Stay-at-home orders are in place in Minnesota and Pennsylvania—where our production facilities are located and the majority of employees reside. IWCO Direct provides essential services according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and has been allowed to remain open; however, the stay-at-home orders make nights and weekends at home a bit bleaker looking. But we’re nothing if not resilient—and creative. Here are the top 15 ways our families have been keeping boredom at bay while helping flatten the curve, and how you can follow our lead:
1. Almost-to-the-point-of-irresponsible online shopping (deals are EVERYWHERE!)
Our favorite deals include Nordstrom, Kate Spade, and The North Face, but check your favorite store’s website to see what they’re offering. As a bonus, many are also providing free shipping.
2. 1,000+ jigsaw puzzles
Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and online retailers like Serious Puzzles have a wide variety to choose from. If you need help narrowing down your options, GQ and Good Housekeeping both have suggestions. If you don’t want to dedicate your kitchen table to this process, buy a roll mat like this one to make storing unfinished puzzles easy.
3. Playing games
Dust off the Monopoly box in the back of the closet for some family fun. If you open that box to find it’s missing six pieces, find a new favorite for the family or reorder a classic. You can also never go wrong with cards, and it’s a great time to teach your children the delicate art of poker… or Go Fish. Both are acceptable. (If you need a quick refresher on the rules, Bicycle has you covered.)
4. Learning how to cut hair
One brave employee is having their child learn so they can cut their parents’ hair. The thought gives me hives, but if you’re desperate enough, you can learn to cut hair from sites like Refinery29 and Good Housekeeping.
5. Baking (especially homemade bread)
Instagram is full of people offering streaming baking lessons and recipes (#breadmaking, #baking, and #recipe are all good tags to try), and food sites like Food Network, Tasty, and All Recipes offer tutorials and tons of inspiration.
6. Extensive cleaning, including Marie Kondo purging
We mean getting down and dirty: defrosting the freezer, flipping the mattress, dusting the ceiling fans… Taste of Home, Molly Maid, and other home care sites offer checklists, tutorials, tips, and tricks for getting it done. Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up will help you purge your clutter, and her show on Netflix will inspire you to actually do it.
7. Learning Norwegian
Or any language, really. There are a bunch of apps and programs available, like Duolingo and Babbel. One bonus of this, as someone suggested, was that you could travel to that country once things calm down.
8. Watching the Puppy Cam (One of the best things this world has ever done for anyone)
9. Making home videos
Use Snapchat for filters or get creative with your content: cooking shows, plays, music videos, the options are endless. Feel free to share them with family and friends over social media.
10. Working out
Not having time isn’t such a good excuse anymore, especially when many services are offering free trial memberships, like Daily Burn, and fitness studios are bringing their classes online (and modified for you to do in your living room).
11. Becoming zen
Journaling, meditating (download an app or follow online videos), and taking planned breaks throughout the day can help reduce stress, keep you grounded, and improve your overall mood and health.
12. Getting artsy
Coloring, paint by numbers, knitting—it’s all fair game when it comes to entertaining kids and adults. We’ve seen some examples from employees about how people are using these crafts for the common good, like sewing facemasks for hospitals, leaving painted rocks for neighbors, and creating “popsicle people” for employees to have a friendly face at their desk.
13. Binging everything
USA Today, Popsugar, and LA Times all have streaming suggestions. Or, you could do a series movie marathon (Star Wars, anyone?), have themed days (best 90s movies, sci-fi, etc.), or make your way through the Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Movies list.
14. Reading everything
Might we recommend something from Penguin’s 100 must-read classic books and GoodReads 2019 Choice Awards? This is also a great time to ingest a whole series like Harry Potter or any other of Book Bub’s series recommendations.
I’ve already heard of two people who have done “drive-bys” with their parents at nursing homes. One simply drove by and waved at each other through the window, and another stopped to “have a drink” with their dad (from the safety of the car and window).
If you’re starved for human interaction, you can utilize technology to make a digital connection, including chatting using FaceTime or Skype, watching movies together using any number of online programs, and playing games.
Give our suggestions for making the most of the stay-at-home orders a try, and let us know if you have any recommendations for us!
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