Have you been losing your sanity due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 stay at home order? This is a tough season but you’re not in prison! Just for you, the World Health Organization (WHO) started a new campaign five days ago. It’s called “Healthy At Home” and can be followed at #HealthyAtHome.
“Healthy At Home” campaign encourages people to share with the community how they stay healthy at home. I’ve been at home for the last 13 months building this ministry, Online Discipleship For Women. My social calendar has been empty because I wanted to focus on God. I’ve made me a serene retreat at home, have been cooking here, working out, and writing. I’ve built 200+ products, produced a collection of 102 poems, created a collection of 22 pieces of original acrylic art, and it’s been a blessing. Today, I want to share with you a few ideas on how I stay healthy at home and how you can, too.
You can’t go out to eat, attend your favorite gym, visit an art gallery, or work at a coffee shop. It’s disruptive but you’ll survive, I promise. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can do. As you’ll see from my “Healthy At Home” list, there’s a lot you can do to leverage the pandemic lockdown in creative ways to better yourself, improve your future, and achieve your goals.
Some people feel so overwhelmed, they can’t breathe. Trust me, I know. How? I myself have regular panic attacks these days. And I don’t fight my humanness. Instead, I embrace it. So, panics pass quickly, and I move on with my goals.
Actually, I wrote a book about goals!
Canceling my social calendar and embracing social isolation 13 months ago allowed be to be still with God, get to know Him closer, develop an intimate relationship with Him, and become friends with the parts of me I had never even met. What do I mean? Well, I didn’t know I was an artist!
I believe that God is pruning us so that we can be more fruitful. I believe that this time can kill or heal us. You can choose to be upset with social isolation and resent it or you can accept and embrace it. The outcome can be a waste of time and stress or a collection of creative products you develop, goals you accomplish, new skills you learn… You decide!
The most important part about this whole thing is that it catapulted everyone out of their routines. Did you know that you can set up and maintain your own routine?
I wake up, make the bed, pray, drink water, workout, read, and eat a healthy breakfast. I take a cold shower in the morning. Before bed, I read and journal after I walk outside or inside on a BOSU ball. I also have a cup of warm tea with honey and take a hot shower before bed. You can develop your routine to include the things that matter to you.
I highly recommend it!
Here are some things you can choose to do amid COVID-19.
My neighbor upstairs has been nesting: I hear her moving furniture and setting up shelving and curtains. She has received many furniture deliveries in the last few days, and she’s been using this isolation to set up her home exactly the way she wants it to be.
Wayfair delivers still and so does IKEA.
As for me, I must have a home that’s a sanctuary.
Growing up in an ugly old condo, I lived with mice and roaches. The wallpapers were falling off the wall, the ceilings were chipping off and often hitting my head, and the floors had holes in them, through which rats got in from the basement. It was ugly and it was scary to live there.
I experienced abuse at home every day. Then, I got married and emigrated to America where I was abused for eight months until I was rescued by the police and taken to the shelter for victims of domestic violence.
I know what it’s like to hate the home you live in. And I also know what it’s like to love your home. For many people, their home is a dungeon. For me, it used to be when I was growing up and when I was married three times. I hated my dungeon home.
Now, I love my sanctuary home and I love living alone.
I live in a 1340 sq. ft apartment, which I adore.
There were several lamps that felt out of place in my home. I leveraged this time to re-arrange everything. Also, I have 27 curtains on my windows, and they haven’t been washed in 26 months. So, I washed and steamed all my curtains (it took 3 days), cleaned every blind on every window, moved my lighting to set everything up how I want it to be, changed some bulbs from bright to soft white, and I also set up my patio.
My patio used to be my favorite room (an it is now again).
I live in Atlanta where last year we had the highest polled count ever, and I had swollen eyes from it. In addition, I was working outside every day on a marketing campaign for a local city. So… Last year, I did not even touch my patio. Yet, I missed it. But I had no time or energy to clean it up from all the nasty pollen.
That being said, when I opened my patio this year, oh my… the floors were black from dirt, the spiders had a party here, the walls and the ceiling along with all the lighting bulbs were green from pollen, and overall, it was a disaster. So, I courageously talked myself into cleaning my patio.
Armed with old towels, I went to war with all the bugs, and I conquered them. I cleaned all my floors, walls, ceiling, and every bulb. It’s all shining now. I washed with water all my patio furniture, as well as the curtains outside. I steamed them, and while at it, I cleaned and steamed my faux plants, too.
Everything looks gorgeous now, and I am spending this pandemic on my patio with a bunch of IKEA candles, isolated from pollen and viruses with five layers of curtains, and enjoying the fruits of my labor: a beautiful, peaceful, relaxing patio. So grateful!
Is there a project you’ve been wanting to conquer at home?
Leverage this time in social isolation to nest, to make your place a serene retreat, to build a sanctuary home for yourself. For me, my office room is sacred. I read, write, blog, film videos, record podcasts, and nap here. However, the lighting in the room was not to my liking. I love plenty of light everywhere but in my creative space, I need light to be abundant.
Here’s the room I’m talking about.
I moved some lamps around and changed bulbs. Now, I love it.
There’s my favorite painting on the wall – it’s the most recent painting I created. Honestly, I love absolutely everything about this room now but setting it up took time, energy, and effort.
I also washed all my rugs and brushed them very well, which takes so much time… Now, we all have time, so, I did it! Here’s my living room with a huge white rug that took a couple of days to wash and brush.
Is there a shelf you’ve been wanting to install or a mirror you’ve delayed hanging? Or, maybe, you wanted to paint your walls or write your favorite scriptures all over your house’s wall. Or maybe, like me, you want to have shiny floors. It took a lot of work but my floors are shiny now.
Honestly, being “Healthy At Home” means that you do the things that matter to you and make you feel amazing! Making a home, aka nesting, is essential to women generally and me specifically. I have to have a sanctuary home, and I invest time gladly into setting it up, cleaning and organizing it, decorating my sanctuary, and enjoying my time at home.
If you want to work on nesting projects and set up your home to be a serene retreat, a sanctuary, an escape from the world, your safe haven, why not do it now? It’s a perfect time!
Here’s my hallway with shiny floors and my collection of framed poetry on the wall. I wrote poetry while in social isolation, and now my collection called “Poems From God” has 102 poems in it.
If you’ve been dreaming of setting up a creative room, a studio, a meditation room, a reading room, one of the best things I recommend as a part of my “Healthy At Home” list is set it up. Yes, set up that dream room now! Shine your floors, change the bulbs everywhere to make your place a serene retreat, and do whatever you want to do to build a nest.
My home is my nest. It is my safe heaven. It’s my sanctuary.
My home is my favorite place on earth.
Organize and Declutter During Social Isolation
My neighbor Gabby loves that my home is clutter-free, so she asked me to hold her accountable as she embarks on a journey of decluttering her apartment. She sends me pictures of her decluttered and organized shoe closet, her decluttered and organized, super-clean fridge, and I am so proud of Gabby.
My advice as a part of this “Healthy At Home” tip-sheet is this: organize everything. Organize your bedroom closet. Here’s mine.
I keep my dresses and suits in dry-cleaning protective bags so that dust can’t get to them. I have all my workout equipment in my closet: you see a BOSU ball, you see my workout mat, everything is very well hidden because I took the time to organize this space.
Organize your bedroom.
Make it feel inviting and relaxing.
Here’s my bedroom, and I absolutely adore it.
Many people I know use their dining room table as a junk collector: any mail, any bag, anything unwanted, any card, any piece of trash, any junk is dropped on the dining room table. I did that too years ago but not anymore.
I use my ding room to eat a candlelight dinner every night.
Also, I eat a sit-down breakfast here.
Some people feel like they don’t need their dining tables because they eat while standing at a kitchen counter or they have a tray and eat while watching TV.
I have a TV-free home. What does it mean?
There’s no TV anywhere in my home.
I sold it years ago, and that’s why I even was able to discover my creativity. TV was a distraction. I want to live my life present and aware. I want to be alert. This blog would have never been born if I had not liberated myself from the TV-prison. So, I eat my meals at a table, and I highly recommend it.
Here’s my dining room.
If your dining room is filled with junk and you hate it, why not take the time now to turn into a room you’ll love? By the way, I don’t know anyone whose dining room is filled with just and they don’t hate it.
As a part of my “Healthy At Home” tip-list, I encourage you to declutter every room in your house, including your dining room. Then, you can eat a sit-down candlelight dinner and relax.
I used all this extra-time to conquer a scary drawer.
After three years in this home, I finally decluttered my one and only junk drawer that was seriously overflowing. It feels awesome to have a clutter-free home with plenty of space for everything that matters. A cluttered home feels heavy and dark.
A decluttered home feels fresh and relaxing.
Here’s my bathroom where I relax often.
Leverage the COVID-19 lockdown to declutter your home. You’ll thank yourself. You’ll feel so great about doing it and having done it, though getting started can be hard, especially if you’re depression-prone.
Decluttering is on my “Healy At Home” tip-sheet because it can help you not only have a nicer home but also to become physically active, mentally engaged, visually rewarded, and emotionally satisfied. You’ll make progress and sleep well at night because of it. And that’s the best way to cope with the global pandemic. Most importantly, decluttering is something that needs to be done anyway, so you’ll appreciate yourself for doing it now.
Talk To God So You Can Grow In Faith
As a part of my “Healthy At Home” tip-list, prayer is the most important advice I can give you for any life situation. I pray every day, and I write prayers here on this blog, so that you can use them if you want to.
PRAYERS I CREATED FOR YOU
- COVID-19 Pandemic Gratitude Prayer
- Praying To Hear God’s Voice
- Powerful Spiritual Warfare Prayers
- Spiritual Warfare Prayers for Protection
- Deep Spiritual Warfare Prayers
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Prayer
- Christian Prayers for Health
- Christian Prayers for Peace
- Christian Prayers for Healing
- Spiritual Warfare Prayers
When you get on your knees, you surrender to God. He asks you to cast your cares on Him, and the best way to do it is through an honest conversation.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get started because it feels weird.
I became a Christian in 2014 after years of addictions, and honestly, praying on my knees felt weird, through it was the best thing I ever did, and that’s why I encourage you to do it, too.
In case you have no clue where to even begin, here’s a video I created to help you out. It’s very basic. It will give you tools and show you how to use them – all in one quick video. Here it is for you.
Meditate To Reduce The Pandemic-Related Stress
Meditation saved my life. In December of 2016, I was severely suicidal. I was cared for by two mental health professionals, and it was hard to even choose to be here for my next breath. Actually, that was exactly how I took my life: not one day at a time, no, a day was hard to comprehend. My days were miserable. I took life one breath at a time.
I was married to a narcissist, and he tortured me with cruelty.
At the end of December 2016, I discovered meditation, and I’m still here years later. That’s why I recommend meditation. In fact, I love it so much, I myself produced an entire Christian Guided Meditation library, which is free. I hope you can enjoy it.
Meditation helps you focus on just one thing: your breath, an affirmation, or a muscle. It vacuums everything els out of your headspace. It’s essential to your mental health because it reduces stress and allows you to renew.
Take this time to adopt a Christian meditation practice.
Here are a few meditations I produced for you.
Nap to Help Your Body Cope with COVID-19
I just woke up from a 35-minute long afternoon nap, and I feel recharged. Napping was recommended by Dale Carnegie in his popular book “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living,” which I re-read every year.
Naps reduce feelings of sleepiness and increase alertness but also improve performance in areas such as reaction time, co-ordination, logical reasoning, memory consolidation, symbol recognition, mood, and emotion regulation.
Napping was never ok in my home growing up. I was condemned and called lazy and careless if I napped. So, learning to be ok with a healthy habit of napping has been a journey for me. Now, I love it!
Take a nap. It’s good for you.
Work Out at Home During the Pandemic
Working out is my passion. I love it. But I never was a fan of waiting in traffic to get to a gym, waiting to sign up, taking showers with a bunch of strangers, etc. No, I do not like it. So, I work out at home.
I have weights, a BOSU ball, a hula hoop, a yoga mat, a TheraBand set, and I have a huge bedroom. That’s where I work out. Plus, I walk 10000 steps: either outside or using my BOSU ball. In the Summer, I use pool as well.
Cook at Home During COVID-19 Lockdown
I love cooking. It became clear to me when in 2007, I was in Bali. I stayed in a very expensive luxury hotel with fantastic restaurants and room service. Yet, I wanted to have my own kitchen and cook my own way. I did get the kitchen, it was a huge suite with an ocean view, and there was my kitchen, pots, and everything needed to make me happy. Then and there, I knew that cooking was not a chore for me. No. Cooking is a privilege. It’s a blessing.
This image represents some of the things I cook. It was what I cooked for my birthday this year. Yes, I cooked on my birthday – for all my guests. It was plant-based and delicious. People loved the meal. Making good food is how I show my genuine love.
I practice self-love by cooking at home.
I eat mostly plant-based, and actually, I wrote a detailed blog post with some recipes of mine. I explained what I eat, why, and how, as well as the effect of plant-based eating on my physical and mental health.
READ: Plant-Based Eating
Cooking at home can help you explore your creativity. Making your own meals is exciting and rewarding. Eating the meal you prepared all by yourself at home gives you such confidence. Also, home-cooking ensures you know that the chef’s hands have been washed as well as all the ingredients. Hygiene is very important to me.
When you cook a healthy meal at home and serve it in a beautiful way with candles, nice dishes, and love, you feel loved. To whom will you serve the food you cook if you live alone? To you, dear, to YOU!
I live completely alone. I love it.
Here are some of the meals I serve to myself.
I was married three times. One time, I was married with two sons. I always cooked for my family because I loved them. After my divorce, I didn’t want to set up a table for just me. Then, I asked myself “why?” Because my loved ones were not at the table. Really? That was not true! I was offended by my own thinking! I am still here for me. Don’t I deserve the same kind of love and care I give to others? Yes, I do. So, now I cook beautiful and healthy meals for myself!
Explore your own inner chef during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to help you stay healthy at home. Make a sanctuary home for yourself and cook healthy meals to enjoy them with gratitude.
You can paint, you can sing, you can dance, you can write poetry, you can publish a children’s book. Don’t believe me? I get it. I have graduated from four universities. I have a doctoral in criminal justice and an MBA from Georgia State University. So, numbers and facts – those were my best friends, always. I had never written a poem, and surely I never planned on writing fairytales.
Here’s my book of Christian fairytales – published.
I never had painting supplies at home nor did I have an interest in painting. Today, I have a collection of 22 original acrylic art called “Paintings With Tales.” Also, once I started exploring my creativity, I was able to create a collection of inspirational poems called “Poems From God.”
What am I saying?
You can be surprised if you just open up to your inner artist. There may be hidden talent in you. You may have no clue. You’ve got to try. Now is the time. Why? Because you’re not distracted.
Leverage this Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic lockdown to be healthy at home by exploring your inner artist. You’ll be glad you did.
Prepare for a Better Future During the Pandemic
Listen, let’s be honest. This lockdown will be over soon. The economy will bloom again. You’ll get busy again. We will all go back to normal, we might just have a bit different normal after this pandemic.
So, things will get better. They always do.
How are you preparing yourself?
You can be healthy at home and prepare for the future.
During the past year, after I quit my job as the Director of Marketing in technology, I built this blog, which brings in income through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and my own products in my shop.
I also developed a Christian coaching program and have coached clients based on my original ITCEBO methodology. Here it is for you if you want to take a closer look.
You can create products. You can start a blog. You can write a book like I did. You can develop a system and start a side hustle, such as consulting. You can do so much to set yourself up for success in the future.
Or you can waste this time in waiting.
It’s up to you.
I recommend you prepare for a better future.
Here’s what you can do.
Start a Blog, Podcast, or a YouTube Channel
You can start a blog just like the one you’re reading now. This entire blog was built, set up, and produced by me – singlehandedly. The mission of this blog is to help alleviate suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. It’s the purpose of my life. And it also makes money.
How do blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels make money? Through affiliate marketing, through sponsored posts, through coaching, by creating and selling products, and through ads. If you read my blog “How To Feel Beautiful,” you can see what a sponsored post looks like. I got paid to write that blog post. Inside that article, I link to the products I recommend, those are my affiliate links. People click on that blog, read it, like my review, but the products I endorse, and I get a commission. Here’s that post for you.
On this blog, I have a shop. There, I sell my Christian clothing line, my Christian dating online course, my books, and so much more. You can set up a blog and a store and create products.
If you do, you’ll have come out of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic a different person. You will have learned new skills and created new income streams for yourself. I have a Christian podcast for women and a Christian YouTube channel if you’d like to check those out.
All these assets can help you create a better future for yourself. Now is the time. If you need help, reach out. I can provide you with some helpful, experience-based consulting. Here’s my Linkedin.
While you stay healthy at home, invest in your future!
Read Educational Books To Help You Grow
Reading is living. I had no one to raise me. I had to be a mom to my mom who is 65 and still lives at home with her mom where she’s lived for 65 years now. Anyway, reading helped me have hope.
God was never a part of our life. But books were.
I went to a library and got lost in reading often. I read on a bench outside our condo building entrance. I read in my bed. I read everywhere. Reading gave me hope for a better life in the future. Reading helped me gain knowledge but also dream big.
I read 12 books in 12 months every year, and I even wrote a blog post about my journey, inviting you to take a reading challenge and start reading more. Here’s that blog post.
I recommend reading books that help you learn about the world or yourself. So many books add no value to your future. They are like Netflix binge-watching: you feel empty afterward and experience guilty for the time wasted. Read good, helpful, value-added books.
Here’s what I’m reading.
Develop New Skills by Taking Courses Online
I have all kinds of certifications, which helped me grow my income. Some online classes I took were paid but most of them were free. Here’s where you can take free classes now. Keep in mind, that by trade I am a marketer, so this list is heavily-skewed toward marketing and copywriting, creative courses. But there are some other ones I found for you.
FREE ONLINE COURSES
- Search Engine Optimization courses by the SEMrush Academy
- Copywriting and Leadgen courses by the Hubspot Academy
- Digital Marketing courses by the Google Digital Garage
- Data Science and other free online courses by Edx
I taught myself English in 18 months while homeless in a shelter. Are you shocked? I describe my story on this blog in great detail. Within 24 months after that, I was walking at the Georgia Dome wearing my cap and gown and received an MBA diploma.
What’s my point?
Invest in your future by learning new skills now.
Leverage the pandemic lockdown time to stay healthy at home and learn something new that will set you up for success once life resumes to its normal speed. You want to build a competitive advantage for yourself. Don’t waste this valuable time. Leverage it.
Learn something new.
Start a Business To Diversify Your Income
You can start a business right now online. For example, you can apply for Amazon Merch like I did, create a collection of Christian apparel like I did, and start selling it. Zero dollars upfront. Literally, that easy! All that’s needed is your time and effort, and it seems to me now is what you have plenty of time.
When I walked out after quitting my job, within 90 minutes, I picked up a marketing contract and went on to build this Christian ministry for God while still earning income for me. You can do consulting, too.
You can start a writing business, an online fitness business, a clothing line on Amazon or TeeSpring, and so much more! Here’s my TeeSpiring shop so you can take a look. I paid zero dollars to have this store.
All I did was create the apparel.
Here’s one of my designs.
You can write a book. It can be an ebook, too. I have two ebooks in my store. Well, I sell two ebooks. I also give away a free ebook. You can download it, too. It offers 52 answers to your question “What Does God Say About Me?“
Books help us share important knowledge and also leave a legacy. Now is a perfect time to focus on writing your book. The hardest part is getting started, and what I recommend is following two simple dog commands: sit, stay. Yes, it’s true! Sit there and stare at the blank page until writing comes. And it will. How do I know?
I have written multiple books and a million words of content on this blog. The secret to writing is waiting for the muse ready, not waiting for the muse distracted by procrastination.
Write your book while practicing staying healthy at home.
Stay healthy at home during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Make sure you leverage this time and not waste it. Invest this time into building a better future for yourself.
Learn new skills, set up a sanctuary at home to relax, practice meditation to ensure your mental health, work out to protect your physical wellbeing, cook healthy meals to unleash your inner chef, and be creative.
Take a certification class, write a poem, create some art. Share your poems on my poetry blog. Sleep and nap, start a business, create new products, and grow. And make sure you pray to God the Coronavirus relief prayer.
How will your future be better after this pandemic?
Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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