For the past few weeks, I’ve been stuck sheltering in place at home. With the coronavirus rapidly spreading, the entire nation — and many parts of the world — are still on lockdown.
Since I’m mostly sitting around at home, I’ve been in a constant cycle of overthinking. When my school announced it was canceling classes for the rest of the school year, I couldn't help but stress out. This meant I wouldn't get the chance to say goodbye to my friends and classmates. No prom, no senior picnic or even my graduation ceremony — events I have been anticipating for years.
I remind myself constantly of the fact that I'm not alone in my feelings, and that there are less fortunate populations, like the homeless, and thousands of people infected, who all need way more help than I do.
With so much free time these days, I’ve found ways to distract myself so my emotions don’t get the best of me. Here is a compilation of activities that are helping me get through, and my advice for others in quarantine.
Listen to music you can’t help but dance to!
During a pandemic or just in life in general, it’s therapeutic to play your favorite music — hopefully something that can boost your morale. So close the door of your room, and dance to your heart's content. No one will be able to judge you, meaning you can move around as you please without worrying if your flailing arms or two left feet will cause you any ridicule.
I’ve done this for several years now, and it really cheers me up when I’m in a bad mood. Getting up and moving around will help you feel better — especially since you're probably on your phone getting neck cramps from looking down at your screen. Set it to the side, choose your favorite music and start dancing already!
Let your imagination run wild
For me, it’s reassuring to use my imagination to create a whole new reality. Since I have more time these days, I’ve started writing more fiction stories. I recently wrote a story that takes place in Harry Potter's wizarding world, but with a completely different storyline and characters. When I write, I just go for it. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t logical or realistic, or ends up less than 10 pages long. What’s important is that I can get lost in a story that I am creating.
Draw something — stick figures are allowed!
I enjoy drawing things that don’t really exist in real life, like picturing what the zodiac signs would look like as humans. When I draw, I instantly feel more relaxed. I can focus on a specific task without letting any stress interfere.
Since art has no rules, you can draw anything you want. Whether it be animals, people, objects — it doesn’t matter. If you think you can’t draw, don’t worry, you can follow a beginners drawing tutorial on YouTube or even get an adult coloring book.
Yes, go clean your room!
I know that this is probably the last thing you want to hear, but when my room is clean, it gives me peace of mind. Even though it’s pretty hard for me to start, after cleaning my room I always feel more relaxed and calm. While I’m at it, I take the chance to redecorate my room with my drawings. And sometimes I'll go online and try to find an aesthetic that suits me.
So go organize the closet, fold clothes, wipe down the drawers, vacuum and get rid of unwanted dust — you’ll thank me later.
Travel the world without leaving your home!
Since I have no choice but to stay home, I’ve been watching a bunch of travel documentaries. It’s like I’m traveling to different parts of the world without breaking any of the social-distancing rules or using copious amounts of money. Plus, it’s really informative. I get to learn more about other people's cultures and history and getting inspiration for future trips. I watch "Rick Steves' Europe" on YouTube. His travels aren’t only limited to Europe, but most of his videos do focus on those countries.
I also watch "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern." He basically goes all around the world and eats food from different cultures. If those aren’t your cup of tea, you can always check out the Netflix selection of travel docs.
Get sucked into other worlds
Even though I already have a bunch of reading to do for my classes, I love reading for fun too. I’ve been rereading the book, "The Diviners", by Libba Bray. It's a story about the paranormal that’s set in the 1920s. I've read the book at least three times now. When I get a few hours to read, it’s a needed step back from everything that’s going on around me.
Laugh until your eyes tear up
In times like these, we all need a good laugh. Nothing can do this better than comedy. When I need a good laugh, my go-to is any of Gabriel Iglesias’s shows. He has two shows on Netflix right now, and you can find the rest on YouTube. I also love watching Trevor Noah.
These two comedians are really relatable and of course, really funny. Whenever I watch their comedy, my mood elevates, and I forget about the things that trouble me, at least temporarily. There is some profanity, but not anything too serious. (Oh and neither of them sponsored me, I genuinely believe they are hilarious.)