How to Stay Sane (& Happy) During Self-Isolation
By now, it’s obvious that COVID-19 is here to stay. The pandemic(1) (as declared by WHO) keeps spreading, forcing experts worldwide to take extreme measures to flatten the curve(2). So far, lying low seems to be the most efficient way to mitigate the spread. But, if you’re like everyone out there, you’re probably wondering how on Earth you’ll spend two (or more) weeks cooped up in your house without losing your cool?
Well, to help you cope with self-isolation and make it out in one (sane) piece, we rounded up ten fun ways that both you and your family will enjoy. PS: Some of these activities are so entertaining they’ll even help you create some happy memories with your loved ones despite the chaos that’s raging on out there.
What is Self-Isolation and Why Is It So Important?
Self-isolation means staying at home and not going out for any reason other than for exercise. In the grand scheme of things, such a decision may seem insignificant (or even pointless). But, in reality, it’s the easiest way to slow down the spread of the disease, since people won’t be able to either “pass down” or “catch” the virus. And why’s that so important? By spreading the number of cases over a longer period, our healthcare system has the chance to realistically manage those who are sick.
1. Stock Up on the Basics
When you’re in self-isolation, running out and about (especially if you’re displaying symptoms) is a big no-no. So, one of the first things you should do is to stock both your kitchen and medicine cabinets with the basics. To do that, you need to:
a) prepare an anti-COVID-19 kit that includes everything from paracetamol, cough medicine, multivitamins, hand sanitizers, and soap.
b) buy enough food to feed you and your family for about a month.
Equipping your cold-fighter stash should be easy, but when it comes to food(8), things can be a bit complicated as many of them don’t last for long. In this case, your best bet is to opt for frozen, canned, and dehydrated/dried and freeze dried foods. Doing all your shopping online could also eliminate the need for heading outside and perhaps contracting the virus.
And speaking of online shopping, we, here at Mother Earth Products, are ready to help you out in this time of need by shipping a bunch of long-lasting goodies straight to your door, whether that’s beans, veggies, soy protein/ TVP, fruit, or easy-to-cook soup mixes. #PrepLikeAPro
2. Work Out at Home
We get it: It can be hard to stay motivated when your couch and TV are 3 feet away. But, sweating it out is a legit way to “get rid” of all the energy that piles up day after day. So, the first step to get motivated is to find a routine that you and your kiddos will actually enjoy. It could be anything from yoga and aerobics to pilates or jazzercise. Dancing also counts as exercise. And don’t worry if you don’t have any special equipment. You can opt for exercises that utilize your body’s weight instead of barbells, weights, etc.
3. Make Crafts
Self-isolation is also a great chance to bring out your family’s creative side. Kids are artists by nature, so provide them with everything their heart desires (coloring pens, canvases, glitter) and the rest will follow. If you want to take advantage of this time to teach them a thing or two, you could do a few small-scale experiments at home. The “Elephant Toothpaste”(3) and the “Tornado in a Bottle”(4) are real crowd-pleasers for kids of all ages.
4. Have a Binge-athon
For some, watching movies back-to-back may sound like a big waste of time, especially now that they have all this “free time” in their hands. But, guess what? Grind culture has no place in the world of COVID-19. In fact, trying to be productive right now may take a toll on your mental health.
So, instead of beating yourself up for not doing much, have a binge-athon with your kids. Just pick a few movies that you like and watch them at your own pace. It could be just the thing to calm both you and them amidst the tsunami of bad news. To make things even cozier, you can even build a blanket fort and lie in it during screen time.
5. Spring Clean (Or #QuaranClean)
Spring cleaning season is upon us! But, just because you’re forced to stay inside, it doesn’t mean you can’t declutter your closet or deep-clean your carpets. In fact, this year, you can “quaranclean” your place and make sure every surface in your house is coronavirus-free. The secret? Stock up on soaps, disinfectants, or vinegar-based cleansers for a more natural approach. Then, bring in your “crew,” a.k.a. kids, and assign them with age-appropriate chores such as dusting, wiping down doorknobs, and washing toys.
6. Practice Self-Care
Whether we like it or not, self-isolation could pose a lot of challenges in the long-term, especially when it comes to your mental health. That’s why it’s important to care for yourself and the people around you every chance you get. You just have to find what works best for you and make sure to pencil it in your daily schedule, no matter what. So, do yoga, have a spa night, start a journal, or listen to a podcast; anything to take your mind off of things.
7. Found Your Own Family Book Club
We all know that reading to your kids from a very young age comes with a bunch of benefits. In fact, research(5) shows that reading to them regularly has a positive effect on their cognitive and verbal skills, including their literacy, vocabulary, and numeracy. It also improves their working memory and concentration(6), guaranteeing a higher academic success rate later on in life. For adults, the benefits are much greater as reading reduces stress(7).
So, gather your family around, pick a book that all of you like, and start reading it aloud. If your kids are old enough to read, take turns. This could help them increase their public speaking skills. And don’t forget to interact with them about what’s going on with the story. Ask questions, discuss key points, and make comments; you’ll feel like you’re actually part of a kid-friendly book club.
8. Have an Indoor Picnic
Indoor picnics have been a thing for a while now, and in our opinion, there’s no better time than the present to jump in on the fun. To throw the most epic indoor picnic, just spread a bunch of cozy blankets on the floor, a few cushions here and there, perhaps set up a couple of string lights across the room, and, of course, don’t forget the snacks.
Truth be told, there are several healthy picnic ideas to draw inspiration from. But, our go-to option is freeze dried or dehydrated produce. These freeze dried small bites taste just as good as the real deal and don’t require much prep. In fact, they can be eaten as is, which is perfect if you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.
9. Make Videos for Your Loved Ones
Another fun way to keep yourself and your family busy (and happy) during a self-quarantine is to make greeting videos for your loved ones. You can document snippets of your daily activities and make them feel as if they’re there. Your little ones can even share a message of love and support to boost the receiver’s morale (especially if they’re going through this solo).
10. Put Together a Time Capsule
Believe it or not, we’re going through a historical moment in time. In a few years from now, people will be talking and sharing their experiences from this pandemic. But, instead of just talking about it, you could create a time capsule with all the things you did during the lockdown: crafts, journals, newspaper articles regarding the virus, photos, and other mementos that are worth keeping.
So, what are you doing to cope with self-isolation? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
- Media Contributor