How are you feeling?
This has been an incredibly challenging year. Although the pandemic is far from over, the talk of a vaccine could mean a glimmer of hope heading into 2021.
Like many, if your community is in some sort of a lockdown, the isolation is probably getting to you. In the first wave, you made all the sourdough bread, spent countless hours scrolling Instagram, and binge-watched Netflix.
So now what?
You can’t imagine going through another depressing bout of isolation.
Feelings of isolation can take a toll on your mental health. Still, if you can keep your mind/body occupied, it may make the days ahead slightly more bearable.
By learning something new, diving into a project, or planning your next big event, you allow yourself to focus on something other than the mess that’s going on in the world. Here are ten creative ways to stay afloat during the pandemic.
1) Plan a trip
Just because you can’t go on that all-inclusive you were looking forward to pre-COVID-19 doesn’t mean that you have to throw the idea out the window; it’s just on hold for now. But nothing is stopping you from planning your perfect getaway.
Buy some travel magazines; do some research. If you can’t go on the trip, you’ve been looking forward to throwing yourself into planning the details, and visualizing how it will look can boost your mood. Research different hotels, activities available on the resort, and be as detailed as you want to be.
If you take the time to plan now, not only is it a fun process, but you will have the upper hand once it’s safe to travel again. Plus, it gives your mind an escape from all the doom and gloom out there.
So put on some relaxing music, pour yourself a pina colada, and imagine how good it will feel to soak up the rays on the beach when this is all over.
2) Find a new hobby
This could be anything from learning how to crochet to writing that novel you’ve been thinking about.
Begin by carving out a certain amount of time that you will devote to this hobby weekly, and stick to it.
Even if it’s only twenty minutes a day, or smaller increments of time here and there, by allowing your creative juices to flow, you will be amazed at how mood-boosting having a hobby can be!
Having trouble coming up with things to do?
Check out this list of fun hobbies to occupy your mind/body while you’re stuck at home.
3) Start A Gratitude journal
Don’t knock it until you try it!
While you can write in a gratitude journal at any point during the day, the best time is in the morning, as it forces you to start your day with positive intentions.
You can spend as little as one minute or up to 30 minutes, depending on the type of gratitude journal you get. Some come— with longer writing exercises, while the simpler ones ask you to come up with three things you are grateful for.
4) Buy Tickets to a Concert
Do you find yourself missing the energy of being in a jam-packed stadium listening to live music?
Why not buy tickets to see your favorite band in a virtual concert.
Sure it’s not the conventional way to watch live music, but it beats having no access to entertainment. Musicians’ livelihood is primarily based on touring and ticket sales; when the pandemic hit, they had to develop creative ways to make money and keep their fans happy.
Many acts have turned to technology to provide virtual concerts via Zoom. While it’s not quite the same as being at the venue, cheaper tickets, being in the comfort of your own home, and not having to pay twenty bucks for a beer are a few of the perks of a remote concert experience.
Reading is the ultimate escape—hunkering down with a blanket and a hot chocolate while you get lost in a story is a great way to pass the time and keep your mind occupied.
If the thought of reading a whole novel cover to cover isn’t your thing, consider short stories or audiobooks.
An audiobook eliminates the need to read every word but provides a recording physically. This allows you the freedom to multitask while enjoying a thrilling story.
You can listen while you’re cleaning, making dinner, or driving in the car!
6) Host a (Virtual) Party
While it’s difficult not seeing friends or family during this time, thanks to technology, there are still ways you can connect with the ones that you love.
Zoom is an excellent platform that allows groups of people to meet. It’s user-friendly and boasts a multitude of settings and backgrounds to tailor to your needs.
So blow up some balloons, put on your party dress and share a fun-filled evening with family and friends!
You can meet with one other person, or with larger groups of people. This has been tremendously useful around the holidays to alleviate some of the loneliness people are experiencing, particularly during the holiday season.
7) match and meet for singles
Dating can be incredibly challenging during the pandemic; you have the usual worries and reservations with the added stress of COVID-19.
Still, many dating apps such as match.com are offering virtual dating options for singles looking to connect. While it’s not the same as dating in person, it still provides an opportunity to meet other single people.
So pour yourself a drink at the virtual bar, and start mingling!
8) Organize your home
A cluttered and unorganized living space can contribute to feelings of anxiety—it can add to the chaos you feel.
If you’re stuck at home with nothing to do during a lengthy lockdown, why not give your house/ apartment a face lift?
Cleaning and organizing can seem overwhelming, but if you focus on completing one room at a time, you’re likely to finish the job that you started. This article provides some great tips on how to get started.
9) adopt or foster an animal
Long periods of isolation can be challenging to endure, especially if you are living alone. If you’ve ever considered adopting a dog, now is a great time. Shelters are overflowing with animals that need a home or have been recently uprooted from their home due to their owners being hospitalized or ill with COVID-19.
These furry friends are lonely too! Check out petfinder.com for ways you can help!
10) volunteer your time
While we are all asked to stay home during the pandemic, what about those who don’t have a home or their home lives are toxic?
While staying home is simply a small inconvenience for many of us, many people are in dire circumstances. People are losing their jobs, their homes, and some may be stuck in abusive relationships.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help from home. Check out this fantastic resource 15 Ways to Volunteer from Home.
Being forced to stay at home is a drag. Still, there are small things that you can do to make the experience less daunting—whether it be preparing for the future or making the most of the present. Find something that you enjoy doing to fill the time!