 squats or 100 push-ups for that. No, a walk at the fresh air helps a lot and clears the head. Think about past situations where you were faced with a problem at work and could not come up with a solution. You’ve been sitting in front of the computer for hours and your head has been smoking like crazy. But you didn’t wanna give up, right? Did it happen then that you finally got out because it just didn’t make sense to sit there doing nothing anymore? Sure! I’ve experienced something like that myself many times and been told about it by others just as often. I bet that fresh air and moving your stiff body made you feel better quite immediately. And I also bet that when you returned to work you suddenly came up with a solution. Just as if it had been there all along but you weren’t able to see it.

 

Final Thoughts

This was only a small insight into the topic of physical and mental health. But they are all things I try to implement daily or at least very regularly. There is so much more to it, but I think that was good enough for a first overview. In the next few weeks I would like to write more blog posts on individual topics mentioned here.

So stay tuned and write in the comments what you do for your health and mental health!

PS: This post has been sponsored by Trusted Blogs. I’m deeply grateful that they want to support fulltime bloggers affected by the crisis and, therefor, decided to sponsor one post per blogger for a selected group of bloggers. And I am one of them <3 They had no say in the topic or the ideas I’m sharing. This is my own opinion.

PPS: All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links!

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Home Office Tips – Working From Home Has Never Been Easier

Home Office Tips – Working From Home Has Never Been Easier

Home Office Tips – Working From Home Has Never Been Easier

As I have never been employed, I have personally never experienced going to the office. Home office has always been my reality – since I started my own business 11 years ago. In my case, I also have had my office in my backpack for the last five and a half years when I travel and then always rebuild it on site. But thanks to specific structures my home office is always similar – no matter where I am. That’s why I would like to share all my tips from over a decade in the home office with you now.

Structure

Giving yourself and your everyday life a certain structure is not only important for you personally, but also to use your working time more productively. The structure helps you to focus and work in a concentrated way.

 

Routines

If you were in the office until recently, you should try to keep the routine you know from there. Get up at the same time as if you had to drive to the office, make coffee, breakfast, do everything the same way you would do it on a normal working day.

If you are already working in the home office, but have not yet gotten into routines: try different things. Think about which routines make you feel most comfortable, make you most productive, or make it easier for you to balance your other tasks (maybe you have children or hobbies that need your attention at certain times) with work.

I admit that this is one of the points I find most difficult. At least when I am travelling. Different time zones, my hobbies or commitments mean that I have to change or adjust my routines all the time. But I feel the positive effects when I can stay in my routine for a while: Then I start the day with morning routine and can then relax and start working.

 

Outfit

Believe it or not, it makes a huge difference whether you sit in front of the computer in your PJs or jogging suit or whether you dress as if you were going to the office. Just give it a try! You will see that you work more efficiently if you are dressed accordingly.

 

Breaks

When I do virtually nothing else but work in the home office – as I do now in the Corona quarantine – it happens very quickly: without actually noticing it the day’s already over. At the moment I’m with my family and that’s good. Because when I’m alone, it’s suddenly midnight and I realize that after 15 hours in front of the computer when my whole body starts hurting. That can’t happen to me here. But regardless of where I am, I also know that this is actually anything but good.

It’s better to take specific breaks and thus stay mentally and physically fit.

 

Closing Time

We as remote workers don’t have closing times. But just like the breaks, the end of the day is also important! Set a time when you want to put the work aside and stick to it. At best, turn off your computer at this time and don’t turn it on again until the next day.

 

To Do List

In order to plan your day accordingly and to keep the structure you have thought about or adopted from the original office routine, it is incredibly helpful to work with to do lists. It is secondary whether you do this via an app like Trello or in the notes on your mobile phone or whether you write them down on paper.

Personally, I like to divide this into two parts: Everything that has to do with customers and includes a bigger picture, I usually have in Trello. The same way I do with long-term goals or projects and other types of lists. Short-term lists such as daily to dos I write either in my notes on my mobile phone – for example, if I’m on the road a lot that day and want to access the information from somewhere else – or on paper. I still like to take handwritten notes and write vocabulary on paper when I’m learning a language like Thai. However, I write normal notes or to do lists almost exclusively on paper when I’m staying with my father. When I am travelling, it doesn’t make sense.

I have heard and this is also how I feel about it that it has a positive influence if you have a phyical list and can cross out completed tasks. The effect on the brain is quite different when I delete an item on a list in my mobile phone when the task is done.

 

Amenities

The facilities in your home office also have a significant impact on your well-being and productivity. Here are a few things that might be worth thinking about:

 

Equipment

For me, by far the most important point of the whole list is this one. For me, my equipment is essential since this is what I usually carry with me when I’m traveling.

First and foremost, of course, is my MacBook. Last year, I invested in a big “upgrade” – now I have a new one with 2 TB of storage. This was important to me personally, because I don’t like to work with external hard drives all the time when I travel. For backups it’s ok, of course, but for my daily work processes it drives me crazy when I have to fiddle around with them.

My second most important “work tool” are my noise-canceling headphones from Bose*. I’ve had them since 2016 and wouldn’t want to miss them anymore. Wherever I am, with these headphones I can bring myself into my “bubble”, where only my work and I exist. In the home office this may be necessary to get away from neighbours, playing children in front of the door or the flatmate who is binge-watching on Netflix.

Equipment Home Office

Very practical is the laptop stand*, with which you can say goodbye to neck pain. With an extra keyboard* and mouse*, you can make sure you don’t have to look down all the time. As an alternative to the laptop stand I have, you can also buy or build a high table. The advantage of the stand is that the laptop can “breathe” on it and does not have to turn on the fan.

 

Software

For the home office, it’s also a good idea to use tools to increase productivity – at least if you work on your own laptop. I use the following:

  • SelfControl: With this tool, I can block Internet pages I have specified for a certain period of time. This way I can avoid being tempted to waste time on Facebook or YouTube during my working hours.
  • AppBlocker: With this app you can even block apps on your mobile phone. Most of the time I simply set my iPhone to Do not disturb while using SelfControl on my MacBook.
  • Trello: The application already mentioned in the to do list section not only lets me create lists of any kind, but is also a simple tool for project management. As an alternative, there is for example Asana, but I personally very much prefer Trello. I use Trello on my mobile phone as well as on my Mac. There I have it integrated into Franz, which I will describe next.
  • Franz: Franz is a tool that allows me to have all my messenger services and more in one place. It means I have fewer tabs open in my browser and all my communication channels are easy to find. Personally, I have Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype and Trello enabled, but there are many more services you can connect to. This is ideal for me and if I don’t want to be disturbed, I simply close Franz. Super practical!
  • Zoom: Zoom is something similar to Skype, except that it’s not a chat service, although there is a chat function. You can organize meetings where all participants can see each other. In the free basic version, you can have up to 100 participants. But then the call is limited to 40 minutes. With two participants the length of the call is unlimited.
  • TeamViewer: You can use it to access another computer or let someone else access your computer. This is practical in many situations.
  • Google Drive: I think the cloud service Google Drive is familiar to everyone. It’s great for sharing documents or other files. But beware: the free version is not GDPR compliant, which means it does not comply with data protection laws. For this you need the business version called G Suite, which costs 9 euros per month. As far as I know, there is no free cloud service that is GDPR compliant. Alternatively you can – if available – use an FTP server.
  • Calendly: Since I have been self-employed all my (professional) life, I am not sure if this tool is also useful for remote workers. Calendly is a tool you can use to make appointments. You can specify from when to when on which days you accept appointments and then simply send a link. Whoever has the link can then make appointments at your available time slots. This is ideal for freelancers and also works across time zones.
  • Doodle: Again, I use this very rarely because I don’t have to schedule appointments with several people very often. That’s exactly what this tool is for.

 

Furniture

Your home office furniture is also important. If you want to sit on a chair for at least eight hours, then it should be comfortable, right? A desk that you work at should be practical, don’t you think? My suggestion to you is this: Try out different things if you can. At the office, you don’t have a choice of how or where you work. At home, you do have that choice. Use this for yourself and find out in which position you are most productive and feel most comfortable.

For example, I have found out that I feel best when I can lean my head against a wall because otherwise I get neck pain and headaches. So I try to work in a half sitting, half lying position with my head leaned back. I constantly hear that it is not possible to work like this at all. But for me it works and especially when I write a lot, nothing beats this position. Whether in bed, on the couch, in the hammock or leaning against the wall sitting on a beanbag… Sitting at a table, on the other hand, I can’t work creatively and relaxed at all, I only do my daily tasks like answering emails.

But as I said: That’s me and everybody is different. So find out what is good for you and adapt your home office accordingly.

 

Internet Upgrade

Depending on what you have to do, it may be worthwhile to upgrade your Internet speed. Believe me: I can tell you from experience that there is nothing more nerve-racking than struggling with slow Internet. So take a look at the options you have and think about upgrading. You can downgrade again, if you can’t, won’t or shouldn’t work in your home office anymore after the crisis.

 

Room Arrangement

I hear all the time how important it is to separate the office area from the part of the apartment where you spend your free time or your free evening hours. If you have this opportunity, you should take it. If you have an extra room available for this, that would of course be ideal. But even if you don’t, you can declare the desk an office or even separate part of the dining table. Especially in this time of quarantine it is advantageous to have exactly defined rooms and to stick to them.

 

Plants And Light

Plants and especially light also have a great influence on your well-being and productivity. I myself cannot work well in dark places and always turn on as many lights as possible. Plants also make you feel better. They also improve the indoor climate.

 

Productivity And Focus

Who doesn’t know this: You start scrolling through your Facebook feed a bit here, go to Instagram there, read a bit in online magazines and bam… it’s in the afternoon. And your to dos for the day are far from finished. So here are my tips for more productivity and staying focused:

 

Pomodoro

Pomodoro is a time management technique designed to make you more productive. You set your alarm clock to 25 minutes. During that time, you work without distraction and with focus. When the alarm goes off, you take a five-minute break. It is advisable not to use this break for Facebook and Co. First of all, this quickly tempts you to extend the break (you just want to finish reading that post, watching that video or writing that message quickly, right?). And secondly, you should use the time to get some exercise, clear your head, get some fresh air.And that doesn’t work if you’re wasting the precious minutes on social media. After four circuits of 25 minutes (so basically after two hours) there will be a 15-minute break.

By using this technique you usually work with continuous concentration and keep body and mind fit during the work! Try it out…

 

Go With Your Flow

Depending on the area in which you work, you probably also know creative phases. For example, when I want to write something – whether it’s a blog post, a book or a client project – I need to feel it. It sounds stupid, but I can’t describe it any better. But I think every creative person knows exactly what I’m talking about. And when that happens, I can write and write and write until I’m done. If I don’t have this flow, I don’t actually need to get to work at all or better deal with other things that don’t require creativity.

Therefore my tip at this point: Follow your flow, plan your day according to it (or better re-organize it in case the flow comes spontaneously) and forgive yourself if you don’t get into the flow when you would like to or even have to finish the project. Unfortunately, you cannot force it. And if the deadline is so close that you have to force it: Be kind to yourself! It’s more likely to come if you do something good for yourself, play music that inspires you, or bring yourself back into balance through meditation or sports.

 

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is a type of fasting where you are allowed to eat for six (stretchable to eight) hours and do not eat for the remaining 16 to 18 hours of the day. Most people who do Intermittent Fasting – and so do I – “have breakfast” around 12 and eat dinner around 6 or 8 pm. The advantage of what makes this kind of diet a real productivity hack is that the body puts its energy into the stomach while digesting. So if you have breakfast after getting up and want to work afterward, your body is actually busy digesting. The consequence? You will get tired soon and won’t be able to focus anymore. Sure, you can just try to power through and counteract this with coffee, fresh air, and exercises during breaks.

OR you could try to postpone breakfast. Get ready for work and get going. It takes a bit of practice to get through till noon when you eat your first meal. But I can tell you from my own experience: You get so much more work done in the morning by intermittent fasting that the “breakfast”, which is actually lunch, tastes much better. Ideally, you can then take a nap and then work productively for several hours again.

I personally love this, even if it is difficult for me to keep it up when I am in Germany. The reason is that I have a big breakfast with my family here on weekends and I find it incredibly difficult to change my routine. I always have to train myself and slowly increase the big break between the last and then first meal the next day. This works great when I’m travelling alone abroad, but hardly at all when I’m with my family.

 

Power Nap

You’re exhausted? At home, you can do something that is probably hard to do in the office: a power nap! I usually make power naps with an app. I can set whether I want to do a real power nap of up to 20 minutes, a recovery nap of up to 45 minutes or a sleep phase of about 120 minutes. The times are not exact times because the app wakes you up in exactly the right moment: during a whole sleep cycle it wakes you up when you have gone through the whole sleep phase. With recovery nap it wakes you up before you fall into deep sleep or after 45 minutes. And with the power nap it wakes you up before you fall into deep sleep or after 20 minutes. The app uses your movements and sounds to determine which sleep phase you are in and wakes you up in exactly the right moment.

 

Motivation

Staying motivated and focused in the home office is not always easy. Especially when you are in quarantine and virtually unable to go outside. But that shouldn’t be an excuse, because there are many ways to keep it rolling:

 

Meditation

A basic prerequisite for motivation and focus, whether in the home office or elsewhere, is inner balance. You achieve this through meditation, among other things. The easiest way to start with meditation is to download an app and start using it. I started my meditation journey with the app HeadSpace many years ago and still use it from time to time.

If you don’t feel like doing a guided meditation, you can also meditate alone. Concentrating on your own breath is a frequently used tool, which was also suggested to us during my Vipassana in the Buddhist monastery in Thailand. Many people count their breaths to keep their thoughts under control. I had to trick myself, as I still had dozens of thoughts when counting in German or English – monkey mind is what they called it in the monastery. So at some point I started to count in Thai. There I still had to concentrate so much that I don’t think about anything else but my breath and the Thai numbers.

Meditation Home Office

 

Excercise

Excercising is always important and helps to clear the head. I was actually already aware of that. But it became really clear to me with Unleash the Power Within. Tony Robbins says EMOTION IS CREATED BY MOTION on the very first day. Our feelings are strongly influenced when we get our bodies going. This has to do with the release of endorphins, for example. So there are two reasons why you should do sports every day:

  1. You bring yourself into a more positive state of mind by releasing endorphins.
  2. You are empowering yourself and giving your body what it needs.

My advice is therefore that you incorporate daily exercise into your morning routine. Be it with the app SEVEN, with which you can do a circuit training, or simply by doing 20 push-ups, 20 squats and 20 sit-ups every day. No matter what you choose: morning exercise can change your state of mind for the entire day.

As a second tip, I would suggest that in moments when you notice that you are becoming  less focused, you get up for a short time and start moving. In the best case this is a walk or even a run at the fresh air. But if your schedule or the quarantine situation doesn’t allow it, you can also just do some squats next to your workplace. Dancing is also possible. Just turn the music up and do some dance moves, it will wake you up, make you more concentrated and motivate you!

Musis

Music is something very special. It has the power to change your state of mind. With sad music, you become sad, and with happy music, you become happy. Try out which music has what effect on you while working and how this affects your productivity. I like to listen to instrumental music while working. Lyrics distract me and make me sing along. When I write, I mistype more often.

So try to use music in a way that supports you at work. If music distracts you in general, use it only during the breaks to fuel you, to take your mind off things or to clear your head. Singing along loudly during the breaks is also good for you and has a liberating effect.

 

Laughing

This may seem strange at first. But targeted laughing can work wonders. Are you in a bad mood, realizing that you’re stuck? Are you sitting there straining and tensing your facial muscles from thinking so much? Nothing helps more than a good laugh. Give it a try. There is no one there who would look in a strange way or even laugh at you for that. Laugh out loud like you just heard a hilarious joke. It may feel funny at first, but you’ll soon realize that it will make you feel better.

 

Kudos

Okay, some people need a kick in the butt. But most of all, many of us need some kudos here and there. Since you usually don’t have anyone to take care of this in quarantine or in the home office in general, sometimes you have to do it yourself. Say it yourself: “Good job, mate!” And yes, I sometimes talk to myself in the second person. Or if you’ve found the solution to a big problem, it can be a “Kudos to myself!” You have nothing to be ashamed of. Who would frown at you? There’s nobody there!

 

Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is even more important for the quarantine situation than it usually is. So try to keep negative thoughts away from you with a few little exercises:

  • If you have negative thoughts, put them in an imaginary box, one at a time, close it and put it in an imaginary closet. You close that one too. Then you will think of something positive.
  • Write a gratitude journal!
  • Again, smiling and laughing helps!
  • Filter messages! Sure, it’s important to be informed. But news don’t always help to keep you in a good mood. And negative thoughts disturb your work flow and productivity tremendously.

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HEALTHY IN QUARANTINE

Bored? Not anymore! Things to Do in Quarantine

Bored? Not anymore! Things to Do in Quarantine

Bored? Not anymore! Things to Do in Quarantine

I must confess: I don’t have words to describe what’s happening. The world is changing right before our eyes and there is nothing we can do about it. In view of the latest developments, I have decided to put my nomadic life on hold and to go through all this together with my family. I have been back in Germany for about a week now.

Departure: unknown.

 

My Tips For The Time in Quarantine

Now, we are asked to stay home. I have to say that this is no problem at all for me personally. I am always so behind with my blog posts, books and other things I want to do that I don’t get bored quickly. And I’m working from my home office almost all the time anyway. Even if the situation were to last for two years, I’d have something to do basically all the time. But since I’m afraid that I’m the exception, here are some ideas on how to keep yourself busy during the quarantine period.

Before we get started, I would like to mention that you can and maybe should do all these things in your daily life as well. Because one thing is clear to me: this difficult time also holds opportunities. The chance to live healthier. The chance to take more care of yourself. The chance to return more to what is really important: friends and family.

Get Fit Again!

Yea, going to the gym or to the pool isn’t possible right now. But you can do a workout at home! Whether with apps, YouTube, online courses or just doing what you like… Now you can really get in shape. And there are no excuses. So grab your mobile phone, turn on the Rocky sound and get in the right mood. Your body may groan at first, but it will thank you on the long run. Because we’re not made for not using it, sitting in the office all day long and in front of the computer and at best walking to the train or the next pizza place to have some fast food. So this is the perfect moment to improve your fitness level. By the way, a friend of mine founded a Facebook group yesterday in which we do sports together every day, share our successes (and failures) and virtually kick each other in the a**. Is that amazing or what?

Go Inside!

Yesterday, I saw a cool post that said: If you can’t go outside, go inside! And I can only agree. We’ve just entered a period of upheaval. So take a moment to reflect on how your life has gone so far and how you want it to go on from now. Is this the moment to change? I don’t know. Only you can know. But in any case, I’m sure one thing will help: Inner peace! And have you ever done sports in the morning, then meditated, took a hot (or cold, depending on your preference) shower afterwards and then had a tasty and healthy breakfast? This is the perfect start in the day! Give it a try! Or do you have something better to do right now?

Finally Read in Peace!

I don’t know about you, but I have so many unread books in my shelf and on my Kindle that I don’t even know where to start. Plus, I love audio books, so the list goes on and on at Audible. I am now firmly resolved to work through these lists. Actually, since I spent a few days in the Buddhist monastery last year, I have been thinking about taking more time for it again. Be it for half an hour before going to bed, after waking up or during an offline weekend – which I actually wanted to do once a month but never managed. Maybe now is exactly the right time. No longer addicted to Instagram and to get as many likes as possible. But addicted to the next good book that stimulates you intellectually and makes you forget tweets, hashtags or wordpress.

Watch Netflix & Chill on the Couch!

Whether it’s films, documentaries or series… Now is the perfect moment for binge-watching! Wrap yourself up on the couch or in bed and let’s go. Netflix or Amazon Prime have a lot to offer for little money. But you don’t want to watch alone? Then I have great news: there is a Chrome extension called Netflix Party. It allows you to connect multiple Netflix accounts and watch with your friends at the same time. Additionally there is a chat, so you can talk about the movie. The add-on costs from €7,99 a month. Of course, it’s not quite the same as sitting next to each other and worrying about the fate of the characters or being happy about their luck together. That is obvious. But in times like these we should be grateful for this opportunity.

Make a Zoom Party!

Have you ever heard of Zoom? It’s kind of like Skype. Only better! You can simply create a link for a Zoom session and share that link. When you click on it, you join the “meeting”. But who says it can only be meetings? Exactly… No one. So get your friends together and have a Zoom Party! It could be anything from a dinner party, having coffee together or maybe a book club. When was the last time you met with friends and had a chat without time pressure? Yesterday I met with travel blogger friends for a Zoom Party and it was so nice that I have no words for it. We were almost 30 people. Normally we meet once a year at the ITB in Berlin – the biggest trade show in tourism industry in the world – but this year it was cancelled due to Corona. The best thing about the meeting was that we ALL talked to each other. Logically, no small groups can form when everyone is in the same chat. So only one person could talk at a time and everyone else listened. Now you might think that this must have ended in chaos. But no! It was just beautiful and everyone was grateful for this opportunity to exchange ideas. Try it out and be surprised!

Note: Zoom is free but only for two people or 40 minutes. If you have three people or more joining in the call is interrupted after 40 minutes. If you want to talk longer you have to upgrade to PRO, which is around 12 euros per month.

 

Learn a language!

I know an insane number of people who download Babbel , keep studying for a few lessons and then give up. Why? No time. That doesn’t make any sense. Well, maybe… But now you have the time. Now is the time to download apps, use YouTube and maybe even get a notebook or flashcards out and finally learn the language you always wanted to learn. Honestly, I could spend half an eternity just on this topic alone. I love languages, which is why I studied three of them (Italian, Spanish and Portuguese). Apart from the fact that I would like to brush up on my Portuguese and French, I have been studying Thai since the end of last year. I am having an incredible amount of fun doing that. I learn through three ‘channels’: I bought an online course (Learn Thai from a White Guy), I have an account at Mondly and I also have a teacher. I meet her once or twice a week when I am in Bangkok. Online I take lessons less often, because I find it nicer in personal contact. But I would like to try to take a Skype lesson with her once a week. My teacher also has an Instagram channel where she regularly shares impressions from Thailand including vocabulary.

Learn an Offline Skill​!

Okay, the title sucks, I admit it. But I wanted to keep it general. Because I want you to go inside yourself and think about what you would like to be able to do, but always pushed aside. Do you have an instrument that’s just getting more and more dusty? Do you want to knit your first sweater yourself? Do you want to paint or do handicrafts? There are no limits to your imagination. But yes, it’s not easy when you’re asked half your life just to focus and give your best in everything. Maybe you just do something now because you enjoy it? For no other reason… Wouldn’t that be great?

Learn an Online Skill!

Learning how to use Photoshop properly has been on my to-do list for years. NOW the moment seems to be right! I bought an online course ages ago and hopefully I will be able to go through it soon. Besides, my father wants to teach me computer programming. Sounds crazy? Maybe it is! But we sit here together, day in, day out, in quarantine. And if there’s one thing I learned from my mother’s death last year, it’s that we should use the time we have together. I’ve said it so many times: Carpe Diem. And yes, I’ve always made an effort to be productive, to seize the day when it comes to work. Another ebook (by the way, yesterday I published my 20th City Guide*!), more blog posts, more content on Instagram. But I never saw Carpe Diem as an invitation to use every day, which could be my last, for social contacts, for my family. And no matter how crazy it is and I think that programming is not really my world: I’m as happy af to spend time with my father and make him proud. Because he has always wanted me to learn programming. And as a final note: If you are considering a WordPress course to start blogging in quarantine, feel free to contact me. I give workshops and courses on this topic and am happy to help.

Cook a Delicious Meal!

On Barbaralicious you can find all kinds of information. But culinary forays are not really my thing. Yeah, I have to eat, too. But I am one of the few people who do not attach so much importance to the fact that every meal is like a culinary treat. This is reflected in the cooking. I almost never cook. If I do I make pasta as a good half-Italian. But just because I don’t like to cook doesn’t mean that you don’t either. So, use the time to get out the kitchen utensils, which may already be dusty, and prepare something delicious.

Tidy Up And Muck Out!

Coincidentally, this is exactly the right time for a thorough spring cleaning. I, too, have already started mucking out, tidying up and cleaning the apartment. Ask yourself what you really need and what is really only catching dust or keeping space in the shelf. Do you need so much clothing? What about all those books? Or the DVDs? I actually try to clean out every time I’m in Germany with my father. But now I can do it especially thoroughly.

Revise Your Bucket List!

Uh, that’s one of my favorite things on this list! Because my bucket list is also in absolute need of renovation. Yeah, we don’t know what the new normal’s gonna look like. Probably our reality will change quite a bit. And I have been wondering for days what significance travel will have in the future. Especially long-distance travel will certainly be more of a luxury good than it has been in recent years. But that will not stop us from dreaming! So dream about the places you still want to see, about the things you still want to do and experience. And a little tip: It might make sense not to just wander off into the distance. Maybe the moment has come for all of us to explore our home country better. So start reading travel blogs again and get inspired! Whether near or far… Travel in your thoughts and pack your bags when the time comes. And anticipation is the greatest joy…

Put Ideas Into Practice!

Have you ever had an idea for a project, but didn’t realize it due to lack of time? Have you always wanted to write a book? Develop an app? Paint a painting? Well, then you might be happy to hear that now is the moment: The actually awkward situation of being trapped at home is perfectly suited to finally realize such previously discarded ideas. If that’s not a reason for to celebrate, I don’t know what is.

Get in Touch With Friends And Family​!

In everyday life most of us are constantly busy. Time for friends and family? Nope. I’m the same: I don’t really talk to my best friend on the phone anymore, we meet maybe once a year when I’m in Germany. And now? Has the moment arrived to use the situation of social distancing to make social contacts really social again? To cultivate real friendships and to talk extensively with long-time friends again… Maybe you should make a list and go through it bit by bit. I am quite sure that you will put a smile on many people’s faces. And maybe even your own…

Final Thoughts About Things to Do in Quarantine

But now I am running out of ideas, too. But I can’t imagine that there isn’t something for everyone to keep themselves busy for a few weeks.

By the way, you can also combine the different ideas with each other: Convince friends to do sports with you! Arrange a time and meet online for example at Zoom and go through the fitness program together. You want to revise your Bucket List? Isn’t dreaming together with others twice as much fun? Call a friend and go through the bucket list ideas together. Or tidy up when you’re on the phone with a friend. If you haven’t heard from each other in a long time, you probably have a lot to say and it will be a long call. You can tidy up a bit at the same time.

Yes, the idea of quarantine can be frightening. But if you focus on the many things you can do instead of the ones you can’t, the weeks will surely pass quickly.

And always remember: Together we are strong! You are not alone, even if you cannot be with others physically.

Let me know in the comments which of my suggestions you like best and which you will implement!

PS: All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.

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