Quarantine Update: How I’m Staying Sane And Smiling

Lucy Ferneyhough | LaughsLaughs
Stay occupied while you're staying home!
Here are my best tips for not losing your mind while you’re stuck at home! — Credit: Pedestrian

Hello from my home in Calgary, Alberta! As we approach almost a month in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought I’d share how I’m keeping my spirits up as I’m stuck indoors like much of the world. Hopefully, some of these activities and time passers that I’m using to keep busy might interest you too and give you something to get through your long days if you’re starting to get a little bored.

Cute puppy!
Enjoying the outdoors while maintaining social distancing! — Credit: Author

Staying Active:

It’s pretty cold in Canada, but my lazy pup still needs to get outside so we’ve been going on lots of walks, either while enjoying some music (Alec Benjamin’s new song “Six Feet Apart” is pretty appropriate for the situation), a good podcast, or the company of a family member. Sometimes I even take my camera with me to capture the last moments of winter before the snow hopefully melts soon. If it’s warm enough where you live, a run is also a great way to get outside and get your endorphins up. Otherwise, indoor workouts or challenges can also encourage you to stay active and moving so you don’t feel too stagnant. I like Chloe Ting’s workouts, even though they burn!

Getting Creative:

Like many people, boredom has led me to try out a lot of questionable DIY projects, some of which were successful, and some not as much. I started out by embroidering simple designs on old jeans, which turned out pretty well. My mom has been embracing her creative spirit and helping make supplies for local nurses to use to keep them safe and healthy, which is a great idea if you want to help out your community. Finally, I also started trying to make all of my favorite cafe drinks from the safety of my kitchen, and while I did have some success with the famous “whipped Dalgona coffee” going around the internet, when I tried to make my own brown sugar boba tea from scratch it just didn’t work out. Maybe, depending on how desperate I get for bubble tea, I’ll try again in a couple of weeks.

Watch Netflix with your friends in different cities!
Netflix Parties are a great way to spend some time with your loved ones who you can’t see in person. — Credit: Chrome Netflix Party Extension

Staying Connected:

One of the hardest things in the past month has been being away from the people I love and care about, especially when they live far away and we can’t even get together while staying 6 feet apart. To try and stay connected we’ve been relying on video chats, then Zoom calls, and even Netflix Parties which allow you to watch the same thing on your computers while chatting on the screen. We’ve even taken the old fashioned route and have been writing letters to each other to change it up a bit and have something to look forward too, which really helps.

Games are a great way to have fun at home.
Animal Crossing and Phase 10 are my favorite pass times right now! — Credit: Nintendo, Author

Having Fun:

I can confirm, High School Musical is still the cultural gold that it was in 2006, and it definitely makes for a good time on a lazy afternoon. Beyond that, in my household, we’ve been passing the time with lots of Mario Kart and our favorite card games like Phase 10, SkipBo, and Anomia. Especially when you start getting sick of seeing the same environment and people around you every day, playing something like Uno or Monopoly to get you riled up and laughing and yelling at your family is great to release stress. Even if you’re locked up alone, games like Animal Crossing or playing with friends online can help ease any boredom and let you relax.

Working My Brain:

To try and keep my mind alive while I’m out of school, I’ve been doing lots of reading and online learning. Two of my favorite books recently were Little Fires Everywhere, and The Labyrinth of the Spirits, and if you’re running out of material at home, KindleUnlimited can be used on any device and gives you access to thousands of books for only $9.99/month. If you feel like something more intellectually stimulating then websites like Coursera and Skillshare offer everything from 15-minute lessons to full college courses that you can get credit and certificates to boost your mind and your resume.

Ski movies are a fun way to pass time in quarantine.
There are so many great ski movies out there to keep you busy until we’re back on the hills! — Credit: Teton Gravity Research

Keeping Passions Alive:

The best way to keep your spirits up while we go through this difficult time together is by remembering what matters most to you and tapping back into your passions. For me, this means listening to and playing lots of music on the piano and ukulele (a new skill I’ve picked up in the last few weeks), taking online classes, and finding new ways to appreciate the ski industry even though I can’t be out in the snow right now. I’ve been rewatching all my old favorite ski movies like GNAR, Winterland, Tight Loose, and Paradise Waits; laughing at my homemade ski videos from years ago, and keeping up with what my favorite athletes are doing on social media. Mikaela Shiffrin was even skiing on her balcony! Other than that, I’m just counting my blessings that my family and I are all healthy and staying connected with my friends all around the world. This won’t last forever, so settle in with a good ski movie and some popcorn while we wait it out together.

If you’re still feeling bored, check out these great articles and videos to pass the time:

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