Caitlyn has both experience and formal education in many different areas.
The year 2020 has not panned out quite the way anyone was expecting. Thinking back to January and the start of the New Year, most people were talking about how this year felt different and the start of something new. And, perhaps, in a way we were right. This year is pretty different than any year before- and it will certainly bring about major changes for life as we know it moving forward.
Around the end of March 2020, an illness we've all come to know by the name of COVID-19 or 'the coronavirus' sent many countries into a lock-down that forced people to stay inside for weeks and in some cases months. Many used this time away from chores and the activities that clog up a schedule to try things they've always wanted to do. Some dove into the dusty stack of foreign language books they've been meaning to crack open. Others opened their laptops and went about trying to learn how to play various instruments or cook. Some worked on fun projects or wrote a novel. Music artists busied themselves making albums and having fun writing songs with all the free time they found since touring has been halted.
But it has not been all sunshine, roses, and productivity during this time. As the time locked inside dragged on, many people fell into a depression. Suddenly unable to work or be around friends and family, this took a major toll on mental health for many people. And as many countries fall back into another countrywide lock-down, many find themselves staring into a long dark tunnel waiting for sunshine and grass and normalcy.
In this article, I offer a few tips on how to beat boredom while stuck at home, as well as ways to stay safe and healthy during this strange time in history.
Disclaimer: I am not a mental health or medical professional. These are merely general tips and are not meant to be used as medical advice.
Tip One: Look After Yourself
One of the best things you can do during these times stuck inside and without our set routines is make sure basic needs are still being met. When everything feels out of control and thrown in chaos, there are still things you can do. Shower or bathe. Be sure you're drinking plenty of water (get a cute reusable water bottle!) and eating foods that will help you feel energized and good. Style your hair. Paint your nails. Take this time to experiment a little with your style- no one will see it!
Tip Two: Look After Your Space
Nothing makes you feel down like your personal space being cluttered and messy. Plus, even just organizing a bookshelf or folding some blankets will help you to feel positive, motivated, and accomplished. It's the little things that count, so take this time to tidy up something you've been meaning to get to. Maybe sort through some old boxes in the closet or reorganize the furniture in your room. You may be surprised by how good you'll feel- and what interesting things you may find!
Tip Three: Pick Up A New Hobby
With all the extra time lying around with no activities to fill it, being stuck at home can feel endless. Bleak. But finding something new to stimulate the brain and keep the hands busy is a great way to make the time pass. Maybe you order a puzzle with an image you like on it. Or try some photography. Whatever piques your interest – whatever thing you've been wanting to do but haven't – give it a shot! See what happens. Maybe you can paint a Bob Ross painting or experiment with recipes in the kitchen. The possibilities may be somewhat limited, but there are still plenty of things out there to try!
Tip Four: Turn Up The Music!
Music is beneficial for many reasons, depending on the person. For some, music is great for keeping wandering thoughts focused on a task. Others love to turn on music while doing chores so the boring mundane things become a little more fun and exciting. Less of a, well, chore to do! Music also can influence how people are feeling in a given moment, and with spirits low there's nothing better than turning on some jams and taking a moment to just enjoy a song or two. Maybe singing along or moving around to the beat. There are plenty of free streaming services out there so it doesn't have to cost a dime to crank up the speakers (or headphones) and get lost in some rocking tunes. Or a poppy song. Whatever makes you happiest!
Tip Five: Move It!
Judging by the posts on Instagram, a lot of people have decided that the best way to make good use of this time and workout. And why not? There are plenty of benefits to working out, such as: better quality of sleep, more energy during the day, more stamina, strength, and endurance, as well as feeling happier when it's all over. But what scares a lot of people off are those posts with complicated exercises and all the repetitions or weights people can crunch out in thirty seconds. The muscular bodies that don't look anything like what a regular person might.
But working out doesn't have to be scary. The main thing is to get up and get moving. If that's taking a walk or maybe jumping some rope. Dancing along to a video on YouTube that has a fun workout to some of your favorite songs. Working out doesn't ever have to be a chore- and you'll be more likely to keep doing it if you find a way to make it fun.
There are plenty of free exercises out there you can follow. Or you can just take the dog for a longer walk. Whatever gets you up and moving around. Nothing makes a body happier than being active. So give it what it wants!
Tip Six: Utilize The Age Of Technology
One of the best things about living in the 21st Century is that we have the world at our fingertips. Someone in Manila can instantly know what someone in Prague is doing by logging onto Twitter- and they don't even have to meet or talk to each other. Social Media has its many pitfalls, but one of the biggest benefits is bringing us closer to people we many never have even met without it! People in different countries, cities, and continents can communicate and become friends- which is pretty amazing!
Amazing still is that we can stay connected to our families; even when we are miles apart. With just a phone call, text, or video chat, we can instantly talk to those we love and miss, erasing thousands of miles between people. And during a time where many are alone, this is one of the best ways to brighten someone's day. Take some time checking in with friends and family during this time. Reconnect. Maybe meet some people online who have similar interests.
The world is, quite literally, in your hands these days.
Tip Seven: Learn Something New
Some might be surprised to learn that there are actually free classes you can take online. Classes that will teach you about art, history, writing, genetics...the list goes on and on! Because of the pandemic, many schools have had to go to online lectures, meaning now is a better time than ever before to jump on the computer for an hour or so a day and learn a little something.
The best part? It doesn't even have to cost an arm and a leg to do! If you're someone who likes attending classes online just for the sake of learning something new, there are websites out there offering just that and for a variety of topics! Anthropology lectures. Weather. Shakespeare. Even courses about Star Trek! Take a quick second to google some free classes and have fun learning something new!
Tip Eight: Host a Virtual Movie Night
There is nothing quite like inviting family or friends over, popping some popcorn and breaking out the candy, and watching some movies together. But with everything going on right now, it might not be possible to get everyone into one room. The solution?
Many streaming services, such as Hulu, now offer a way for people to tune into the same movie or TV show together. All you have to do is get everyone connected, pick a movie, and get the bowls of popcorn ready!
These are only a few suggestions on how you can make this time not only bearable, but fun even! Feel free to comment any of your own ways to beat the quarantine boredom blues.
As a final note, if you or anyone you know feel suicidal or have any mental health concerns during this time, please contact your local emergency lines, visit a medical facility, or dial the hot lines that can help you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Caitlyn Booth
The Little Shaman from Macon, GA on November 12, 2020:
Dulcy Warfield from Arizona on November 11, 2020:
These are great tips!