Our COVID-19 Coping Mechanisms

Carrot’s Top 5 Covid-19 Social Distancing Distractions!

    1. Get Dressed! I know this doesn’t take much time, and it is not difficult to manage, but speaking for myself, if I don’t get up and get dressed, I won’t be productive.  It is too easy to fall into a trap of sitting around and wasting time, and there is a fine line between living and dying. If I don’t get dressed my line trends toward the latter.
    2. Exercise!  For a climber, spending time away from the wall can be frustrating, gains tend to evaporate in no time at all.  A little exercise can limit those loses, and help with a general anxiety that we are all no doubt experiencing.
    3. Read!  Personally, I can only binge-watch so much before I’m ripping out my own hair, but reading helps me feel productive. I just ordered two books from Amazon,  Hyperobjects and Humankind by philosopher Timothy Morton.  Not only does reading help me feel productive, it also has the benefit of lending itself to conversations that have nothing to do with the current pandemic.
    4. TCB! I used to help out at my sisters interior design firm back in Detroit, and there were TCB days.  Those are the days where you just get shit done! Take Care of Business. We are all really busy all the time, and Social Distancing offers a unique opportunity to TCB.  (My list includes taxes/defensive driving class (How could I speed through a small town? What a fool!)/Black Diamond Warranty Claim/migrating to on-line classes/learn how to fix an oven/fix an oven/make pierogies on newly fixed oven/write two new gym reviews/etc…)
    5. Catch up with family and friends (And yes TV Shows!)  If I’m stuck at home that means they’re probably stuck at home too.  What’s better than binging on Love is Blind?  Talking shit about Jessica and Mark to your friends!  I mean it was clear that Jessica wanted Barnett, why bring poor naive Mark down with you?
      1. –  Listen to a Podcast…May I recommend one?  Try this Climbing Podcast, I hear they put on a good show!


    1. Microgains: It’s really hard to get swole when you are by yourself and without a gym, so this quarantine time gives you the opportunity to work on things you always say you will but you never “have time” to try. This means getting in some hangboard minutes, attending the virtual yoga classes that seem to have never fit in your schedule before, and working on mobility/flexibility. Long gone will be the days where you have to use your hand to pull your foot up high enough!
    2. Research: I really hate it when I’m in a conversation and when my opinion is asked I have to say, “I can’t really comment; I haven’t researched that.” But, as long as Wifi has your back, you can look up everything that you wished you knew. Find the right diet, workout plan, political figure, legislation, sneakers, dog, book, plant, art medium, etc. for you!
    3. Did I mention art??: CREATE! CREATE! CREATE! Load up with paints and film and colored pencils and crayons and pens and sponges and stencils and whatever helps you express yourself! Conversation may get stale, and the 5000th sit-up may feel like enough, but your creation can be as unique as you’d like it to be. Send us your quarantine work! Your first piece, if you are looking for a subject, should be your rendition of the virus.
    4. Planning: I can’t say I’m a huge fan of planning, but I must admit, I’m pretty decent at it and things tend to work out nicely when I have plans. Without fail, trip planning makes or breaks a trip. While in quarantine, you’re going to be yearning for the outdoors, dreaming of what it would be like if you could just leave. So, it might as well be productive fantasy! Plan you next 2, 3, 4, or however many trips you can. Yes, the future may be a little uncertain, but you can create flexible itineraries for you and your crew to follow when you can get out together!
    5. Stargazing: Help out some astronomers! For much astronomical data analysis, it’s important for astronomers to see what type of galaxy is in an image, and it’s really hard to create an algorithm to determine this. Even artificial learning programs don’t do a great job deciphering what is what. Humans, however, are great at recognizing patterns and picking things out. Go to Galaxy Zoo and find some galaxies! Go science


Well, I think I am nobody to give advice on this as I’ve been anything but organized with my life lately. If it were for me, I would just sleep my way through Coronavirus season. Sadly, hibernation is not a realistic possibility, so I will do my best to share some ideas with you.

Social distancing means many things, among those: no school. T will be out of a classroom for at least one month and a half and, although screen time is an easy way out, I don’t think it is a good idea for his rapidly developing brain.

Therefore, I introduce you to T’s new quarantine routine and, as a result, mom’s new distractions:

  1. Wake up early: HA HA HA for us, we have not been able to accomplish step 1, but we are doing better each day! The intention behind this is to adhere to T’s school routine as much as possible. So… Moral of the story, try to stay as close as possible to your daily work/school routine.
  2. Breakfast: This sounds obvious, but if you did not meet Tip 1, you’ll notice how easy it is to forget about Step 2. Breakfast forms an essential part of our routine because it marks the pace for the rest of our day. If this meal turns into brunch, we know that an important chunk of our day has been lost. So… Wake up early so you can eat early and have a productive day 🙂
  3. Khan Academy: Homeschooling with Khan Academy has made this social distancing easier. For Carrot and I it is important that T keeps nurturing his knowledge and learning as much as possible for when it is time to go back to school. We are focusing on grammar, math, and Computer Programming (yes! K kids can take this class :D)
  4. P.E.: I don’t know about you but P.E. was my ultimate favorite school activity so… We cannot do social distancing learning without breaking a sweat! Do some family yoga or kid-friendly workout. It will be worth it! I promise! 

Get some fresh air: Go to your backyard, porch, open your window. Whatever it takes, just breathe fresh air!


I believe that this whole situation, for better or for worse, is nature’s way of reminding all of us that we need to SLOW DOWN. I have been running myself ragged lately, and with the closing of my school and much of my work, I have found myself pretty much devoid of the constant stimulation I have grown accustomed to.

My quarantine is dedicated to slowing down, enjoying the little things in my day, and getting my priorities in order. So, here are my bits of quarantine advice!

  1. Don’t Treat it Like a Vacation – I think many people are trying to treat this self-isolation/quarantining as a ‘stay-cation’ or stay at home vacation. Depending on how long things stretch out, I think that this could be a big mistake. For me, a vacation is usually full of fun activities and spending time with friends. I think this could quickly lead to more boredom and possibly even depression. For me, I think it is important to try and continue your work/life/development as much as you possibly can
  2. Get Your House In Order – You will feel much better about your time and energy if you are doing it in a place where there is order. Clean things up! Don’t leave dishes in the sink, and make your bed in the morning. There is no “I don’t have the time” excuse, and this truly will give you motivation throughout the rest of the day. Take care of the little things first, and then move onto the bigger ones.
  3. Pursue Personal Development – Whether you’re looking to pick up a new hobby, or trying to get better at your job, I think it is extremely valuable to look at what’s behind all that. Do some internal philosophizing. Where do your motivations come from? What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? I often find myself avoiding these thoughtful situations by distracting myself with podcasts, music, or some other activity. Take some time for internal thought. Between yourself and yourself only!

in this craziness, we all have to have each other’s backs. We’re here to support you! We’ve got nothing but time, so hit us up with your quarantine advice/stories below in the comments.

From all of us, we hope you’re happy and healthy,

theDIHEDRAL team

23 Replies to “Our COVID-19 Coping Mechanisms”

  1. I had to giggle – I retired about 9 months ago and you are experiencing exactly what happened to me. You are getting a taste of what being retired after working for 40 plus years is like. Managed Free Time. Isn’t it grand?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Skype, Hangouts, Duo and other Internet video call providers can help to minimize anxiety and cabin fever if you have to remain indoors. I record short videos for my young grandchildren of me reading a book or reviewing an important writing skill. Keeps me mindful and connected.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. LOL, I was just thinking of you Carrot, and wondering about the online transitioning…not what I expected, but here we go! Also, I am learning the strength yoga sequences in the book “Yoga for Climbers”. Can’t remember the author’s name, but it is very good. This fulfills some of the suggestions that you all posted including: read, try something new, get some exercise, and for me, stay connected to climbing even though I don’t have a hang board. Thank you all for addressing this in a helpful way. Social distancing can easily become social isolation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RHONDA!!!!! So good to hear from you. It has been a challenge to migrate indeed, but I’m doing my best. I’m sure you are doing the same, but at the very least it pads the CV!!!


  4. Thanks for the post! It was very helpful especially the reminder to research and create. Doing just that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is great. I live in such a remote area and have the imperative of exercising dogs AND do a lot of my workouts on a stationary bike (really hard to hurt yourself on one of those) so this isn’t affecting much except in a strange mental way. I’m normally pretty isolated painting or writing, but I’m not doing either right now and don’t feel like it. I have cleaned parts of my house that I haven’t cleaned EVER (not since I moved here in 2014). Windex actually works. Who knew? Cleaned out the freezer of stuff that expired in the summer of 2018. I’m about to build a fence and plant a lawn… If I were climbing, I might think of sinking anchors in my walls and doing traverses… Take care of yourselves! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Martha…you are right, it is traverse time. I wish I could get excited for the freezer, but we shall see about that one! I wonder if the dogs are picking up on the stress of the world?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice Blog and yes I’m dressed. lol, I have to stay busy I’m home all day. I blog and twitter all day long so I’m always keeping my mind busy. I’m retired so I stay home all the time!! But your right you have to get up and keep going or you’ll go crazy. God Bless!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kindness Tobias, it’s interesting, you are the second person to compare social distancing to retirement, in one form or another, that is an idea I need to investigate a bit!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love these lists! Getting up early can be especially hard when there is no external schedule to follow but if not then you’ll be eating at random hours throughout the day. Thanks for the motivation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kindness Val! I think you’re right about getting up late and changing the eating times. It has been tough to stick to it, but we are trying!

      Liked by 1 person

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