Stuck in Isolation
The world has officially been living through a pandemic for a little over two years now. In our times, we’ve never seen a pandemic and there’ll be a time to tell our grandchildren about it. I’ve had to learn to keep myself occupied with unique activities during these two years.
There have been moments when every country had placed its citizens in a state of quarantine with restrictions applied to leave everyone on lockdown and confined inside their homes. Some countries, like El Salvador, placed strict restrictions:
- Everyone has to work from home
- No one can leave their houses unless it’s to get groceries, to go to a doctor’s (emergency) appointment, to the bank, or a pharmacy.
- You’re only allowed to go to the grocery store every two weeks
- There are police stops every 3 miles or so to make sure you’re going where you say you’re going
- A complete travel ban with the airport been closed for more than a month
- If you’re caught outside with no valid reason, you are taken to government confinement (similar to jail).
Humans are social creatures and our nature is to be around others. We’re left in a state of anxiety and to some, depression when they’ve taken that away. It’s an unnatural state that leaves us banging our heads against a wall. Even though it seems like a punishment and it’s easy to complain under these circumstances, there is a silver lining behind it.
The air in some of the most polluted cities in the world has cleared and we saw wildlife inhabiting cities, now that humans were forced to stay inside. It’s hard to stay inside without being able to socialize and do the things we love the most, like going to the gym or clubbing Friday nights to dance. I can assure you that there have been times in the history of the world far worse than this.
Think about the holocaust, the great depression, famine, and the black plague. So, let’s continue to keep our heads up, and think positive. Let’s try to stay busy and productive while being at home. If you’re stuck doing the same thing day in and day out, here are 10 unique activities to use your time wisely during a lockdown.
Learn something new
I’m a bit ashamed to admit, that before quarantine started, I didn’t know how to cook. I’ve never needed it because my family has been fortunate enough to have help and I’ve always had someone cook for me. I think I could make scrambled eggs, and pancakes… that’s about it. Our maid couldn’t come anymore and since I only live with my grandmother I was forced to do the cooking.
My Sunday afternoon is now spent in the kitchen doing the meal prep for the week. Pinterest has been my best friend and I now have a board full of easy/healthy one-pot meals. I’m proud to say that I haven’t had a complaint about any of the dishes so far.
Think about one thing you’ve always wanted to learn but never had the chance or time to do so, well now you do. You’ve wanted to learn how to knit, paint, draw, bake, and do a handstand, now’s a perfect time people!
Invest in your education
I’m a full-time marketer and I know the importance of keeping myself educated on the new trends in the marketing world. There are many online courses out there for free. Take advantage of all the tools available and enroll in a course. If you are in the marketing field, here is a list of amazing free courses.
I think that almost anything can be learned online. If you’re a fitness instructor or want to become one there are also many online courses and certifications you can take. Whatever your field of interest is, go to Google and search for the right course for you. Even a YouTube tutorial can help you learn a new skill.
Take advantage of the Internet and everything it has to offer.
Do some home improvement projects
Maybe you have an old drawer in your bedroom starting to look as if it was your grandma’s. Clean it up a bit, add a layer of fresh paint and you’ll have a brand new drawer. Maybe you’ve been wanting to clean up and organize your garage, or your laundry room. Spring cleaning is always in season!
I have a friend who has been cleaning every room of her house, one by one, ever since the quarantine started. I later visited her home after the lockdown and it looks brand new.
Reading makes you smarter and it helps you become open-minded. If you don’t have a preferred literary genre then read about history, fantasy novels, sci-fi, comedy, romance, non-fiction, etc.
Here are a few of the advantages of reading:
- Reduces stress
- It helps you build a better vocabulary
- It stimulates imagination
- Sparks up new ideas
- Improves focus and concentration
- Improves your memory
- Improves your language skills
- It gives you knowledge
If you don’t know what to read, here are 14 online book clubs you can join for free and you’ll find inspiration there.
Connect with people you haven’t talked to in a while
You probably have a friend, a family member, or an old partner who you’ve wanted to reconnect with. Find the time, take advantage of it, and FaceTime that person.
I’ve been doing virtual hangouts and regular wine nights through Zoom. Zoom is a virtual meeting platform that has been my salvation these days. I’ve been able to connect with old friends and even celebrate the birthday of my grandmother with my “scattered across the world” family.
Do some exercise
Invest this time in your body, the most common excuse I hear from people for not working out is that they don’t have the time. Well, not anymore. Most gyms and personal trainers are posting their workout routines and videos on their social media and the best thing about it is that they are for free.
A Pilates or Yoga class that could cost you $70 is now available to you for free! Come out of this lockdown looking fitter than ever.
We all need some peace of mind, meditation will help you stay sane and keep your mind strong. Here are some of the most common meditation techniques that will help you lower the stress and reduce anxiety:
- Breathe Focus
- Body Scan
- Guided Imagery
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Yoga, Tai Chi and Quigong
- Repetitive Prayer
The same as with workout routines, you can find many yoga, tai chi, and meditation teachers on social media and join their meditation through a live streaming video.
Learn to bake
If there’s one thing I see everyone’s been doing more now that we’re on lockdown, is eating. It seems like we’re all more hungry than usual because the first thing that pops into our heads is food. I don’t know why but everyone’s been making this banana bread and posting it on social media. I haven’t done it yet but I might as well.
You can be a bit more creative than that. Pick a unique recipe online and make it. I’m sure your stomach will thank you. Go above and beyond learning how to bake. Learn how to make different types of bread, or even master the art of making pasta.
Do some gardening or take care of a plant
Plants make a room feel livelier. Learn how to grow your plant and see how much it lasts, hopefully, you’ll be a good plant parent and you’ll see it grow. Use your weekends to do some gardening and plant some colorful flowers in your garden. That way you can, later on, use that space to share lemonade with your quarantine partner or do some outdoor yoga.
Get a dog
Many dog shelters have had to shut down due to the lockdown, leaving dogs alone for days. Think about it, it’s a win-win situation. You and the dog both get some company and you’re also helping the shelter stay in business. Can you think of a better quarantine buddy than a puppy? I don’t think so. Plus dogs are a handful so they’ll keep you busy.
I hope that if you’ve spent the last 30 days in a state of “I don’t know if I’ve lived ten thousand days or a day ten thousand times” you pick yourself up and try any of the above unique activities. Like these 10, there are many other activities that you could do while being inside. And remember, it’s all about being patient, keeping yourself busy, and staying positive. Let us know what other unique activities you enjoy in the comment section below.
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