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.
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.