By Ishita Moghe, April 19 2020—
As the chaos of the past couple weeks starts to settle down, we’re all starting to feel the effects of our changed schedules. For most of us, the first few days of quarantine were spent catching up on sleep, so now is the time to create a daily routine that we can maintain at least until the end of the semester.
I’m sure you’ve seen lots of advice on how to remain productive while working from home, but an important part of that is taking time off and doing things you enjoy. It’s important to stay on top of our classwork during this period, but it’s equally important to stay healthy and continue to make good memories with our friends and family. So instead of spending hours reading the news, scrolling through Reddit, or stuck in a Youtube playlist, here are a few suggestions on how to destress and have fun from home.
Though it might be hard to stay motivated to work out after being cut off from the gym, it’s more important now than ever — especially since we’re not getting much fresh air while being quarantined. Take advantage of the fact that we are still allowed to go outside — which is banned in many places around the world right now — and go for a jog or a bike ride. Even if you’re not big into running, take a walk around the block with your pet or your roommates. I guarantee you will feel much better after some fresh air and sunshine.
Play video games:
If you’re looking for a fun hobby to do alone or with friends, look no further than your computer. There are tons of affordable games available that you can play on your laptop and are very beginner-friendly. To get you started, I would recommend Celeste, a single-player platformer with a charming story, Minecraft, an open-world that you can spend hours in and Overcooked! 2, a cute multi-player that you can play with your long-distance friends.
Even if you’ve never played an instrument before, starting with a keyboard or ukulele is not as hard as it may seem. Try learning a little sing-along song to play for your roommates. Or if you’re already a musician, teach your quarantine-buddies how to play! Even when living alone, playing music is always something that has given me joy and you can still perform for your friends on Skype. If you’re instrument-less, take a shot at karaoke — there are tons of apps that support duets with your friends, or private sessions to really unleash your inner Beyonce.
This is something that’ll help you be productive and happy, without actually feeling like you’re doing a lot of mental work. As a break from studying or thesis-writing, deep clean your closet by taking out everything you no longer use. Organize your desk space and make your bed, which has the added bonus of making you less likely to burrow back into bed. If you’re already organized, do some interior decorating! Rearrange your living space or put up artwork that you’ve never had the chance to before.
Last one, best one. The CBC has recently started using the words ‘physical distancing’ instead of ‘social distancing’ during this time. And it’s something we should take to heart. While we can’t physically hang out with friends and family right now, this is a great time to catch up with our loved ones. Call your grandparents or have a massive group call with your extended family. Check up on your friends — everyone is feeling the effects of isolation. If you want to do something more exciting, play online games with them in a virtual board game café, or use an app like Houseparty to watch your favourite movie together.
Even though we’re in an uncertain period of school and work, let’s not forget to take care of ourselves and those around us. I hope you find these suggestions helpful to make the most out of the extra time you have at home!
This article is part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet’s editorial board.