Isolation 101: How to occupy your time during the pandemic

Jason F. Hopkins

Why do some people find it hard to stay at home? That’s where the real fun is...

….at least that’s where the fun is for we introverts and people working from home. But for those unaccustomed to staying in isolation for long periods of time, we are suddenly in a state of necessity in learning how to best occupy this downtime. COVID-19 may have taken everyone by surprise but at least what we can do at this moment is to think about the bigger picture here. The gravity of this situation is serious - so let’s focus on what to do in this time of social distancing and isolation. It’s the best thing we can do for everyone. 

Be responsible 

Many people began by thinking ‘’Oh I am young,” “I have a strong immune system,” or “It is just a bit stronger than the flu - I’ve survived worse’’. This way of thought is harmful to all of us. Stop and consider: it is not about only you. This type of virus is highly contagious and it could be deadly for the elderly or people suffering from chronic diseases. As the virus grows, no age groups are being left out. 

It is still the beginning of the year 2020 and we’ve faced some serious challenges already - so let’s try not to make things even more challenging!

Remember to self-isolate yourself and your family members, wear protective masks in public, wash your hands more frequently, and protect the elderly in need by practicing social distancing. It is that simple!

As the meme going around says, Our ancestors were called to go to war and we are called to stay at home. You can do this! Here’s how.

Call your grandparents or elderly friends

At these moments, it is important to remain compassionate and empathetic to the elderly. Many have grandparents, older parents, or good friends that need our help. A simple call could mean so much to them when it seems that the entire world is against them. 

Offer them errand help like getting their groceries and medicines to help them avoid exposure to COVID-19.

Wardrobe cleanup

Spring is just around the corner, even if the pandemic cancels your social plans associated with it. You probably know what else spring means - spring cleaning for your home and cleaning out your closets! Remember saying that you never have anything to wear?

Well, surprise, surprise, you will be amazed by the amount of clothing you already have. Maybe you will find something interesting that’s been in your closet waiting for a chance to shine. For items you no longer care for, consider donating them. Organize everything in separate boxes and de-clutter your space a bit.

Home improvement

Spring cleaning is a productive idea for this moment in time. A home that is fresh and clean lowers the risk of not just the virus, but spring allergies and other flu viruses. A healthy home is a clean home. Pay closer attention to doorknobs and flat surfaces - the virus stays longer on these kinds of surfaces. 

If you are bored with your home environment, it is time to spice things up a bit. Quick fixes and remodels could add value to your home, make your experience in your home more pleasurable, and you won’t be feeling trapped anymore. It’s a triple win. 

If you’ve been postponing home improvement fixes that don’t require much time or resources- now is the ideal time. Soundproofing your child’s room with acoustical panels, decorating the walls, or changing the furniture arrangement in the room - it is up to you!

Top Chef Kitchen practice 

Remember that recipe you desperately wanted to try but never had time to because it needs a lot of time in the kitchen? Well, it is your time to boldly cook right now.  And the best thing about it is your family members can’t escape anywhere - they will need to try it and like it.

Another important aspect of home isolation is staying fit! If you go over the top with your cooking, burn these calories on your room bicycle or do some yoga - there are many youtube tutorials about this.

Board games 

Board games are a great source of fun for the entire family. Remember which game was your favorite? Well, go out to your garage or basement and grab it. If your family is not in the mood for board games, make them try it out anyway. Board games are one of those few things in the world that almost always turn into a good time. 

Solve crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, or sudoku. It will keep your mind occupied positively. Also, remember that pile of books collecting dust…no time like the present! 

Start knitting or painting

Knitting has gained huge popularity nowadays- it is great for unleashing your creativity, it will keep you focused and it requires precision. If you are under a lot of stress because of your work, this will keep you focused and more relaxed. You can also start painting - unleash your creativity and you will be amazed by what you’ve just created.

Time for a movie marathon

Finally, you can binge your favorite movies or shows without feeling any guilt. Whether you’re dreaming of ‘’Lord of the Rings’’ extended version marathon or you’re going to go through the Marvel universe chronologically, here is your big chance. Movie night with your family might even help you revive some old memories of childhood, relive some emotions, or laugh at some old comedies.

With streaming platforms Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Disney+, the options for movie marathons are endless. 

And remember - this storm will pass

We can survive this pandemic together if we stick to simple rules and be a little more compassionate. You can spend quality time with your loved ones, do the things you haven’t had a chance to do when you are busy...and relax. This is just a temporary storm but it is bigger than all of us. 

Jason F. Hopkins
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