Editor’s Note: We are all in the same boat these days, and there are many, many ways of handling that. In order to provide you as many ideas as possible, we have asked many different writers for their take on what to do. Here’s the first one.

By Tania Teschke

Being at home for long periods of time when you are not used to it takes some getting used to. There is more cooking, cleaning, and laundry because you are at home more. Suddenly you become aware of the things that need to get done that were previously being perpetually postponed because there just isn’t enough time in the day.

Even in times of quarantine, the To Do list does not go away. In fact, it grows longer, as you are spending more time at home. So, grab  your pen and start checking things off that list!

Get Into a Routine

The best thing to do, especially with children at home, is to stick to a routine. Get up in the morning, make breakfast, clean up, and get ready for the day. Working from home will require some adjustments, but keep mealtimes and bedtimes on schedule. With a routine in place, you can begin to prioritize and add in the extra chores and cooking that have suddenly multiplied from having everybody at home all day.

Get Cooking

Obviously, you want to be eating as healthfully as possible to keep up immunity. Take advantage of the time at home to prepare nutritious meals using produce, meats and fish while they are fresh, freezing what you do not eat immediately. Try out new recipes or create them from the ingredients in your kitchen. Now is a good time to involve the kids in both meal planning and preparation, so that they feel a connection by participating in a vital family activity and so that they are less likely to waste what they have so carefully prepared.

Buy Food Online

As long as food purveyors are shipping, you can order food online. Meat and fish purveyors ship their wares fresh and frozen in insulated boxes. The purveyors I have used cater to my carnivorous French recipes, such as D’Artagnan, US Wellness Meats, and Butcher Box. There are many others who need the business as well.

No Commuting Time

Replace your commute time with a walk outdoors. In our little suburb, I have never seen so many families walking around as in the past few days! If you are lucky enough to have a garden, get out there and tend to it! Getting your hands in the dirt will support you own microbiome and will get you in touch, literally, with nature, not to mention getting you outside even more. Prepare for spring, plant herbs that you can order online and use in your cooking.

Move It!

Try replacing your group exercise classes with your own solo practice outdoors, weather-permitting. If you can’t be outside, you can search for your favorite activity, such as Pilates, yoga, or other fitness style online. Do these during what would have been your normal class time if you can. With kids home, they can join you or else send them outside, again weather and space permitting.

Re”kindle” Your Love of Reading

Get to those books on the shelves that you have been neglecting for years. Otherwise, delve into those audio books and audio (or Kindle) books from your library that you may borrow and download. Or else, start that online learning you have been putting off, or work on that scrap book you’ve been meaning to get to for two years.

Reach Out

In times of crisis and isolation, reaching out by phone or social platform to catch up with family and friends via audio or video chat is reassuring to all involved. Family and friends appreciate being thought of in times like these. Do not hesitate to reach out and commiserate or compare notes.

Pace Yourself

People who work at home already know they are in it for the long haul. Adjust to being at home step-by-step. Embrace the lack of structure by prioritizing your to do list, and enjoy the process. You may find freedom in being quarantined.

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About Tania Teschke

Tania Teschke is a writer and photographer who is passionate about French food and wine and is the author of The Bordeaux Kitchen,: An Immersion into French Food and Wine, Inspired by Ancestral Traditions. Tania has learned from cooks, butchers, chefs, and winemakers in France and holds a diploma in wine science and tasting from the University of Bordeaux. Tania continues to explore the deep connection the French have to their land, their cultural heritage, and to the nutritional density of their foods.

View all posts by Tania Teschke

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