With COVID-19 cases increasing exponentially and the whole world going into lockdown, it now seems like self-quarantine is the new norm. For most, the lines of professional and personal spaces are blurring as ‘work from home’ approaches gain momentum. Kids are also getting a taste of their future as online classes become ubiquitous. However, the adjustment can be difficult and with a lack of routine, it’s often hard to follow timelines. This can lead people to a sense of frustration and despondency. Additionally, being confined in a closed space with no option of getting out is annoying at best. This is not the time to let yourself be swayed by negative feelings; instead, one needs to use the time productively. Here are some ways in which you can keep yourself and your loved ones engaged constructively.
- Stay virtually connected through video chat
With travel completely prohibited or greatly restricted for most people right now, it’s tough to reach out to family and friends. Thanks to technology, though, there are ways to be in touch with them. Virtual connection using video chat is one strategy to be close to your near and dear ones. With it, you can not only talk to your family and friends but also see them in close-to-real time. Visual contact helps alleviate bad moods, bring people closer, and relieve concerns. Video chatting portals like Camfrog offer seamless video chat options to link you with both known and unknown people.
If you are feeling lonely during this self-quarantine phase and want to make new friends, just sign up on any of these video chat platforms and find like-minded people. All you have to do is download the app, create a profile, set your filters and start looking. Just ensure that you have a good internet connection with decent speed and a smart gadget to download the program.
These video chat platforms are some of the best ways to keep boredom at bay. Connecting with people to discuss your worries and woes can also be a way to deal with all the stress surrounding the pandemic. You can use it to have stimulating conversations. Additionally, platforms like Camfrog offer public chat rooms that you can join to connect with many new people at one time. These platforms are an excellent place to have interesting debates and discussions; and share images, videos and audio, making conversations feel more like they are face-to-face.
- Read to your heart’s content
Quite often, we are so engrossed in our daily routine of managing our jobs, homes, and families that we forget to have a good time. However, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, most people are locked down in their homes. With nowhere to go and no social obligations to follow, you can take time out for yourself and spend it in the company of books, something you may not have found time for in a while.
If you are an avid reader, get all your books off their dusty shelves and read to your heart’s content. Those of you new to reading will find that the internet is filled with endless good option, with both physical and digital copies. Just pick one that catches your eye and get started. Choose an ebook or audiobook and you don’t even have to find shelf space to store them!
- Watch your favourite shows on Netflix
Make use of technology and stream your favorite shows on Netflix. You can pick your favorite show or movie from a variety of genres and indulge in some binge-watching with a bowl of popcorn as company.
Remember, these days of not having too much to do will not last forever, so make the most of it. If you do not have Netflix, the internet is full of sources to find films and watch them with your family. In fact, you can plan your weekends with back-to-back shows or have a movie marathon with some delectable home-cooked food. With proper lighting and setting, it can give you the feel of sitting in a movie hall.
- Attend virtual events
During normal times, it can be tough to accommodate events in your busy schedule, but thanks to home quarantine, you have the opportunity to attend different virtual events organized by friends, brands, and bands you love. In fact, due to the present condition, many interesting webinars and workshops are being conducted online to keep people productive. You can attend cooking classes, join an art workshop, or enroll for meditation sessions without having to worry about the logistics of a physical space. Simply sit in the comfort of your home and slot in time to attend any interesting and intellectually stimulating workshops you discover. You will not regret it!
- Join online hobby classes
We all have hobbies that we have tried to nurture before starting our professional lives, but owing to our work schedules and home commitments we often forget about them. Now that you are at home with no office to go to, it is a good time to get back to that hobby and pursue it. So pick up your old guitar, tune it and join some online guitar lessons to hone your skills, or indulge in candle making or photography lessons. There are innumerable choices available through online platforms like Udemy, Coursera, edX, etc with both paid and free options. All you need to do is pick your favorite and start immediately.
- Revisit shelved projects/plans
Take out that unfinished project that you once started with all enthusiasm but could never complete because of paucity of time. Finish writing that book you began years ago and finally get it published. Add another feather to your cap by revitalizing an old piece of furniture. Anything works, we promise. And don’t forget the immense satisfaction you’ll feel after finishing with something you had left halfway done!
With social distancing, people are spending a great deal of time on varied social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others. Take advantage of this and use it to build contacts. Create new accounts if you don’t have them already and make your social media presence stronger. A lot of people are taking to the virtual medium to spread awareness about COVID-19 best practices and are using this medium to expand their platforms. You can also use it to reach out to people from your professional field and create a network. Who knows, it might help later on in bagging some good projects!
- Indulge in cooking
It is said that cooking is therapeutic, so why not use the time in self-quarantine to learn some new dishes or cuisines? Revisit those cook books you bought years ago but never found time to actually experiment with. Many online platforms are offering cooking courses at discounted prices at the moment, so enroll in them or simply download the recipes from the internet. You could even plan a candlelight dinner with something exquisite right at home and give your family another reason to smile during this challenging time. Try making cooking a family activity and include your partner and children in your culinary experiments. Not only will they learn something new, it will be a great way to spend time together as a family. From simple homemade cakes to delicious pasta and pizzas, home cooking can be a lot of fun.
- Bond with family
Very often, we get so engrossed in our busy work life that we forget to take time out for our loved ones. Even home commitments can be too many to really enjoy time with family. Now that work is going at a slower pace and there are no meetings to rush to or air travel to catch, it is an excellent time to bond with family. Do activities as a family and make this time in quarantine count. Indulge in board games, cook with your kids and have a picnic in your backyard, start some DIY projects involving all members of the family, or simply watch a movie together. There is a plethora of options that you can explore to come together as a family.
- Exercise the bad feelings out
When you exercise, you release happiness hormones, so why not get rid of all the negativity, lethargy, and boredom with some workout routines. You might not be able to go out for walks or runs in the park or even attend your favorite yoga class, but as they say, where there is a will, there is a way.
Many experts have started online workout sessions at discounted prices— from yoga and pilates to Zumba and many others. Pick your favorite and enroll for a class right away. You can also download a good workout routine from Pinterest or any other online portal and do a mix of exercises. Select a new form daily. It will add to the novelty and also keep you motivated. You could also have a group workout session with your friends through online video chat platforms like Camfrog. It will give you that much needed motivation to push your limits and keep at it day after day while simultaneously making the workout session all the more fun.
- Dance away your blues
Dancing is an excellent way to boost your mood. Not only does it help overcome your worries, but it also sets the course for the coming few days. You can play your favorite songs and dance away your blues all by yourself for that endorphin rush, or get your family to join in and make it a fun family activity.
You could also enroll in an online dance class and learn a new form of dance. You can even get your spouse to be your partner and make the most of your time together. Any of the latin dances like the salsa, tango, or even the jive is great couples dances to learn. They are easy and fun. Moreover, in the bargain you could lose some weight and also learn a new skill!
- Organize and clean
If you have been waiting for one free weekend in the past few months to clear all your cupboards and re-organize them, but haven’t found the time to do so, now is that time. Go room by room and clear out all the junk that has been stacked away in lofts and shelves forever, clean the cupboards, and throw out old stuff that has been lingering. Clearing out clutter is also therapeutic. You can get your kids and partner to help you too.
Once you have cleaned out the rooms, you can take on rearranging household items like sofas, chairs, television, showpieces and others to give your home a makeover and a fresh new look without buying a thing.
- Indulge in gardening
Being one with nature is a great stress buster. Give some time to your lawn. Trim the hedges, weed the grass, plant new flowers, or re-arrange your existing pots. Get your children to help you with this activity. Not only will they learn something new but they will also understand the importance of nature. It is a great family activity.
If you have any garden books, now is the time they can come in handy. If not, the internet can be your best friend. There are a lot of easy-to-do videos to manage lawns on YouTube. Learn from them and apply that learning to your soon to be luscious garden.
With so many things to do, you are sure to find one that keeps you occupied in a productive manner. However, when all is said and done, don’t feel pressured to be productive. In the words of Fay Lin, a mental health advocate, “It is okay to struggle with productivity, mourn the experiences that were canceled due to social distancing, and feel anxious about the uncertainty.” Use this time to hit the reset button on your life. Long working hours, late nights, unending travel commitments, missed deadlines, working weekends, and boring social obligations: your life has probably been a mix of all these things since your career began. Now that you have the time, why not take a break? Focus on yourself and your loved ones, consciously practice self-care, video chat with friends — consider this a time to rejuvenate and recharge yourself.