Many of you are mandated to stay home right now, or maybe you are staying home because you are worried about getting sick. Either way, you are probably extremely bored, possibly irritable, scared, worried, frustrated, and angry about the Coronavirus and how it has impacted your life.
Reading the news can be extremely scary because many news sites can report news that is exaggerated, incorrect, speculative in nature, and not having the true facts can cause people to turn away from the news and hope that this whole situation has been wildly blown out of proportion.
My recommendation is that if you want to have just the facts about the Coronavirus, read the Center for Disease Control (CDC) web site. It can also help to learn about how the Coronavirus works, what the actual symptoms are, and how to know how the symptoms can progress and when it's time to contact a physician. Having the facts can help you to know what the truth is and have more knowledge about how to help yourself and others if the need arises.
No one can say what our future will be like, but we can control what we do from moment to moment. Taking a break from social media, the news, and focusing on yourself can be extremely beneficial to your mental health. Focusing on what you are doing right at the moment you are doing it (mindfulness) helps you to enjoy what you are doing. You aren't thinking about the past or what if? (the future), so having your entire focus on what you are doing helps to take your worries away.
Here are some ideas about what you can do when you are bored or need a mental health break:
When I was younger, I would always spend time alone. This was entirely enjoyable to me and I'd always find things to do. One of those things was to go outside, lay out on the grass and stare up at the sky. I'd watch clouds float by and sometimes I'd put my legs up in the air and it kind of makes you feel like you are falling or walking on air, so it's kind of scary, but mostly fun. You can do this anywhere, whether it's your backyard, front yard, a balcony, a park (if you can visit a park), or even floating in a pool if you have one. As long as it's relatively nice out, it's something you can do any time.
Make it a rule that anytime anyone has to go to the bathroom, they have to sing the alphabet backwards. I'm weirdly good at it without really practicing, but it's really funny to watch someone panic when they know they have to do it and try not to poop their pants.
Make this pie. Seriously, it's the best pie I've ever made in my entire life. It's really easy to make if you have the ingredients and you won't regret it. https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/thanks-for-taking-me-to-the-moon-peanut-butter-moon-pie/ I have the Sugar, Butter, Flour: The Waitress Pie Cookbook by Jenna Hunterson and this recipe is in it, but the link above is the exact same recipe. I didn't have moon pies, so I didn't use those, but it's delicious without it.
Pick out two or three constellations a week and go out in your front or backyard at night to find them. Depending on what hemisphere you are in and the time of year, you'll see different constellations, but just choose a few a week and try to find them in the sky. I'd start with the Big Dipper because that's really easy to find. You can also find planets like Mars and Venus. Another fun thing to do is use binoculars to look at the Moon if you don't have a telescope as you can see a bit more than you think.
If you have binoculars, go outside (day or night) and look around. Don't look in your neighbors houses of course, but just take a look around. It's surprisingly a lot of fun.
Go on YouTube and watch CBC Marketplace, a subset of CBC News. It's a Canadian channel, but they have a lot of hidden investigations that are really interesting. I liked the ones about scammers and how they try to trick people.
YouTube has another interesting channel called Business Insider. I watch two subsets, one is Fast Food Insider and one is Retail Insider. They include videos that explain how fast food businesses are started and why they fail and inside tips about how retail stores work, how they rise and fall, and how they trick you into spending more money. It's super interesting and I've found it very useful when shopping.
I have a physical and digital subscription to Reader's Digest and the web site is really just a fun site to get lost in. There are so many completely random articles (many are in the form of single or two-page slide shows (usually 10 per page so you don't have to click through a million pages)) and you can learn so much fun, random information in just a short amount of time. I will warn you though, it is like Wikipedia in that you can go down a black hole while reading. Still, it's a really cheap subscription and you can get both types of subscription or just one type if you want.
See how many different sounds you have to make before your pet turns their head in confusion. Our dog is almost 11 years old and I can still get him to do it, it just takes some creativity.
I hope this article gave you some interesting and fun ideas about what you can do to make your time during this quarantine fly by. What kinds of things have you found to do? Do you think you will try out any of these ideas? Please share your thoughts below!