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Innovative Ways To Live In A New Normal

Shared from resources by Sarah-Kay Lacks, JCC Manhattan

The following is a list from a resource guide shared out at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Take a look and find some positive impacts you can make today!

1) Download kindle, amazon prime video, netflix, disney plus and other streaming apps. Download spotify for free access to the world of music. Or visit and get to know half a million works of the greatest works of art.

2) Let’s treat this as a mini-Rosh Hashanah. What are your resolutions for this time? Sign up for–a yoga, pilates and meditation platform with incredible facilitators. Build a new practice for yourself. Start by setting small goals, 10 minutes a day. Move up to bigger goals- doing a head stand, touching your toes etc. Or start with “morning pages” a creative practice elevated as a way to jumpstart and cultivate personal growth and innovation.

3 ) Learn a craft. Now is the time to stimulate yourself through the wonderful world of handicrafts. Adult coloring books, hookrugs, looms for knitting are amazing for beginners. Finishing a baby book, or wedding/simcha photo album you have been meaning to do. For experts- making blankets, hats for the homeless, needlepoint and crochet will all pass the time and make you feel like you are accomplishing things.

4) Dust off that to-do list. Organize your closets. Toss everything you haven’t worn in 12 months. sends you a bag and you mail it all to them! They will recycle what they can and sell the rest for you! Collect all your t-shirts and send them off to be made into a quilt. Clean out all your junk drawers. Clean your freezer. Organize under your sinks. Clean your shoes. Polish your jewelry. Get your pet signed up for pet insurance. Buy renters insurance. Sign up for your 401k, 403b, FSA, health care proxy, and all the other things you keep meaning to do! streamline your entryway, declutter your bathroom. Set up small monthly contributions to all your favorite charities. Even $9 or $18 a month makes a difference!

5) Daf Yomi (Daily Page of Talmud) Participate in the longest-running Jewish book club (even if you can’t read Hebrew). Around the world, thousands of Jews read the entire Talmud one page at a time, on a set schedule called Daf Yomi (literally “a page a day”). Every day, you’ll receive an email that offers an insight from each page of the current tractate of the Talmud.

6) Make a list of 10 people from all aspects of your life that you wish you saw more regularly. Write them emails rich with details of your life and juicy questions of your own. Make some calls. Who is the oldest person whose phone number you have in your phone? Call that person. See how they are. A simple “checking in on you. I’m thinking about you” makes people feel amazing.” Catch up on your thank you notes.

7) 100_Novels How many of the greatest novels of all time have you read? Pick a book with a friend or family member and make a deal to text every night with your thoughts. Or pick one incredible author and read everything they have written- Roth, Kundera, Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates. Read the books in chronological order and see if you can trace their growth as a storyteller.

8) Go through your inbox clutter! Unsubscribe from all those random lists and emails you don’t want. Take this moment to sign up for something of value. Are you ready to join instagram? Or maybe update your linkedin? Your linkedin is the social media of your professional self!

9) Update your resume. Everyone should have one. Or create a spiritual “true” resume of your skills and gifts. My beloved, amazing M2 has a beautiful workbook for this kind of reflection. See attached “woodcarver” booklet to be your guide.

10) Do self inventory. Get to know yourself. Make lists. What are the 10 most influential songs of your life? Who are the people that shaped you? What are the most interesting facts you have heard in your lifetime? What are the best days of your life? The best birthday party you ever had? You favorite pasta shape? Your favorite sandwich? Best vacation? What’s next for you? What are the travel spot you want to get to in the next 5 years? Now call the people you know and ask them too. Do they prefer top bunk or bottom bunk? why? What’s an assumption they made that went hilariously wrong? If someone came up to them and said “hey do that thing you do” what’s the first thing that would pop into their mind? What’s the best snack in the world?

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