I think we all can agree on the fact that nothing is right in this world right now. COVID-19 has taken away a lot from many of us: our college experiences, our jobs, and really, our sense of security. However, it has also forced many of us to focus on the things that really matter, be it family, friends, our passions, or self-care. In this very uncertain time, there are MANY free hours to fill and to keep ourselves sane, it's going to be important to fill the time. Here are a few ideas I've come up with to pass the time.
1. Learn a new hobby or pick up an old one
I used to crochet ALL of the time, but life got in the way for a while. I've truly enjoyed picking up my WIPs (works in progress) and hope to finish one soon. Also on my agenda is relearning how to knit, honing my painting skills, and possibly learning calligraphy.
2. Take a bathGiphy
I have a love-hate relationship with taking baths, but really this is the sort of relaxation we all need right now. Maybe even throw on a face mask to really destress.
3. Bake or cookGiphy
The kitchen is one of my absolute FAVORITE places to be, and in my mind, there's nothing that a batch of cookies can't make at least a little bit better. Plus, the options are endless! It's going to be a long time until I get sick of getting creative in there!
4. Support small businesses and restaurants that are still open
In Illinois, like many other states, all restaurants and bars are closed for the month of March to dine-in customers, and many other small businesses are making the decision to shut down for a little bit as well. However, most local restaurants near me are offering curbside service and delivery options. Now more than ever it is essential that we band together to support these businesses that play such integral roles in our communities. Don't forget to tip!
5. Re-watch your favorite TV shows
The nostalgia of "The Office" has brought me a lot of comfort during this scary, anxiety-provoking time. "Gilmore Girls" is next on my list. I think it's important to recognize and deal with the fact that nothing is okay right now while also just finding a way to get through. This is my way of doing just that.
6. ...and also find something new to watch
At the same time, there are TONS of TV shows and movies to explore on the multitude of streaming platforms we pay for and just now finally have the time to take full advantage of. "Little Fires Everywhere" dropped its first 3 episodes last night on Hulu, and let me tell you, it's worth the watch. Take this time to watch something new or out of your comfort zone! You may find your new favorite!
7. Spruce up your resume
I always say I never have time to keep up with "administrative" things like my resume and LinkedIn and now I have no reason to procrastinate these tasks. Thus, I will finally be doing some long-awaited updating. Ugh.
8. Clean out your closet and really, anywhere else that's too cluttered
Marie Kondo, where you at? I know I have way to much stuff in general, so I will be cleaning out my stash of just about everything. Spring cleaning is actually going to happen this year — that's a positive, right?
9. Find unique ways to stay in touch with those you're now separated from
FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts. We're lucky that the pandemic has struck in an age when our options for communication are really endless. It's going to be very easily to self-isolate during this time, but it's so important that you don't. So hop on a video chat with your friends from school, your grandma, or even your professor and just keep in contact with people you're not locked up with.
10. Give yoga — or any other form of fitness you've been considering — a try
While gyms may be closing, the internet is full of fitness class options. I enjoy following along with yoga videos on YouTube, but since I'm all but completely locked up, I'm sure I'll give something else a try too. Additionally, since the weather is getting increasingly nicer, walking, running, and biking are great options too!
11. Take the time to be intentionally grateful for what IS left in your life
It's so easy right now to just get stressed and upset about what's gone or has changed so quickly over the last week or two. However, there is so much good left in each day that deserves to be acknowledged. I plan to start taking the time every day to recognize what I've accomplished each day and what I'm grateful for in my life. I hope it makes a difference.
While this pandemic is absolutely horrible, all of its consequences don't have to be bad. We can still find good in our lives, even if our lives are lived mainly in our homes for the next few weeks.