All around the world, many of us are being asked to stay in our homes and avoid any contact with other people – this is known as social distancing or isolation.
It is important that everybody adheres to the advice and instructions given by their governments in order to stop the spread of Covid-19 (the coronavirus that is sadly killing and hospitalizing a lot of people).
However, sitting at home watching television can get pretty boring after a while.
So – what can we do to make use of all of the time we have on our hands?
1. Maintain your physical health
It is important to stay healthy while you’re at home. This can be done by eating a healthy and balanced diet. It might be tempting to binge on ice cream and chocolate, but bearing in mind that our physical activity is going to be limited, it is better to limit junk food and opt for healthier alternatives.
Exercising at home is also a great way to stay healthy. This can be done using home equipment and online workout videos/routines.
2. Plan accordingly
At the moment, it’s not clear how long it will be until social restrictions are listed and, for those people who are unable to work from home, planning is key. Try to plan ahead i.e write down what you need from the grocery store or pharmacy to avoid making multiple trips and determine how you will be paying any outstanding bills.
3. Keep a journal or start a blog
If you have any spare notebooks lying around – grab a pen and start writing! Or start a blog on platforms such as WordPress, Blogspot and Medium. Anxious about everything that’s happening? Jot it down. Doodle, draw, write poems – whatever you fancy. You can also find tons of prompts online on places like Tumblr, Pinterest and WordPress.
4. Take an online course
It’s key that we keep our minds active during our time at home and what better than education? If you’re not already bogged down by university or school work, you can access free online courses and educational resources at a variety of platforms such as:
Harvard University also offer some online course here (note: some of these courses are not free).
5. Learn a new skill
Years ago, I bought some knitting needles and swore that I was finally going to learn. Predictably, I didn’t, but maybe you have a similar story? If you have the tools at hand now is the time to pick up skills that you’ve previously abandoned.
Additionally, you can also learn a language, or find something on Instructables, a community based website full of do-it-yourself projects. There are plenty of beginner courses on coding and if you want a challenge you can try your hand at video-editing.
6. Know your rights
If you’ve been furloughed or made redundant please contact your government or council officials and find out as much information as you can. This will help reduce any stress and worry you have over money and what do next.
7. Catch up on some reading
Now’s the time to finally finish all of those books you started and gave up once life got in the day. To make things interesting you can ask your friends and family to read the same books and get a little discussion group going. Alternatively, there’s a huge community over at Goodreads that you can sink your teeth into!
8. Stay informed
It’s important to make sure that you follow the news and any current advice from health and government officials.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be glued to the news 24/7, but it will make it easier for you to avoid being mislead by incorrect information that’s currently spreading on the internet.
9. Talk to your family and friends
Social distancing is not easy given human nature – we’re a friendly species and we rely on communication with our friends and family to live a good life and have good mental health. If you find yourself feeling lonely or anxious – contact your family and friends using social media, text, Whatsapp and the phone. If that is not an option – there are various operational helplines up and running. Search online to see if there is a local helpline available.
Although, many people have been advised to stay at home. There are still a ton of volunteer opportunities out there. Check online to see if any local charities or foodbanks need any short (or long) term assistance during this time.
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