Ever since COVID-19 shut down most of the world—except for essential services like hospitals and McDonalds—I’ve seen a lot of people online who are going a bit stir crazy. These are strange times we’re living in, and I understand that people are scared, confused, and frustrated. Despite this, I’ve found my time in self-isolation to be not all that different from my everyday life. But for those who aren’t hobbits like me, I get that staying cooped up in one’s house all day, every day can become tiresome. So, I’ve decided to share some things I do to while away the endless hours in the day.
Sleep Away Your Problems
These past few weeks, my sleep schedule has fallen completely out of whack—I’ve been staying up until 4:00 a.m. and waking up at around 2 in the afternoon. My circadian rhythm is more in line with that of some kind of nocturnal rodent than an actual human being. But since I don’t have anywhere to be, it doesn’t really matter if I sleep until 3 p.m. Sleeping is a great way to fill all those empty hours in the day that you’d usually spend doing work and being productive. Plus, if you’re asleep, you don’t have to worry about the global pandemic happening around you while you’re stuck inside your house.
Eat Your Feelings
Being a University student, I’m no stranger to ramen noodles and Skip the Dishes for every meal. But other than being too lazy to cook, the main reason why I had Pizza Pizza on speed dial is because I just didn’t have enough time to cook for myself. Now, however, I’ve got nothing but time. Spending three hours cooking a lavish meal just for myself used to feel rather excessive, but now it’s kind of exciting figuring out what to make and trying new recipes. Plus, afterwards there’s a mountain of dishes to do. So that’s always fun. And if you’re worried about going out grocery shopping, you can even use one of those shopping services that drops your groceries off right at your door. Just make sure to wash your hands before, after, and maybe even while you’re eating.
Take Up a Useless Hobby
Knit an itchy sweater no one will wear. Learn how to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on that guitar you swore you’d learn how to play two years ago. Do a paint-by-numbers and still manage to fuck up and colour outside the lines. Make a craft and then immediately throw it in the garbage. Spread out a 1000-piece puzzle and lose half the pieces midway through. Go for a walk and cross the street when you make eye contact with another human being. If you have a pet, dress them up in silly outfits and watch their eyes light up with murder. Just keep busy to give yourself a sense of productivity and fulfillment in your day to day life that you used to get from doing work and spending time with other people.
Keeping a Work/Home Balance When Work is in Your Home
Speaking of work, even though I haven’t physically been in classes for almost a month now, I’ve still had assignments and essays to do. But I’ve found it rather difficult to get any work done at home with so many distractions (see above for said distractions). Working in my room is a definite no-go because my bed’s right there, and if my bed’s there, I might as well be in it, right? I can’t work in the living room because that’s where the TV is, and the kitchen has snacks that I want to eat. Now my dog wants to go for a walk, and I need to check my messages from my friends and family. I might as well see what’s going on on Instagram. Snapchat too. Now my friend linked me to a funny YouTube video. You know what? Maybe I’ll just do my work tomorrow.
Quarantine and Chill
Above all else, just try and relax. Take a bath, do some self-care, call you friends, clean your room. Watch an episode or two of your favourite show on Netflix. Well, maybe just one more episode. And another. This is the last one, I swear. Oh damn, that was the season finale! Well I need to see what happens next! And no, I’m totally not just trying to distract myself and keep my mind busy so that I don’t turn on the news and hear all of the horrible things that are happening; the statistics and graphs and stories of people dying and not being able to say goodbye to their families. Of the emergency hospitals being built and the lack of protective equipment for healthcare workers and all the people who’ve lost their jobs, and the racist attitudes and treatment towards Asian people, and the fear mongering and finger-pointing and who knows how much longer this whole thing could last and—oh look, a new episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
At the end of the day, the only way we’re going to get through this is with each other. From a safe six feet apart, of course. I know that social distancing and self-isolation can be really hard, and that the news is scary, and misinformation is everywhere. And I don’t know when this will end, or what life will be like when we come out the other side. All I know is that we will, eventually, come out of this. So stay safe, stay informed, and wash your fucking hands.