12 Ways To Spend Your Time If You End Up In Quarantine
With the news changing every few minutes, more and more people around the world are finding themselves either infected by the COVID-19 virus or knowing someone who is close-proximity to an area that is considered dangerous for infection and transmission.
In an age of constant social and online presence, deciphering the truth amidst the unsourced can be difficult and distressing. I am not claiming to present any clear facts, numbers, or conclusions about COVID-19, as I know that to do would be irrelevant anyways with the pace and scale of how much information is changing. By the time this article gets published, there will very likely be a different reality facing humanity than at the time of this writing.
However, I do imagine that there may come a point in the future where more and more individuals find themselves in quarantine like situations, either at home or in other unplanned areas due to the imminent circumstances. Because of this, and partially, thinking for myself if I were to be in that situation, I wanted to write a short note outlining 12 ways to spend time if quarantine ends up being a reality.
Here’s my list below. I tried thinking of things you and I could do with very little resource or outside engagement. Most of these tasks could be done simply with a TV, laptop, phone, and maybe a few books.
1. Read that book you’ve had sitting on your shelf for 6 months
The average American reads anywhere between 4-12 books each year. The average person owns likely between 25–30 books at any one time. That means that there is almost always an opportunity where a book has been sitting on your shelf for quite some time. If you’ve been looking for just the moment to crack open that book but haven’t quite found the motivation to act, quarantine could be your time.
Reading, especially reading fiction, is a great way to break through the difficulty of isolation within a quarantine environment because reading can transpose you to any number of worlds and realities. Each character and setting can spark your imagination to new places and new horizons.
2. Start a new TV show
Have you been hearing about the latest and greatest TV show that all of your friends are raving about? Well, don’t stay in the dark any longer. Jump in and work your way through a great TV show.
Quarantine isn’t necessarily a license to sit around in your pajamas all day and never get off the couch, hence the third idea just below. But it is a rare time in life where you physically cannot leave so when Netflix asks you “are you still watching?” you can answer with all the guilt-free joy in the world. Yes, I am. Thank you very much.
3. Find a bodyweight workout plan and exercise
If you are quarantined because you are sick, you may not really feel all that excited about the idea of working out from home. Even if you aren’t feeling great, trying a short and small workout can be a great way to break up congestion or remind your body that you’re in the fight. Obviously, you need to be wise, monitor your levels, and not push it too hard. But being active can go a long way to helping.
If you aren’t sick and are just quarantined at home, there are a lot of great exercises you can do with little to no equipment, but just leveraging your bodyweight.
4. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and catch up
If you quarantined and isolated from the rest of the outside world, you aren’t completely cut off from people. If you have a working cell phone, you can leverage this time to reach out and follow up with friends and family you may have not talked to in some time.
These calls don’t need to be formal or planned out. Sometimes the best kinds of calls to friends are the spontaneous call that makes people realize that you were thinking of them just because.
5. Write. Write. Write.
Find yourself in quarantine? If you are feeling up to it, leverage that time to write, write, and keep writing. I have a handful of friends who are supposed to limit their trips out of the house and many of them are leveraging this time to try to knock out that writing project they’ve had on their radar but haven’t really had the space to get to.
If you’re a writer, you’ve likely been talking about wanting more time to focus on your craft. Here you go!
There are few things as great as a guilt-free sleep. If you are quarantined at home and you are not supposed to leave the house, you’ve just found yourself in one of the most guilt-free environments imaginable. You literally can’t go out and do other things. Take advantage of that feeling and catch up on sleep.
The temptation of quarantine will be to stay up late, likely watching shows and movies. However, why make yourself even more tired and grumpy by getting bad sleep while you’re in isolation?
7. Strategize for the next month, 3 months, 6 months
Many business leaders and executives pay good money to set up and facilitate a “creative” or “thinking retreat” where they can escape from the realities of their work lives and carve out space to think, dream, and strategize for the future.
If you are quarantined for 14 days or longer, take a day or two and just dream about what could be ahead for you. You can do this with little to no supplies or resources, just you, your thoughts, and a willingness to be quiet and focus for a good portion of time.
Maybe you can map out what your next month looks like. Maybe you can think through the difficulties facing you for an upcoming work project in the next three months or you can strategize on how to improve your relationships over the next six months.
8. Watch a saga movie series you’ve already seen
I mentioned above that you could start a new TV Series and get sucked into that direction. But sometimes you may not want to start something new, so the best option for your viewing preferences may be to go back and watch thru a great saga you’ve already seen but haven’t watched recently.
Maybe you’re a Harry Potter person or perhaps you lean more towards LOTR and the realm of middle-earth. Maybe you’re a spymaster like James Bond or you’re into war stories like Band of Brothers (more like a show, but still a great saga).
Regardless of what you like, you can spend this time catching back up on your favorites.
9. Online Shopping
If you have a laptop or device that allows you to peruse the internet, you have a tool to potentially order some new and or exciting items you may have had your eye on.
If you are quarantined and looking to find ways to fill your time, do some research on items you may be looking to purchase and start to build out a list of “items to buy.” Be wise with your budget and what you can realistically afford, but have some fun with it as well.
My wife and I are looking to buy a new coffee table for our living room. If I went into quarantine, I would definitely spend some time online shopping for a new coffee table.
10. Take an online course
There are so many amazing websites and platforms out there that will allow you to learn a new skill or take an online course on a new topic. Or, maybe for you, you’re ideal online course is going deeper on a skill you already know.
Either way, being isolated in quarantine would be a good stretch of time to invest in one of these courses. You never know how what you learn may come in handy when you get out of quarantine. Taking an online course would help you continue to pique your interest and stay curious in a difficult time.
11. Write a handwritten letter to a loved one
If you have pen and paper, being in quarantine would provide an amazing opportunity to write letters to loved ones. I don’t really know a single person who is adamantly against getting snail mail, especially when that mail is from a person they love, admire, and miss.
You don’t have to write a long letter if you aren’t feeling up for a novel. Even a small note can go a long way. Just the fact that you are actively thinking about them will communicate your interest and involvement in their lives.
Most people don’t write letters because they aren’t able to slow down and take the time necessary to actually write something out. Quarantine will make your life slower so take advantage of that!
12. Journal and reflect
The practice of journaling and reflecting is different from strategizing. This practice is one of looking back, not looking forward.
All of us have a lot to be grateful for. When we really start to process all of the blessings on our lives, it’s not long before we realize how many people and circumstances around us are helping us out. Journaling and reflecting spark gratitude and are great activities to practice while you have some space by yourself.
Everyone isn’t coming from the best of circumstances, and this is by no means meant to just paper over that. But even in hard circumstances, there are still ways for us to be grateful, even if we can only think of one, small, seemingly insignificant thing to be grateful for.
Stay Smart and Aware
While it may be difficult to fully decipher the full details of the COVID-19 Virus, it is important to note that the situation is serious and we must continue to stay smart and be aware both of what is happening in our cities and across the world as well as what is happening in our own backyard.
Take the necessary precautions and be wise about how you are interacting with people and environments in your day-to-day. If you happen to find yourself in quarantine for any amount of time, hopefully, these suggestions above will help you get through that time with a little more joy and a little more productivity.