The entire country has gone into lockdown for 21 days to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Yes, that is three weeks of self-quarantine, where you will not be able to step out of the confines of your home and mingle.
And while loners must have been practicing for this day all their lives, ‘me time’ for that long is no walk in the park.
A 2015 study, conducted by the Brigham Young University in US and published in the journal Perspectives of Psychological Science, found that loneliness and social isolation are twice as harmful to physical and mental health as obesity.
Wondering how to use all this time on your hands during these 21 days without going bonkers? Here are 21 things you can do:
1. Start a journal or a blog
Ever wondered what it will feel like to write down about your life? What are you waiting for? Since you have all the time of the world in your hands, why not start a journal or a blog. Journaling helps one improve mood by prioritizing problems, fears, and concerns.
2. Start a podcast
It could be a fun way to share your thoughts with the world and help you feel less alienated.
3. Video chat with your friends
A number of studies have found that friendship and social support are linked to better physical and mental health and also lower rates of heart diseases.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association found that people without social support suffered from mental health issues like anxiety and depression the most. So if you are in isolation, video calling could be the best way to keep those negative emotions away.
4. Redecorate your home
It’s time to spruce up your mood by redecorating your room. Don’t even need to go out for new supplies. Use what you already have. Bring those living room curtains into your room, change the positioning of your dresser, bring some plants indoors–et voila!
5. Teach yourself a foreign language
Always wondered what it would feel like to learn a new language but never got to learn one? There are innumerable apps and websites which will can help you learn a new language or at the very least some interesting phrases.
Creative hobbies like painting keep the mind strong and improve overall quality of life. They provide stress relief and expand creative growth.
7. Learn calligraphy
It is almost therapeutic to leisurely practice calligraphy and anyone can do it! A study published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging found that calligraphy enhances cognitive function in the elderly.
8. Take a photography master class
Another thing that you could do while in isolation is learning some photography tricks from the innumerable master classes available online. You can use your phone and the vistas outside your window to practice.
Nothing can be a better stress buster than potting those plants. No need to feel alone if you have plants to rear.
A study conducted by the Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands found that gardening was associated with stress relief.
Now could be the best time to learn some self-defense techniques. Play some videos on YouTube and teach yourself how to kick some bad-guy ass if the need ever be!
11. Sewing and stitching
Sewing not only encourages mindfulness, reduces stress and anxiety, but it also encourages positivity and feelings of relaxation. And we’re sure your mother has some supplies lying around the house.
12. Learn to cook a dish
Isolation and quarantine have taught us all the importance of learning to cook. With establishments mostly remaining closed, this would be the best time to learn to cook a dish. There are a number of stars and celebrities who are doing online classes. Why not learn something from them?
It teaches the mind to focus and redirect thoughts and increases awareness of yourself and surroundings. It also helps to reduce stress and develop concentration.
One of the best things you can do during the lockdown is to put some attention on your body. Exercising keeps one physically healthy and promotes mental health too.
15. Play a board game
How long ago was it that you sat down with your family and played a board game? Utilize these moments to reconnect with each other over Monopoly or maybe UNO!
16. Clean your wardrobe
Yes, you had been intending to do that and no you never got along to do it. You do not have an excuse anymore.
Studies have shown that the levels of cortisol or stress hormones are higher in people who have a cluttered home. Cleaning the cupboard will declutter space and help you relax.
17. Movie marathon
Take out the time and binge-watch some good movies. But remember not to overdo it as too much of screen time can actually increase stress.
18. Try solving a Rubik’s cube
If you are bored and want to accomplish something, trying to solve the Rubik’s cube could be an engaging way to spend the day.
19. Learn to play a musical instrument
Take out the time and learn to play that guitar you bought and never learned or maybe learn how to play the harmonica. Scientists have said that both listening to and creating music can have positive effects on mood and mental health.
20. Try an easy science experiment
Bring out that scientist in you. There are innumerable experiments you could do with household items that could be both messy and fun. Involve the entire family and create an event out of it
21. Read books
Reading has immense physical and mental health benefits. While isolated you could read books that you had planned to but never got around to actually reading.
A collaborative study published in HHS Public Access found that the more one reads the complex network of circuits and signals in the brain gets stronger and more sophisticated.