Friday, April 3, 2020


Navigating Your New Normal


The author enjoying an online workout in her home gym. Photo courtesy of Linda Cooper.

Four activities you can do in your home to keep your spirits up. 

I wish we could chalk this year up to a Stephen King novel we could all slam the book on, but sadly the COVID-19 pandemic is not fiction and very real. It’s safe to say we are in unchartered territory and never dreamed we would ever experience in our lifetime what has become this surreal “new normal.”
While the world spirals out of our control as we watch helplessly self-quarantined on our couches, the uncertainty is daunting. One thing that is for certain is it is vitally important for us to maintain our mental and physical well-being during the coronavirus climate. As I sit here at home self-isolated during the 15-day plan to stay at home, I have an overwhelming need to share something good and spread light into the darkness.
It is important for us to practice gratitude during this time and embrace what we do have. While most of the outside world is canceled right now, these activities are not: Going outdoors (as long as we are six feet apart), listening to music, quality family time, reading a book, singing out loud, speaking with friends, laughing and sharing hope with others.
We are all in this together, even if it’s virtually. Hopefully, we can close the distance emotionally with a sense of community since we can’t be together physically.
I curated a “Stay Home Things to Do List” to allow you some well-deserved “Me Time.” Take a break from binge-watching CNN 24-7 to be healthy and strong both mentally and physically for the coming days.

Don’t Forget Fitness

Exercise is vital for reducing stress and maintaining your physical and mental health. Since the gyms are closed for the foreseeable future, online fitness courses are available for constant streaming. An acronym for “Our Body Electric,” Obe Fitness offers an incredible array of live and on-demand fitness classes for home. The platform boasts a daily schedule of 14 live classes and more than 4,000 on-demand classes available for replay. Classes include kickboxing, yoga, cardio dance, pilates, meditation and much more. All Obe instructors are upbeat and motivating and so is the brightly designed studio space where all the classes are held (and filmed). Offering a seven-day free trial, this fun immersive fitness experience is well worth the $27 per month price tag (less than a dollar a day). So get on your mat and check it out!

A DIY Spa Day

The term “self-care” has been thrown around quite a lot in the past, but now it’s taking on a whole new meaning. It’s safe to say you’re not venturing out for a manicure these days, and let’s face it…you might not be in the mood with your new role as “beauty squad party of one.”
To maintain the all-important “look good, feel good” mentality, my suggestion is to create a designated “Staycation Spa Day” to keep up with your beauty routine in a Day Spa environment and make it fun.
If you’re lucky enough to have a steam in your shower, now is the time to use it. Even if you don’t, you can create your own “steam therapy” in an enclosed shower. Put the “ahh-in-spa” by adding a few drops of eucalyptus or lavender aromatherapy oil and relax and allow yourself to detox and unwind. Moist hot steam has so many incredible health benefits, such as helping circulation, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure by releasing a hormone called aldosterone and even acts as an immune booster. The key is to limit your steam sessions to 10 minutes a day to not get dehydrated.
You can alternate a hot steam session with a cold plunge interval by running ice water in a nearby bathtub and soaking for 3-5 minutes for more immune-boosting benefits, however, my friends at the Wim Hof Method state this is not recommended if you are feeling sick. Cold therapy adds an additional stressor onto the immune system that already has its hands full fighting off viruses.
If you’re a bath person like myself, pour in some Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt and take a hot detox soak to relax your body and calm your mind. While you’re there it’s a perfect time for a DIY facial. Some of my personal favorites are the Onyx Youth Magnet Mask and the G. M. Collins Hydrating Aqua Mask.

Stream Arts and Culture

Getting stir-crazy at home and need a dose of culture? Streaming is the answer with a plethora of incredible resources at your fingertips. Take a virtual tour of the leading museums around the world with Google Arts & Culture for incredible curated content bringing the world’s most famous art collections directly into your home. The Royal Opera House's channel has a selection of some of the top performances from famous operas and ballets, just a click away. If a Broadway play strikes your fancy, check out the BroadwayHDstreaming service that’s just $8.99 a month and there's a one-month free trial.
Musical stars are getting in on the act, reminding us we are all in this “Together at Home” with live, at-home performances on Instagram for fans who are self-isolating. On March 16, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin kicked off the new virtual concert series officially dubbed “Together at Home: Who-Global Citizen Solidarity Sessions.” The initiative is presented by the World Health Organization and Global Citizen. John Legend took the baton shortly after Chris, Charlie Puth followed, and other singers like Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello will be getting in on the action in the coming weeks, too.

Spring Cleaning Side Hustle

Looking for a money-making project you can do at home? Tidy up and cash out with my personal favorite selling app Poshmark. This fun, interactive social commerce marketplace is an amazing resource to buy and sell new and used clothing, accessories, beauty products, shoes and even home goods. Just sign up to become a “Posher,” create your own closet, list items for sale and voila…you’re in business. This is selling made simple and Poshmark provides a shipping label to you once an item is sold. You keep 80 percent of the profits and Spring cleaning has never been more fun!
These are trying times for us all. Please self-isolate to help slow this deadly virus and stay strong. We are all in this together and we are AmeriCANS! We can do it. My final note, I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all our incredible healthcare workers on the frontlines fighting this awful pandemic. God speed and God Bless America. 

Linda Cooper is an award-winning TV host, producer and writer serving as a brand ambassador to worldwide travel on her national luxury lifestyle series Travel Time with Linda as well as a contributor to several lifestyle and travel publications. Season One of Travel Time with Linda Caribbean Dreaming’ aired nationally on AXS TV Network winning a 2018 Telly Award available on Amazon Prime Video as did Season Two featuring “Bucket-List Destinations” airing in 2019 now streaming on Prime. Season Three currently in pre-production shines the spotlight on the world’s most incredible geothermal natural wonders airing in 2021.