You may have expected a list of things to do at home to alleviate boredom during the social distancing lockdown imposed by Covid-19; hobbies, family games, home entertainment, learning new skill…you know, the usual lists being produced online lately. It seems that everyone has already come up with suggestions covering every diversion under the sun. Adding to such lists may simply be like teaching shuffleboard to the passengers on the Titanic.
With a general and intuitive foreknowledge of the very uncertain times ahead why not turn the current disruption of your normal daily routine to your advantage? There may be priorities in your life where you could be taking advantage of this newfound time you now find on your hands.
John Donne, the English poet and scholar of the 17th century, once wrote a meditation entitled ‘No Man Is An Island’ in which he pointed out that human beings necessarily depend on one another and no one can really manage a meaningful life all by themselves. This observation still applies at the family level as well as the national and global levels.
Right now many of us are sequestered as families and many socially distanced from their families. These are times when we may overlook priorities in our lives that may be far more crucial than merely overcoming boredom.
What to do in your home during the coronavirus lockdown?
Let’s look at some of these:
GETTING OUR LIVES IN ORDER
Assuming that we have adopted a comfortable spiritual understanding of the meaning and nature of life and are all set on that plane, there are some practical matters concerning our mortality that should deserve our attention. Thoughts of our own mortality play in the back of our minds as we hear daily of those who lose the battle to a global pandemic.
Have you not thought, for instance, that if you fell gravely ill or died unexpectedly would your loved ones know what to do and, most importantly, where to look for important paperwork to guide their decision-making?
Here are examples of some household documents that you may want to review at this time:-
- Last Will and Testament – (To choose an executor and spell out your final wishes for how your estate should be distributed after you die. Without it you die “intestate” and your assets go through probate, where the Province will determine how to pay your debts and distribute your assets according to survivorship rights.)
- Living Revocable Trust – (To retain control of your assets while you’re alive, and to appoint a trustee to transfer assets directly to your beneficiaries, avoiding probate.)
- Living Will – (To state your preferences for end-of-life medical treatment when you become incapacitated or terminally ill, and you can’t speak for yourself.)
- Financial Power of Attorney – (To give someone permission and authority to manage your finances when you can’t do it yourself due to illness or distance.)
- Designated Beneficiary Accounts – (To ensure your beneficiaries can easily file a claim and receive any benefits you’ve left in their name on life insurance, retirement, and annuity accounts.)
- Copy Of Marriage Licence or Divorce Decree – (To transfer ownership of assets to a surviving spouse.)
- Copy of Latest Tax Returns – (To help your agent file your taxes if you become incapacitated, or to file a final tax return after you die.)
- List of Financial Accounts – (To identify what banks and other financial institutions you do business with to pay bills or distribute assets.)
- Letter of Instruction /Intent – (To give your executor clear directions on how to manage/distribute your estate. Where you specify exactly who gets what when dividing up items of the estate.)
- Funeral Plan – (To make it clear what kind, if any, memorial service you prefer and whether you want a burial or cremation. Or, alternately, whether you have bequeathed your body to medical science after death.)
IMPROVING DIGITAL SKILLS
Well, it looks like we will be using computer technology far more frequently to communicate, learn, shop and transact business over the coming months. To that end it may be prudent for you to use this stay-at-home time in order to brush up on the tech skills and software and the latest development in apps and hardware that will make life easier.
Yes, that bugbear, exercise. If you formerly had a sedentary work life you will know how important an exercise regimen is to maintaining a healthy life. A healthy lifestyle is now more important than ever in building up viral immunity.
Try to establish a suitable home workout method and routine to stay ahead of the game until society begins to work out new methods of interactive exercise and sports which you were formerly used to.
The family unit is now more important than ever in re-making the social structure that we are now being forced to live in through circumstances beyond our control. With a drastic reduction in the opportunity for physical contact to fulfill emotional needs out there in society the family unit must now contribute in a more meaningful way than ever.
It is important that bonding through exchange of feelings is put on the family agenda. Times together sharing confidences and participating in family decisions must become a practice which blossoms into a spontaneous habit. Bonding helps family members to build confidence, earn trust, lead to improved communications skills and reduce behavioral issues such as aggression, anti-social behavior. Closer bonding also reduces the reliance on drugs and alcohol as an escape in order to avoid confronting issues that can, with genuinely applied family support, be resolved in a compassionate manner.
Resorting to card games, board games, barbecues, gardening and household projects to provide conversational venues or small dialogues might be some of the avenues to be explored. Pride in family history is always an exciting talking point when the family albums are trotted out or when uncles and aunts are asked to recall early family memories
If your family has not explored its genealogy yet there are numerous organizations on line to help you go on a fascinating adventure in which the whole family can become involved.
Remember, the family is the basic building block of civilization and our civilization appears to be in need of restructuring on a rather grand scale.