The coronavirus has taken the world by dramatic surprise. Who would have predicted a complete lockdown of practically the entire world a few months back! But here we are, in the middle of a three week shutdown in India as nations of the world grapple to slow down the alarming rate at which the virus is spreading and taking lives.
The complete lockdown essentially means staying indoors for the next three weeks. Stay home and stay safe messages are flooding our inboxes as we mentally prepare ourselves for a three week long closure from the outside. No gym, no movie theatre visits, no shopping sprees and no picnics. Add to that no schools, no offices and no evening walks please! And though this might sound like the deadliest of precautionary measures to take, there is no doubt that this lockdown is the absolute need of the hour. For the sake of our safety and the sake of the safety of people around us, this isolation or self-quarantine period is extremely important.
But on a lighter note, staying at home, with family for such a long period of time might sound like a crazy and mind boggling exercise. What with everyone at home, with practically very little to do, coupled with no domestic help and kids who get bored at a drop of a hat! The lockdown period can turn into our worst nightmare, unless of course, we learn to look at the silver lining.
The Silver Lining
For one, let’s be grateful that this isolation for a lot of us is not because we are ill, but because we are staying away from falling sick. This in itself is a big blessing that we shouldn’t waste on complaining about the state of affairs.
Second, the best way to view this is to see it as a great opportunity to spend time with near ones. Let’s be honest, we are so heckled in our own lives, that we rarely get together, chat much or play games with family.
Third, with a lot of free time in hand, this lockdown opens up a whole range of things to do and learn.
So here is taking a look at some of the best ways to use this lockdown period constructively and fruitfully.
What can you do during the shutdown?
Foremost, change your mental attitude. Yes, the virus spreads fast and there is a sense of worry, which is acceptable. But switching from concern and worry to absolute panic is uncalled for. View this as a first time opportunity and challenge and find unique positive ways to beat the boredom, negativity and unnecessary anxiety.
Also, try and stick to a routine. If required make a timetable of sorts (very helpful with children) to divide and plan your day. Making a list also helps to set a meaningful plan for your day.
And to help you remain busy and active try some of our suggestions below:
- Help out with household chores – So there is no domestic help and with everyone at home all the time, one can imagine the state of affairs. For men especially, this is a good opportunity to ease things for your better halves. Mop the floor, help with the dishes or lay the meal time table! These little gestures will keep you busy, lessen the work load on the women of the house and also help you bond together as a family.
- Sit with your elderly and read them a book. Do the same with the kids. Help your mom finally understand how the laptop works or help your child finish a puzzle. Help fix things that needed fixing since the Stone Age! Sellotape the torn books, fix the door handle or help your brother clean the closet.
Learn the new
Thank God we live in a technologically advanced world. With the internet and YouTube you can just about learn any new skill of your choice.
- Learn a new language
- Learn how to bake a cake
- Master your favorite recipes
- Learn a musical instrument or a new tune
- Learn crochet, origami, knitting etc.
- Learn beauty regimes, yoga, exercise, zumba
You get the drift right!
Put those creative juices in place to create something new and wonderful.
- Decorate the home with handmade wall hangers or crafts. And most perfect to involve the kids too.
- Draw, sketch, paint or color. Yes, you might not be the next Picasso, but splash your imagination with creativity. What if the painting is really good and worth a hang in the hall?
- Write a poem or a story. Pen down your thoughts, ideate on a story and give it a go.
- Create a blog, website, document or page and compile your creative expressions.
- Bake cookies, cakes and try new recipes for your loved ones. Again, involve the children or create their favorite recipes to bring a smile on their faces.
- Create your own little garden in the balcony. Plant a plant or learn about gardening.
If there are things that you have always done, there is scope for continuing doing them from the confines of your home too.
- If you cannot go the gym, you can certainly continue exercising at home. How about skipping along with the kids.
- Don’t skip your yoga aasans in the morning. Catch up on the news, sip on your tea and be fresh to begin the day.
- If you are working from home, then well, you better get on your laptop soon.
- Evening walks or jogs may not be possible, but why not check on everyone at home as you walk from one room to another.
After all, this isolation is a little much like a holiday. And so you are allowed to be a tad bit lazy and indulgent.
- Watch movies that you couldn’t make time for earlier. How about catching up on the Oscar list or critically acclaimed movies too!
- Download your favorite songs and get lost in their rhythms and beats.
- Binge watch shows or recluse up in your room for a while with your phone.
- Read a book! In the digital age, you can also browse through various online libraries and applications and pick a good read.
- Read interesting blogs or subscribe to feeds from various publications to keep you updated.
Of course, social distancing is a must. But you can still socialize in these trying time too.
- Call that friend you haven’t spoken to for a while
- Video call the grandparents every day to help the elderly and the children pass their time together
- Share how you are passing your time on social media to interact and inspire others.
Finally, the most important way to pass your time for the next three weeks is to interact with your family. Keep away the gadgets for once. Stop working furiously to meet the deadline for now. Tell stories to your kids, sit and talk about things of now and then with the elderly. Recollect your childhood with your parents. Take out the old albums, pull each other’s leg, play a game together of cards or carom. Laugh, talk and be happy to not lose out on this opportunity of spending quality time with the people that matter most in your life.
Let us all hope that we are able to fight off the virus, with intent and unity. That we don’t let it bog down our spirits or our will to continue to be a better version of ourselves. And most importantly, let us innovate and find numerous joys and ways to entertain ourselves at home without risking our or other’s health by stepping out.
Please stay home, stay happy, stay creative, enlighted, interactive and safe!