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9 Ways to Make the Most of the Coronavirus Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted lives all around the world, including people in the Dartmouth community. With spring term classes moved online, travel plans cancelled, stores and facilities closed, and news stories growing more alarming by the second, we are all experiencing distress in these uncertain times. Many of us live in cities that are under lockdown, and others are practicing self-isolation or social distancing to avoid spreading the virus. While reduced social interaction can be accompanied by feelings of stress, loneliness, and anxiety, staying at home is important for the safety of yourself and others. 


Here is a list of 9 ways to make the most of the lockdown and social distancing:  


1. Bond with your family (or whoever you live with)

Whether you live with family, roommates, or significant other, staying at home means spending more time with these people. Be patient with each other, try not to escalate fights, and find some fun bonding activities that you enjoy doing together. You might be surprised at how difficult times can bring people together and strengthen your relationships with those closest to you. 


2. Work on your hobbies

You might be stuck at home, but that does not mean you can’t do things you enjoy. Take some time to work on your hobbies, and if you get bored or don’t have any hobbies that can be done inside the house, do not be afraid to try something new. Write stories, read books, learn to dance, take up painting, experiment with indoor gardening, try your hand at crosswords and Sudoku— the possibilities are endless! 

3. Binge-watch Netflix 

For once you’ve got the perfect excuse to sit in pajamas watching Netflix all day! In all seriousness, staying in to watch your favorite show is a safer choice than going out to a social gathering, where the virus has a higher chance of being spread. 

4. Practice self-care

Self-care is always important, and it’s especially important during times of stress and uncertainty. Take a relaxing bath, put on a face mask, try some yoga or meditation, and make sure to stay hydrated and well-rested. It’s also important to check in with your mental health and talk to someone if you have concerns. 

5. Connect with your friends virtually

Call, text, and FaceTime your friends on a regular basis. Even though you can’t see them for the next several weeks, you can still listen to their stories, share jokes, and offer comfort and support. 

6. Be semi-productive

Listen, I know it’s hard to be productive during spring break. But try taking advantage of your extended time at home by getting things done instead of putting them off for later. Clean your room, do your laundry, organize your closet, pay your bills, and take some time to think about your academic and career plans. 

7. Cook a new dish (or bake a new treat!)

If you’re a beginner, now would be a great time to learn to cook some basic meals, such as pasta or noodles. If you’re more advanced, try experimenting with new recipes. For maximum entertainment, you could even make cooking a group activity and host a family/roommate version of MasterChef or the Great British Bake Off! 

8. Exercise at home

Although the gyms may be closed, there are plenty of workouts you can do at home to keep your body healthy and reap the mental health benefits of exercise. You can find workout videos online to follow in addition to yoga, core exercises, weights exercises, and more. 

9. Write about your experience

The COVID-19 outbreak is scary, disruptive, and troubling to many, and everyone has a unique experience to tell. Writing about it can be cathartic, as it can help relieve anxiety and make you feel heard. Try writing about your experience in a journal, diary, blog, social media post, or online article. If you decide to make your writing public, you can help your readers relate and feel less alone. 

These are difficult, uncertain times, but eventually even this will pass. In the meantime, it is important to be grateful for our health and the health of our loved ones and to wish a speedy recovery to those who have been affected by the illness. Confined to separate homes, it might feel like you are alone, but remember that you are never alone. We are a community, and no matter what challenges we face, we will always be here for one other. 

Emily Wang

Dartmouth '22

I am an economics major and English minor at Dartmouth. In my free time, I enjoy music, creative writing, and photography, as well as going on scenic walks, watching rom-coms with friends, and reading psychological thrillers.
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