Coronavirus has us all social distancing and staying at our homes with the Stay at Home order in effect until April 30. This Stay at Home order allows residents of North Carolina to leave their houses for essential reasons only: meaning food, water, hygiene supplies, and for mental/physical health (including biking, running, walking, etc.). Due to this, many students may be feeling lonely and/or bored with all their extra time at home. Here are some things that can help lessen the boredom:
Bake or cook something. Yes, at this time groceries may be limited, but there are several websites and recipes out there that use minimal ingredients to still have a delicious meal/dessert. For example, 21 Super Simple 3-Ingredient recipes is a great website for three ingredient recipes. Cooking not only passes the time, but also gives a reward at the end for completing it (the eating part). Another question arises with cooking because even though some recipes only include three ingredients, it may be hard to access them through a busy store. This website, Meals you can make when you have ‘nothing’ in the house, gives recipes that can be made with what you have lying around the house.
Start up a new craft. Wanted to redo your room but never had the time? Now you have it! Even if you are just looking for something fun to keep you occupied, a craft is useful to pick up. 11 unique at-home craft ideas to see you through quarantine has great craft ideas to start during this time. Pinterest is always a popular site to find some easy crafts to do around the house. Popular crafts right now are painting and drawing. Now is the time to learn how to draw if you were the person who always told everyone they couldn’t do art.
Pick up a new book and read! Reading is a good way to keep the brain stimulated during this time at home. Not only can a good book immerse you into a new world, but it can keep you occupied for large amounts of time and keep your brain activity high. The library is not open right now, but there are several online options and kindle/ipad options from the library to be able to check out books for periods of time to read them electronically from home.
(For rising seniors) Common application essays are out on the common app website for next year, so to reduce some stress of applying to colleges next fall, this is the perfect opportunity to get a head start on those essays. You can find that information here: First-year essay prompts. The common app has announced the essay prompts will be the same for 2020-2021 as they were for 2019-2020.
Write something. Whether it’s a journal to remember this first-hand experience in making history, or a fictional story, writing something to occupy your time is beneficial to your writing capabilities and imagination. In the future, your first-hand account of the coronavirus could be used for a history class or in a museum. Just think about what history is being made at this time. Anyways, writing something can easily occupy some extra time on your hands.
Binge watch a new show on Netflix or another streaming platform. This is the obvious choice for many high-school aged students. Streaming platforms have released an increasing amount of popular shows and movies to watch during this time. Netflix has released “Tiger King”, a documentary that has reached popularity quickly over this time. Disney Plus has also released movies that would have been seen in theatre only right now, but due to this pandemic, they released them on their streaming platform instead, such as “Trolls 2” and “Onward”.
Use this time to practice meditation or some other mental health practice. It is good to stay mentally healthy during this time, especially since it can be a lonely and stressful time without friends. There are meditation sounds on spotify and other music streaming platforms, even on youtube that can be listened to, as well as complementary videos and podcasts that can teach you how to properly meditate. Yale has released a class on how to achieve happiness during these times, and other websites are prepared to aid with happiness and meditation practices during this stressful pandemic.
Have you wanted to attend classes at an Ivy League school before? Well now through Harvard’s website you can access 64 free courses, and this pattern of releasing free courses is prevalent among many colleges. This could give you an opportunity to continue learning or maybe even dig deeper in learning, even though face-to-face contact is lacking.
Physical health can help aid mental health. The “runner’s high” demonstrates this concept, as running and other intense activities release endorphins into your brain (mostly dopamine, the “happy endorphin”) and can make you happier and healthier. It is good to make sure you stay healthy during this pandemic, so getting outside to exercise and set daily or weekly goals for yourself is a good idea. There are also free exercise classes on youtube now, mostly from gyms or private trainers who have posted their workouts online for all to see, and can be accessed at home.
If you are missing your friends, try setting up an online card game through game pigeon or a different gaming platform like .io. Set up a group facetime or zoom call so you can talk to them or set up a backyard social distance chat (set up chairs six feet apart). You can still talk to your friends at this time, so don’t get too upset about not being able to be with them, just find a different solution.
Try not to spend all day on your phone and get to work doing one of these activities or a different one to keep you occupied and not bored. Boredom can lead to more boredom and a loss of gumption to do anything, so it is important to not get stuck in that trap. Stay safe and healthy during this troubling time (both mentally and physically)!