Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month, you are well aware that our world is descending into chaos. As a Global Affairs major, it is very interesting for me to watch. Anyways, many countries are urging their citizens to stay at home and practice social-distancing. Now, I’m an introvert and for the one week I was stuck in my dorms, I almost went crazy. Extroverts, I am praying for you.
If you find yourself at home with more time on your hands than you can manage, welcome to the club. While most will take this time to catch up on shows and sleep, you may find yourself battling the social-distancing boredom.
So, what should you do?
Until the spread of the coronavirus slows, activities must be kept close to home. By close to home, I mean in the home. During this time we can transform our homes into entertaining, relaxing spaces.
Before we jump into this guide, please note that I am only recommending things that you can do for free or very little money. Also, remember, not everything is discouraged. Here are some things you can still do while social-distancing.
Normal activities that do not need to stop:
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Amaris! Don’t you know that outside is strictly forbidden?! Yeah, the thing is, going outside is not forbidden. Before you try to hang me for spreading false information let me clarify. The air is not toxic. If you crack open a window the FBI will not come swinging in. You can sit on a balcony or take a walk around your neighborhood. Just make sure to keep a six feet distance from strangers on your walk. Do not go anywhere else.
While nothing beats takeout on a Friday evening, we all have more time for homecooked meals now. These next few weeks are actually the perfect time to brush up on your cooking skills. I understand that this situation turned grocery stores into a battleground, but you can also cook with whatever you have on hand. Supercook.com is a great website that gives you recipes based on the ingredients in your home. Just keep inserting the ingredients you have and it will update the selection with recipes. Not to mention it comes as an app too.
Getting Dressed Up
Sweats and a t-shirt is the official uniform of social-distancing, that I must agree with. Surely you do not own enough to last a month? Also, you must admit that you miss getting dressed up to go outside. Although the only audience that will be witnessing your amazing outfits is your family, it is still worth putting on some jeans and doing your makeup. Not only will you look good, but also gain a sense of normalcy. Since I have no fashion taste whatsoever, I am using this to piece together outfits.
No gym? No problem. On Youtube, you can find a video for every area you want to work on. Some require equipment and others just yourself. Try searching for “at home” workout tutorials. Chances are the first few videos will be right up your alley. Remember that walk I talked about earlier? Walking is also a great way to exercise and the outdoors will cure your cabin fever. What a great way to check two things off your list.
Been there, done that? Here are some new ways to beat the boredom.
Give your skincare routine some love.
Recently, I have been watching more Youtube videos. Jackie Aina, in particular, is one of my favorites. In one of her videos, I remember her saying that her skincare routine can take almost TWO hours. Now, we do not all have that much time to spare; but I believe your skincare routine can last a little longer than usual. For example, I know most of us apply our face masks at night when we do our nighttime routine. Nothing is stopping us from midday masking though 👀.
Make something with your hands.
Crafting, sewing, drawing, painting, baking, cooking, coding, and so much more are at your fingertips. See what I did there. Chose projects that take time for optimal use of all your extra hours. Starting large projects, that you can pick and put down, is a great idea. My favorite thing to do is bake, and ever since my school switched to online classes I have taken full advantage of my family’s kitchen. So far I have made a cake, cookies, and today I made cinnamon rolls.
Blast some music and dance like no one is watching. Because no one is watching.
Make this an everyday thing. Choose a different music genre or era and just go crazy. Music is therapeutic and dancing gets your blood pumping. If you hate dancing try singing along to your favorite songs. This past week I have played The Lion King II soundtrack on repeat. After much practice, I can finally sing every part in “Not One Of Us”. I will be accepting my numerous awards at the next Grammys.
Switch out your Winter wardrobe for your Spring wardrobe.
My closet space is minimal so I find myself storing my seasonal clothes in my suitcase when it is off-season. The weather is warming up here in South Korea and I am ready to make the transition from winter to spring outfits. Over the next few days, I am going to wash and dry all my winter clothes and pack them away. Then I am going to put up my Spring clothes. When I make this switch I also include sleepwear since I hate waking up in the middle of the night sweating.
Declutter your entire room, from top to bottom.
May all the forces of nature grant you strength if you chose to undertake this massive project. Decluttering is not a one-day thing. In fact, it may not even be a one-week thing. You may end up social-distancing longer than required in order to get it all done. My closet and desk drawers are home to things I have not seen in years. When it comes to organizing rooms I obviously lack all and any knowledge. I recommend you do some research and find a system that works best for you.
Now for the helpful tips
Create a home schedule.
Sleeping in is glorious, but can ruin your productivity. I highly recommend you put together a home schedule for you to follow while social-distancing. Like getting dressed in the morning it creates a sense of normalcy. This is what my morning routine looks now:
- Wakeup at 8
- Workout for 30 minutes
- Make my bed
- Take a shower
- Get dressed
- Grab breakfast
On a regular day, I take a long time to get ready so tacking on an extra hour is easy-peasy. Activities such as classes and schoolwork fall into a natural hourly structure. Think of it as a summer vacation schedule with fewer trips to the pool and more summer school.
Do not, I repeat, do not go crazy on the online shopping.
Confession time: I am guilty of going crazy on the online shopping. In the beginning, I had a good reason, but now I just feel dumb and broke. Khalid’s summer banger is now a haunting tune for me. Turning to online shopping is both dangerous to your wallet and the people that work at these companies. Online, I see people wondering why everyone is not social-distancing at the moment, but for those who work in shipping and distribution centers, our extra shopping means a higher risk of exposure for them. So, let us slow down on the browsing and add-to-carting.
Unplug from the devices.
This tip ties into the previous one. Fry-eye is real you guys. You might have already experienced it during this time as we gravitate more towards our cellphones for entertainment.(RIP my Screentime) Although it can be hard to imagine, you can entertain yourself without being glued to a screen. There is nothing wrong with binge-watching old TV series on Disney+, but your eyes will not thank you for it. If you find yourself short of ideas first try picking one from above. I also wrote a post a few years back on some Summer bucket list items that you can adopt.
Check up on your friends and family.
Finally, it is easy to isolate oneself from family and friends while social-distancing. We want to protect our loved ones and do our part in stopping this virus. If you live alone this distance can be too much to bear. Pick up the phone and give them a call. Chances are you will talk for hours and feel much better in the end.
Our actions today are what protects us, our loved ones, and the most vulnerable in our society from the virus. Beating the social-distancing boredom is tough, but our regular routines cannot continue if we want to stop the spread. I hope this post gives you some ideas to fill the long hours. Let me know in the comments what you are doing to stay busy. Or tweet me @amarisrancy on Twitter.