- Have a daily routine
When transitioning from a packed schedule, whether it is from the non-stop life of college or the “go go go” mindset of a career, it is hard to not let social distancing slow your roll. By having a daily routine to stick to, you are able to give yourself a sense of accomplishment, prevent quarantine blues, and simply stay active. A regular routine will help you stay on top of your work rather than slipping into the third consecutive season of Gilmore Girls. This routine will help keep you busy, combating that sense of depression and loneliness we feel creeping about during these times. This will all help smooth the drastic transition from a busy lifestyle into a new space.
- Start a project
Starting a project is a great way to fill all of your newly acquired free time. By starting a project, not only is it rewarding, but it is exciting and keeps you active. Rather than watching yet another movie and YouTube video, try learning something new! Teach yourself a new language, paint your room, or even learn how to do a handstand. By taking full advantage of this downtime, you will feel so much more rewarded and can prevent yourself from falling into a rut.
- Make a “social distancing” Bingo board
Okay, I know this sounds weird, but hear me out. Everyone is posting these bingo boards all over Instagram of things that they’ve done at your college, their alma mater, or even their workplace. But, by making a “social distancing bingo board” for your daily life, you remind yourself of daily activities to do while also not giving yourself the pressure to complete a million things at once. So here is how you do it: (1) get a fun colored piece of paper and markers, (2) draw two vertical lines and four horizontal lines evenly on the paper to make the boxes, (3) fill in daily activities to do into each box. These activities could be reaching out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, going for a thirty-minute run, doing a face mask, absolutely anything! I promise you as silly as it sounds, it is a fun and interesting way to spice things up.
- Virtual cocktail hour
In this time of isolation, it is so so so important to stay in contact with your friends. By doing a virtual happy hour with them, you are able to bring a normal aspect of your social life into the social distancing sphere. This fun quarantine activity will also give you just a little something in your week to look forward to and is a great way to check-in with a bunch of your friends or coworkers.
- Practice daily mindfulness
I feel like this one is a given, but sometimes we all need that little reminder to take a breath. These uncertain times can be upsetting and lonely. By cutting out a little portion of your day to reflect on life – what you are thankful for, what you are hopeful for, etc., you will be able to develop a self-awareness to help overcome what may seem difficult or overwhelming right now.
- Adopt a pet
Everyone is doing it! Why not take this time of isolation and time at home to do something you’ve been wanting to do forever? Get that pet! Even now, adoption centers are still open and you can still find your forever friend. With time at home, there is nothing better than a cute new puppy or kitten to keep you company and pour your love and attention into. Also, a little piece of advice: adoption centers have a large variety of pets. You do not have to make a big commitment to a pet like a dog or a kitten, but can settle for an easier going, smaller animal such as a hamster or rabbit.
- Learn something new
A great way to stay busy and active is to set a goal. With a goal, you will feel a drive and accomplishment that can be hard to find in this new, slower-paced lifestyle. By teaching yourself something new, you will be able to feel that sense of achievement and come out of this quarantine with new tricks up your sleeve.
- Go outside
I understand that we are all under orders of social distancing or staying at home, but it is overwhelming and frankly unhealthy to spend every second indoors staring at a computer screen. Whether it is going for a walk in your community or spending a couple of mindful minutes on your patio, it is important to take a breath of fresh air, remind yourself of the world outside, and remember that this will all be over eventually.
It’s easy to let yourself fall into stress eating, or in my situation stress baking then eating. But by exercising and staying active, you are able to boost your health, feel better about yourself, and find time to focus on yourself and your body. There are millions of at-home workout routines and instructors for free online. Utilize these resources and get yourself feeling the best you have felt in a long time during these moments of downtime. Similarly, exercising releases endorphins, which will help you reduce depression, stress, and tension – things we could all use a little help reducing during these stressful times!
- Have some well-deserved you time
Carve a moment into your day to do something just for you. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it makes you happy. It’s important to live for the little moments right now and if that’s a 30 minute Mamma Mia! jam session or eating a little too much cookie dough, do it! Find ways to make yourself happy and focus on what makes you, you. We have a rare opportunity to focus on ourselves for once, find what makes you happy and do it.
It’s hard not to feel down, overwhelmed, or just bored during social distancing. By staying active and following just one of these many tips, you will be able to bring a little brightness into your day.