Your Guide to Mentally Surviving a Shelter-In-Place Order

Your Guide to Mentally Surviving Shelter In Place

By AJ Brockman

With about 75 percent of the country under shelter-in-place ordinances and our weekly schedules interrupted, a lot of us are wondering: “What the heck are we supposed to do inside all day??”

To help answer this question, I asked my fellow co-workers what they’re doing to keep themselves and their kids entertained after work hours. And, using their responses, I’ve put together this guide that’s designed to give you some ideas on ways to pass the time inside.

If you have an activity you’d like to share, feel free to leave it in the comments section below!

What We’re Watching

Mike Z., Senior Energy Advisor: “We just watched Knives Out over the weekend and it was quite good.”

Michael D., Senior VP of Sales: “Tiger King

Catherine B., Energy Solutions Specialist: “I started watching the show Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. It’s a lighthearted show about a family making lemonade out of lemons and it’s really funny!”

Diana B. Energy Solutions Specialist: “Project Blue Book. They only just finished the second season, but it’s my new favorite.”

Mary C., Energy Solutions Specialist: “I did a RomCom-a-Thon where I watched a movie a night for two weeks.” Here’s her list:

  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Broadcast News
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • Notting Hill
  • Sweet Home Alabama
  • Princess Bride
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • Four Weddings & A Funeral
  • 500 Days of Summer
  • The Big Sick
  • Silver Linings Playbook

What We’re Reading

Catherine: “Books that I loved recently:

  • Where the Crawdads Sing
  • Tattooist of Auschwitz
  • The Woman in the Window

AJ B., Content Marketing Manager: “I recently discovered Sue Grafton’s ‘Alphabet Mysteries’ series (A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, etc.). I’ve gotten through E, and the endings are always surprising!”

Mike Z.: “Finished 2 books recently: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, and The Rooster Bar by one of my favorite authors, John Grisham.”

How We’re Entertaining Our Kids

Sarah R., Director: “Swimming in the bathtub, art projects, playing dress-up, yoga, virtual dance classes”

Danielle H., Senior Energy Solutions Specialist: “Building a fairy garden, building obstacle courses, exploring at different forest preserves”


Mike Z: “We have introduced the kids to some board games and had them watch Goonies.”

Diana: “We have been playing so many board games. My son’s new favorites are Clue and Jenga. He’s also been continuing to teach me to knit and to teach my husband to play chess.”

Chris L., CFO: “The Field Museum has some great activities to choose from.”

How We’re Working Out

Derrik L., Business Development Analyst: “I meditate for 15 minutes in the morning and exercise each day.” Here’s his routine:

  • 45 push-ups
  • 30 incline push-ups
  • 24 decline push-ups
  • 40 sit-ups
  • 30 hip raises
  • 60-second plank

Mike E., MidAtlantic Manager: “I use the mat from my son’s play area as my home gym mat. Right next to our emergency storage area.”

Shelter-In-Place Home Gym

AJ: “I use an app called Love Sweat Fitness. It gives you daily circuits that are designed for you to do at home and really gets you into shape!”

Sarah: “Yoga, pilates, lots of cleaning (ha!)”

Matt S., Energy Advisor: “This.”

What We’re Listening To

Sarah: “My go-to is always Britney Spears on rotation.”

Catherine: “I recently learned about binaural beats! It’s a type of music that is supposed to help you focus (study/work). One thing I don’t like about working from home/working alone is the silence, but I definitely feel more productive with them on! I listen to them on YouTube or Amazon Music.”

What Else We’re Doing

John N., CEO: “Karaoke has been in the house for a while, now I have time to practice. I perfected ‘My Way’ and ‘Candyman.'”

Sam G., Energy Advisor: “We’ve completed 3 puzzles so far!”

Shelter-In-Place Idea: Puzzles                   


Kristina S., Energy Solutions Specialist: “I took a course called The Science of Well-Being on Coursera. It’s the most popular class ever offered at Yale University, and it gives you a series of challenges that are designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.”

AJ: “If you have a Nintendo Switch, I 100 percent recommend getting Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s so relaxing, and it’s a great way to unwind after work.”

Mary: “I’ve been trying some new recipes recently:

Chris: “We’ve been cooking dinner together. One benefit of the stay-at-home order is that we eat dinner as a family.”

We Want to Hear from You!

What activities are you and your family doing to occupy the time? Do you have a movie, book, playlist, or game you recommend? Share your thoughts below!

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