Shelter in Grace: Rediscovering Your Home During the COVID-19 Crisis
Everyday activities we used to take for granted — going to work, taking an afternoon stroll through town, doing a little grocery shopping for the week — have become far more complex. In many cases, we have had to severely restrict the outings that were once part of a healthy routine. Instead, we have been compelled by necessity to actually stay home as much as possible. For some people, this has invited a period of introspection and a positive accounting of their abodes. Others have found it a challenge to make the best of their restrictions.
But one thing this moment in history is shared by everyone is an opportunity to reevaluate what “home” really means. This may be intimidating; it may be inspiring and almost certainly it is stimulating and thrilling. Renewed discovery in the most familiar of places begins to emerge. How can we use our spaces to better address our needs and desires? Perhaps there is some corner in a room that suddenly speaks to you of redecoration. Is it time to start larger projects? Anything from simple cosmetic projects to full-on renovations and additions could come into play for handier folks. More directly — how could we be spending our time at home differently? Necessity being the mother of invention, possibilities open up as the place you thought you knew best reveals new delights and ways to grow that were always right under your nose.
A Time for Change
Most of us are usually so busy projecting our energy outside of the home — jobs, social events, endless errands — that we often lose perspective of what we have under our own roofs. In this period of COVID-19, many folks are asking themselves the same question: what might we change around the house? This is a perfect time to look at small projects like redecorating or touching up neglected rooms. Ordering a few space rugs or throw pillows can do a lot to liven up a room that may have been going stale even before the lockdown started. Simple painting projects like redoing the spare room or sprucing up the crown molding won’t take much time but can make a lot of difference. What one finds may be surprising. Moods can be uplifted as we start to become more mindful of our surroundings and make greater efforts at engaging with them.
Minor renovations can become a fun family activity as well. Consider the unit cohesion that can come with redoing wall hangings in the living room or den. Each member of the family gets to pick a different picture and a plan is drawn up to claim a space and come to an arrangement all can agree upon. Suddenly the wall becomes a symbol of everybody pulling together to celebrate some joy, something that can be gazed upon every day. For those with yard space, setting up a garden can pull everyone together as well. With everybody pitching in to build soil beds, plant, and tend, vegetable and flower yields can make their way either onto dinner tables or floral arrangements can be reflected upon with a shared sense of nurturing. And these changes aren’t just to get through the quarantine period. They will last far beyond, with the potential for a permanent positive evolution in how you spend your time at home.
It’s funny just how many things we might have laying around the house we haven’t paid attention to in a long time. Purchases that once seemed frivolous may now see some dust blown off them. Consider that bread maker or margarita machine you used a few times then boxed back up in the closet. For those who miss gym time, that treadmill you’ve hardly used can now seem like the greatest investment you ever made. Back when we didn’t have the time to fully appreciate our time at home, many of the items we brought into it may have felt impulsive or even unnecessary. But now is the time to rummage through your storage and bring out some potentially mood-altering home goods back into view.
Puzzles have been making a huge comeback, seen as a great way to keep the brain going as well as a perfect social activity for everyone in the house. A dormant 5,000-piecer in the attic could be just the thing to fill some wonderful hours at home. When’s the last time you read a good book? Libraries these days are often only for show. But now, thumbing through the volumes you’ve treated like decorations can enrich your life. Be they page-turning thrillers or beloved classics, there’s been no better time to sink into major tomes. And do you have a good reading space? Rearranging the spare room with a comfy recliner can create a refuge to lose yourself in a novel. Now’s the chance to create that space that just may bring you back into the habit of eating up books as part of a post-lockdown routine. If you’re more of a cook, take a look at your kitchen. Look up recipes you’ve been meaning to try and are maybe missing some critical kitchenware or ingredients to create. You won’t believe how just a couple of utensils or spices you’ve never really used can transform the way you approach meals.
Once this challenging time is behind us, it’s reasonable to look ahead and wonder: what’s going to change about our homes and how we live in them? Spending so much time in our abodes will leave a lasting impact. Decorating, rearranging, deep cleaning and landscaping can have permanent effects on our lifestyles. Are you finding you could really use an addition on the home? Perhaps you’ve found spaces you haven’t made the best use of? Think of the “shelter in place” era as a do-over. Here’s the chance to make more of your home than you ever have before.