With the majority of businesses requesting employers to work from home, restaurants and cafes only open for takeaway, most entertainment spaces shut down, and the government encouraging social distancing – we’re left to fend for ourselves in the safest place: at home.
For many of us, it’s quite a shock to suddenly be at home all the time. To have no breaks from family, partners or flatmates, no more commuting to work or school, replacing hanging out with friends in real life with a Zoom date. The term ‘self-quarantine’ can even feel more like a form solitary confinement.
The good news is, the less time you spend in public space the less likely you are to spread any type of infections. You can be proud of yourself for playing your part in #FlatteningTheCurve and essentially saving lives. It’s important for all of us to limit social contact because too many people getting sick at the same time can overwhelm hospitals and healthcare facilities. Even if you are young and believe you can handle the Coronavirus with little to no complications, others in your community might not be able to. High-risk people (elderly, those with compromised immune systems or any other underlying health problems) should keep away from the public as much as possible to protect themselves from being exposed to the virus as it can be deadly for them.
Here are some ways to make your time at home more enjoyable, productive, relaxing and even educational:
Read those books that you’ve been dying to read but never had the time. Now is the time!
Learn a new language
Always wanted to speak a different language? What better time to become bilingual than learning with online resources like Duolingo, Open Culture, Livemocha, Babbel, and so many more. Also, with so many people stuck at home, there are plenty of deals out there.
This is a great time to learn how to quiet and calm your mind. If your thoughts are whirling around a million miles an hour then it’s time to get quiet. A helpful tip to remember is that you are not your thoughts. You also cannot be bad at meditation. If you have never tried it before, go for a short guided meditation. There are plenty of apps out there to start out with.
Get out the board games
This is great non tech way of bringing the family or flatmates together and pass the time.
Write a story
Have you ever wanted to be a writer? Or a poet? Now is a great opportunity to allow your mind to wander and tell a tale…
Probably the most popular choice: Netflix and chill. Watch movies, get hooked on a TV show. Is this a dream or what? To make it more social, you can also have a Netflix viewing party with your friends by using Facetime/Skype/Zoom or whatever allows you to all (virtually) be together.
Learn something new online
After you’ve watched every movie and TV show on Netflix, now is the time to learn a new skill. With the world at our fingertips, you can literally learn about anything. Try Udemy, The Great Courses, Coursera, Open Yale Courses, edX, Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, Udacity – there is so much out there.
Clean your house
Blast some uplifting music and start scrubbing the floors, walls and windows. By the time this is over you will be living in a brand new, shiny apartment/house.
Do at home workouts
Gyms may have closed, but your work-out routine should not be. It can become depressing to sit at home doing nothing, exercise is a great way to boost your mood. You don’t need to do much either, just a few yoga or Pilates videos online and you’re good to go.
Virtually hangout with your friends
Social distancing might be the new thing, but so is socialising online!
Cook a delicious and healthy meal
Become a 5 star chef and make a complex and delicious meal. Light some candles and pretend you are eating at a high quality restaurant!
Listen to music
Create a playlist that helps you feel better if you’re feeling low. Have a dance party in your living room!
Go for a walk
Unless you are actually sick, then you should stay at home. Otherwise, if you are just staying at home with no symptoms then get for a stroll, still keeping your distance from others. Sometimes the virus does not show any symptoms so just to be safe, keep a bit of a distance between you and others. Make sure to smile at the people you pass, it’s a difficult time and a smile never hurt anyone.
All your leftover veggies can be planted into fresh soil. The waiting period to watch them sprout with help you practice patience.
Why not try some art? You can draw pictures, create something with watercolour or acrylic. The craft ideas are endless, check out Pinterest for ideas.
It can be a stressful time for many of us, so if you are overwhelmed and exhausted by everything, then take a break. Have a nap and allow your body to relax.
Whatever you do during this time, try to remain focused on the positive things in your life. Take advantage of this time spent with family, and also for yourself. Focus on all of the things you’ve been putting off from the distractions and stress of daily life.
Last but not least, make sure to wash your hands. That is the best way to avoid spreading anything, even a cold.