If anyone had told me a year ago that we would find ourselves confined to our homes, scared of going out, and concerned for the health of the entire world population, I would be willing to bet that they would be met with widespread skepticism. It’s 2020, I’d reply! We have instant communication tools and modern medicine at the tip of our fingers! A crisis appeared unimaginable.
It turned out that we do, now, find ourselves at home and, in the best of circumstances, waiting for the virus to run its course. Modern medicine and instant communication at the tip of our fingers means that we get information incredibly fast, but they haven’t been sufficient to qualm global fears. As we hunker down and wait, we thought it’d be a good idea to come up with a list of things to do while at home.
Are you still binge watching _______?
The first one is watching many, many hours of Netflix. Don’t worry -- we’re not going to recommend the shows that come up immediately as you click on your account (though Love is Blind can, indeed, be entertaining at times). Instead, we’ll recommend three shows that can sometimes go by unnoticed but have proved to be great sources of entertainment to the Stride team. Workin’ Moms, for example, is the perfect combination of laugh-out-loud humor with critical analysis of the influence of the job market on women with children, and the impact of their jobs on their personal lives (and vice-versa). Episodes are short, and amazingly dynamic. An incredible way to draw yourself away from the news for a few minutes! The second is the quintessential West Wing, which, despite some of the foundational issues with the show and its characters, will always, always, make you feel good about politics (I know -- seems impossible!). The third is an easy one: The Office will make you laugh at any time, anywhere. Feeling down about the state of the world? Watch The Office. Upset you left school early? Watch The Office. Works every time.
Stressed spelled backwards is
The next thing we believe we should all be doing -- and, honestly, this is the best time to start -- is learn how to bake. Stressed spelled backwards (yes, we’re saying it) is desserts! It’s cheesy, but it works: let off some steam by baking a cake, making cookies from scratch, or finding the fudgiest brownie recipe in the world. Once you’ve done all of these, combine them: cookie brownies are heavenly. And you can enjoy them for days!
Find fitness time
Once you’ve spent all week baking, however, and are staring at the mountains of delicious food ready to be heartily consumed, you can also start considering how you’ll build up the appetite for all of it. Workouts are, in our opinion, the best way to do it. Go on a run (start slow, and build up gradually!), follow a workout video online, or download a yoga app (a surprising number of them are now free until the middle of April!). If none of these appeal to you, do a few pushups, and challenge whoever else is on lockdown with you to try to beat you. When you’re both exhausted, you can then gravitate towards the cookie brownies!
Pause Netflix and open a book
Reading can also be an incredible source of entertainment. Most of us have piles of books, somewhere at home, that were bought in a flurry in some bookshop somewhere, that were lost in the midst of everyday life. The good news is that they still retain the exciting quality that led you to buy them in the first place. Not a big fan of buying books? Or read all of the ones at home? The New York Public Library is making 300,000 virtual titles available, for free. One of those is bound to interest you! And reading doesn’t have to be a solitary activity, either. Virtual book clubs are a great way to stay connected to friends and family who are also spending the next few weeks at home, and give everyone a goal towards which to strive!
Consider the best way to fund next year's education: ISAs
The final recommendation we have for your quarantine pertains to your long-term academic and financial future. If you’re in school, particularly in graduate school, you are probably considering how online classes are going to go, and what the fall will bring (which hopefully includes a return to campus). You might also be considering how you’re going to pay for school, when the new semester rolls around. There are a multitude of good options for students, as well as great resources that we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks. One option to consider that may be new to you is Income Share Agreements (ISAs). ISAs provide flexibility and downside protection for you that no other form of education funding does, because payments are always the same percent of your income. Needless to say, with everything going on in the world, this is necessary now than ever. If you lose your job or need to pause payments, we’ve got you covered!