Quarantine Blues: What to Do When There’s Not Much to Do
by Jordan Bailey, MT-BC
Does the COVID-19 pandemic have you feeling down and out? Do the current changes make you feel a bit anxious? If so, that’s very understandable.
We experienced widespread panic at the forefront, but this new way of life is slowly becoming the norm. In the media, there are so many reminders of how we should take precautions such as washing our hands, keeping social distance, and avoiding doing things that we are so accustomed to. Here are some ideas of things that you can still do while spending time at home when boredom strikes as we continue to learn about coronavirus and its prevention.
First and foremost, make music any way you know how! There are so many things that you can do musically to pass the time. For instance, sing your favorite songs out loud! Singing can make you feel happy as it is known to release “feel good chemicals” known as endorphins. Studies show that creating music in any form can also decrease cortisol levels in your blood stream, which leads to lower stress levels.
When it comes to instrument playing, maybe you can sharpen your skills on an instrument you already know to how to play, or even learn a new technique. You could also learn a new instrument if you have access to one. There are several videos on YouTube geared toward learning instruments for beginners. Playing an instrument for enjoyment is also a neat option!
Listening to music is great as well. Compile a playlist of some of your favorite songs and give this list a listen when you’re doing other tasks. I’ve used Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and YouTube to make quick easy playlists in the past.
Keep in Touch
Though we are keeping social distance, we can still keep in touch with our loved ones. You can phone a loved one, write them on social media, or even write a letter and send it off in the mail. Another fun option for communication that most people have taken a liking to is video chatting.
Have a virtual party! Platforms for video chatting such as Zoom and Google Hangouts have surged in popularity lately. A fun thing to do with a group of friends is to play games over these platforms. Some popular games include Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Charades, BINGO, Trivia, and more. This video has some more great ideas for all ages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnWUvpMQOpw
Clean or Organize
This can seem like a daunting task to some people, but there’s nothing wrong with turning on that playlist of your favorite songs that you compiled and doing some spring cleaning. What tasks around your home have you been avoiding? This could be a good time to declutter and/or organize something that you’ve been wanting to organize but never had the time to do so.
For me, I’ve seen this as a good time to organize things like my emails, my car, my musical instruments, and visuals as well.
“The most fundamental principle of the organized mind, the one most critical to keeping us from forgetting or losing things, is to shift the burden of organizing from our brains to the external world.” – Daniel J. Levitin
Get Some Exercise
Gyms may be closed in your area, but you never really needed to depend on the gym to get some good exercise! Get out and get some fresh air. While you’re out, take a walk, jog, or a run. You can even ride a bike if you have one. Another option is to stay inside and follow a YouTube cardio workout routine. These are fun and most people can do them! There are options for beginners, kids, seniors, and even whole family work outs. Here is a great example of a fun family workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5if4cjO5nxo
Explore the Kitchen
I’ve been snacking entirely too much, and that’s not exactly what I mean by exploring the kitchen! Cook your favorite meal or try cooking something you have never tried before! Over social media, I’ve seen that a lot of my friends are baking. Are there any ambitious recipes that you have wanted to try? Go for it!
Take a Breather
Slow down for a bit and just take time to relax. We all relax in different ways. There are so many different options for taking a break. Unplug from social media, read, write, watch something new on Netflix, enjoy nature by stargazing or watching the clouds, take a nap, take a drive with no predetermined destination, take deep breaths, meditate, or listen to a guided relaxation recording. Here is a great resource for guided relaxation: https://caps.byu.edu/relaxation-recordings
What have you been doing in your free time? Let us know in a comment below.
Jordan Bailey, MT-BC