11 QUARANTINE ACTIVITIES FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND RELAXATION
Sitting in home, doing nothing, eating all day was a dream around 15 to 20 days back. In our busy routine we all wanted to have long break but we never knew this is how we will get it. Now when we have break it is getting stressful, mainly because we can’t go outside, we can’t arrange meet ups or hang outs or randomly walk in a park. Most people watch TV all day and no matter which channel we switch to, it is talking about how many deaths have happened, how badly economy will suffer, or how perhaps it is a biochemical war etc.
If this quarantine is extended for next 2 to 3 months and we keep following this same routine of waking up late, eating and watching TV- not only we will be in bad shape physically but our mental health and our productivity will get affected which in long run can impact us badly. So figuring out effective quarantine activities is a much needed thing now.
I suggest you to practice all preventive measures of putting masks and gloves but at the same time stay away from news channels as much as you can and design a whole schedule for yourself-your ideal schedule that you always wanted. Design a schedule of all the best and interesting things you said you would do if you just got a break. Here is how you can have fun and productivity during quarantine, these are all quarantine activities that I, myself, is following:
1-Maintain a dairy
A few days back I was surfing internet and somewhere I read a very interesting post. The post said that we are living in a historical period. People of future and our own coming generations will read about 2020 Corona Quarantine as a traumatic time. We will tell how we stayed in quarantine to our coming generations.
Rather than we let our coming generations read about this corona virus and quarantine time through internet we should maintain our personal journal. Also 10 years from now we might not be able to remember all the itsy bitsy of this time, the memes, the frustrations, the food stocking etc.
I am maintaining my own journal, in which I am making daily entries of what is happening in different countries and what is happening in the world. I make sure to add positives in each entry like how Wuhan people invented knee shake for greeting, how Italians sang songs to cheer up and stay positive, how Spanish people clapped on their balconies to pay tribute to their doctors, how many of Pakistani people are distributing free grocery to homeless and daily wagers.
I also enter in this journal what I am doing each day to keep myself busy. I am writing about recipes that I am trying, the ways I am disinfecting my house, my ultra fast ability to mop rooms and corridors of my house. I am also keeping a record of movies and dramas I am watching. I write in a funny way my efforts to curb my overly active appetite, my time and again failing at Ludo star, UNO and barely making success at Jenga.
I am journal writing person ever since I was in school. I know many people find it very excruciating but trust me once you let yourself get into it; you would want to do it all the time. Remember there is no rule to journal writing, no rule to be grammatically or format-cally correct. Just start making entries and two years from now you will read and find so much power from these times of patience and hope.
2-Learn a personal skill (Makeup/Self Grooming)– as part of your quarantine activities
I have so many friends whom I used to meet before quarantine they always said they wished they knew how to put makeup but they have to study or have to complete work project or handle house chores so they don’t get time to practice. Now your traveling or meetings’ times are saved. Your energy to travel and meet people and talk about all the pending work is saved. Find this opportunity as the time you are given by mother earth to be you.
If you love makeup start trying it today!
Start with foundation (take any bb cream, foundation that you have) apply it on your face- does it look too see through to your skin marks-how about another layer! is too cakey now-how about balancing it between too less and too much. This is how you learn any artistic skill. You do it over and over until you start doing it the way you like.
If it’s not make up that you like, you can learn how to put your hair in different styles.
This skill will not stay with you just in quarantine ,even once it ends, hopefully soon, you can take these quarantine activities for later stressful times and use it as a mean to vent your stress out. Art is always a way to express your heart and soul.
Remember failing is inevitable, so don’t get frustrated with doing a bad job at makeup or hairstyle or sketching or trying a new recipe-just start doing it over and over again until you like your version.
3-organize cupboards, room, kitchen by starting day with a check list
For many people organizing itself is therapeutic. For some the idea of organizing is pleasing but the task ahead of handling piles and piles of hoarded stuff is scary. Give yourself some courage. Watch at least 3 of Marie Kondo organizing episodes and trust me you will get that spark that you need to get up from your couch.
Pile up all your stuff on the floor or on your bad. Start categorizing-shirts in one pile, trouser in another, spare stuff in another .
I wrote an article about Marie Kondo style of organizing, you can read it here for guidelines and inspiration: https://lifestylebymunaza.com/organize-your-closet-using-kon-marie-method/
If you feel tired take a break. If you are losing energy eat a bit in between and if you feel lethargic play some rock music on blast and start doing it like a ninja because once you are done you will feel so accomplished.
4-cleaning/washing place–as quarantine activities
As I said some people love organizing but I am not a very ‘organizing things person.’ I always somehow lose the coherence between things; I am more of a cleaning person. I love mopping floors, washing curtain, doing laundry. If you are also that sort of person, I would suggest you to sit down, take a note book and make a list of all the things that need washing. Your list can start from regular shirts and trousers, and move to bed sheets, curtains, cushion covers. Gradually keep adding more things like clothes that are spare and you want to donate-wash them neatly & fold them. All these things sound small but trust me once you involve yourself in these activities you feel you are loving and valuing yourself.
Today I washed all my kitchen utensil and for tomorrow I have decided to take out all the crockery that we keep saved for joint meals for guests, I am going to give that a wash. I have even decided to wash the heavy rugs placed in our home. I keep looking for deep cleaning of rugs and curtains videos and blog posts to be successful in my task.
here is my vlog of mopping all floors of my house:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8TSpFUqDhs&t=11s
Stitching is another interesting, time consuming and immensely creative activity. You can watch videos of converting worn out shirts into some cushions. I am cutting my old shirts and turning them into kitchen aprons. I have also turned one of my old velvet dress into two cushion covers.
If stitching is not your thing, you can sew or do embroidery for your cushion cover or have simple embroidery flower for frames or as tray covers. There are endless ideas on pinterest
6-Take free online courses
My eldest sister is not a house chores kind of a person, she hates anything related to cooking washing etc. She feels better when her mind is intellectually challenged or added into. So, I know there are a lot of people who would not feel relaxed in doing house chores for such people I suggest that you google free online course that are offered by many top universities of the world. Following is a popular course that you can try on happiness by Yales university https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/23/health/yale-happiness-course-wellness/index.html?utm_source=fbCNNi&utm_term=link&utm_medium=social&utm_content=2020-03-24T01%3A27%3A05&fbclid=IwAR3I0tsgA7WbIsNhPwf4t1iTBfHv7lDBcDiI2ZBf8i8xk0CKXIRfl7qzDBE
You can also watch following documentaries
- The House of Z
- out for blood in silicon Valley
- drop out by ABC
7-work on your fitness
Before quarantine we were all so busy with our 9 to 5 routine that we would just want to come back home, eat and literally hibernate. Now most of us are working from home, so we have gotten ourselves more comfortable physically. We stay at our couches keeping our laptops on and otherwise keep watching TV. This routine may effect our physical fitness or body shape worse then before. We all need to utilize this time to get better than before not vice versa.
In 2017 I just I got around 15 to 20 days off from work, all day I would eat bread with layers of neutella and watch seasons. Just in 20 days I literally gained 10 kgs without even realizing it. My sisters, once they met me after 20 days, were shocked and they insisted me to quickly fix my weight. You can read my article how without going to any gym or doing any extreme diet meals I lost 10 kgs. https://lifestylebymunaza.com/how-i-went-from-60-kg-to-50-kg-weight-loss-tricks/
My friend also wrote a detailed article on how she reduced her weight (though her efforts were a bit extreme)https://lifestylebymunaza.com/weight-loss-motivation-tips-meals-exercises-my-true-story/
8-Work on your mental health
Speaking for myself, trust me my 9 to 5 robotic routine effects my mental health a lot. Every day doing same things at the same time and intervals made me feel sad for myself. Now I am loving this calm slow motion routine. I wake up, make my favortie breakfast either a waffle or desi ghee paratha and enjoy it with some amusing youtube video. Then once I am done with my daily work tasks. I pull out my mediation music, I go on my roof top and silently sit either in the evening because now there is no prominent noise of vehicles or even late night and listen to meditation music, gaze the starts, clear my thoughts. Following is the meditation music I listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2FMzrceP34
9-spend bonding time with family- play luddoo, cook together, clean together watch movies together
Many of us have gradually lost that strong contact we used to have with our family. I remember when we were young school going kids. My mom would cook dinner at 7:30 pm, we would all take our dinner in front of TV and watch drama. We kept talking during drama and got angry at each other for talking too much. Now I remember all that time and cherish it so much. I also remember when I and my sister first learnt to make cake we so cautiously together baked it though it did not turn out well but that memory till this day make me giggle.
Use this time to rebind with your loved one. Cook a meal and bring them all to one table. Pull out a movie from internet or Netflix and watch it together. Cooking together is my favorite thing to do with my siblings. Choose a thing and do it together make small memories so that you look back at this time as blessing and full of memories.
No matter how many interesting videos you watch or informative documentaries you enjoy, reading is irreplaceable. The time you can spend holding a book, sitting in you balcony with a cup of tea sipping and absorbing the scenes on pages is old school classic elite enjoyment. There are so many novels that are even available for free on internet. I would suggest you to go for “Forty Rules of Love” and “A case of Exploding Mangoes”
11-Visit Museums through E tours– as quarantine activities
Also I went to few museums in my life, though I am not such a big fan but many people I know love visiting places with historical traces. There are many museums that allow you to have free online tours. You can enjoy that experience too.
here are a few links that can help you find free virtual tours of museums https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/75809/12-world-class-museums-you-can-visit-online
Make this time as memorable for yourself as possible. If you keep thinking and pitying yourself that you are stuck in misery then it will literally turn into misery. You all must have read by now that Ozone layer is healing because of less pollution in world as half of the world is on lock down. Environmentalists are informing that animals and birds are coming back to their regular migratory places because of environment getting cleaner. As nature is healing itself, it has given time to you too to heal by doing interesting quarantine activities.
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