By Hettie Howlett.
Being home and not knowing what to do during the day can be overwhelming and depressing. But it’s a great opportunity to do things that full-time workers often intend to do but never quite make the time. Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful:
Pray and go to Mass
You must take time for this! Don’t be ashamed if you don’t feel like praying. But do it anyway. This may be hard if you’re far from a church but you can pray at home. Even just 10 minutes is better than nothing. Read Park It (At All Costs) for some encouragement.
Try something new – bike, swim, dance, walk, run, cross country ski, etc.
Do it daily
Consider weights and other strength training, especially for your core
Join a recreation league
Look for community classes such as scuba, tennis, martial arts, etc.
Personal Growth and knowledge
Consider individual counseling or group therapy (like ones for grief, etc). Check with local hospitals, funeral homes, Catholic Charities, or your diocese. I did GriefShare and found it extremely helpful.
Self help materials – perhaps you can’t find a counselor or you just want to be a little healthier. Try Ten Days to Self Esteem, Resisting Happiness, The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. Or The Place We Find Ourselves podcast.
Career services – Does your local college offer advice? Is there a women’s center nearby? Research how to improve your resume/CV. Learn more about our career initiative here.
Career books like What Color is Your Parachute? and Do What You Are
Cook a new meal, learn a foreign language, explore a computer program that may help your job hunt or school efforts. Your library might offer free access to resources such as lynda.com
Join a club – see if your local library offers craft groups, book groups, etc.
Take a class- Find newsletters from the library, community college, community center, etc. to see what they offer
Pick up an old hobby – Were you in the band in school and haven’t touched your instrument in 10 years? Give it a try! Revisit drawing, poetry, painting, stargazing or other hobbies that used to give you joy.
Learn a new hobby – calligraphy, sewing, knitting, churning butter 🙂
Volunteer – it looks good on your resume/CV and will help you give to others.
Create a budget spreadsheet
Sign up for online banking
Track your credit card spending
Read about investing (example, Smart Women Love Money by Alice Finn)
Ask friends, family, your pastor, people at the parish for help or recommendations
Or if you’re a financial guru, please offer your help to others!
Reconnect with old friends
Learn how to make small talk. Check out this blog or The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine
Write a note to someone. Wasn’t snail mail in the convent special?
Find ways to meet new people (local Catholic group, meet-ups, book clubs)
Visit a shut-in or take communion to the sick / elderly
Babysit and/or visit a stay at home mom who might feel isolated
I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Please comment below!