I don’t usually give things up for lent, but this year I decided to take a break from alcohol. Relaxing with a glass of wine has become an expensive and unhealthy habit. So I joined an online reset group and made the decision to just say no – this month.
That decision was made before the Coronavirus hit New York and cancelled the school where I work for who knows how long.
The instant joy of knowing I have a free unexpected week off was reminiscent of 7 years ago when Hurricane Sandy closed down the area and I had two weeks at home with no work. Of course, 11 of those days also meant I had no power in the house, so the wine bottles opened early, neighbors visited daily and the whole period is just a blur in my mind.
So this time I am preparing differently. I have stocked the refrigerator and found a place to store my Costco size toilet paper package. I have some cold medicine on hand and have been making daily “mocktails” with cranberry-pomegranate juice and Emergen-C packets.
Omitting alcohol from my diet should also help keep my immune system healthy and I will have energy to fit in some home workouts (no excuses)!
But as a widow who has had to stay home by myself when I had the flu a few years ago, I know that you can get lonely very quickly. So here are some ideas to get you out of the funk.
- Facetime (or Skype) – I love having conversations with my kids and seeing their faces. My brother and sister and I have started to have group conversations on Sunday evenings. We used to call mom on Sundays, but now that mom is gone, we are staying connected by chatting together. We see each other and other members of the family as well.
- Write a Letter – especially if you know someone a bit older, they really appreciate letters. My 94 year old aunt sends letters to me and about 40 other relatives each week. I know she expects them in return and doesn’t go on the computer so I will put that on my list of things to do this week.
- Call a Friend – I don’t like to make phone calls, but once I do, I love to catch up with friends. Let someone know you are thinking of them and give them a call.
- Comment on a Blog – Bloggers love to have people read what they wrote. Write a comment and engage in a conversation with real people.
- Walk the Dog – Mine is currently sleeping on the couch, but getting outside will be good for me and him. Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good. And you just may say hi to a neighbor – just no hugging today.
- Coloring Book – The pages in the books can be quite meditative. Focusing on something like coloring will keep you in the present moment and away from the anxiety of the news.
- Read a Book – Download something from the library or Amazon onto your phone. Since I am taking a break from alcohol this month I just finished a book call “Sober Diaries” by Clare Pooley. She is a well educated stay-at-home mom from London who wrote a blog and turned it into a book about her one year staying Alcohol Free. Funny and very relatable.
- Do a Puzzle – I haven’t done one since my dad used to set them up in the dining room on a card table when we were kids. I wanted to do something with my hands in the evening so I started a 1000 piece puzzle. It was actually really fun. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you find that piece you have been looking for.
- Play a Game – If you are alone, Words with Friends on my phone is my go to game. It is like scrabble and you can play with a friend or the program will find someone for you to play with.
- Solitaire – The card game we all learned when we were kids. Play it while watching TV or listening to music.
- Netflix – Some favorite series I’ve watched recently: Outlander, The Americans, Flea Bag, Mad Men, You, The Good Place, Schitts Creek, Vikings, Stranger Things, The Crown… just to name a few.
- Clean the House – Just kidding!
- Make a To Go box – That is on my list today. I still have boxes of dusty stuff I brought upstairs when the kitchen was under construction. I do not want most of that old stuff going back into my new, clean kitchen. Once I find homes for the good stuff, the rest is going into a box to be donated. No second thoughts.
- Toss Papers – I will put on a timer and go through the stack of papers. Toss, shred, file or act on. I do have an issue with too many papers.
- Plan a Trip – For the summer of 2021. Where would you like to visit? Check out the websites, read some blogs, pin the blogs onto a new Pinterest site. It’s fun to look forward to something exciting! Best 12 days in South Africa without renting a car
- Cook – Look up recipes using ingredients you have in the refrigerator right now. Be creative and enjoy.
Hope these suggestions are helpful. Please comment below if you like one of these, or if you have more ideas. I will need some too. Thanks for reading.