Here in Ridgewood, as in most cities and communities across the country, we are now staying at home and practicing social distancing if we must go out, in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We know that staying home is necessary right now for all of us, but at the same time, we're starting to go a little stir-crazy. So to help during this challenging time, we asked our agents to give some ideas and tips on things they are doing to make the most of this situation.
For The Family & Yourself
Turning to cooking while self-quarantined provides sustenance, comfort and entertainment, too. Mary Onie Holland, along with her husband and fellow Tarvin agent Tom Holland are staying busy cooking more than usual and trying new recipes.
For those evenings you want to take it easy, plan a restaurant night. Open a bottle of wine and order in, since many local establishments are providing delivery. As a bonus to not cooking, you can try out new places and help support a local business - and, if you can, please tip delivery people generously. Click here to see a list of places to order.
A quick and simple house project helps to pass the hours and also feels like you are accomplishing something. With a bit of paint (some paint stores are still delivering), Kim Ford has taken some time out from her day job and transformed her basement with a freshly painted ceiling. Making small updates and fixes not only feels productive, but it highlights a home’s best features and can help diminish flaws.
Take some time to do all the tedious chores you have been putting off. In a situation like this, there are no downsides to deep-cleaning your house, especially if you use disinfectants. It will not only give you something to do but improving your home health helps improve your overall health.
Michelle Stojanovic, who was a professional organizer before joining Tarvin, says this is a great time to purge and reorganize your closet, kitchen cabinets and pantry. Take one space at a time, box away unwanted items and hold onto them for donation.
Tarvin Agent, Debby Monroe Tarvin is going through old photos that never made it into an album and is creatively documenting her family history for herself and her children.
Photos take us through a journey in time, unlocking almost forgotten stories and bring back fond memories. One of the best ways to distract yourself from today’s worries is to revisit happy times, and it will also help you feel reconnected with family and friends.
It’s easy to get caught up in stress and anxiety during this pandemic. Turn off the news for a while and focus on exercise and physical activity to stimulate positive emotions instead. Barb Masarky, a Tarvin agent for over 25 years, has been keeping her spirits up by walking 3 miles each day weather permitting at Vets Field, and fellow agent Peggy Marino has been taking their family dogs out for walks much more frequently.
For The Little Ones
Children are probably the most creative and attention-seeking creatures during a time like this. They are accustom to a predictable daily routine, so adjusting to a new normal takes time. While many parents have been able to move their offices to work remotely at home, it is important to find a balance between working, parenting and teaching all under the same roof.
Many educational websites are waiving fees and offering online courses for kids. Scholastic and Khan Academy are great resources. Even our Ridgewood Public Library is offering "story time" via YouTube to help entertain kids.
Quarantine is the perfect opportunity to teach kids some of the basic skills they won’t learn in school. Teach your kids how to cook a meal, clean the kitchen, do yard work or take care of a pet. These skills will not only benefit them in their futures but will benefit parents right now. Tarvin Agent, Tara Briganti, is going to plant that garden that she and her family have been talking about! "It is something we can do together outdoors with the entire family. Planting a garden gives kids responsibility, teaches patience, healthy eating, math skills", she says.
Get creative! Encourage kids to draw, make music, write stories and play games. Exploring their creative side can help kids discover new interests and learn about the world around them.
We hope you’ve found our tips useful and that they make your time at home a positive experience. COVID-19 is set to continue having a major impact on our lives in the coming weeks. From everyone on the Tarvin Team, stay safe and enjoy this time at home.
Do you have other great stay at home ideas to share? We'd love to hear from you!