After more than two weeks of quarantine, I hope you guys are still hanging up there. As we are trying to get adjusted to this new normal, staying inside all the time can be boring. Here, we Gradifying writers would like to share some of our ideas for how you can entertain yourself while isolating. If you’ve got other great ideas, please don’t hesitate to leave us comments in the end!
Yoga is a great way to relax. Social distancing doesn’t mean you cannot do that any more even if you are a beginner! There are still many YouTube channels keep uploading their videos during this difficult time. My favorite channel is called “Yoga with Adriene”. She has uploaded tons of 10-20 min long yoga videos to help address common concerns such as weight loss, anxiety, back pain etc. The local studio in Kingston “Samatva” has also uploaded high quality 1-hour long videos every day recently to help us de-stress during this tumultuous time.
Another great way to have fun is to play puzzles. Bringing order to a chaotic situation surprisingly bring us incredibly calm and relax. Instead of letting those random thoughts get tangled in your mind, focusing on searching, finding, and assembling puzzle pieces is another way of meditation in my opinion. Below is the puzzle of Shanghai that I’ve been working on:
Staying inside means we can have more quiet time to further explore our hobbies, whether it’s reading, writing or painting. For me, I like to do painting for fun during my spare time. This is the galaxy themed painting that I did recently:
Growing Some Plants
Taking care of my plants is another thing I’d like to spend my free time on. They are living things! They need food and water to survive and have different personalities, just like us! It’s always amazing to see how plants can changed over a period of time, they are growing every single day without you even noticing it.
Hanging out with friends online helps us stay connected while being safe! Social distancing doesn’t mean completely being isolated! Recently my friends have set up some servers on Discord so people can stream videos or movies together online and comment at the same time. As Nikita mentioned in the previous post, Chrome also has another extension called “Netflix Party” which allows you to host long distance movie nights with friends. Now is a great time to reach out to friends you haven’t talked to in a while, family you wish you could see more, or colleagues you want to check in on.
Going for a hike or getting fresh air (away from others)
While you shouldn’t be driving anywhere for a walk, because we’re trying to avoid unnecessary vehicles on the road, you still need to be able to get exercise and fresh air occasionally. Some of us may be able to get out into our backyards and sit in the sun with a book, while others may be doing some gardening, but it’s also nice to get moving if you can. You may find it useful to download an app like AllTrails to see which spots are near you that you can hike around, while being mindful of other people and maintaining your distance. Just yesterday, I walked around a subdivision I’ve never been to before and noticed a trail by a river that was just gorgeous. If there aren’t any wilderness spots around you, just getting outside a little bit each day may give you a boost, especially if the weather is nice!
Brush up on your second, third, or fourth language skills
There are so many apps (Duolingo), podcasts, and online courses and books, that will help you improve your language skills right now. Even switching a Netflix show that you know super well (The Office or Friends) into a new language is a great way to get used to the sounds and the pronunciation. Some websites you may want to look at for language class include OpenCulture – http://www.openculture.com/freelanguagelessons and Learn A Language – https://www.learnalanguage.com/. There’s also always Youtube with many helpful language learning videos (like Francais avec Pierre – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVgW9ZQaGBk6fsiPgE2mYDg
…) that will supplement any other sources you’re using. Reading online books in the language you’re learning is also another great option! OpenLibrary is an online resource where you can search for digitized books in particular languages – https://openlibrary.org/languages.
Take in some online culture
Many museums across the world are beginning to offer virtual tours of their exhibits or historical buildings. It may be worth following a few of them and seeing what they offer. Even the Metropolitan Opera is offering daily streams of a different Opera each night. Operas are posted at 8:30pm and are available for 23 hours afterwards. The Operas shown are from HD recordings from over the last 14 years – https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/.
Make a daily schedule of what you’re going to do and keep a journal
Sometimes it just helps to have a plan to do with your day, especially when it’s completely up to you how to divide up your time. Don’t be upset if you don’t finish everything on your list, but feel good about getting things done when you do them. This is a difficult time, so don’t feel like you need to be productive, or as productive as you were before. Even making a healthy lunch for yourself is something you should be proud of doing. Make sure to plan in your self-care relaxation time, and take that time to be away from the news and just be good to yourself – whether it’s baking, a hike, talking to your friends, or anything else we talked about above!
The second part of this is to keep a journal. This is a great way to check in with yourself, and see how you’re feeling right now. It’s okay to have a lot on your mind, and a lot of these feelings are hard to digest. You may find it helpful to just write out how you’re doing each day, what you’d like to do after after this is over, what you can do while in the meantime to make things easier for yourself. After this is all over, it’ll be a record of what you went through during this time.
How do you entertain yourself while staying inside? Leave us a message below for further discussions!