Creative Ideas for Coping with New Coronavirus Realities


Work/Life wanted to know the creative ways SAS employees are coping with the temporary changes caused by Coronavirus precautions. We asked how you are coping with working from home, working from home with kids, keeping entertained at home, and how you are staying centered and connected with others. Here is our list so far.

Finding Meaning/Staying Centered

I attended church online yesterday.  Many churches have their services from Sunday archived online.  I've going to look at some other's services to learn more about them.  I've often ridden by churches wondering what they are like, but since the meet same time as us, not had the chance to go in.

Yoga and meditation video. Trying to reduce the number of time I access the news each day (it can be all consuming).

Yoga with Adriene Free Videos

This showed up as a sponsored post on my facebook today but Feel Better Yoga posted their yoga videos which look pretty good.

Making sure all the windows are open (light!)


Try out subscriptions to online arts and craft classes like bluprint or skillshare.

Georgia Aquarium has live webcams.

The Philadelphia Symphony performed live to an empty concert hall and the recorded video is here.

We are planning on doing some virtual museum tours!

We’re also ordering 1000 piece puzzles from Amazon in the hope of keeping screen time down.

Train a pet to do new a trick.

Meeting friends at a large park to do a Workout of the Day - we'll keep our distance from each other but still see each other and get out of the house/get exercise in.

I also found this post listing a lot of places that are offering free educational resources – a lot of these typically charge fees but are waiving them currently.

I like making music.  I've had extra time to play (not just practice) my musical instruments.

Super clean spring cleaning, Building a home gym, Learning guitar, Painting, Call of duty warzone, TV drinking games with uninfected friends, Learn how to make entertaining home videos with iMovie

Make a playlist and have a dance party in the living room!

My husband is at risk and shouldn't go out.  I took him for a "Sunday Drive" yesterday afternoon -- window site-seeing – just to get out of the house.  We may have a picnic in a remote out of doors area when the weather is good enough.

Replace pictures in picture frames with new photos.

Clean out closets – it’s almost like Christmas! We’re finding things we hadn’t seen in forever. Clean out the chest freezer – not as much fun, but we can cook from the bottom and experiment with new recipes. Next things to do – downsize the “stuff” and eliminate things we no longer need. Purge is the word!

We have the ‘dvd selection of death’.  All the dvds are put into a box.  We take turns pulling sight unseen and then “joyfully endure” having to watch 15 year old versions of Dora the explorer.  It helps with the purging as well.

Christmas for Easter. I was thinking about watching some Christmas Movies on DVD. I was thinking about taking a small Christmas Tree that I have in the attic and setting it up.  (I have a 4-foot artificial tree and some decorations for it.  It's not been used in years.) Take out the turkey that I froze after Thanksgiving and have Thanksgiving dinner.

Plan the next vacation (whenever it may happen).  Research and plan future college visits, etc.  And find one way to support those in need.

Instructables is a great website to learn out to do new things and often these things can be done with what you have at home.

Learn a dance – youtube videos can offer instruction and it can be lots of fun to do it with another person

A list from a local therapist.

On Working From Home

Trying to keep my schedule the same as if I was going to work (including working out, getting ready for the day) Having a separate space to work (not sitting on the couch).

Read more yammer posts

Set small challenges - like do ten squats or walk up and down the stairs throughout the day.

Set up a dedicated work space. Get dressed in different clothes. Go for a walk before starting the work day (as if you had to walk to your office).

Don't work from bed!

On Working From Home With Kids

Wake up early to try to get some work done before they are up and do some once they are asleep at night.

The main thing I’m wrestling with is finding a way to create an at-home-while-we’re-also-working routine for my three kids. It’s tough. Both my work and Mom worlds are colliding and I don’t want them to feel ignored. I’ve created – along with their help – an “agenda” for the day. I’ve broken out the day by the hour. My kids are 3, 6 and 9 so they all have different activities. There’s a nap for the 3-year-old in the afternoon. Sample schedule:
9-10 – Reading, activity books, coloring, puzzles
10-11 – Snack, play outside
11-12 –Activities, games with each other + watch a 30 min. show
12-1 – Lunch
1-2 – 3-year-old naps, other two do educational activity from school, workbooks, reading
2-3 – Older two watch a show
3-4 – 3-year-old wakes up, all eat snack and play outside
4-5 – Play educational computer game and watch a 30 min. show
Of course I feel awful about the amount of screen time sprinkled in, but it helps break it up. Hopefully providing this structure will comfort them and let them know there’s some kind of order to follow.

Keeping Kids Entertained

My teenagers found the sidewalk chalk and it was really fun… drew a volleyball/tennis court on the driveway and then decorated our walkway.

Scholastic is offering free online courses for kids.

A lot of places have free virtual field trips – some ideas are here.

We are paying our kids to spring clean the house from top to bottom, organize everything from spice ranks to pantry and closets, purge unwanted items and clean the attic, etc.  My wife and I have a list of “special projects” – totally hidden.  So kids get the offer of organizing the freezer, or whatever is behind door #2…

Relax and let the kids have a bit more screen time.

Have a "pioneer night", light some candles and do any activities that don't use electricity.

Pick a few ingredients and have a Chopped competition for a snack or meal.

Garden – perfect time of year and the kids can do some of it.  My kids loved to shovel when they were younger.  They would have had great fun turning over a garden bed.  Lol

Make sure the kids have lots of active time.  Don’t expect them to stay quiet all day if they are young.  If you can, break up your day into smaller chunks.  Spend an hour on the computer and then get the kids running around for 20-30 minutes.  Your workday might be longer, but you might also find you are more productive because you will be active too!

Child proof at least one room where kids can throw a ball around.

Hide coins around a room.  Tell the kids how much money you hid and let them have fun finding it.  If there is a age difference, maybe tell each kid they have a different coin and they can only take their own coins.  (might want to write down where you hid them!)

My son gets on an online chat with his grandparents every day. My parents conduct a short lesson with him at that time. My dad is a retired science and math teacher so they were working on fractions on Tuesday and fulcrums on Wednesday. Today, my mother – a retired English teacher – will do some mad libs-like exercise with him. My mother-in-law is going to discuss history with him, pulling in family stories for context. Every one wins. The grandparents get to chat with my son, he learns something, and someone else helps to keep an eye on him at the same time.

Board games!!!  Even if you don’t have any, there are some you can print off from online.  Bingo can be adapted very easily to printouts.

Set up a card table or use the underutilized dining room table to start a 1000 piece puzzle. Family members can come and go as they please. Even young ones can help out by turning the pieces over and placing them on cookie trays, arranging by color, and/or finding the straight edge pieces for the border.

Have a scavenger hunt – always great fun.  One way I did it was to give instructions to the first item, then left instructions with the first item for the second item and so forth.  You can make harder puzzles to figure out for older kids.

Allowing our oldest (5) to FaceTime with at least one friend a day

Take a video of an activity he’s doing, today was a coding robot, to share with his friends and asking his friends to share something they are doing.

Videos of Famous People Reading Children's Books

Staying In-Touch With People Who Are Isolated / Helping Others

I have a family member in a nursing home, who is typically also unable to communicate via phone and so I’m sending care packages (as these are still allowed, at least at her home). Books, magazines, snacks, pictures – even a postcard here and there can help them to know that you are still here and thinking of them.

Call up anyone you know that lives alone.  Very important because being alone at home can be very emotionally taxing.   Facetime is especially great if you are talking to grandparents!

NBAM offers "Hopeline" for Seniors 

Stand outside the window and talk on the phone. If they can see you, it make it easier.

Use Face Time, Skype, Zoom, or other video program. The nursing staff usually provides a device for the family member to use in the facility.

Have a schedule for different family members to call so that our loved ones have constant daily contact.

Contacting SAS employees/friends who are single or widowed so they don’t feel as isolated. Try to establish new behaviors that mimic the ones we had in the office – like stopping by to chat or talking at lunch, and so on.


About Author

Katie Seavey Pegoraro

Sr Associate Work Life Program Manager

Katie Seavey Pegoraro supports employees with issues of stress and balance, providing tools and resources to cope when life feels overwhelming. Katie is a contact for those who may be coping with issues of mental health, substance use, or grief and loss. A young professional herself, Katie is a unique support to employees who are navigating the many life transitions that occur in your 20's and 30's.


  1. Rebecca E allen on

    Thank you, Katie!! Love the suggestions and perspective. i enjoyed services online with my church this week as well. Sense of community can be nurtured in so many ways...thanks for staying connected.

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