As the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months, for many it feels like quarantine is never going to end. The monotony of social distancing and self-isolation can leave the mind to run with wild abandon creating worst case scenarios that would make even the most battle-trained individual scared to breathe when stepping out the door.
While we know quarantine will eventually end, and COVID won’t always be a buzzword we can’t stop hearing, the key right now is finding happiness amidst the chaos. Here are some seriously doable ideas for staying happy while quarantined.
Being stuck at home allows for you to finally catch up on the sleep you’ve been lacking back in those days of early mornings and long commutes. No alarm clocks—just leisurely brunches, sipping coffee in bed, finishing your book, and staying in pajamas past noon. It doesn’t really matter when you have no place you have to be. It’s like a vacation!
This is an opportunity to try new foods—whether you have ingredients shipped to your address, a shopper delivers to your door, or contactless pickup allows you to have what you need dropped into your trunk—get creative and go on a culinary adventure.
From trying a new technique for brewing coffee to making your own pizza dough, there’s lots of delicious ways to keep entertained. Produce delivery companies are providing organic fresh fruits and vegetables to keep you in nutritious options for incorporation into your edible escapades.
If you start to get bored feeling like you’re on holiday every day, set yourself up with some worthwhile goals. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Or play an instrument? It’s a prime time to do so! Plus those are excellent brain exercises.
Making a point to work on accomplishing a goal like this each day (or even just two to three a week) will help you feel like you still have “days you work”, leaving you feeling more productive.
Be sure to try to get some “outside time” each day as well. The fresh air and sunshine are healthy and they’re known for boosting mood and mindset. Learn to be mindful when you’re outdoors—notice the flowers and their variety in colors, the many different bird songs you may hear, how the breeze or warm sun feels on your skin. Put your feet in the grass and relax.
If you have a quarantine buddy (or houseful of family members) try to be patient with one another. This is new to all of us. And if you live in your own space, appreciate the quiet tranquility. In either situation, don’t forget about friends and family beyond your four walls.
Whether you use FaceTime or Zoom, you can still “see” your friends' smiles, it’s just a little farther away for now. People are having “digital dinner parties” and “virtual happy hours” over the internet. Don’t forget about text, chat, and email. It’s a quick and easy way to send a simple “thinking of you” reminder and help someone else to not feel so alone.
There’s still snail mail too. When you take the time to handwrite a card or letter, it can touch someone’s heart and is a thoughtful way to show them you care. You could even include some light-hearted jokes to make them laugh. We all need more wholesome smiles!
Play games. This could be a new app to show your talent in playing some words with friends across the globe, or pulling out old bored games to play with people in your household. Either way, these are fun and engaging ways to keep entertained, other than endless hours of TV time.
Researchers who have studied people under quarantine have already found that the best protection against stress right now is “flow”. It’s a term they’re using that describes a state of such complete immersion in activities that it’s difficult to think of anything else.
When you choose a meaningful and captivating activity, it’s a remedy for escaping worry and letting the days “flow” by. Coronavirus may have us stuck at home for now, but there are so many ways we can all stay happy during quarantine!