Updated: May 18
Have you ever thought about how many people in the world actually live & work at home? Despite the lure & attractions of living an urban life according to movies & media, a huge proportion of the world's inhabitants spend their days thriving - adn working in & around their home.
So, why the panic in 2020?
Think about it. We have been squeezed into ever-decreasing sized house blocks, urged to live in high rise, condensed homes, when there is more than enough to go around. 'Social' life now means going to shopping centres/malls, clubs, sporting arenas and other myriad man-made over-populated social gathering spots and we now feel odd if we enjoy our own company and solitude. Apparently, we are no longer normal if we thrive without a (hectic) support network. Why are we so scared at the thought of actually living at home? Why does isolation and quarantine scare us so much, if it is so easy for so many? More importantly, how can we make it better?
Enough with the panic buying. Nothing has disappeared. It is still all here as it was prior to the announcements. If you can't get to the store, order online. That goes for your favourite supermarket and is a huge opportunity to find new options.
What do you do, just because? Do you even remember why you do what you do, every day? Is it really convenient or was it something you found out about at the time which just became a habit, or even addiction? Is it good for you? Is it good for the planet? Does it affect others and if so, good or bad? Is there something you need to break? Focus on something else which will benefit you, your family or someone you never met.
FITNESS & WEIGHT
How do you keep fit? Do you even keep fit? Why not start now? Dust off those old dumbells or skipping rope, hula hoop or workout bench. Turn up the music and dance! Don't have any equipment? Make your own. Did you ever hear of the woman who was so overweight she could not even walk to her mailbox? Now she is a fitness guru, all without any specialised equipment. Watch her story (1), it is inspiring. It saved not only her life but countless others.
Why not use a can of beans as a handweight? Check out youtube for at home, no-equipment-needed workouts. And what of the right diet for you? Thie pH diet (2) is my preferred diet; not the least because it saved my life, but also countless people around the world. It's not about cheating or eating what you think you like. It is about doing the right thing for your body and health, about longevity, and life itself.
Did you know that lack of sunlight not only destroyes your immune system, but also affects your mood (ie depression)? Sitting inside creates a catch-22; over time you become so depressed you don't want to get out to absorb those rays. And did you know that you cannot get sufficient rays if you wear sunglasses, simply because those rays are absorbed predominantly via your pupils?
Don't have a huge garden space? What about sprouting (3)? Did you know that LIVING food is the best food you can consume? If you do not have a sprouter, you can do it in jars and tie some porous cloth as a lid, with an elastic band. I have a few sprouters and still prefer to use jars. Seeds, beans, grains and even nuts can be soaked, rinsed and sprouted at home for fresh, high nutrient food and it takes a matter of days.
Do you use herbs? If so, how? And if not, why not? The lore about the use of herbs for health goes back to Biblical times. Medicinal or culinary, the uses are limitless. Yes, you can actually grow your own immune building medicines at home. And what of those incredible kitchen window herb gardens we see on TV and movies and wish we had? Shelves by a window, a bench by a window, or even a tray under a good light will do. How many of you have an old pretty baker's stand or open bookshelf that is not really being put to good use? Yes, you can buy specialised equipment or you can use some of your free time to DIY (4).
Thanks to ever-increasing urban development, the best a family can hope for these days is often a balcony or postage-stamp sized yard. Never fear. Ever heard of vertical gardens? With a little ingenuity you can grow much of what your family needs in tubs and vertical planters.
Yes, you can buy pre-made equipment or you can use just about any vessel for a planter. What about coffee bags (5)? Or discarded pallets (6)? I believe the world's richest, and least affected by social distancing today are the ones we in the west usually consider the most poor - subsistence farmers (7). They will just continue to do what they always did, still getting enough sunshine, growing their own food and keeping fit to boot.
CANNING AND PRESERVING
Until relatively recently, every home had its version of preserves, whether jams, sauces, vegetables or entire meals. Some spend big and buy preserving kits but if you have a large, deep pot and glass jars with lids, you can do it too (8). That way, you always have food. How do you think those cans and jars of food get to the supermarkets?
Do you have a favourite recipe? Too much fruit? Love pickles? Pretty much anything can go into a jar. And it's fun for the whole family. And rather than the overprocessed, sugary options out there, make your own health food supply.
FASTING AND ABSTINENCE
How's your health? Do you ever wonder why YOU? As in why others seem to be healthy, but not you? Could it possibly be to do with something you are or are not doing? Now's your chance to find out. Have you been meaning to lose weight or do a detox (9)? In yesterday's fast paced world, it was almost impossible for many. Now, the only excuse you have is the one you are making up in your head right now. Are you worried about not having enough food? Maybe that is the problem.
LEARNING HOW TO COOK
Do you cook? If yes, how? I mean, who taught you? Was it circumstance or convenience? Do you cook to nourish or just to eat? Everything you put into your body should be able to heal and grow cells. It should be medicinal AND taste amazing. And it should not adhere to any one ideal. For example, how contrary are your ingredients?
Do you have pulses and herbs and condiments that are not processed? Do you shy away from fresh food? Why? I learned from some of the best and besides, there are so many passionate, incredible, healthy cooks out there happy to share their skills and knowledge - and it's all online or in books. Best of all, you can start today (10).
MAKE YOUR OWN
Anything and everything. There are so many adages of how women have emasculated men, or how men have entrapped women. While yes, this has happened and does happen, you can bet if you feel this way, it's because of societal pressures, not the opposite sex. Why can't men cook, sew, knit and do crafts? Likewise, why can't women fix and build and repair and do male-oriented jobs? Think about it - some of the world's best cooks are men. And some of the most amazing tradies are women. What do you need? Ask yourself if you can make it. What about making clothes for yourself or your family/friends? Youtube is your friend; there are millions of DIY videos out there. What a great time to start.
Have you ever thought about making your own healthy fermented products at home? Kombucha, kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kvass and kimchi are big business and can be costly. Yet all of these can be made at home for pennies and a few ingredients. They are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and probiotics and can be the missing link between good gut and immune health (11).
LEARNING HOW TO BARTER AND TRADE
Do you have a cupboard or shed full of things you don't need, no matter how many plans you have had for them? And what if your neighbours have something you need? Prior to our tax departments coming down hard on any of the old ways, there used to be a thriving system of bartering for points in almost every nation.
This is the perfect time to start up again. Join local barter and trade groups online. Don't support social media? That's fine, just advertise what you have on Gumtree and see what comes up. You may even make a little cash!
WRITE THAT BOOK
The old saying is true - most of us have a story to tell but in the past were so time poor that we never quite got around to it. Don't worry if you don't have the grammatical skills; there are many skilled ghostwriters online now who will happily decipher your ideas for you, for a small fee.
Did you know many of the world's bestsellers were not technically written by their authors? That is what proof readers and editors are here for. Do you have something you think could change the world? Are you a good storyteller? Go for it!
BUILD THAT WEBSITE
There are many DIY websites out there now which will allow anyone to build a professional looking website. Sell your skills. Become a mentor or adviser. Sell your ideas. Or goods.
DRY AND BULK GOODS
While the western world is fixated on toilet paper, what of food? All food is made up of just a few basic ingredients and most people are paying for someone else to put them together. Fill jars and containers with flours, beans, nuts, grains, seeds, pastas, rice, herbs & spices. If sealed, they will store well. If unsure, put them in the fridge.
RUN WITH THAT IDEA
Are you a closet inventor? Do you have an idea that could make life better for someone else? Why not work on it? Get drawing, designing, making and doing. You have time now.
EDUCATION FOR KIDS
Okay, so I guess I am an anomaly. I always hated it when my kids went to school. I had my reasons which proved to be valid, but what of the current situation where you find yourself in a small space with rowdy kids and no idea how to school them? Did you know ALL schooling can be done online or at least with online guidance? Why not make everything and anything a fun lesson? Sounds corny, but what are we teaching our kids? Do we even know? When I finally got my kids out of mainstream, the world opened like I never imagined. My twins had a dozen university level diplomas between them by the age of 16. Did you know most of the world's knowledge is now available online for FREE today? (12) For small kids, let them be creative. Have educational DVDS, shows and games on hand at all times. Documentaries do not have to be boring. Did you know that many of the world's changers were homeschooled?
EDUCATION FOR ADULTS
And what about you? Were you ever disillusioned with your job or career? Do you wish you studied something else? Why not study a free course online? You pay a small fee for the diploma or degree but it is all at your fingertips right now. Try Coursera, ALISON or any of the plethora of free educational sites out there.
OUTSOURCING HEALTH CARE AT HOME
Did you know independent health coaching with individualised advice is available via your computer (13)? Did you also know, your home is the SAFEST place for you when you are unwell? It's not just an old medical joke that tells of the fact that a hospital is the last place you should be if you don't want to be sick! What is the point of self isolating if you are going to be exposed to everything you are trying to avoid, and especially if you are worried about being immune compromised?
As you begin to set up your dedicated home health dispensary, you will soon see just how self sufficient you can be and how misled you have been. And what of the times you need expertise? Decades of learning and practical experience can now be found online. It is safe, confidential and professional. And the choice is far more extensive than needing to go to one provider, get a referral, go to another, then go to someone else to decipher the information which you should have been given in the first place. You will wonder how and why you did not know this before. You will receive a printable assessment which you can then use as a reference to further stock your home health dispensary and take care of every aspect of your health.
How many of us have animals that have had no choice but to fit around our lifestyles? Right now, they are probably pretty happy to have you home. Don't ignore them. Play with them, and if possible, take them on that walk. Revise their diets and living conditions. Get some exercise with them. Clean up their homes.
HOW DOES TV FIT INTO THIS?
Don't become a couch potato. And don't be a mainsteam media puppet. Watch a move by all means, but don't become fixated on things that wont enhance your life.
LEARNING HOW TO COMMUNICATE AGAIN
Have you been too busy for life? Have you forgotten how to talk to your family? What about your kids? Are you a part of their lives or on the periphery? Show them the real you. Show them why you are the greatest father, mother, aunty, uncle, sister, brother, grandfather, grandmother, cousin, guardian.
What were your greatest childhood memories? Make the greatest childhood memories for your kids. And your partners, parents, siblings, friends. You don't need a huge gathering to live. Write letters, emails and messages. Make that phonecall.
LOOK OUT FOR OTHERS
How are your neighbours? Do you have an elderly friend who could use some help or cheering up? Are your friends and loved ones okay? Do you know someone struggling with depression? Enforced isolation can have a disastrous effect on someone who needs to be around others. Thankfully, there are sound and effective natural ways to help them (14). There is also a concern right now for those who are housebound who may be domestic violence victims. Don't ignore it; these are the ones who need you the most. Call in the experts if need be.
TAKE UP A HOBBY
Do you have hobbies or has it become a life of doing what you can manage to fit in? Did you want to learn how to dance or paint or play an instrument? Did you give any up because life got in the way? Thankfully there are millions of people out there ready to share their skills with you, to help you on your way to amateur or pro level new skills.
GAMES AND READING
Before the advent of the TV and computer age, people read books and played games. How many books sit in boxes or on shelves in your house? Can your remember or did you never learn? For those struggling with dyslexia or vision issues there are audio books. As an avid reader I can tell you that nothing compares to a good book. Your own imagination sets the scene and it is always far better than any great cinematographer could envision. And more fun. Okay, so there is nothing quite like a well made movie but when did we stop thinking and imagining? And what of games? Whether physical like old fashioned darts or quoits or handball, or a skills game like Scrabble or Chess or Trivial Pursuit, or even a fun game like Monopoly or any of those board games you have gathering dust, it can bond a family or friends like nothing else.
Most of all, take a breath. Let this time do its healing, magical work. Slow down. It is time for reflection and change.
Make the most of it. For your own health and wellbeing coaching and advice, follow the exit right now!
(2) pH diet