Just yesterday you were the master of your own universe – traveling, rocking out at concerts, cheering at sporting events, eating sumptuous meals out, and getting together with friends at your favorite bar.  Today, you flinch if someone within 6 feet of you coughs, and you’re genuinely worried that toilet paper will never grace the grocery store shelves again! What happened?

COVID-19 or Coronavirus (caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) happened. If we’re honest with ourselves, none of us know how concerned to be, how prepared to be, how bad it will get, who to believe or how our government is handling it. The situation facing us is truly unprecedented. And, if you’re like me, questions roll through your head as you stare into the dark at 3:00 am. One question that made its way in was; “where did the word pandemic come from?”. I checked it out and the word pandemic originates from the Greek πᾶν pan “all” and δῆμος demos “people” and is defined as a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, like multiple continents, or worldwide. One question answered.

Yes, the Coronavirus is imposing monumental changes on our lives. However, we can take the precautions to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe, while at the same time doing something good for ourselves and the world around us. And we can do it right from the comfort of our own home.

First, do your best to cut out the things that overwhelm you and keep you from actually being productive. I’m referring to those mindless activities that don’t produce any positive outcome. Put your phone down (unless you’re calling a friend or family member), take the news in small doses from reputable sources, and resist the lure of online shopping and mindless surfing. Our world is made better when we are inspired and motivated, instead of anxious and overwhelmed.

Ok. Now you’re ready to take this time of isolation and turn it into something positive. To help you out I’ve created a list of ideas to nudge you through this pandemic armed with positivity and productivity.


Extraverts out there, social distancing and isolation can’t keep us from connecting. Call, FaceTime or write to friends, relatives and neighbors. Especially if they are older and/or on their own. Call to see that they have what they need and spend some time chatting. It will lift their spirits and yours, and is a proven way to lower anxiety. If there’s someone you haven’t been in contact with in a while, this is a perfect time to rekindle that friendship.

Especially during times of crisis, it’s important to remember the uniquely human gift of helping others. A simple call can mean more than you know.


All those things we couldn’t do for ourselves because we just didn’t have the time – now’s the time. Sit quietly and practice mindfulness. Stretch or do some yoga. Enjoy a long soak in a tub, and scrub your feet (feet are always neglected, right?). Eat healthy and take your vitamins. We all feel the call of comfort food, especially when we are experiencing stress. But remember, you are what you eat and a sugar donut can’t affect positive change, help others or hold up well under pressure.


Remember all those amazing recipes you never had time to make? Game on! Or, have some fun with it and put the ingredients you have in your pantry or freezer into a Google search.  What you’ll get are endless recipes using those exact ingredients. While you’re at it, use your good china and table clothes. And light that candle, what are you saving it for?


Did you know that you can take free online classes from some top universities? Well, you can. Or, for a reasonable fee, there are even more online classes to choose from. One of my all-time favorites is a Masterclass in Storytelling and humor from David Sedaris. For those of you who’ve always dreamt of picking up an instrument, now’s as good a time as any. From my personal favorite, the accordion (it’s an Italian thing), to the Yabahar, there’s not an instrument out there you can’t learn on YouTube.


I called a dear friend the other night (see TOUCH BASE AND RECONNECT above) and found her doing a good old-fashioned jigsaw puzzle. Granted, it was 1,500 pieces – she’s an over achiever! The fact is that puzzles of any kind – jigsaw, crossword, Sudoku, word find – are a great exercise for the mind and wonderful for your cognitive health. Puzzles can:

  • Lighten your mood
  • Keep your wits sharp
  • Provide a sense of satisfaction
  • Support alone time
  • Lower your risk of dementia and other age-related neurological disorders
  • Keep you away from other vices

Go ahead and dust off the old games stored in your closet or down in your basement. Then turn off the TV, put out some snacks and get the family together (or a small group of friends). I think we forgot just how much fun games played with others can be. Want to spice up an old game? Change the rules or just make up your own. After all, it’s your house so it’s your rules!

scrabble game
Photo by Morgan Vander Hart on Unsplash

If you don’t have any games stashed away, or any games that still have most of their pieces, you can buy an ongoing murder mystery from Hunt a killer delivered to your door. Each month you’ll receive a box filled with quality, hand-crafted clues that get you lost in a fictional world, making you feel like you’re solving a real murder. “Insanely fun and addicting.”

This was just a small list of things to do at home when you’re bored, to get your creative juices flowing. Now come up with some of your own. The human mind has unlimited capacity to make something out of nothing. And as you navigate our new normal, know that the Bozzuto will continue working to make sure our residents, employees, clients and partners are informed, cared for and prepared.

Got to go!  I need to practice my accordion.  Be well and be safe.