Before we get into things to do while we self-isolate, let's take a moment to remember why we're self-isolating. During the times of a global pandemic, the most effective way to stop the spread of an infectious disease is to not expose yourself or others to it in the first place.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been experiencing a time of social distancing. And I think it's safe to say it's driving everyone a little crazy! If this is the case for you, which who are we kidding, it probably is, relax because here are some things you can do to fill your time while we wait for the return to normalcy.
1. Learn to Code
Coding is a useful skill. Plus, it's one you can learn on your own at no cost! There are many easy-to-navigate websites where you can explore the wonderful world of code. Two of my personal favorites are code.org which helps you build basic skills through block coding and Codecademy which is more advanced and teaches you how to write code.
2. Build a Blanket Fort
Grab some pillows, some blankets, and whatever else you want! Channel your inner 6-year-old and get to building. Not only is this time consuming, but also fun and nostalgic. Most importantly once you're done with it, you have a headquarter to operate out of for the next couple of weeks.
3. Binge Watch TV Shows
There's nothing wrong with sitting back and catching up on all the episodes of this show you've never heard of... Streaming services have been making this easier, with Netflix launching Netflix Party which allows you to watch movies and shows with friends, and HBO offering up their content without a subscription.
4. Create Your Own Board Game
Cut up an old cardboard box, grab some craft supplies and random household objects, then get creative! When you get done, video call your friends and play your game together. My sister and I used to do this when we were kids. Let me tell you it's a great way to spend time =)
5. Read a Book
This is a very good option if you are feeling stuck. Reading has the power to transport you anywhere. Just a few words can bring you to people and places that you have never known before. Characters become your friends, your enemies, you develop deep-rooted feelings for the people in those pages.
If reading physical books isn't your thing, Audible has launched a program called Audible Stories, which is completely free to use during the time of COVID-19 related school shutdowns.
6. Write Something
Write down your ideas. Record your dreams. Put pen to paper and let it all out. Writing can be a great way to express yourself while keeping busy. It also reduces stress and exercises your mind.
Write a Book
- If you feel you have strong ideas, this could be the route for you. There are tons of resources you can find to help through this process and plenty of time for you to get started on something =)
Write a Script
- If you have a story you want to tell, but a book seems intimidating, a script might just be your thing The structured format allows you to be creative and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed while looking at the blank page you wish to fill. Celtx is a great (& free) place to start out!
Friendly tip: Start a Pinterest board for whatever type of story you're writing. It helps you keep track of what you're doing, especially when you start breaking scenes down into sections. If you don't want people to see what you're up to, just make your board private.
Start a COVID-Journal
- Someday, a hundred or so years from now, historians and high school history classes everywhere are going to look back at this Corona-Crisis and they're going to want more than just the numbers, record how you feel about this, be a primary source. Putting your feelings on paper can help you work through them
Write a Letter
Why would I do that!? I can just message my friends. To that, I say, letters are more personal, they offer up a characteristic of yourself that isn't there from a text. An additional plus is a trip to the mailbox is a way to get out of the house while still social distancing. Be sure to wear a mask when out!
7. Make Masks
Making masks can be a fun and useful way to spend your time. There are tons of sew and no-sew patterns online. You could even make a contribution to your community by making some to donate to local store employees, a doctor's office or nursing home, or any essential business. These instruments protect people from spreading the virus, not catching the virus.
8. Get to Know Yourself
In this fast-paced world, we oftentimes find ourselves caught up in activity after activity and through this, we lose touch with ourselves. Take some of this time to yourself to check-in. Do a little self-exploration find out what makes you you, what makes you happy. Maybe do some meditation and clear your mind. Just sit down in the quiet and find yourself.
We live in a world where you don't have to be together... to be together. We have amazing technology that can bring us to the people we know and care about. Use this time and the tools you have at your disposal to reconnect with the people your otherwise too busy lives haven't allowed time for.
10. Take a Nap!
Take a nap!? Yes, take a nap! When you aren't getting proper amounts of sleep, you're lowering your immune system. People who aren't getting enough sleep have a high chance of getting sick when exposed to a virus. If you do get sick and you don't sleep correctly it takes longer for you to get better. So hop in bed and go take a nap. 😴
One major misconception fluttering around the internet that you have to be productive during the shutdown, but I'm here to tell you STAYING ALIVE AND HEALTHY IS PRODUCTIVE ENOUGH! Wash your hands, make sure you're practicing good hygiene, but also be sure you're keeping yourself mentally healthy too.
Just breathe. We're all in this together.