The coronavirus, or its proper name, COVID-19, has now taken hold in major U.S. cities such as New York and Seattle and is forcing residents to stay inside until the authorities could “flatten the curve” of infections.
Many have decided to listen to their local authorities and are staying put in their homes for the most part.
This period of quarantine is expected to last anywhere from 4-8 months, according to a press conference held by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday.
And while the virus is bad enough on its own, having millions of people cooped up in their homes for this long a period of time could be even more problematic. Here are 10 things you probably should be doing while maintaining your social distance.
1 – Checking Up on Others
This is arguably the most important thing we should be doing. By worrying too much about ourselves we run the risk of going crazy by constantly thinking about what we want to be doing. vs. what we have to do.
Most of us have elderly and people with preexisting conditions in our families who could potentially die from the disease, and we should be checking up on them on a regular basis. We also have friends who are experiencing the pains of staying put that also need our encouragement.
Hop on a Zoom or Google Hangout call and do a virtual get together to lift each others spirits. Seeing friends virtually can be real stress relieving during a time like this.
2 – Help Those in Need
If an elderly person you know needs groceries it would be a great help to them if you went out and picked them up for them. Sure, much of our older generation is willing and able to head to the supermarket, but is it really worth them taking the risk?
This is a time when our young generation could kick in and really make sacrifices for those in need.
Also, you’ll be spending a lot less time doing leisurely things so you’ll end up with more money in your pocket if you haven’t been laid off due to bans on non-essential workers. I know it seems like an ideal time to save, but it would be better if you reached out to those who have lost jobs and see if there are any bills you could help them pay.
You might not be able to support a whole family, but every little bit helps.
3 – Play Games
Now we are venturing more into ways to occupy your time. Boardgames, video games and pretty much any game that everyone you are quarantined with can play together is a great way to pass the time.
It will take all of your minds off the negativity spewed through the media on a daily basis and help you enjoy the time with others while being competitive.
Online gaming could also be beneficial in this time, but if you are locked up in your room while your parents and siblings are downstairs, you’re probably not making the best out of the situation. Take this time to rekindle with your immediate family.Qwixx – A Fast Family Dice Game Catan The Board Game
4 – Cook
Lots of working people, especially millennials, spend loads of money on take-out and restaurants during the regular times of the year.
With the closing of indoor dining in restaurants, this is a perfect time for young people to sharpen their kitchen skills and whip up some healthier alternatives to their normal diets.The Ultimate Instant Pot cookbook: Foolproof, Quick & Easy 800 Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners and Advanced Users (Pressure Cooker Recipes)
Sure, take-out is still available in most areas, and you should support your local businesses, but cooking more days out of the week will help you in the long run.Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
5 – Plan Fun Activities With Your Spouse
Being cooped up with your spouse in a small apartment for this many days could start to lead to both of you getting on each other’s nerves. This usually happens when your selfish side starts to kick-in.
Instead of worrying about your own space, get ahead of the issue and plan something nice for your spouse. It could be a dinner, a movie night, or even a romantic walk outside. You could even take a drive with them since traffic will be at a minimum. Go see a place you’ve been avoiding due to the commute, even if it’s close. The ride up will give you peace of mind.
6 – Avoid the Media
This is also one of the most important things you could do while in isolation.
Remember, the media is a business and uses sensationalism and scare tactics to keep people addicted to the nightly news. There is a stark contrast between the reality of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is being reported.
You should be staying up to date with all the latest closures and things happening in your community, but do not hang on to every word on the TV. Find a reliable news source that reports on the issue objectively and check-in periodically. That should be enough to keep you in the know.
7 – Manage Your Anxiety
If you find yourself getting anxious, try to perform an activity that helps you calm down. There are various breathing exercises, prayers and physical activities that can help you take the focus off of your worry and put it back on reality.Anxiety: Rewire Your Brain Using Neuroscience to Overcome Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Fear, Worry, and Shyness
If you find yourself in a constant state of worry, avoid things like caffeine and excessive amounts of sugar. Maintain a healthy eating schedule and diet and be sure to go out for a walk at least every other day.
8 – Prayer/Devotion
Whether it’s with your church or just with your family, you should be praying and pressing deeper into your faith at a time like this. Even if you are not a person of faith, prayer and meditation could be beneficial to your mental state and calm the wave of anxiety you might be dealing with.
Try to keep a consistent schedule, and if you’re part of a church, feel free to join one of their online prayer services if they are offering. I know my church offers a fantastic resource for those looking to seek God during this time of pandemic.
9 – Don’t Overeat
It’s tempting to pig out while you are dealing with the stress of being stuck in the house for most of the day.
Avoid this at all costs. You’ll end up gaining a bunch of unnecessary weight, and if you have preexisting conditions, you could worsen your chances of fighting COVID-19 if you happen to catch it. I recommend maintaining a healthy regimen. But then again who am I? Either way, this just sounds like common sense.
10 – Rethink Your Job Situation
If you have lost your job due to some of the bans that have been issued, or just hate your job, use the extra time that you don’t have to spend commuting or working to find something that will pay you better and will be more fulfilling.
Take online courses for a new trade or send out resumes. Many companies are still performing interviews during video chats and are working harder than ever during this pandemic. Try to find a career that has a better chance of surviving during a time like this.
Redo your resume or do the necessary research to return to the workplace in a better position than you left it.