With so many of us finding ourselves spending more time in our homes during these extraordinary events, it's important to keep our minds active, our bodies moving and our hearts full. Our members are known for being explorers and adventurers, so we know it might not be what you're used to! But we also know that, along with that sense of adventure, comes resilience, understanding and a real sense of community from everyone within our RCI family. So, while we're grounded for now, let's get together online to share these tips to help keep us all productive and relaxed at home during this period of social distancing.
Maintain a routine
Keeping to a routine will help you to structure your day and help to avoid feeling jumbled and low from unfamiliar time spent indoors. Get up at your usual time and, if you're working from home, make sure you have a clear, calm and well-lit designated space to work from, such as the dining table or a desk, if you have one. Making your bed, cracking the window open for some fresh air and sitting down for breakfast will help get your day off to a good start before you get down to work. Stop for lunch as you would normally, as well as stretching your legs and taking regular tea/coffee breaks - heading out into the garden for a breather can help too. Ensure that when you finish work for the day, you have something to do to signify it - for example, you might like to read a book, watch TV or spend time with your children.
If you're used to being at home, try writing down some productive goals for each day to try and get done, whether it be organising paperwork, cleaning out a room of the house, cooking a new meal or making a start on the garden. While you're used to more time at home, restrictions on getting out and about might affect your usual day, so getting out in the garden will give you some much-needed fresh air, as well as a chance to get in some steps. Try to stick to a structured routine as best you can, respecting waking up early and going to bed at a reasonable hour - even though watching just one more episode of your favourite TV show is so very tempting!
Keep in touch
While we're spending more time in our homes, it's important to keep in touch with family and friends, and to remember that you're not alone. Video calling on your phone, tablet or computer is a great way to chat, and you can even make multiple-person video calls! Try to talk about things other than the news when you can; updating each other on what you've been doing or your day-to-day routine, to help lift each other's spirits.
Or how about even writing a letter? There will be elderly and vulnerable people in your community that may need a helping hand, so try picking up the phone or writing a letter as a way in which to reach out and start a conversation. You'd be surprised at how much that gesture could mean to a person who is feeling lonely. Community spirit and support is never more important than at times such as these.
Healthy body and mind
Gentle exercise and stretching is a key part of a successful day and is a good way of walking away from your 'desk' to take a break and loosen the muscles if you're feeling cooped up. There are free exercise videos online you can watch and follow along to, either in your living room or garden, to help get the blood pumping and some endorphins flowing through your brain. If you have children at home, get them involved and play active games together; if you can, try to get your 10,000 steps in. Joe Wicks is running a brilliant daily PE workout you can enjoy with the kids, too! While you may be used to using your local gym or swimming pool which will now be closed, and if you don't have any fitness equipment at home, remember there are many simple exercise activities you can try out from your chair and sofa, such as squats, crunches, tricep dips, etc. Or why not try using the bottom step of your stairs to do a gentle workout? There are various tutorials and step-by-step guides online to help keep you active and fit while having to stay indoors, so be sure to take advantage of what's out there.
If you're looking for a more relaxed approach, give yoga a go. Take a look at the instructions below, from yoga instructor, Laura Hodgson, guiding you in some easy-to-master yoga moves. These yoga practices are said to have many mental and physical benefits for the body, mind and will, hopefully helping you to take a minute to breathe, focus and centre yourself in times of unease.
Easy Cross Leg - Sukhasana
Take a cross-legged seating position, but do not force your legs to cross fully if that is not comfortable for you. Take at least 10 deep breaths or sit for longer if you can. Establishing connection with your breath in this pose is crucial to aid the easeful flow in a Vinyasa Yoga practice. You can close your eyes while holding this position, or find a spot beyond the tip of your nose to focus on - this gaze is called your Drishti. While the pose is termed easy, it gets easier and more beneficial in terms of relaxing mind and body as you progress further in a yoga practice. You can make your seat more comfortable by sitting on a block, firm cushion or blanket.
This is a strong and foundational pose of the yoga practice. Your stance is long, with a bent front knee. Inhale, with your arms upwards towards the ceiling and hold with your arms energised upwards. Your back foot should be in full contact with the ground, with your toes pointing to about 10 o’clock on the left foot, which should be placed at the back of the mat. When your right foot takes its turn at the back of the mat, your toes should be pointing to about 2 o’clock. Your body core should be stretched as you gaze forward.
While access to all of the supermarket items we're used to buying each week isn't as easy in the current climate, eating a nutritious diet plays a big part in keeping not just your body healthy, but also your mind. Avoid skipping meals when you can and stick to eating three meals a day. Although it's inevitable you'll want to grab a snack more often than usual, remember to stay hydrated and to limit boredom eating by keeping yourself busy. Crack open some of those recipe books on the shelf and see what you can rustle up. There are free recipe tutorials, as well as some innovative online recipes, that can help make the most of the tinned and dried food you have in your cupboard!
Keeping a calm mind
With a lot of buzzwords being thrown around, along with social media conversations and 24-hour reporting, it's easy for feelings of unease to build during uncertain times like these. While we are all concerned for the wellbeing of both ourselves and our loved ones, it's still vital that we look after our own mental health to remain calm and positive.
Keeping informed is important, but be sure to take some time out from the news. Find a calm area to sit and read a good book, flip through a magazine or perhaps binge watch your favourite TV series. Try going for a short walk or a jog in an open and quiet area with another member of your household - or alone - but in a space where you can maintain a safe distance from other people. Remember you can only do this once daily. When you do tune into the news, make sure your sources of information are reliable, as it's easy to get swept up in the misinformation which has proliferated on the internet. Keep yourself up-to-date using government websites and other sites, such as the NHS or the World Health Organisation websites, where the information given out will be reliable, clear and informative to support you in taking practical steps to help both yourself and your family.
Use this time of isolation to create! Channelling the emotions that come with these unprecedented times into creating something can help with feelings of frustration. Have a go at sketching or painting, or how about making some music? Write poetry from your window, crochet or knit a blanket or get messy doing arts and crafts. You don't have to be an expert to express yourself and if it puts a smile on your face, then it was worth it. Try whipping up an experimental dish in the kitchen, writing in a journal or starting a blog. Such activities don't always demand that you have lots of different materials to hand, especially during times of shopping restrictions, but if you can find a way to express yourself, you'd be surprised at the weight that can be lifted from your shoulders.
Plan for the future
Although, at the moment, we find ourselves in uncharted waters, we want you to keep on dreaming and to carry on planning. Getting our members away on wonderful holidays means everything to us, and we hope you can use this time out to plan, research and realise your perfect holiday... And we've got plenty of resources and inspiration for you!
Flick through any back editions of our Endless Vacation magazine that you might have kept, or use the online digital ISSUU editions, to browse the pages of dreamy holiday inspiration, from enchanting winter getaways to sun-soaked European destinations and the bright lights of Las Vegas. Your RCI member website, RCI.com, is full of helpful guidance and ideas to help you get stuck into some long-term holiday planning too. Take a look at our Help pages to familiarise yourself with how RCI membership works and explore the different ways we can help you holiday - from Flexipay options to Extra Holidays. Browse our online Resort Directory now to find your perfect home-from-home accommodation - we have reviews from guests and members to help you find the best holiday choice for you and your family, when the time is right.
While we're taking this time out, remember that although we may feel very much alone in this, we are also very much together. So while, for now, all we can do is daydream about a world of holidays, your RCI team will be working in the background, harder than ever, to prepare for that time when you are able to get back to us and, when that time comes, we'll be here, ready to whisk you away on the holiday of your dreams.
If you are already an RCI member, you can use your membership to take advantage of accommodation in more than 4,300 resorts in over 110 countries. Click on the RCI Resort Directory button below to see where you could be holidaying in the future, when the time is right.
Until then, don't forget that you can always check your personalised RCI Account online - or look out for your monthly RCI Account Statement mailings - to be sure that you don't waste any of your trading power or points, so you are ready to get away on the fabulous holiday you will have waited for. Because RCI is committed to providing you with flexibility at this uncertain time, it has updated its RCI Holiday Exchange and Extra Holiday Cancellation Policy. For full details on the new cancellation policy click here.
If you own timeshare, but are not yet a member of RCI, you can become part of our holiday exchange community today. By clicking on the Join RCI button below, you can sign up in just a few simple steps. Being able to swap your timeshare holiday home for other stays in so many exciting destinations across the world will give you the real value from your purchase of timeshare - it's all about opening up new travel opportunities for you and your family.