A vintage quarantine guide
Mar 25, 2020 | by Becky Oeltjenbruns
Greetings dear readers. I hope you and yours are staying healthy during this challenging time. I was pacing the house this morning, trying to think of what to share for this week’s feature. One idea that kept resurfacing was “what would the Victorian do on a rainy day?” If my hours of watching & re-watching adaptations of Sense & Sensibility have taught me anything, the common cold was nothing to mess around with in that day and age. Walking in the rain was a big no-no. As a result many a clever, fun-loving lady was stuck inside while the raindrops danced against the windows. A situation I think everyone can relate to all these generations later.
One such lady who made the most of her rainy day was Mary Shelley. As historians tell us, the epic work of “Frankenstein” was penned during an awful vacation. Young Mary, a newlywed, was visiting friends in Geneva and undoubtedly looking forward to seeing the sights. Mother Nature had another plan and the entire group found themselves stuck inside while storms raged. There’s only so many card games and indoor strolls one person can take, so Mary soon put quill to paper and created what would be known as her opus. Now, I’m not saying we all need to create a literary masterpiece that single-handedly invents a new genre, but we can take a page from her book (ha!) and look for creative ways to pass the time. May I humbly present a vintage quarantine guide and ask that you share your tips & tricks in the comments!
Try out a new handicraft
We live in a time of unprecedented knowledge exchange. Thanks to the internet we are able to find free tutorials for all sorts of arts and crafts. Some of the favorites here at Cause A Frockus include painting and knitting. But if you’re feeling even more ambitious, I’ve heard quilting can be quite calming. Check out these articles for some inspiration – you’ll find you are in good company!
Play a game or start a puzzle
I’ve become quite adept at getting some high scores in Scrabble over the last few days. (Spoiler alert: I always win!) Once my latest painting is done I’m going to clear off the dining room table for one of my big puzzles. When the world outside feels so chaotic, it’s nice to keep your mind and hands busy with something else. Be sure to make it fun – if you’re able to make something yummy & comforting to pair with your puzzle that’s all the better! Here are some of our favorite articles on the subject…
Learn about far-flung places
Now is a perfect time to remind yourself of the beauty & wonder of this world we live in. Rick Steves is on Amazon Prime and I’ve been soaking up each episode, trying to imagine myself in these distant places. Now is also a great time to plan a future trip. Thinking about upcoming adventures is an excellent way to keep the blues at bay! So dust off that old atlas & dream. Here are some articles to get you started…
Get to know your surroundings
The requirement to stay inside can be an opportunity for self-reflection. If you don’t want to get too philosophical (which is completely understandable!), one fun way to cope with the indoor time is to pretend your home is a museum. Curate your items – finally take the time to learn about what’s in that box from grandma’s house. Cause A Frockus has plenty of articles in the archive on all manner of collectibles. Become an explorer in your own home. You may be surprised by what you discover!
Be kind to yourself
There’s no one way to feel or navigate a global situation like the one we find ourselves in. But there is a a guaranteed way to feel a bit better. And this advice is tried-and-true from generations past: talk to someone. Reach out to a dear friend over Skype, phone, or text. (Write a note!) Make sure you are sharing your feelings because it’s never good to keep things bottled up (for me, a journal has been my constant companion). Even though many of us find ourselves alone, holed up in our homes or apartments, we must remember we aren’t alone. I’ve created a list of folks to reach out to and am trying to reconnect with a few people each day. I’m also reading new books and investing in self care (lots of bubble baths and cookies!). Incidentally, if you’re looking for reading list inspiration, check out this link. While I am watching more movies here and there, I’m trying to mix it up a bit and that’s helping my days feel fuller. This vintage quarantine guide is just that – a simple guide, not a prescription. Be sure to show yourself some kindness during this time & let us know about your vintage adventures in the comments!