Get Through an Endless Quarantine

Things are difficult right now.

I’ve had many conversations with friends and clients who are having a tough time emotionally. Yet another wave of COVID and quarantine has made people feel trapped, hopeless, and lost. It’s only human to feel isolated and unsure of what to do. On top of that, boredom is a killer!

Today, I wanted to share a few practical ideas to help you get through quarantine, even when it feels like there’s no end in sight. Many of these are designed to alleviate boredom as much as to improve wellbeing, but I believe they can help with both. Disclaimer: I’m not a licensed therapist — I’m just a person who loves self-development and wants to support others!

Here are 15 tips that have helped me:

  1. Invest in plants psychologically, having healthy and growing plants around you leads to more feelings of abundance and joy. Studies show that patients who have plants around them heal more quickly than those who don’t… so why not add a few extra members to your home? 🙂
  2. Make photo collages – we all miss our friends and loved ones across the world. Rather than pushing these memories aside and feeling hopeless, embrace them as times to look forward to in the future. It may sound silly, but having smiling faces on your wall can be very uplifting and remind you that you’re loved!
  3. Try a workout challenge – I think having fun is the key here. I personally love Madfit’s channel. There are so many great exercise videos available for free, and staying motivated during this time is so important.
  4. Start a gratitude journal – writing down just 3 things a day that you’re grateful for heightens wellbeing and positivity. Check out Barbara Fredrickson’s work for more.
  5. Delve into spirituality – Having quiet time creates the perfect environment to tune within and practice energy work. If you prefer movement, try tai chi, qi gong, or yoga. Otherwise, meditation is the best place to start (I personally suggest the app Calm for beginners). For qi gong, I recommend Lee Holden.
  6. Write, write, write! Numerous studies show that writing (in almost any shape and form) heightens wellbeing, personal resolution and motivation. You can write about your goals, create short stories, jot down lines for a poem… you name it! If you feel extra motivated, go ahead and share your work with the world. As an added benefit, it often helps others.
  7. Get your taxes / finances in order – this is never a fun one… but we all have to do it, and the deadline is coming up. There’s lots of research that “eating the frog” is the best thing to do… so do it early!
  8. Try out a new recipe – One of my friends just bought me an amazing Indian recipe book, and I couldn’t be happier! Cooking takes on a heightened importance when you spend more time indoors. Instead of making it a chore, make it something to look forward to.
  9. Read fiction – I love a good novel or mystery, and reading fiction is proven to boost your empathy. Many people feel like they’re not “being productive” when they read, but fight that narrative. There are few things more healing than curling up with a good book and cup of tea. Plus, if it makes you a kinder person, why wouldn’t you?
  10. Schedule video calls (and games) with friends – I’m sure this isn’t a new idea for anyone, but instead of just talking about what you’ve been doing (which can be hard during COVID), try playing a game. I love doing “getting to know you” questions. No matter how long you’ve known your friends, talking about memories from childhood and sharing stories is a sure way to build trust. Here are some good ones to try. If you want to know more on this, ask me about my research on trust in remote teams!
  11. Reach out to people on LinkedIn in similar fields / who have similar interests – I’ve been doing this recently because I relocated and want to build a community in my new area. I’ve found people to be incredibly kind and helpful. So many people use LinkedIn for sales, but wanting to talk can go a long way.
  12. Learn a new skill – I’ve seen some people transform completely since COVID and discover new hobbies and passions. If you have the mental energy to pick up something new, now is the time to do it. Nothing in life happens to you, so take this time to learn something you’ve always been interested in (but never had the chance to explore). A great way to start is by compiling a list of things you’d like to learn more about. That way, you’ll always have inspiration!
  13. Find an influencer/ content creator who inspires you – So many people spend time scrolling idly through social media… and most people feel worse after doing this. However, finding content creators who you love and resonate with (particularly those who make videos) can be a great way to stay motivated and feel connected. It can also help you broaden your perspective and learn something new!
  14. Do a DIY project – Many of us are hands-on learners and have been from a young age. In today’s technologically-centered world, few people work with their hands enough. Whether you decide to crochet or build a couch, the choice is yours… but you’re guaranteed to end up with a cool (and rewarding!) result. Here are some ideas to get you started.
  15. Make your home cozy – We’re spending more time at home than ever before, so putting extra effort into our space is worth it. Pro tip: use nudge theory and place things that make you happy at eye level (like good books, photos, or anything that gives you comfort). This also means hiding the chocolate in your house ;)!

I hope this gives you a few practical tips to use the next time you’re feeling alone and unsure of how to spend your time. Please comment below if you have other recommendations! In a time like this, sharing is caring, and we can all benefit from one another’s knowledge.

Your friend and coach,