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At this point, we’re all years into the pandemic. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already run through the obvious options for keeping busy during quarantine. We’ve already streamed the hit Netflix shows, viewed all the viral TikToks and scrolled endlessly through Insta. However, as COVID-19 cases surge, and many college students find themselves entering isolation once more, it’s imperative to get creative with our sources of entertainment. Handling quarantine at college often means you don’t have access to tons of space or materials for quirky quarantine hobbies, but it’s not all hopeless! Here are five easy ways to prevent boredom from setting in during your COVID-19 isolation:

Curate (and Blend) Some New Playlists

When you’re feeling dragged down by symptoms or fed up with quarantine, there’s just no quicker, easier way to boost your mood than music! In addition to relying on some old favorites to cheer you up, trying out new songs is the perfect isolation activity. I think that it’s a fun practice to actively seek out playlists in the genres that you usually avoid. Don’t like country? Turn on the top 20 country hits playlist and give it a chance! You just might discover a new artist or song that sparks a whole, exciting musical journey. Another great option is to create a blended Spotify playlist with your friends who aren’t in isolation. This way, you can stay in touch with loved ones while also safely expanding your horizons!

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Odyssey via GIPHY
Fall In Love With An Audiobook

Say it with me now: Audiobooks are underrated! I love the classic sensory experience of a physical book as much as the next gal, but audiobooks take the cake for accessibility. If you’re sick and tired and just want a relaxing, low-effort activity, audiobooks can’t be beat. Also, it can be hard (and heavy!) to bring enough books with you to your quarantine location. With a suitcase stuffed with hoodies and tissue boxes, there isn’t going to be much room for all of your beloved Jane Austen novels! This is where free audiobooks, like the Librivox recordings on YouTube, swoop in to save the day. So, turn on an audiobook and transport yourself beyond the walls of your isolation bedroom!

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Doctor Popular via GIPHY
Manifest With Mood Boards

Quarantine can be a great time for reflection and planning. Rather than letting your daydreams dissipate into boredom, channel this introspective energy into the fun task of curating mood boards! Even without craft supplies, you can easily fill hours of spare time, on sites like Pinterest and Canva, perfecting your digital collages. With aesthetic photos and quotes, you can create fun mood boards for everything from career aspirations to hairstyles to your dream vacations. The opportunities are virtually endless! Arranging these boards is the perfect balance of productivity and fun, as you make use of your downtime to set exciting goals for your future.

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Work Through Guided Stretch Routines

Rest is absolutely a top priority for healing during COVID-19 isolation. It can be pretty much impossible to keep up your normal activity levels, and that’s totally ok! That being said, if you’re asymptomatic, spending all day lying in bed might add to your boredom. Simply queuing up some gentle stretching routines on YouTube and spending ten to fifteen minutes mindfully moving your body can help break up the daily monotony. Getting your blood pumping really does wonders for your mood and overall health! You can also combine this technique with listening to one of your new playlists or an audiobook, for an especially fun activity!

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Anchor Point via GIPHY
Schedule A FaceTime Rotation

Last but not least, to prevent boredom, it’s imperative to somehow fulfill your need for human interaction. Not only hearing a loved one’s voice but seeing their face is such an important means of boosting your morale during illness. It may be tempting to just contact friends and family for FaceTimes on a whim, but this might end up in scheduling conflicts or wasted time waiting on responses. Instead, I think it can be helpful to schedule a rotation of who you FaceTime or Zoom each day. Instituting this type of isolation routine will add much-needed structure to your day and help make sure that you stay up to date with all of the important people in your life. Making sure to arrange a virtual chat with at least one person each day will give you something to look forward to and help the days whiz by.

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CBC vis GIPHY

If you find yourself in COVID-19 isolation, I hope these ideas help you get through the difficult days! Each of these five options is a great step to work into your daily quarantine routine, adding variety to cycling through your social apps. No matter which forms of entertainment you fall back on, remember to treat yourself with kindness and prioritize rest above all else!

Kate is a San Francisco native and second-year English major at UCLA. When she's not writing articles for Her Campus at UCLA, she enjoys getting lost in a good book and experimenting with vegan recipes.
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