With a week and a half of quarantine already under our belts, it would be fair to say that most of you reading this have had your lives flipped over in a very short period of time. Universities and schools were cancelled, your working life has changed, you haven’t seen your grandparents or immuno-compromised friends in two weeks, and perhaps you aren’t even in Ireland anymore. It has been a tough time for all of us, be it through health scares, money worries or even just an impending sense of cabin fever right about now. However, it’s important to remember that what we are doing is having a tangible effect on the overall health of the country, and we are currently protecting the health and the lives of people we don’t even know right now. At the same time, it is entirely understandable and, frankly, normal to be feeling a little cooped-up, a little down and a little and bit in limbo. This is why we have put together a list of things for you to occupy yourself with during this ever so strange time in our lives.
If you’re anything like me, studying is the last thing you feel like doing right now. However, most of us still have online lectures and tutorials, as well as essays due and exam deadlines. Of course, this work is important – for a sense of normality more than anything else at this stage – but it is so vital to take this work with a grain of salt. A tip I once heard from Cambridge University, the “8-8-8” rule, comes to mind – 8 hours of study (including classes), 8 hours of sleep (the best way to stay healthy!) and 8 hours of doing something else, anything else, that you enjoy. Even having this sense of balance will introduce structure into your routine, and you will find it much easier to section off your days.
With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and now even Disney+, there are a wealth of streaming sites and apps to get you so addicted to a new series or movie genre that time will pass before you even know it. However, if, like me, you tend to ( sometimes) feel the tiniest bit guilty whiling away those hours on Love is Blind, try a feature-length documentary instead. Or, if you like something shorter and snappier, the Netflix series Explained has 20-minute documentaries on a variety of topics to keep you entertained.
If you’re sitting inside all day and similarly not really moving from the sofa, the importance of exercise is magnified. And I don’t necessarily mean home workouts – half an hour outdoors either running, walking or cycling around your immediate area will do wonders for both your body and mind… especially with the weather so unnaturally lovely over the past few days!
4. Bake or cook
Although many people are rationing their food right now and are being careful of what ingredients they use on a daily basis, there is no harm in trying out some simple healthy (or unhealthy – we deserve it these days) recipes that you’ve always wanted. Try using the common, easy-to-get ingredients, or whipping up that dry-mix cake that has been sitting in the cupboard for the past two years. Being in the kitchen and creating something delicious is more therapeutic than you’d think, and at the end, you have something lovely to indulge in!
5. Read a book
Like the majority of us, you probably have thousands of unread books sitting on your shelf at home, neglected because of lack of time spent cosying up at home. Well, now that is no longer an option! Reading is a wonderful way to both expand your mind and obtain knowledge or simply entertain yourself. Reading for pleasure is a luxury few of us actually revel in these days, for a variety of reasons, but it is such a good habit to get back into.
6. Try your hand at something new – or old!
Trying different things is a great way to occupy your time at this stage – whether it’s something you lost touch with or something you’ve always wanted to go for . It doesn’t need to be extravagant, just mind-consuming and calming. For example, I know countless people who have picked back up their abandoned instruments; and others who have gotten back into their old sports, like practising online yoga or cycling. Others have taken up new, simple hobbies, like painting, journalling, or calligraphy. You could even make it your resolution to check our STAND News every day to read about current affairs and human rights!
7. Keep healthy!
The primary aim right now is for all of us to keep as healthy as possible. This means getting enough sleep as well as sticking to a proper sleep schedule (this is difficult right now, I know, but it makes a huge difference in the long run!). Again, like we’ve heard a thousand times before, frequently washing hands is a must. Drinking plenty of water is also vital, as, apart from the usual health benefits, it washes out any viral particles living in your mouth. Take care of your skin and maintain your personal hygiene. Overall, keeping to some sort of routine, in general, is pivotal in ensuring we all stay as healthy as possible.
Photo by Yuri Efremov on Unsplash
Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!