So, what now?
It’s safe to say that most of us haven’t experienced anything like the surge of closures and cancellations that are accompanying the spread of COVID-19. The cancellation of sporting events and live shows and closure of restaurants and other public places is what’s best, but it’s causing a massive shift in our daily lives. It’s all too easy to complain that “everything” is getting cancelled—because, compared to the usual way we live our lives, it can certainly feel that way. But, just like there are plenty of things you can still do when your ordinary life gets cancelled, there are lots of other wonderful things that aren’t cancelled—and never will be!
Family and friends
It can sound cheesy, but if there’s ever been a good time to reach out to the people you love and tell them so, it’s now. Of course, the heartbreaking reality is that many people can’t even physically be with certain family members. But thanks to the technology of today, there are countless ways to stay in touch with them—or get in touch with people you haven’t spoken to in a while. You can still call family members and friends, or even use FaceTime or Skype so that you can see each other. It’ll almost be like they’re there with you—but without any potential risks of spreading illness.
Raise your hand if you have a stack (or two or three) of books that you’ve promised yourself you’ll get to eventually. Yeah, us too! Well, now, you have an excuse to neglect social engagements in favour of diving into a new book! Reading has always been a way to be transported to another world, and now we need that more than ever. Even if you don’t have an overabundance of physical reading material, you can get audiobooks on Amazon or Audible, and apps like Axis360 and Libby can provide access to scores of e-books, including many for free. Bookstorelink.com can connect you to independent bookstores in your area and allow you to purchase books online—with all of the proceeds going to the store.
Start cracking away at this list of 65 books everyone should read in their lifetime.
Whether working out is a highlight of your day or something you dread, there’s no denying that it’s still something you can do while stuck at home. You can pull up one of the countless workout videos online, with many creators even posting new ones specifically for followers who are socially isolating. And while you may prefer working out at the gym, doing something at home is better than nothing. Honestly, you might end up loving the appeal of not having to leave the house to exercise! That burn you feel after a good workout can provide a satisfying feeling of accomplishment no matter where you’re located.
There’s no limit to the creative things you can do while you’re stuck indoors. In fact, you’re probably seeing lots of buzz about how this might be a blessing in disguise for creative types as people make claims that Shakespeare, for instance, wrote King Lear while under quarantine. (There’s no concrete evidence that those were the exact circumstances, but Shakespeare did experience multiple periods of plague during his life.) Of course, you don’t have to feel obligated to write a five-act tragedy during this time. Just do what you love! You can write some poetry, compose a song, finger paint, build with Legos, and so much more. You can do something completely original, like trying to write a novel, or follow a precise pattern for knitting or embroidery. You’ll still end up with a product you’re proud of, and it’s pretty much a guarantee that your mood will be a bit better after you flex your creative muscles!
Spending time with your pets
Pet owners, surely we don’t need to tell you twice to appreciate your furry friends. But now, they’re probably giving you at least as much comfort as they ever have! Just bask in the glow of being able to give your pet your undivided attention and not having to see those heartbreaking sad eyes when you leave them for the day. And best of all? There’s no evidence yet that dogs can transmit COVID-19. Cats are susceptible to a usually-mild strain of the virus, but COVID-19 hasn’t been found to be zoonotic (transmissible from animals to humans).
Find out what you should be doing to protect your cat (and yourself) as well.
Sure, reminiscing might be a little sad and frustrating right now as we ponder aspects of our lives that we probably took for granted. But a trip down memory lane will probably be bittersweet more than anything, and we think it’ll be a net positive! You can do more than just thinking back or scrolling online to the beginning of your Instagram post history. Break out the home videos and flip through photo albums. If you don’t have any of those, your parents might! Ask them to share them (in person or virtually)—or, if you have kids yourself, take the opportunity to show them what your lives used to be like!
You might be rolling your eyes because you feel completely over-saturated with me time right now. But that might just be because you haven’t fully taken advantage of it! Take the opportunity to have a spa day, paint your nails, or take a bubble bath. Be honest, when’s the last time you had a bubble bath?! It’s easier said than done, sure, but try to take a moment (or more) to truly unwind.
As we learned from the videos of neighbours singing in quarantined Italy, it’ll take more than a pandemic to quell the healing power of music. So, go ahead—blast your favourite tunes. Find some new ones and share them with your friends. Play an instrument. Start a jam session, in person with those you live with or virtually. Sing in the shower.
Cooking and baking
If you’re feeling healthy, you have full permission to (reasonably) indulge. You’re only a few keystrokes away from finding a delicious new recipe. Or call up mum, dad, a friend, or, well, whomever and ask them for the delicious recipe for that irresistible casserole they made when you were little or brought to your house when times were more normal. Of course, you don’t have to channel your inner gourmet to make something yummy. Simply hunt down a simple cupcake mix – cupcakes make things better!
Here’s a simple cupcake recipe to get you started.
Yes, it’s a scary time right now, and it’s important to acknowledge that some people are going through some seriously gruelling, hard times. But it’s possible (and some would argue crucial!) to be able to continue to laugh without making light of everything that’s happening. Find a new funny movie or stand-up special. Re-watch a movie or re-read a book that you remember finding hilarious as a kid and see if it holds up. Play a goofy game like Apples to Apples or Pictionary. Share a riddle or a joke on your Instagram story—we can help with that, with our 73 short jokes anyone can remember. It’s impossible to stay positive all the time, but every little bit helps.
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