Are you one of the millions of Americans who are stranded because of Hurricane Sandy? Have your electricity and water been shut off since Sunday? Is your phone losing battery? Have you plowed through the stash of booze and junk food you happily bought last Friday? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, this post is for you. (And even if you answered ‘no,’ this post will address that too.)
Being stranded doesn’t mean you have to be bored. Until things return to normal, you need to make your daily routine enjoyable – and healthy. Here’s how:
1. Soulful sustenance
A sub-par diet during a natural disaster will be fun for only so long. Now that the six-packs are gone, and the bulk bags of candy you bought for the (admittedly absent) trick o’treaters depleted, it’s time for a change. Go to the local grocery store/deli and buy fresh vegetables. This is healthier than stowing them away, unnoticed, in the fridge. (You don’t have power anyway.) Then, if you have a gas range, cook. If not, make salads. Eat all the fresh fruit you can find. If you can, avoid the canned stuff – it’s good to have non-perishables on hand, but the level of preservatives is staggering. Crackers and hard cheeses – eat ’em up. Keep hydrated – drinking water (check municipal advisories for boil-before-drinking mandates) is crucial when you’re cooped up. Buy some cider if you haven’t had a chance to sip some this fall–Sandy can’t take everything from us!
2. The outside world continues to exist
You may not be able to go to work, but it doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. This “fun-employed” period, as a stranded Brooklynite friend of mine put it, is the time for long walks in the neighborhood, maybe a bike ride (weather and safety permitting), or taking the dog on a jog. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, it probably needs a clean-up, so pull out the spade and soil. (Bonus tip: Got weeds? Pull ’em out by hand – it ensures the root leaves the ground, and you’ll stay outside longer.)
3. Bring exercise indoors
If it’s not feasible to go outside, unroll the yoga mat and try to remember poses from class. If your phone has battery, watch YouTube videos of routines to jump-start your exercise. Invite friends and yoga classmates to your place for an impromptu class – you could all use a stretch, and yoga is more relaxing – and fun – in a group setting.
4. Lend a hand
This is for everyone who a) lives near/in an affected region, b) fits the physical requirements, and c) can’t get to work/class: Help the neighbors. You think you’ve got cabin fever? There are parents out there whose kids thought a week off from school meant potato chips and Wii; by now, both groups have gone mad. Offer to babysit (they’d probably – and happily – pay you) so mom and dad can trek to Costco for bottled water and, god willing, gas. Haul tree branches and rake leaves. Check on elderly relatives and neighbors – including the crotchety ones – and ask how you can help. If nothing else, they’d probably love an hour or two of company.
If you live in a major city, the Red Cross website lists way to help by zipcode. New York and New Jersey residents can find information about volunteering on the website for WNYC. (Bonus tip: Do you maintain a constant social media presence in New York/New Jersey? Send local food trucks a Tweet – get your friends to do it too – so they can set up shop in affected regions.)
Have you been impacted by the storm? What have you been doing to stay healthy during Sandy aftermath?