How to keep yourself occupied during the pandemic

Written by Jenni Brooks

If we were told a few months ago that by the end of March it would be illegal to see our friends and hug our grandparents, I think that most of us would think it was a prank. The last few weeks have been bonkers. It’s not surprising that many of us are just wandering around our houses, in a state of shock, full of anxieties and worries, not quite knowing what to do with ourselves.

Although it might not seem like it right now, human beings do have an extraordinary ability to adapt to adversity, and after a few weeks, most of us would have figured out a new routine to try and make the best of our current situation. However, until then, here are a few tips to help you to pass the time.

Get some exercise

I am exceedingly grateful that even though we are on a lockdown, we are still able to go out once a day for a run or jog. Just getting out the house once a day for a bit of fresh air can be great at preventing cabin-fever. (And can give you a good excuse for getting away from your family for a bit if they are driving you crazy.) I personally find that going out at the same time every day is really useful in terms of helping me to establish some control and routine in the midst of the chaos. However, others might prefer to listen to their body, and go out when they need a break from being in the house. Any way you prefer is fine. But make sure to savour it, and really appreciate your surroundings.

Listen to an audiobook/read a book

I can’t speak for everyone, but I am one of those people that loves buying books and leaves them on my bookshelf for months (or years), as I never have time to read them. However, as we’re on lockdown, I am running out of excuse as to why I can’t read them. As a result, this lockdown is the perfect opportunity to stay in my room and finish as many books as I possibly can, because who knows when I’ll get this opportunity again?

Document your experience

We are currently living through unprecedented times. Nothing in the course of history has come close to this situation. As a result, documenting how this lockdown is affecting you, including your daily routine, your thoughts, your worries, the humour that is helping you get by, can be really helpful. This is not only in terms of giving yourself a creative outlet, but in 40 to 50 years-time, children are going to be studying this period in their history lessons. Having access to real lived human experiences can be more valuable for helping them to understand our present experiences than statistics.

Get inventive with Skype

Just because we can’t see each other physically, doesn’t mean we can’t see each other full stop. It just might be through Skype instead of in person. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a fajita night with your pals. You just might have to make them yourself instead of together (which might actually be better, if you don’t enjoy each other’s cooking.) There are even apps where you can watch Netflix together as a group, just like you would on a real night in together. And the real beauty is if you get bored halfway through the film, you don’t have to feign a headache to go home early. You can just blame it on a bad signal and close the screen. Sorted.

I do hope everyone is keeping well, and if you’re not, that’s okay too. Just remember that this will pass, and everything will eventually go back to normal.