Sanity in Solitude
Tips for Making it Through Quarantine
Disclaimer: This isn’t designed to help with the money situation. I’ve included some resources near the end in case you’re interested. The list is by no means comprehensive, but hopefully it will help. What I truly hope to help with is the boredom.
People are increasingly trapped in their homes with no outside stimuli except the TV and Internet. The news plays the coronavirus on repeat and we can only watch reruns for so long. We are not out of options though. This situation, though not ideal, gives us some opportunities that we may not have had before.
Before anyone can try to maximize their time and enjoyment of this awful situation, we need to stay healthy. First of all, maintain the CDC’s recommendations. Personally, I’ve decided to self-quarantine. While I don’t show any signs of the virus, I don’t want to put the people around me in danger. There is a nurse that lives on the same property as we do. I am sure to stay my six feet away and maintain proper washing techniques. I hope she doesn’t catch it, but I feel the current state of our healthcare system makes that almost impossible.
There’s more to health than just avoiding the virus though. Be sure to eat healthy. I know I’ve already fallen victim to eating chips and dip for dinner, but keeping a balanced diet will keep your body in tip top shape. Eating fresh in this situation can be difficult, but there are some options. I bought apples and sweet potatoes because they tend to keep well and are nutritious. I’m sure there are other foods that suit your palate that are nutritious as well.
During disasters where people are stuck at home, there is generally a bump in birth rates nine months later. Remember to stock up on essentials: condoms, birth control, what have you. Boredom takes many forms. Be prepared.
Lastly, we have to talk about mental health. Avoid the forever scroll! While it can be a great place to talk to people you care about, losing yourself in social media can weigh on your mind, especially since most people’s feeds are primarily coronavirus related (I know mine is). Also, try downloading a mindfullness app. Meditation may seem pointless, but it has a lot of positive benefits for both the mind and body. Personally, I’ve always had a hard time meditating, but I got the free trial of Headspace a while back and it really helped focus my mind on the meditations. Afterwards, I felt calmer. There are also free ones out there. Play around with some and find one you like. I started using Stop, Breathe, Think because my job is offering its employees a free two month trial on account of the virus. So far so good. I’m only at day 2, but I can feel it calming me.
Catch Up: Around the House and Otherwise
For those of you who do not know, I live in a camper. My boyfriend and I are taking a hiatus from our traveling plans for him to go to school, but our home is taking that break with us. For those of you who do not know, campers require a fair amount of maintenance. They’re moving homes with moveable parts and moisture trapping qualities. Think about how much vibration your car experiences, I can assure you, when moved, this is soooooo much worse. So, we’ve already used this time to tend to our roof and have plans to completely reseal it with calk when the weather is right.
I know most of you don’t have campers, but I’m also certain that all of you have stuff around the house that you need to catch up on. Clean your gutters, vacuum under your couch, do that thing you’ve been putting off. Getting stuff done makes us feel good and helps with the aforementioned mental health.
There’s more than just home maintenance though. Catch up on shows and podcasts, get to that book you haven’t had time to read, start on that pile of magazines that’s been accumulating. I’ve been building a cork board out of wine corks. Guess who’s going to put a big dent in it soon! Now, unfortunately, I have not drank enough wine to fill the board completely (I know, I need to get on that), so having the necessary supplies may be an issue for you, as well.
Learn Something New
There are tons of things out there to learn. We fall down rabbit holes all the time and watch documentaries on serial killers and whatnot, but what I’m advocating for is learning a new skill. I’ve been trying to learn Spanish on and off for a while. I’ve been casually using Duolingo, but recently, I’ve experienced an uptick because I started attending a speaking group hosted by Duolingo. Well, those have been cancelled, so instead I’m doubling down on my practices. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll come out of this with a better Spanish vocabulary. For those of you who do not know, Duolingo is a free to use language website and app. They have a ton of languages (including Klingon) so if you’re interested, try it out. If you’re going in cold, it’s best coupled with other pages to give you more of a background, but the exercises are comprehensive and well organized.
Languages not your thing? YouTube how to draw or sing. While some things you may be interested in learning require items you may not have at home, a lot do not. As many of you already know, the Internet is a vast resource. Tap it.
Spend Quality Time With Family
Some of my favorite memories from my childhood were when we were snowed in and the power was out. My family and I would sit around the table and play board games. There was nothing else to do and sharing that time without a TV blaring in the background was nice. Board games can corral a group and keep them entertained. Since there is electricity, you can also play video games as a family. My boyfriend and I have logged a bunch of hours playing Borderlands over the last couple of days. We rarely have time to dive that deeply into a game, but I’ll take my silver linings where I can get them.
Brush off that old sketchbook or pick up a notepad. Draw or write to your heart’s content. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t good. What matters is that you got it out there and if you happen to stumble over a nugget of inspiration, all the better.
More interested in technology? Start a quarantine vlog. Everyone out there is looking for new content to stave off that ever looming boredom. Maybe you’ll provide some of that entertainment and community that people need.
Remember to keep busy and stay healthy, both mind and body. Many of us will become stir crazy, but I hope that some of these suggestions will help you through the rough time.
Additionally, I am currently running 10% off my chainmaille shop with code STAYSAFE and will also be donating half of all profits to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Please consider purchasing to help with relief efforts and an artist whose shows were cancelled.