Following the outbreak of coronavirus – more properly known as Covid-19 in humans – country after country has asked its citizens to stay indoors and to carry on their lives as best they can without going outside. Staying home may seem like a break from the norm at first but, as the reality settles in, many people are looking for ways to keep busy. Gaming Club looked into some tips and ideas to keep you busy while isolation.
Thankfully, in the modern age, we have plenty of digital distractions to keep us entertained. Anything from video streaming services to Online Games to allow us more and more connection with the outside world than we would have enjoyed before the internet became commonplace. The virtual experience is very much like attending in person. The same can be said of the virtual tours that many public institutions – such as art galleries and museums – are now organizing to allow people to enjoy their collections online.
With so much to keep us occupied, you might think that being busy while isolating yourself at home will be a breeze. However, it is also important to keep in good physical condition if for no other reason that to support your mental well-being. Helpfully, there are numerous places you can already turn to online if you are suffering from stress and anxiety. In the meantime, read on to discover our tips for getting through the privations of social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Keep In Touch With Friends and Family
Simply picking up the telephone and phoning a loved one can be of huge benefit. Not only does it show the person you are calling that you care about them but it can be beneficial for you to stay in touch, too. With prolonged periods of social isolation, feelings of loneliness can begin to creep in. You may well have other family members who are in isolation with you, so prioritize calling people who you know are on their own. It can become a routine that will help to fill up your day.
Even better, use video streaming apps to make your social interaction that bit more personal. Many people will have apps like Facetime installed on the iPhone already but there are many others you can make use of. Skype and WhatsApp both allow video calls to take place. Google also offers a video calling app called Duo which is popular in parts of Canada. Discord is another good one. It tends to be used by gamers but you can make use of it just as easily to stay in contact with those you care about.
Keeping Fit While Staying at Home
Indoor fitness can be a bit tricky unless you have your own swimming pool or fully equipped gym in your home. For most of us, using what we have around the home will be best. A can of food will operate perfectly as a relatively light dumbbell, for example. You can do sit ups, push ups and star jumps without any fitness equipment whatsoever, of course. Running on the spot or using a length of washing line as a skipping rope is another good idea. Even if you have never tried it before, streaming an instructional yoga video will be a good move when in isolation. Remember to warm up properly beforehand, however, since you don’t want an unnecessary injury.
Making use of a home fitness app will help to provide the right sort of motivation to ensure you are burning sufficient calories and feeling tired enough to sleep well at the end of the day. Johnson & Johnson have a helpful seven minute workout app, for example. Alternatively, try out Challenges by FitNow or FitBit Coach to keep you working out on a daily basis.
Break Times Are Important, Too
When you are working – or trying to work – and live in the same space, it is sometimes easy to let one side of your life overflow into the other. Try to avoid this by defining some parts of your day as work times and others as downtime. Just as you would in the office, take a break to do something other than stare at your computer screen. This will help your eyes to refocus as well as your mind. In the workplace, we all enjoy mini breaks that we don’t always notice. These come from the sociability we all show in our usual places of work whether it is making coffee for colleagues or asking how a client is. Give yourself a short break in between tasks and make sure you give yourself at least 45 minutes away from work at lunchtime, too.
Getting Your Home Office As Ready For Work As Possible
Many people work from home nowadays and their workspaces are already set up and ready to go. For people who are not used to it, organizing a workstation at home because of enforced social isolation means getting set up from scratch. One good tip is to keep your workspace as clear as possible from distractions. So, no games or non-essential devices should be close at hand. If you have children, then let them know that your workspace needs to be respected but that it can return to its normal use when the restrictions lift.
If you are used to doing a bit of web surfing from your home PC and little else, then the demands placed on it from your job may slow you down. Use an ethernet cable to connect to your home hub rather than relying on Wi-Fi. Make sure your screen is at the correct height and adjust your keyboard level so you are not placing your shoulders and forearms under strain. Take your posture seriously, if you want to remain productive at home. Finally, if you cannot stick to normal office hours due to childcare responsibilities, then allot yourself certain hours each evening to stick to.
Great Books and Apps to Read
If you are at your screen all day, then reading a novel on your computer may not seem like a relaxing thing to do. While you can mail order items like books, it is probably a good idea to go back to old-fashioned paperbacks. The alternative is to go for a handheld ebook reader. Among the most popular is the Kindle Paperwhite because it illuminates in a very subtle manner that is much like looking at a real page, especially when the brightness is turned down. However, you can adjust the font and text size, so it is a sophisticated bit of equipment for reading.
The Kobo Libra H2O is another high-quality e-reader that you might consider investing in as an alternative to reading on your computer’s monitor or tablet. The Kobo Clara HD also falls into the category and it is particularly good when reading at night since it is not too bright. If you are looking for a larger version, then the Onyx Boox Max3 has a bigger than average display.
Stream Uplifting Movies
Streaming services like Netflix were all the rage before the coronavirus changed the world. If you like movies, then avoid watching films like The Shining which are not exactly conducive to being isolated. There are plenty of uplifting alternatives, after all. How about the sporting drama Rudy made in 1993 which is bound to lift your spirits? There again, many people have not seen It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart. It is a classic and rightly so for its feel-good community spirit. Bend it Like Beckham, an independent British film from 2002 is another one to catch up and feel good about. It features a youthful Keira Knightley.
Watch Some Great Box Sets
Have you missed out on some of the most talked about shows in recent years because you have been to busy with other things? If so, the Covid-19 regulations about staying in mean you have the perfect opportunity to catch up! RuPaul’s Drage Race is a good place to start if you are seeking some sheer entertainment value. A drama that has been underrated by some critics, but which is still likely to appeal to many, is Pose. Set in the 1980s, it has a pumping soundtrack that features the likes of Madonna, Grace Jones and Whitney Houston. Even more appropriate in such times would be Living With Yourself, a comedy-drama available on Netflix which first aired in 2019.
Take Up a New Hobby
Still looking for something to do? If so, why not dig out an old jigsaw and give it a go? Many people get a great deal out of simple pastimes, such as crocheting or knitting. You don’t need anything very much to get into a new hobby, either. Something like macrame only needs some yarn to get going, for instance. With the ever-popular decoupage, all you need is a few scraps of paper to show off your creativity!