Activities to Help you Retain your Sanity During COVID-19 Social Distancing

It’s incredibly important to practice social distancing in order to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s definitely not easy. Confined at home and uncertain of what lies ahead, many of us are struggling to retain our sanity. I’ve compiled a few activities that have personally helped me from going too stir-crazy, and hopefully they may be of some use to you as well.

  1. 1. Spend Time in Nature

    Just because you have to isolate yourself doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up indoors. Set aside a bit of time everyday to hang out in your backyard or at a secluded park nearby; it will help you clear your mind and breathe better. Lay in the grass, stare up at the sky, pretend you’re a kid again and try to guess what the clouds represent. Go foraging for weird sh*t and share what you find with others online. I went exploring in my backyard and found: a bird skull, pine cones for crafting, and a purple flower smaller than the nail on my pinky. Needless to say, I had a swell time. Unfortunately, not everyone has the privilege of having a backyard or access to woodland, so if this is the case for you, consider growing and taking care of some indoor plants instead. It’s definitely not as soothing as spending time outdoors, but it might help you take your mind off of current events and give you a sense of accomplishment and productivity as your plants grow.

  2. 2. Make Arts and Crafts

    Even if you don’t consider yourself artistic, you can still benefit from making arts and crafts for fun. And anyway, art by modern standards can be pretty much anything, so you might be more “artistic” than you initially believed. Personally, I find making art incredibly therapeutic. It’s so easy to get lost and forget the world while you paint, draw, or sculpt. You don’t even have to take your art that seriously; you can make weird and silly pieces too. The last thing I did was henna a wood grain pattern on my arms and make a leafy crown so that I could become a tree. My next project is to make a paper mâché fruit hat à la Carmen Miranda. My point is that you can make whatever the hell you please and that you have no obligations to make anything “good.” All that really matters is that you let yourself go and have a bit of therapeutic fun.

  3. 3. Have a Solo Dance Party

    Blast some music and dance the day away—I can promise you that it’s a lot more fun than a standard workout. I’ve seen some very creative internet folk go so far as to decorate individual rooms in their homes as different-themed bars and pretend to go bar-hopping. Maybe if you own some virtual reality technology you can simulate a crowd of people to dance with, too. Jokes aside, a solo dance party is a great way to get your blood pumping and endorphins running, so give it a shot.

  4. 4. Keep in Touch with Friends and Family…

    Yes, this is standard advice, but there’s a twist: keep in touch by correspondence. Yes, that’s right: send letters by mail. Exchange long, detailed memoirs of your days and innermost thoughts with your loved ones, and maybe save them for posterity, as a time capsule of sorts. Include pictures and small treasures, like pressed flowers you foraged from your backyard. Consider this also an opportunity to work on your penmanship. Something about exchanging letters can help you get to know others on a much deeper, more intimate level than texting or video chatting, and so, can help you alleviate any loneliness you might have. It’s also extremely exciting to receive anything in the mail given that we’re less used to it than past generations. I’m currently trying to recruit my own pen pal (to no avail as of yet, but I remain hopeful that they’re out there, somewhere).

Stay safe and continue social distancing, friends. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel, even though we don’t know when exactly we’ll reach it.