Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

The first week of the St. Louis stay at home order, I stayed indoors for three straight days. I didn’t plan it; I just got caught up in dealing with work stuff, cleaning out closets, reading The Glass Hotel, and video chatting with everyone I could think of. When it finally hit me that it had been way too long since I’d seen the sun, I grabbed my book and headed for the patio, because just like we should resist the temptation to alter our sleep schedules, we also need to fight past the urge to sit inside all the time. Let’s break it down.

Why it’s tempting

couch potatoInertia is a powerful force, especially when it’s couch induced inertia. On top of that, the guidelines for social distancing can easily be read as “stay indoors at all times to prevent catching or spreading COVID-19,” especially in the early days when it wasn’t clear exactly what was, and was not, a threat. With everything going on in your home, it’s easy to forget how long it’s been since you were last outside, and the overwhelming fear of exposure adds an edge to the impulse to stay hidden from the world completely. 

Why it’s bad

The point of social distancing is not to avoid the outdoors. It’s to avoid getting too close to other people. Unless you live in an extremely high density environment, there’s nothing wrong with taking a walk, so long as you keep a safe distance from other people walking. It’s also perfectly acceptable to sit on your balcony or porch for a while. For one thing, avoiding the sun means avoiding Vitamin D, which is necessary for being healthy. There’s even evidence that it helps protect us against respiratory infections like the Coronavirus. Given that, even before the lockdown, as many as 42% of Americans had a vitamin D deficiency, it’s even more important to get sunlight and your dose of Vitamin D. 

hello sunshineAnd don’t forget the other benefits of sunlight. Mental health is as important as physical health, and in the age of lockdowns it’s becoming much harder to maintain proper mental hygiene. You know what’s really good for your mental health? The giant star that keeps our entire planet alive. If you stay indoors 24-7, you’re missing out on the mental health benefits that come from as little as 5-10 minutes of sunlight exposure. Daily sunlight will help you keep yourself in the right frame of mine, and help you cope with the stress of the current situation.

How to avoid it

beachSet aside twenty minutes a day to be outside. During the day. Plan ahead, like you would plan a trip to the grocery store or any other essential trip. Avoid places that will attract crowds. If you have somewhere that you can be outside and have complete privacy, like a lawn or a balcony, that would be your safest bet. If you don’t, pick places and times that won’t be high traffic. If you’re working from home, you might be best served going outside on your lunch break, for example. Again, only 5-15 minutes in the sun reaps rewards, so you don’t need to make this into a huge excursion. If, on the other hand, your living conditions don’t allow for you to go safely go outside with minimal crowds, take advantage of windows. When the sun’s shining, open a window, let in some fresh, and bask in the sunlight.

If your city or state allows you to go for a drive, that will let you stay safe and allow you to stay socially distant. With the windows down, sun streaming in, and your favorite music or audiobook playing, a drive can you help you de-stress in multiple ways. You still get sunlight, and being in the car means you’ll easily have six feet of distance.

air hugs

Are you getting your outdoor time?

32 thoughts on “Worth Avoiding: Too Much Time Indoors

  1. Mrs ESTJ says:

    Getting out has been the best part of the day for us! Great advice, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Same here. I’ve even had some online meetings while sitting outside on the patio.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Air hugs!
    I’m going out on a daily run, so desperately want to have a nice picnic on the beach with friends.
    Keeping well thank you, hope you are! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Sunshine and exercise in one. Victory! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m trying to get a bit of a glow whilst running 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. kagould17 says:

    Our daily walks are the only excitement in our days. Can’t wait to get the bikes out, as the weather improves. Stay safe Amanda. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      How long do you think you have before the weather cooperates?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kagould17 says:

        We have had some good weather the last few days and a lot of the snow has melted. Today will be +12C (54 F) and tomorrow +18C (64F). Yay, yardwork. Stay well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amanda Cade says:

        Enjoy the time in the yard. ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ladysag77 says:

    Gread advice Amanda! I try to get outside everyday, even if it’s raining because really I am a huge nature lover and the fresh air feels so good! Not to mention the change of scenery 😊 Hope you are well my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      A change of scenery is definitely a good thing. I’ve tried to mix up my path when taking a walk…and so far I’ve only gotten turned around twice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ladysag77 says:

        Good stuff my friend!! That’s a good idea, mixing it up and getting creative. I have noticed that for me the lack of time constraints has helped my creativity blossom, especially when I sit outdoors and stare up at the sky😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post! There is still snow on the ground where I am but I try to go outside once a day, even if it’s only for five minutes. I do think it helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Haven’t had snow here in a while…but if we did I’d probably be making an entire snow family.

      Like

  6. We are taking daily drives with the dog. Helps for all of us to get out this way. Vitamin D too! Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I bet the dog appreciates getting out, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent advice Amanda one advantage to having grandkids, a large yard and fish ponds is I HAVE to be outside…lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ll bet your yard is a great place for the grandkids to play.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes they love it! We have a swing and tire hanging from a large tree, a basketball hoop, they fly kites, play ball, frisbees, pogo stick, hula hoop, chalk, bubbles etc. Anything to get them off electronics and outside to play. We make bonfires and cook over it too. Oh to be a kid again!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. fakeflamenco says:

    My garden is my sanctuary. I agree getting outside is important mentally and physically.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Is it a flower or vegetable garden?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. fakeflamenco says:

        Well, both. The flowers are perennials that don’t need much care. We and the bunnies compete for the vegetables. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  9. See, this is sane advice!lol I’ve never been much of a gardener, until now!lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      How’s the gardening going? Will you be posting pictures on your blog?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woo,I didn’t think of that! I should do that!

        Liked by 2 people

  10. We can always trust you to be upbeat, Amanda, and to come up with excellent suggestions. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved this! Such great ideas, and advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The Glass Hotel…..I just put that book on hold at the library!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I read it in one sitting. It’s a beautifully written book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome!! It’s on hold for the next 6 months at my library lol so patience will be enacted

        Liked by 1 person

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