Faster than you can flip an egg, our lives have gone from sunny side up to feeling rather scrambled. Events are cancelled, malls and restaurants are closed for the most part, and gatherings are prohibited. With no place to go and physical distancing in full swing, how do you keep yourself from climbing the walls?
Take solace in knowing there’s one commodity you can take control of during COVID-19 – your time and how you spend it. Make the most of the days ahead. Here are suggestions for productive and enjoyable ways to whittle boredom and loneliness while you self-isolate.
Phone a Friend
You may remember the popular game show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ that aired around 2000. When a contestant was stumped with a question, they could use a lifeline for assistance, including calling a friend. While we’ve hardly won the lotto with COVID-19 in our midst, and your friends probably won’t have the answers to your questions, like how long will this new normal last, he or she is likely going to make you laugh. Or at the very least you can plan the party you’ll have when this pandemic lets go of the reigns it has over our lives.
Music stimulates more parts of the human brain at one time than anything else and the benefits of listening to music are deep. Music can help ease anxiety and stress, provide inspiration for self-expression, and support a positive mood. Create a purposeful playlist for yourself that is calm and relaxing, or fun and energetic, depending on what you need right now.
Something that all experts agree on is that physical activity is a necessary ingredient of a healthy lifestyle. Don’t become a coach potato victim of COVID-19. Find some simple exercise videos online that you can do from the comfort of your home and continue to walk outside (if you’re not required to stay indoors) either alone or with a neighbor – following the rules of social distancing.
Remember those things called letters you used to receive in the mail? There’s something magical about the written word and since ink and paper have been replaced with dispassionate emails, use this opportunity to reignite the great pleasure of handwriting a note to a loved one to let them know you’re thinking of them. Imagine the joy they’ll experience to receive such a beautiful gift from you during this hard time.
Start a Healthy Routine
We tend to be creatures of habit and most people do better with a daily routine than without. If you’ve been struggling with all the changes to your life and you crave routine, take control of the chaos and create a new schedule for yourself.
During the difficult days ahead, silence is not golden. Pick up the phone. Play music. Sing along. Have a dance-a-thon. Laugh at your friend’s dumb jokes. And for a few minutes each day, sit and be grateful for the blessings in your life. Know that the sun will continue to shine, and life will eventually return to normal.