The coronavirus has left us all in a bit of limbo. We all must stay inside to keep each other safe. Now we all understand that this is really important, but it's understandable if you start feeling a bit bored of just sitting around all day.
Since we are not able to go out and even see our friends, it's a really good idea to keep busy to prevent boredom setting in. While sitting in front of the TV for hours is great at first, it can get old pretty quick.
But quarantine has given us plenty of opportunities to start something that we've always thought about doing. There's literally never been a better time to take advantage of the spare time.
Here are 5 ways to keep yourself busy during the quarantine and avoid suffering from cabin fever any longer.
1. Outside Adventures
Just being outside and being with nature is great for getting away from everything that's happening in the world right now. Go outside and explore rather than just sitting on the couch staring at a screen.
Nature trails are mostly closed, but that doesn't mean you can't put your iPad down for an hour or two. Search online for nature trails that remain open and get some fresh air.
But even if you don't fancy that, even just a walk around the neighborhood for some fresh air can do you a world of good - even more so if you have a dog that needs a walk.
There's plenty of adventure to be found in your own garden too. Plant some new flowers, start growing some vegetables, chill out in a hammock. The choice is yours.
2. Get Creative
Quarantine shouldn't inhibit creativity. If anything, it should be doing the exact opposite.
For example, art is a great way to express yourself and keep yourself busy. Not many people think of going down this route, but once you start, you'll start wondering why.
Drawing, painting, or building can take inspiration from anything. The more unique the better. No matter what medium you choose, use this moment to take on a brand new project. You may even want to start a social media account and share your creations with the world through Instagram or Pinterest. These are also excellent platforms to draw inspiration from.
You don't have to pigeonhole yourself into art though. Another way you can tap into your creativity is designing your perfect living space. Rearrange your couch, pick out some new cushions, paint the walls a different color, find a mirror, the list goes on. Again, use social media pages or sites like Build Something for inspiration.
Take your imagination outside and build some new decking, fix up a treehouse for the kids, build a birdhouse and let nature come to you. There's no limit to your creativity so use quarantine to let your mind run wild.
3. Start Baking
This next project is incredibly fun. There's nothing better than a freshly baked cookie straight from the oven. No matter if you've never baked a thing in your life or it's one of your greatest passions, the extra time at home is a great chance to do something different.
It doesn't have to be cookies of course; there are cupcakes, pies, biscuits and a whole lot more. If you're living with your partner, head to the kitchen and surprise them with a lovely sweet treat as a snack or a gorgeous dessert after dinner.
Depending on what you want to bake, just make sure you have the ingredients before you start. Add them to your next shopping list just in case.
On the other hand, you can use things like Fridge to Table that shows you what you can make with what you already have at home. All you have to do is enter the ingredients in your cupboard and you've got yourself a tasty treat just waiting to be made.
Reading is amazing for all sorts of reasons - it expands your vocabulary, reduces stress and takes your mind on an adventure. Read a book that challenges your imagination. You'll find that some are even better than the movies they're based on.
There's an awesome list of books to try out here: https://coolthingschicago.com/best-sci-fi-books/
On the other hand, you could start reading something that could help you with your professional life. There are plenty of personal development materials out there, from to influence people to establishing a growth mindset. Think about where you want to improve and research books that can help you achieve those goals.
5. Make Music
The final way to keep yourself busy during quarantine is to make some music. It takes your mind away from being stuck inside for a while and is great for relaxing. Pick up your favorite instrument and get practising. You could even try making your own song and rekindle your passion.
If your friends also play, you could get on a zoom call and make a song together. Use services like Zoom to talk and jam together. Then go your separate ways, record the music and have someone put it all together. Even if it's just for a bit of fun, it's an excellent idea and is a great way to connect with people again.
So many people have "learn to play an instrument" on their bucket list too. Having so much time to yourself allows you to be more creative and try something new. Beginner instruments don't have to break the bank either, so there's even more reason to start playing.
As you can see, being in quarantine doesn't mean you have to be bored all day long. These 5 projects can help distract you and keep you entertained at the same time.
While you remain at home, you're doing your part to prevent the coronavirus from spreading and putting vulnerable people at risk. Stay safe and try to have as much fun as you can.
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.