Whether self-isolating, in quarantine, sheltering in place or simply social distancing, Coronavirus or Covid-19 has many of us stuck at home. Most schools are out and many businesses are operating from home. Bars, clubs and theatres are closed and restrictions on public gatherings have made parties and other social gatherings near impossible.
Staying home right now is the best way to stay safe. Aside from regularly washing our hands and maintaining good health practices, limiting physical interactions with one another may be the most effective method we have for reducing the spread of the virus and protecting each other, particularly the vulnerable.
But even this can take its toll, adding to the worry and stress a health crisis brings. For us creatures of habit it disrupts our routines, which can be difficult, and it also requires us to avoid instincts that are naturally to social creatures.
How can we play our part as responsible global citizens while maintaining our calm in the face of this global pandemic? Here are a few suggestions to peacefully pass the time.
- Limit screen time: The Internet is full of virus-related content. Timelines are flooded with real and fake news, information, memes, pictures, videos and the like. This can be more overwhelming than we realize although it’s important to stay up to date. Avoid the urge to pick up your phone every time you have a free minute. You need a break from social media, video games and streaming services that may be entertaining but are time consuming. Enjoy activities that limit your screen time. Force yourself to read one of those books you promised you would months ago. Assemble a jigsaw puzzle or play a card game or release your creative juices by drawing, painting or taking up some other art project.
- Exercise! This is really important. Staying inside and stationary all day drastically limits our physical activity, which can increase stress levels. While we can’t do the gym right now or play sports that require large groups, we can still find creative ways to stay active at home. There are tons of engaging workout apps and YouTube videos. Virtual sports are increasing in popularity. People are even getting inventive with workout regimes they are making up themselves, turning everyday household objects into workout gear. If all else fails, try yoga and some calming meditation.
- Go for a walk: This is not only a good way to get out of the house, get a change of scenery, and clear your mind, but it is also a chance to get some exercise. If you’re lucky enough to have an area close to home where you can venture out, do it. Just be sure to maintain a safe distance from other walkers.
- Learn a new skill: While taking this time to chill can be relaxing and is essential, spending too much time idling may contribute to feelings of frustration over time. It’s important we also stimulate and challenge ourselves. Learning a new skill can be a great way to do this. If you’re musically inclined, try learning a new song. If you like to cook, tackle a new recipe. Other do-able options include learning the basics of a foreign language (sign language could be a great option), picking up origami skills or even figuring out how the hell to solve a Rubik’s cube. Your options are endless.
- Finally, when you can no longer resist the urge to pick up that phone, might we suggest using it to fulfill your daily socializing needs from a safe distance. Call a family member and check up on them. Better yet, FaceTime a group of friends and get some face to face interaction. How about TikTok for comic relief? You can even try a new dance challenge and tick off options 2 and 4 once again.
Happy, Healthy, Restful, Peaceful Social Distancing!