Keep Calm, Keep Busy, Keep Healthy

These are trying times, indeed. A global pandemic is a cause for serious concern. We all know panic isn’t helpful, but preparation is. There’s no need to hoard canned goods or toilet paper, but it’s likely a good idea to pad your standard grocery list a bit, should sheltering in place become a necessity. Here in New Jersey, most of us are not at the point of quarantine, but the World Health Organization is encouraging social distancing as a means of slowing the spread of COVID-19. As you find yourself spending more time in your home in the coming days, here are some ways to pass the time.

Self-care is important, friends. Stress can compromise the immune system, so it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself.


Sleep in.

Grab every cozy blanket in your home and your puffiest pillows and create a haven of peace and rest.


Soak away your stress.

Run a warm bath and relax.

Warm Bath

Photo: Peter Rymwid, Design NJ October/November 2019 Designer: Jennifer Pacca


Have a bit of a binge.

Catch up on all your favorite shows. (I particularly like lighthearted romances and comedies to get my mind off more serious matters.)

Binge Living Room

Photo: John Ferrentino, Design NJ December 2018/January 2019 Designer: Tracey Butler


In trying times, keeping busy can be a sanity saver.

Catch up on laundry.

Make it a Zen experience. You’ve got time to fold towels just so; they’ll make a fine display on a vanity or shelf.


Organize your closet.

You know the drill: discard or donate worn out or rarely-used items, then neatly arrange whatever’s left. When life gets back to normal (and it will), getting dressed will be that much easier.


Cook up some hearty meals.

Comfort foods soothe body and soul. Make extra helpings of chicken soup and freeze some for later.

Cooking Kitchen

Photo: Peter Rymwid, Design NJ February/March 2018 Designer: Sharon Sherman/Builder: Veenstra & Sons


Finally, be present.       

Calm and measured action can get us through a crisis. But when you’ve done all you can do, slow down, sit still, breathe and appreciate the comfort of home.