Staying busy during isolation

Abbie Barth

These have been a crazy couple of weeks – many days of isolation, trying new recipes and Tiger King.

If you’re anything like me, you are super bored and feeling anxious to get back to your former way of life.

The best thing we can do until that point is find the little things that bring joy.

According to the CDC, the best ways to cope with the stress of isolation is to take care of your body, try to eat well-balanced meals, get plenty of sleep and make time to unwind. Another important thing that the CDC recommends is taking breaks from watching and reading news updates as they can become upsetting.

I’ve been taking this self-isolation as a forced slow down.

Prior to spring break, I was practically running in 12 different directions simultaneously. I’m attempting to embrace this time period rather than go crazy, but that isn’t always easy.

If you’re looking for something to do, try doing the thing that you’ve been putting off for the past year – I know you have one.

For my birthday last year, I got an acoustic guitar. Before this, I couldn’t find the free time to learn to play it. Now that we’re in isolation and I don’t have much else to do – I’ve finally picked up my guitar.

Maybe you can finally get around to painting your bathroom or reading that book. Whatever it is, now is the time to try it out.

A popular trend right now is cooking all of the recipes you’ve wanted to make but haven’t had the time, provided that they have the ingredients at your local grocery store.

There are hundreds of websites and bloggers on the internet that have great recipes.

My personal favorite is cravingsbychrissyteigen.com where cookware mogul/Twitter celeb Chrissy Teigen posts some of her favorite recipes, tips and tricks and fun videos.

Many have also been taking the time to get into a good exercise habit.

I’ve been doing some workouts from a popular YouTube channel called POPSUGAR Fitness. They also have a website where you can find healthy recipes, recommended workout videos and healthy living articles.

If cooking and working out aren’t your thing, try out those TV shows and movies that have been sitting on your Netflix watchlist. Maybe read a book that you started a year ago but never finished.

Maybe you are still able to go to work. If that’s the case, then focus on staying healthy and doing things that you enjoy when you aren’t at work.

“I’m an introvert, so it’s very different [than how extroverts are getting through quarantine],” said Cassidy Haag, sophomore pre-social work major. “I’m lucky that I get along with my parents and am still working… but I am enjoying watching Tik Toks in my free time.”

If you prefer finding entertainment on your phone, I highly recommend doing some Buzzfeed quizzes.

They are creative and they get you out of your head. Plus, they keep the coronavirus coverage to a minimum.

I want to advise you to avoid reading or watching too many news updates.

The world can feel cloudy right now and the news makes our future look grim. I love reading news articles, but I find myself getting upset by the constant COVID-19 coverage.

I have discovered that primarily reading articles focusing on the good that people are doing right now, or just fun “fluff” pieces are the best way I can block out the bad.

Regardless of your activity level right now, the most important thing to remember through this difficult time is to do what is best for your mental health.

It’s okay to not work out twice a day. It’s okay to eat a bowl of cereal every night because cooking sounds exhausting. You don’t have to write a novel or become the next Paula Deen.

Everyone reacts to abrupt lifestyles changes and pandemics differently. Do what makes you happy and gets you through this time.

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Edited by Wesley Tabor, Diana Martinez-Ponce, Hannah Alleyne