10 mostly free ways to keep yourself sane during coronavirus isolation
You know the score.
With cases of Covid-19 still climbing in Ireland, it is imperative that we abide by the government’s guidelines and continue to self-isolate.
The boredom is real. Everything we usually do to chill out and de-stress at the end of a long day has been cancelled, closed or changed. It’s totally normal to feel a bit… meh.
But there’s a whole world of activities that can keep your energy levels high, give you a real sense of achievement, and leave you feeling that much more accomplished than a Netflix binge ever will.
Read on, fellow isolators…
1. GIY – Grow it yourself
With our health in the spotlight, there’s no better time to start than today. Order some seeds online, dig out your beds or rustle together some pots, and get stuck in. Who doesn’t want the freshest organic produce growing steps from their kitchen? Bonus points for getting the kids involved and teaching them an important new skill, as well as showing them the impressive life cycle of food that doesn’t come in a packet.
2. Organise a cupboard or wardrobe
Getting organised can actually give you a much-needed energy boost. If you’ve been feeling sluggish, may we recommend attacking *that* closet? Not only will you give your day that productive va va voom – when you’re done you’ll have made getting dressed every morning so much easier. Binge some Marie Kondo on Netflix first if you just don’t know where to begin.
3. Spend time with your furry friends
Apart from being ADORABLE and the light of our lives – according to the CDC, playing with your pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Fetch, anyone?
4. Take a freezing cold shower
With the days beginning to take on a bit of a blurry feel, jolt yourself out of your comfort zone and reap the benefits of anxiety-busting cold water therapy. The pros far outweigh the icy cons, with benefits including reduced stress, boosted immunity, improved lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation and increased energy. Add to that the general feeling of bad-assery it brings and it’s a win-win.
‘The Iceman’ – Wim Hof’s app – should be your number one stop if you’re game.
5. Learn to read palms
Tired of podcasts, movies and walks to the fridge? Use this time to learn a weird new skill to creep out your friends at the reunion party. Palmistry has been used for millennia to tell fortunes and make predictions, and even the great Aristotle in his book De Historia Animalium (The History of Animals) wrote that “Lines are not written into the human hand without reason.” There are numerous free resources online to guide you in the right direction.
6. Take part in an online fitness or yoga challenge
We may have been delighted at first with a few days to lie around and Netflix, but after a while, it can start to affect your mental health. Keep endorphins high with a daily dose of exercise and you may even come out of this thing feeling better and fitter than before. There are a ton of online offerings right now so check out your local yoga studio or gym’s social media feeds or download a free workout app to keep your motivation levels high! (Downdog has an incredible yoga app, a HIIT app, as well as a 7minute Workout app all free right now.)
7. Take an online course
Websites like Coursera are chock full of impressive courses you can enrol in free of charge. Fancy studying Cryptography at Stanford? Free. Want to take ‘The Science of Wellbeing’ at Yale? Free! Try Khan Academy for kids courses – right now they’re offering a free daily schedule of learning for students age 2-18 .
8. Channel your inner mixologist
Salivating at the thought of a proper Old Fashioned? Include the fresh ingredients in your next online shop and get a few of your favourite cocktail recipes down to perfection. A few hours of practice and you’ll never have to suffer a cocktail drought again.
9. Start a virtual book club
Reading can slash stress levels, improve cognitive function, encourage positive thinking and bring people together, even in the darkest of times. Gather your book positive buddies and come up with a collection of books you would all like to get through, then schedule a bi-weekly or monthly Zoom or Skype call to talk through your opinions. Wine, cheese, and reading? Count us in.
10. Streamline your technology
Constantly in need of more storage? Emails getting lost in a sea of spam or unwanted promotions? Use this time to declutter your technology. Upload your photos to a cloud service and delete anything you don’t need, spend an hour unsubscribing from annoying email lists or deleting the thousands from your inbox. It may be frustrating now but you will be eternally grateful to yourself when you are back to work.