The Ultimate Survival Guide for Quarantine 2020
Hi there!! For anyone who is new to my blog, let me introduce the whole crew here. I’m Carson Presley, and I write the content behind Girls & Dogs, Oh My. I’m graduating college this May (err--sort-of, just not traditionally because of the Coronavirus).
The luckiest person in the world, I have two adorable Labradoodles! Scout, who is two-years-old, and Ryder, who is just 9-weeks-old. My better half, Spencer, is the most amazing dog mom who helps me keep a handle on our two wild fur babies.
Together, we love traveling. We love packing up our Jeep and exploring new places. We’re also (until recently) first-time dog owners. In other words, we’re young and make a lot of mistakes--which is where the inspiration for this blog came from!
I want to be able to share all of our journeys and dog mom lessons with you all--especially our mistakes--so that you all can have the best possible experiences.
Every Monday I post new content with our latest adventure, traveling advice, dog mom tips and tricks. Sometimes I post more than just Mondays, so make sure to subscribe for updates! You might also get a rockin' discount as well :)
I have caved. It is time to talk about everything quarantine-related because, let’s face it, this thing isn’t ending anytime soon. Let’s dive into activities to do during the quarantine so that you can make it a little more bearable!
Spend time with loved ones
Obviously this one is restricted to being with whoever you live with; however, with technology, there are endless ways you can still spend time with the people you love! Facetime, Oovoo (does anyone use this anymore?), Snapchat, Whatsapp, the list goes ON.
Being physically separated shouldn’t stop you from talking to them! Log onto one of those and call up your family and friends. Do the virtual happy hour, the virtual brunch mimosas, all of it. Continue your life, laugh with people you love, and really just have fun.
This is an awesome activity for kids and teenagers because it allows them to stay connected with others! It will also occupy them for awhile so that you can go get some cleaning or work done.
A picnic is always a crowd favorite. Recruit the kiddos to help you pack up a little lunch for the family, then grab an extra blanket and head outside. You don't have to go anywhere fancy, your kids will love the quality time together, even if it's just in the backyard.
Reading is something most of us want to do but never make time to do. Well, now we all have more than enough time! If you’re anything like me, you have an entire shelf of books that you bought with every intention of reading, but life happens and you haven’t read more than a couple pages of them.
Same girl same. 100%. But books forgive and will always appreciate you flipping through a couple more pages. The top book on my list right now is Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks.
Last summer I read Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks in a couple days because it was just. that. good. I recommend it any day!
Books never disappoint. Okay, well sometimes they do. But it’s worth it. Maybe next time you go to pick up your phone and scroll through your social media feed, limit yourself to a couple minutes then go pick up a book.
And just read.
Grab a blanket, some fuzzy socks, a cup of tea or coffee, and read until you’re bored or you fall asleep or you finish the book, whichever happens first. You won’t regret it, I promise.
Of course your health and wellbeing is going to be on this list! It seems there is a huuuuge shift of everyone’s daily life to focusing on their health and fitness. And I love it.
For everyone who has never been interested in fitness and still isn’t--that’s totally fine. But hear me out. We’re being cooped up inside all day and the least we can do is get a few rays of sun on our skin.
We need to breathe fresh air and smell the outdoors. You don’t have to be working out to be working on your health and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
For everyone who is interested in doing something physical in order to work on your overall fitness, I have a couple ideas for you!
My gosh do I love doing yoga. I carry all of my stress and emotions in my body and, with time, it starts to take a toll. My back and shoulders get so tight and it causes some aches and pains.
I am in no ways a master yogi, but I love it and try to squeeze in a routine or two every day.
Yoga is incredibly helpful for any internal or external pains you’re carrying around. It doesn’t have to be long, even just 10 minutes a day will help keep your headspace clear.
Sometimes I just roll out my mat and stretch whatever feels right, trying to take some deep, concentrated breaths. Other times, I want to do something different so I’ll watch a video or two.
You can find my favorite yoga channel on Youtube here. She’s super beginner friendly if you’re new to yoga but will also still take you through a solid routine if you’re not as new to yoga.
If you still aren’t sold, try throwing in just one routine when you wake up in the morning. See if it helps wake you up and kick start your day at all.
If you are an athlete of any kind and any skill level, this is when you should start taking notes! I’ve always been a long-distance runner. I’m not the best, but I manage. In high school, I was insanely fortunate to have coaches who taught us the importance of mobility work and it has definitely paid off over the years.
Doing mobility work helps prevent injury. It helps support healthy joints and increases your range of motion so that you can perform more efficiently.
For running, my must-do exercises include a couple for my ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. Because Spencer and I were previously training for a triathlon, I’ve had to incorporate some shoulder work as well.
Mobility work is a game changer! Do your knees hurt when you stand up, squat, etc? Then you could probably use a little mobility. There are routines for every skill level and every pain area, so you don't have an excuse!
What a love-hate relationship, am I right? Sometimes I absolutely love just destroying myself, and other times the thought of cardio makes me want to die. Not really. But really.
So I’m going to share with you what we’ve been doing for doing cardio during this time!
Like I mentioned earlier, we were training for a triathlon, but it was canceled. Sad. So we started training for a marathon instead since we don’t need any equipment, a gym, or anything to train.
In other words, we are following a running schedule which includes 4 days of running, 2 days of cross training (usually a bike session), and 1 rest day.
Outside of our running plan, we have been doing HIIT workouts. HIIT workouts are High Intensity Interval Training workouts that are designed to make you work as hard as you can for a short period of time.
And here is another video explaining HIIT workouts and some of the key benefits!
We’ve been doing a bunch of HIIT workouts because they are quick and easy. There is also a surplus of them on YouTube so there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone’s ability level.
My favorite thing about HIIT workouts is that they often don’t require any equipment at all! Just you, some water, and a can-do attitude.
Walking is something that is so simple yet so beneficial for your health! Some of the benefits include lowering blood sugar, boosting your immune system (something we all need a little extra of right now), increased energy, and greater positivity!
Walking does, of course, increase your metabolism and burn some calories too, which is also nice.
This is also a great time to get your dogs, cats, iguanas, etc. out of the house and in the fresh air. It’s the perfect activity to get some sun on your skin, some clean air in your lungs, and still maintain your social distancing!
You don’t need anything special for taking a walk. Throw on some sneakers, some headphones if you want to walk to the beat of your own drum, and get moving.
I can almost guarantee an increase in your productivity--did someone say getting done with work sooner?!
At-home workouts & recommendations
This goes hand-in-hand with the HIIT workouts but can require a little less effort! If you’re a beginner or you want to take an easy day yet still be active, hop on Youtube and look around the at-home workouts section.
There’s something for everyone! There are videos that lead you through dance workouts, ab workouts, specific muscle group workouts--you name it, it exists.
A lot of these videos, especially with the current increased popularity of at-home workouts, require no equipment at all. This means you have no excuse to not do the workout.
If you feel extra daring, do a time lapse of your workout and share it on your social media platform! You will likely inspire someone else to workout as well!
This is seriously my favorite topic. Yes, I know I sound crazy. I love cleaning. But we aren’t just talking about any regular cleaning here…
I’m talking about Spring Cleaning.
When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? Your dresser? Your storage bins? Your bathroom? Oh yes girlfriend, I’m talking an entire house, floor to ceiling, spring cleaning session.
Spencer and I went through our clothes and had 6 busting-at-the-seams full trash bags of clothes to sell and donate. SIX BAGS. I promise you that you have more than you think.
We found all sorts of clothes that neither of us even remember getting, haven’t worn in years, and didn’t even remember that we had in the first place.
We don’t need that many clothes, and honestly, we don’t want that many clothes either. We bagged them up and tossed them in the car so that we will be able to sell them after the quarantine.
But don’t stop at just your bedroom. Go on to your bathroom, kitchen, living room, garage… the list goes on and on!
Here are some other items probably lying around your house, never being touched:
-All the old, ripped, stained towels. You just don't need them anymore. You have fifty nice towels.
-Tacky holiday decorations. Maybe you upgraded. Maybe you just don’t put them up anymore. Either way, they’re probably taking up space that you could use for other things.
-Dog toys. Yes, I cry too. But the entire basket of dog toys that you have had for Fido since he was 8 weeks old should probably be cleaned out.
Related Post: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting a Puppy
We threw away at least 10 shredded toys and Scout knows no different. We still have a million and one dog toys, but it helps to get some of them out of the house.
-Shoes… I love shoes as much as the next person, but you probably have a couple pairs of shoes that you can get rid of. I only got rid of one, but that one pair still gets rid of a little bit of clutter from the house.
-Coffee mugs. All my fellow coffee lovers are dying right now. I know. But trust me. You don’t need every single coffee mug that you have. If you don’t want to get rid of them (like us), repurpose them!
Spence and I give each other matching mugs for Valentine’s Day, so we repurpose last year’s for a craft. We have yet to do the one for this year, but we are making last year’s mugs into planters for some succulents. It allows us to keep them while also getting them out of the cabinet.
-Pens, pencils, markers, and every single other extra office supplies you have! We threw away an entire trash bag of literally just old office supplies that neither one of us have used for four years… in other words, we probably will never use it!
We got rid of writing utensils that are dried up, don’t have lead, etc. We also got rid of countless page protectors, page reinforcement stickers,...seriously so much stuff. It will really help.
-Electronics. I am a serious hoarder when it comes to electronics, cords, headphones...everything. I found a couple pairs of old headphones that were brand new, still with the plastic protector around them.
And by “old headphones” I mean the headphones with the jack, not the lightning charger. In other words, I needed roughly zero pairs of these, so I got rid of them. I found an old phone case, random cords that I have no clue what they go to. So they went in the trash pile.
I’m sure you will find random cords and things that you have no clue what they belong to--that means you don’t need them anymore.
-Healthcare products. Much like electronics, I buy way too many healthcare products. It’s like I can’t help myself. But there are definitely products that I had for way too long and needed to get rid of.
Most products have a life span of 6-12 months, as indicated on the package. If you’ve had it open for longer than that, you should probably toss it. In the depths of my bathroom, I found some old lotions and face wash products that I no longer needed.
As you can tell, there are countless things around the house that you can clean out and get rid of. Maybe just take it one room at a time. It took us a couple days to go through the bedroom alone, and we still keep sorting through things and getting rid of them.
Sometimes, it’s just time to say goodbye.
Once your house is decluttered and all cleaned out, you will have a bunch of space to play some games! As a child, we always played board games as a family, so I prefer those the most. There are, however, other options such as gaming systems and puzzles!
Spencer and I don’t have a ton of board games, but we do have a couple. A couple days into the quarantine we went ahead and grabbed a couple more to try and help prolong the insanity.
We have Mancala, Chickapig, Jenga, Scrabble, Sequence, and a deck of cards. Mancala, Jenga, and Scrabble are classics. Sequence and Chickapig are two games we picked up and do not regret one bit.
They are amazing! They are both strategy games but not the ones that take forever and require too much concentration. They’re awesome and worth every dollar!
Electronic Games--dig out that old Gameboy!
In the midst of my cleaning, I found my Nintendo DS! What a blast from the past. I fired that bad boy up and spent some time on Nintendogs...feeding them, watering them, taking them all on walks, and….. Yes I still love the game, ok?
Even if you don’t play video games regularly, picking up an old game and playing around on it for a little bit every day is still fun. It also gives you something new to do to help break up the monotony of everyday life.
Disclaimer: I actually can’t stand puzzles. I don’t have the patience; however, I figured now would be a good time to commit to one and spend some time doing something slightly challenging from time-to-time over the next couple weeks.
Since we are trying to not refill our newly decluttered house with junk, we chose a puzzle with every intention of gifting it!
Spencer’s mom actually loves everything Disney-related, so we picked a Disney puzzle! This will later double as a craft for us to use Mod Podge to seal it all together and frame it.
Another type of puzzle you can do is a Rubik’s Cube! This is one of my favorite things that we have done since being quarantined.
We watched a Youtube video on how to solve it and we spent a couple hours over a few days learning the patterns and algorithms! Everyday I wake up and try to solve one or two as part of my morning wake-up routine.
You probably already saw this one coming, but we are constantly planning for new trips! We love traveling places, seeing new things, and hiking all of the hikes.
Related Post: Our Unbeatable Road Trip Planning Process
We’re going to be long distance within the next year, so we’re trying to squeeze in as many trips as possible. Covid-19 is now putting a damper on that; however, it will not keep us from making future plans!
We made a giant spreadsheet with one page for every state in the U.S. and we compile lists of where we want to go within that state on each page.
You always have to spoil that love of yours. Or yourself. Or all of your loves. Whatever position you’re in, plan out some special things for when we’re allowed to leave our houses again.
Think back on conversations that you had and things that they said and try to remember if they mentioned somewhere they want to go or something they want to do.
Need some inspiration? Consider…
~A day at the zoo and/or aquarium
~A trip to Top Golf
~A specific restaurant they mentioned
~Renting kayaks, a boat, stand-up paddle boards, etc.
~A hike or walk nearby
~Concerts--might be hard to plan now, with shows being canceled, but still something you can think about!
Related Post: Plan a Date to Coconino National Forest Using Our Guide
The list goes on and on.
Pick up a new hobby
I read somewhere once that you should have 3 hobbies: one to keep you smart, one to keep you creative, and one to make you money.
It really got me thinking about my lifestyle and what I am doing.
I compiled a list below of a couple easy, cheap hobbies you can pick up!
Knitting/other needle work
No, this isn’t just for grandmas! It’s for everyone. There are a bunch of tools that can make this easier, such as these looms.
Grab one of those bad boys, some yarn, and use this time to make some scarves for everyone you love! We might need them by the time we get out of here…… :)
Start a blog...or vlog
Honestly, why not?? At this point, I’ve only been blogging a couple months but I can say it’s already rewarding. Knowing that I am able to spend a little of my own time to help save others some time and influence their lives is awesome.
There are countless resources to help you get started. If you want more on the first two months of my blogging, feel free to let me know in the comments!
If you have some spare time, just start writing or typing or whatever and see how it feels. Pick a topic you love and write down everything you know about it.
That’s how I started and it really helped me figure out what I liked and helped me decide that I actually wanted to really try blogging.
Everyone seems to be gardening during the quarantine, so I just had to mention it! If you follow me on Instagram, then you have seen my plants! I love them. I’m not super great with keeping plants alive, so I only have a couple, and they are all pretty difficult to kill.
In other words, I have a bunch of succulents and cacti and some other easy-to-care-for houseplants. I recommend succulents if you are new to the gardening world because they are literally almost impossible to kill!
My dream is to have plants everywhere in my house. Hanging plants, floor plants, window plants--plants everywhere!!
On your next *mandatory* grocery trip, talk a quick walk past the outdoorsy area and they’ll probably have some seeds for sale! On our last Target trip, they had their seasonal section filled with gardening equipment, seeds--everything you could need!
Gardening is amazing because it gets you outdoors and moving, even if it’s basic activity. Not only does it get you outside, it also offers you a great sense of accomplishment as well as a beautiful addition to your house!
Cooking/Baking--crack open that old recipe book and start cooking! Literally.
I am about to be the biggest hypocrite ever. I cannot cook to save anyone’s life, but it’s something you can try and should try! We all have at least one cookbook laying around that we haven’t opened in forever...and it’s just waiting for you to open it and try your hand at a new dish.
I personally love baking. There’s something about mixing up sweet ingredients and smelling them as they bake that I just love.
Dietary restriction? No problem! Spencer and I have been doing Paleo for a couple months now and we love making these.
Pinterest is a powerhouse of recipes for all dietary restrictions!
Scroll through and find some recipes you and the family might enjoy, make a food list, and add it to your pre-existing list.
An awesome idea you can try out is doing a virtual baking party with your friends and family! You can all video chat and make a dish or dessert together!
Journaling/Bullet Journal--Write lists of everywhere you want to go, your bucket list, life goals, favorite things, things you want to learn...the list is endless.
Are Bullet Journals still cool, you ask? Yes. Yes they are.
What are they? They’re journals that help you organize your entire life by putting everything in your head into a journal and organizing it to help you maximize your productivity.
You can design a habit tracker, cleaning schedule, meal plan...anything you want.
We've been self-quarantining for a while now and you might be running out of ideas. You might be bored. You and your S/O or roommate might be at each others' throats.
But don't fret. Just relax, pick out a couple things to do every day, and focus your energy on those! You can try being active, planning something special with your partner, or even gardening. The options are truly unlimited!
You don't just have to survive this quarantine! Rather, make it your goal to thrive!
What are you all doing to stay sane and be productive during this time? What are you holding onto to stay positive? Let me know in the comments below!
Still need some planning inspo? Go take a gander at our gallery and dream up your dream trip!