While the world continues to battle the coronavirus and normal life being affected, we are learning some lessons albeit in a harsh way.
Stay Calm and Make the Most of Your Time at Home
The Corona virus pandemic has caused a world-wide panic and uncertainty. With most of us on self-quarantine or working from home, we have some time to spare. This is the time to introspect and heal our minds and stay calm in the face of this huge adversity.
When your home has become your whole world and social life is taking a backseat due to the corona virus scare, be your best company and take steps to unwind and not feel bored at home.
So here are some tips stay calm and to utilize the time constructively:
Gardening to Soothe your Nerves
It is an often repeated advice but it is the best. Staying close to nature is therapeutic. You can indulge in some terrace gardening or place potted plants in your balcony. You can decorate the favorite corner of your room with miniature plants. Air purifying plants like aloe-vera, money plant, English ivy, Chrysanthemum not only add a touch of color to your living room but help to keep the air clean. This is a good time to concentrate on home decor by including potted plants which will bring in a cheerful atmosphere into your home amid the gloomy times. Another idea is to convert your balcony into your work-space. It will be so refreshing to work in a space surrounded by plants. A lot of DIY gardening kits are available online which can help you with your garden project.
Exercise at Home
Now that it is not possible to go to the gym, you have to work out home as you need to stay in shape. Try climbing those building stairs to strengthen your leg calf muscles. For weight lifting, gardening is good. Moving pots from one place to another, digging the soil, planting saplings, watering plants are all good exercises for strength building. These exercised will build a strong immune system. Exercises like stretches, push-ups, crunches, and planks can be easily done at home and which are very effective. Another very doable workout is the sun salutation. Ideally, it should be done in the morning but can also be done in the evenings too preferably on an empty stomach. It has huge health benefits. Start slowly by doing 6-10 repetitions. As you get stronger, you can increase the repetitions to 16-20, every day. Working out on a stationary cycle, treadmill, and weights are basics of a home workout regimen.
Reading Books And Bonding with Kids
It is time to catch up on your reading. All those books which you have stocked up in the bookshelf planning to read someday are inviting you. Start reading and see how soothing and refreshing it is to read a book. You can revisit your favorite classics and lighter stuff. It is important to stay updated on the goings-on in the world, but be wary of reading too much on the Corona virus as it can dampen your spirits. Make a list of all the books you wanted to read and start reading, as you complete reading that particular book tick it in the list and check out how many books you have managed to read in the extra time that you got due to the lock-down, Reading builds confidence and reduces stress. It also improves the functioning of the brain and keeps negativity away. Starting now, you can then make it a regular habit. Books are the best of friends at such stressful times.
You can also make it a habit to read interesting stories to your kids. Kids love stories and reading with the kids helps both the parents and kids to bond better and spend time constructively.
For more on bonding with the kids during this lockdown period please read my hub:
Binge Watching TV
Catch up on the series that you wanted to watch for a long time. And then there’s WhatsApp to exchange notes with your best friend as meeting friends is not an option now. During distressing times such as these, it is good to binge-watch light-hearted series like Friends to avoid depressive feelings. Research now shows that binge-watching high-quality shows and series on TV can actually be beneficial. It improves emotional intelligence, empathy, and responsibility. Various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, can help you stay connected with your friends and provide a good read and latest information. But you need to exercise caution as you can get addicted to it. So set a limit to watching TV each day and do not exceed that limit.
Experiment in the Kitchen
This is the time to try out your culinary skills by rustling up some tasty and healthy dishes or beverages and spice up the mood of the family members. You can experiment with the various recipes that you see online and share the same with your friends and relatives. You can even try making wine at home. You can try innovative dishes which are not only nutritious, easy to make but attractive for the kids. Now that you have the time you can try out those traditional recipes which your mother and grandmother used to make on special occasions. Kids love helping their moms in the kitchen. Involve the kids in baking and cooking. Start with giving simple tasks then slowly as they mature, more complex jobs can be delegated. This makes the children self-sufficient and independent as they grow older and you can also bond better with them.
As malls and markets are closed due to the pandemic, you can explore the online shopping option. With lots of enticing offers that we see often in our phones and computers, we get tempted to check them out. Whether you buy them or not, at least you can surf through the products and load them in the cart for later purchase. Shopping can be therapeutic for some and online shopping is a boon at this time as you are confined to your home. You can shop for your favorite items from the comfort of your home while availing good discounts. There are many sites which offer free delivery too. You can create an online store for all the art and craft products that you have created. Almost anything can be sold in your store from homemade jams and sauce and pickles to customized apparel and fashion wear. No special skills are needed as there are many apps to help you open an online store. It is a good way to turn your hobby into a profitable venture.
Relax and Pamper Yourself
Visits to the spa and saloon being restricted due to the virus outbreak, bring out those bath salts and have a relaxing bath, you could pamper yourself to a foot spa. Bath salts can do wonders, from cleansing to pain relief to relaxation. Practice yoga and meditation for relaxation. Breathing exercises help strengthen the immune system and should be practiced daily. With more time on your hands, you can take good care of yourself. Listen to soothing and calming music, as stress and anxiety can easily crop up on account of the current critical situation the world is facing due to the virus outbreak. Mental health needs to be taken care of along with physical health. Catch up on your sleep. Studies have shown a strong link between sleep and functioning of the immune system. Seven to eight hours of sleep is recommended to stay healthy and keep the immune system fit. Stress hormones dip while you sleep. So take small naps in between to decrease stress.
Personal Fitness Online
Fitness classes can be taken online now. All you have to do is to tune in to the live session on a computer or smartphone and follow the instructions like you would do in a physical class. Online sessions for strength training, cardio, yoga, and dance fitness are conducted and can be accessed from home if you have internet. Take a walk in the vicinity of your home, play in the yard with the kids, do home workouts, anything and everything that involves physical activity. Because mobility is the only way to stay fit. Create a cozy workout zone in the house that has natural light and which is airy. Now your home is the new workout haven for you.
Bring Out the Artist in You
There are numerous art workshops being conducted online. Art not only brings out the latent talent in a person, but it can also be therapeutic in stressful times such as these, when we are surrounded by uncertainty and negativity all-round. If you have talent in music and dance, you can start live concerts that will keep people entertained. You can also take in requests from friends. This is also a good time to learn a new skill like drawing, painting, sculpting and spend the time productively. You can also start music and dance classes or art and sculpting classes for kids online. As many parents are also struggling to keep their kids engaged constructively during the lock-down, the idea will be welcomed. If you are good at playing a musical instrument like the piano, guitar or drum, you can teach kids to play the instrument. A time spent in the company of kids, though online at this time, can be very relaxing and therapeutic. If you love writing, this is the time to bring out the author in you and start writing that novel or article that you have been planning to write for a long time. Give your imagination a run and come out with creative ideas to spend the time and feel good about it. You can even start with writing a journal, detailing your activities at the time of lock-down.
Digital events to entertain you
There are so many concerts, karaoke, comedy shows, workshops, and other digital events to keep you entertained on weekends. Several artists are showcasing their talents online. Many music festivals and poetry meet-ups are also being hosted online for the benefit of the quarantined. And then there are numerous cookery, photography and music workshops which can keep you engaged for the weekend without stepping out of your home. Participating in live streaming of music concerts online along with a loved one can feel like going out on a date. People are even celebrating birthdays with digital parties. There are apps like squad which allows you to share the screen with your friends so that you can Instagram together, Snapchat together, and Tinder together, Shop together. Music streaming sites are offering social listening features. You can queue your favorite tracks and bond over their shared love of music. There are also apps like Discord that help people live stream video games. They have now also increased the users from 10 to 50 so that people do not feel isolated and stressed out.
Lock-down is causing a significant increase in screen time. Several studies have warned that excessive use of digital devices can have a negative impact on people’s health. Hence you have to limit the screen time to avoid anxiety and depression.
Socializing while social distancing
There are a series of technological options available for people looking to connect with their friends to keep their spirits up during quarantine. A new format has evolved, for socializing while social distancing among hardcore party lovers. From zoom parties to Skype get-togethers' to FaceTime bashes to Google hangouts, there are various technological options available for people looking to connect with their friends and keep their spirits up during quarantine. Apps like House Party allows users to connect with friends while video chatting and even playing games with them. There are TV and movie streaming websites that offer a party option where you and your friends can binge watch shows and movies together with an added chat window to stay connected throughout. You don’t feel alone, watching movies with friends, reacting, commenting and chatting alongside. These watch parties are much needed as they help you relieve loneliness, stress, and anxiety surrounding the virus outbreak.
Pets as co-workers when you work from home
As many people are working from their homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the world, they miss the office environment involving the long hours of computer screens, the tea breaks, conversations with coworkers, and chat sessions beside the coffee machine and teasing friends. But at home pets have replaced coworkers for many.
Quarantine time can get boring after some time, but those who have pets for company don’t feel so. Pets are making the work from home experience quite fun for pet parents. By taking over the laptop keyboard, or cuddling up on their laps as their parents work, pets are giving good company, during this quarantine time. They even participate in online meetings and are the center of attention with their adorable eyes loving expressions. But instead of tea or coffee breaks, the pet parent has to take a break whenever the pet demands a snack or wants to play. But they are really fun to be with and make up for the boredom that can affect you when you work from home alone.
Smart ways to Preserve and Store Food
Due to the lock-down, you can’t make frequent visits to the markets. In such a scenario traditional methods like pickling, fermenting and sun-drying can come in handy and help in increasing the shelf life of food. In this time of crisis, we need to think of others as much as ourselves. Hoarding is not a solution. Eventually, hoarded food will get spoilt and go waste. Food preservation can come to our rescue in this situation and also save our money. Some of the easy ways to preserve food at home are:
- Freezing: Shelled peas, sweet corn, bell peppers can be zip locked and preserved. You can also boil and puree spinach and freeze in ice cube molds to use later.
- Sun-Drying: Sun-drying root vegetables like potato, beetroot, and store in airtight containers, rehydrate them in warm water before use. You can also dry fruits like apples and pears and keep for a few days.
- Fermentation: fermentation encourages the growth of good bacteria to stop the growth of bad bacteria which spoils food.
- Reuse veggie peel and scraps: Many vegetable peels and scraps can be used to prepare delicious dishes. For example, potato peels can be fried and topped with salt and pepper for some yummy crisps. The aim is to get maximum nutrition out of the little that we have.
- One good method to increase the shelf life of veggies is to wash the vegetables thoroughly after you get them from the markets, and dry them before stocking them in your fridge. This way the vegetables stay fresh and hygiene is maintained inside the fridge. Coriander leaves will stay fresh if cleaned, dried and stored in an upright glass jar and kept in the refrigerator.
The need of the hour is to be frugal and conserve food, to cook as per consumption and not waste food.
Stay Calm practice Gratitude
Practice methods to stay calm. Control your mind by limiting the use of social media, control your anxiety with positive affirmations, deep breathing, meditation. We can learn a thing or two from Italy and Spain the worst affected countries to date, where people are singing out of their balconies to keep themselves happy and others entertained. Stop thinking about the negative narrative and bring back the positive thoughts. Practice gratitude for being safe, and healthy at this time of adversity. Pray for the people who work in the front-line fighting the virus on a daily basis so that we can be safe and secure at the cost of their health and life.
Salute to the Brave Hearts that are Fighting the Corona Virus
All the doctors, nurses, lab technicians, medical workers, health officials, emergency workers, ambulance drivers, social workers, police officials, army men who are out there working tirelessly, helping the sick to recover, racing against time to fight the virus, all the while putting their own lives at risk are the real superheroes. Let us express our gratitude to these exceptional people. Let us salute them and join them by doing our bit for the health and safety of mankind.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 VIDYA D SAGAR
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 04, 2020:
Thanks, Ann for visiting and for your nice comments. It is very good to know you are already doing many of the things mentioned in the article. It is best we keep ourselves active during this stressful time to avoid getting depressed, with the negativity all around. You are lucky to be near the sea and have enough space to walk. Writing is therapeutic at this time. I look forward to the video call from my granddaughter and talk with her for hours. That's how I stay connected with my children and granddaughter. I have not gone out of the house for a fortnight, but for an occasional walk on the terrace. I hope this pandemic ends soon. Take care, stay safe and healthy.
Ann Carr from SW England on April 04, 2020:
Lots of good advice here and much of it I do already. I garden, I read and I'm experimenting more with cooking. I walk regularly as I'm lucky enough to be near the sea and there is space to walk without being too near to others.
I don't do much online, except hub writing and talking to my children and grandchildren on FaceTime which is a lifeline in these times as I miss being able to cuddle them.
I am lucky and appreciate that I have time and leisure, being retired. We are self-isolating for 12 weeks and so I'm going through room by room to sort out lots of 'rubbish' and organise things for which I've little time lately. Time is good and we have plenty of it now!
Fresh air (good job it's Spring!) and a little imagination and we're fine. I'm grateful to our NHS and to all those volunteers and good neighbours.
Great hub! I will come back to this to re-read.
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 04, 2020:
Thanks Laurinzoscott. I am glad you liked the article. Have a good day and stay safe.
Laurinzoscott from Kanab, Utah on April 04, 2020:
This is both informative AND entertaining...tv ery well done! Thanks Vidya
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 03, 2020:
Hi Brenda, thanks for your kind words. We need to keep ourselves occupied and not let negative thoughts take over in these stressful times. And with the new advanced technology available, there are a whole lot of things we can do when we are at home. Gardening and exercise are the most beneficial as they keep our body and mind fit and help in improving our immunity too. I am glad you are already following some of the tips mentioned. Take care, be safe and healthy.
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 03, 2020:
Thanks Liz for your kind comments. Spring time is the best time to spend outdoors. But since we are confined to our homes now, spending time in our garden, doing a bit of gardening can be very soothing in these depressive times. Take care Liz, stay safe.
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 03, 2020:
This is is so good.
You have given great examples.
I have been digging up flower beds by hand with a little dibble since that's all I have...but it works.
Getting outside in the fresh air helps quite a bit.
I have a newer tv and it is full if ecerything from exercise to radio...just gotta get my day all scheduled.
I have even fiund live concerts on my phone and downloaded onto tv.
The phone is great for awhile, but it just does not do it. I mean, human contact is needed.
Maybe an actual phone call to hear some one's voice. I haven't tried skpe.
Anyway , I loved your article.
Have a great day and keep writing and all the other stuff.
Liz Westwood from UK on April 03, 2020:
This article is packed with useful suggestions and ideas of how we can make use of our time during lockdown. The gardening season in the UK is just taking off.
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 03, 2020:
Thank you so much for your kind comments Prateek. I am so glad you liked it. I realized that we can actually use our time so constructively being stuck at home during quarantine, which I wanted to share with you all, so I came up with this article. Take care Prateek, stay safe, stay healthy.
Prateek Jain from Madhya Pradesh, India on April 03, 2020:
Wonderful article Vidya mam, you have put a lot of efforts into this. there are various ways to spend our quarantine by doing so much stuff. I like this article because it contains so much information. I strongly recommend everyone to at least read it once.
This article will surely help all the people out there to stay at home and pursue their hobby. Worth reading your articles mam.
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 02, 2020:
Hi Pamela, thank you for your kind comments. True Pamela, staying active helps us to remain positive in the face of adversity and being there for each other is important now. Hoarding, which we see going on in many parts of the world, can deprive essentials to many others who are in need. Preserving is better than hoarding, I feel. Staying calm is so important at this time, as a stress can affect our immunity. Take care Pamela, stay safe.
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 02, 2020:
Thank you so much Raksha, I really appreciate your comments. On thinking about it I realized we can do so much while staying at home. We only need to make up our mind and not allow negativity to take over at a stressful time like this.Take care, stay safe.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 02, 2020:
I really like this article, Vidya. Your suggestions are excellent and we sure can stay calm by being busy. Working out is a gret suggestion as if you are binge watching TV you are not moving around. Staying busy while being productive (like preserving food) will make you feel good about yourself.
Raksha Nandavar on April 02, 2020:
Wow beautiful article Vidya. I feel God has given us a chance to restore few of the aspects of our lives that we neglected everyday stuck up in a routine. Your article has all those ideas that we can inculcate to make our lockdown more interesting. Thank you so much for the wonderful article. Keep writing and inspiring.
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on April 02, 2020:
Hi Mitara, thank you very much for your kind comments. I really appreciate it. Yes we need to he grateful to all the people out there who are striving to keep us safe, risking their own lives. This pandemic has really brought us all together globally. Let us all fight together and chase this virus away. Take care, stay safe and be healthy.
Mitara N from South Africa on April 02, 2020:
Love your thoughts and ideas, will definitely be useful.
I agree, salutation and respect to the brave hearts going in and fighting the fight everyday to try and bring recovery to one and all of the world.
Thank you for sharing a lovely article.
Take care and be safe