By Alice O’Donnell
Isolation doesn’t have to equate to boredom. Even though it’s unfortunate that just as the weather is getting sunny, we have to leave our friends and Galway behind and lock ourselves up, it has to be done. So, what are some key things to get up to and keep in mind during this time?
It can be so tempting to lock in, turn on Netflix and basically not move for the next few weeks. However, no matter how many episodes of Friends we have left to get through, we should all try and get a little exercise everyday – for both our physical and mental health. There are tons of ways to get exercise in, as long as you don’t come into close contact with anyone. Runs and walks through nature are a great way to relieve cabin fever, but they might not be possible if routes are becoming too busy with other walkers. A skipping rope and a patch a grass is also a fabulous way to get the blood flowing. Finally, there are loads of at home exercises and full body workouts on YouTube to try out.
While limiting social interaction is great in that it slows the spread of COVID–19, a rather sad side effect is that friends can no longer be met. Thankfully, with the internet, this need not mean halting contact altogether. While WhatsApp and Snapchat offer ways to chat, many friend groups are using Skype to have group conversations. There are also some games online which allows you to play with multiple friends, with some even allowing for vocal game play. If you’re willing to spend a bit of money, Jackbox Games offer a range of online games, from free sale items to party packs for €20. Get playing!
Mindfulness is one of the most important things to practise during this period of isolation. Limited contact with friends, lack of social interaction and the general idea of a pandemic can leave mental health suffering, so it’s important to carve out time for yourself. There are plenty things you can do to try to see the positives of this situation – maybe every night, name one thing that you were grateful for that day. Starting a diary is another great way to gain peace of mind. Many online websites are offering free meditation classes during this period of isolation – today might be the perfect day to give it a go!
We’ve all read on Twitter that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine for the plague. While perhaps writing a play about murdering siblings and blind lords may not be everyone’s cup of tea, boredom can really get the creative juices flowing. There are plenty of ways to get creative, from painting to drawing to knitting, and the options seem limitless. One of the things I plan to do in the next few days is to make a scrap book of the best moments of the last college year – a great way to be creative while celebrating and remembering good times.
Is there anything better than a spring clean? You know you’re an adult when the answer is an irrevocable “no!” Cleaning can not only freshen up and change the look of your room, but it keeps away the boredom too. Messy rooms lead to messy minds and giving your room a quick spring clean can really benefit your mental health. Rejuvenating yourself is also important if you’re feeling worn out by the news. Drink lots of water and eat natural foods. Maybe give yourself a new hair style (with hairdressers closed it’ll be up to you to get those scissors out!) No matter what though, it’s important to keep in mind that this quarantine must end sometime, and that until then, we can only do the best we can.