At first, sheltering at home and staying socially distanced might have seemed like a nice break from the chaos of everyday life. However, as the days drag on, we may feel more and more isolated. We may feel bored and unable to imagine this continuing for a single additional day, never mind the very likely reality that it will last much longer. So, here are some tips to help all of us pass the time during self-quarantine.
- Learn a new skill
Have you always wanted to play an instrument, build a YouTube channel or cook for yourself? Regardless of the interests you have previously felt the need to put on hold due to time limitations, now may be a great opportunity to revisit them. There are video classes online and written instructions for everything and anything you can think of.
- Reach out to friends
Although we are separated, we can still stay in contact with one another. Connect with old friends you may have lost touch with during college. Reach out to new friends. Text them, call them or FaceTime them. We may be physically apart, but we are not disconnected. While it may sound cliché, we are all in this together.
- Read a book
While we are on campus, it can be difficult to read for the sake of pure enjoyment. Our schedules are packed and we are often overloaded with required reading assignments. Now is a great time to grab a book that has nothing to do with an assignment or a requirement, but has everything to do with indulging in a good story. And when you are done with that book, grab another.
- Health and fitness
News flash: you do not need Campus Recreation to workout. Go outside and run, download a workout challenge app to your phone or create your own workout. Exercising not only helps pass the time, but it also boosts our immune systems, makes us feel energized and gives us an overall sense of health and wellness.
- When you are done working out … watch Netflix.
If you are anything like me, finding time to watch Netflix at college is a struggle. As you socially distance, pick a new show (or continue watching an old one). Need a good recommendation for a new movie or series to watch? See suggestion #2 above!
Organize anything — your closet, your medicine cabinet or your calendar. Not only will this make you feel productive, but you might also find organizing to be therapeutic during such uncertain times.
If you miss brownies from the Pit, bake your own. Or, if you are just craving something sweet, pick a recipe, get the family together and have fun!
- Take time to laugh
Laughter is, and always has been, a very effective medicine. The world can be a scary place, especially if you are glued to the news. Give yourself a break. Find reasons to laugh. Share that laughter with others, and invite them to share their laughter with you.
There are ample ways to volunteer while staying socially distanced. Whether it is donating food to a local food pantry, tutoring high school students via FaceTime or just having a video chat with someone sitting in a hospital bed who is scared, we can each make the world around us a little bit better by setting aside time to help others. This is a time for society at large to pull together, and each one of us can play a small part.
Where there is chaos, there is also opportunity. It is not hard to find chaos everywhere these days. Let’s take a deep breath and find opportunities to help ourselves and our communities.