How to make the most of your time during the COVID-19 Lockdown
“How’s the lockdown treating you?”, they ask. “I am sleepy all the time and my whole body hurts…I think I’m going crazy!”, you reply.
Sounds familiar? Well, the first week of lockdown was probably quite bearable…enjoyable even! Working from home seemed peaceful…those extra hours of sleep were definitely energizing! Also, when in the world did you ever get so much free time to read through and laugh over every single meme on your favorite Insta meme page? Well, it’s not too long before the monotony kicks in!
As the days go by, you watch the news and realize that this lockdown will probably go on till who knows when, with self-isolation making it harder to cope with. Soon, the eat, sleep and watch Netflix cycle stops working out. Your eyes hurt from constantly staring at your cellphone all day long and the cushions in your couch seem to have sunk down by a few inches ever since the lockdown began!
Laziness is no doubt unavoidable when you are stuck at home all day! It takes every ounce of your willpower to cut down on the couch sessions and start doing something productive with all that time you have on your hands. But you know what? In the end…it’s always worth it!
As the saying goes:
Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperature or medicine, but lost time is gone forever…
So, what are you waiting for? Put your creative hat on and let the juices flow! Here are 10 tips along with examples of 10 people who have been making the most of their time during the COVID-19 lockdown. Let’s inspire and get inspired!
As we all know, a healthy mind and body is the key to living a happy life. It is essential to spend at least one hour every day focusing on your physical and mental well-being. A few minutes of mindful meditation followed by yoga would be the perfect way to stay healthy during the lockdown.
Abinaya Swaminathan, who works full time as an application developer at Accenture has managed to take some time out of her busy work from home schedule to practice something that she has always been passionate about, i.e. Yoga.
“This quarantine in India has gone over a month now and has given me the space to dig more into my passion,” said Abinaya who holds a diploma in Yoga and is currently pursuing YTT. “I wanted to do a professional degree in yoga for long and I had started it a few months back. The lockdown has given me much space to learning more of inner growth,” she added.
“And yes, asanas are another part. I had always loved handstands and wanted to try them out. My handstands are improving day by day and by that, I mean confidence as well. The lockdown has been productive overall and balancing both my job and my yoga is a whole new addition to my capability,” said Abinaya who also holds live online yoga sessions every Sunday for the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) on their Facebook page.
“This is just for the quarantine since people might feel depressed and some stressed out of home workout. Yoga can help ease it,” she added.
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Who’s trying this with me? We aim the head and foot touch, rest comfortably. . . Again do not forget to breath when trying handstand. And of course core exercise. Remember the rush when trying #ekapadarajakapotasana in #handstand. . Ignore my hair that’s a constant mess on handstands😅 . . . . . . #handstand #handstandpractice #myfitnessjourney #handstandeveryday #handstanddrills #handstand365 #handstandbeginner #doors #myfitnessjourney #doorhandstand #handstandaddict #headstand #headstandpractice #handstandtraining #yogaretreat #yogapractice #yogaeverydamnday #yogainspiration #yoginisofinstagram #yogilife #fitnesswithabi #myhandstandjourney #fitnessjunkie #fitnessmotivation #yogachallenge
- Home workout
How ironic is it that we are currently living in a scenario where going to the gym can actually be dangerous and life threatening! So, what’s better than to convert your room into a mini gym and continue working on those abs?! Home workout is actually becoming a thing!
Shafi Kallai, who works full time as a fitness and personal trainer has made home workout a part of his daily routine during the lockdown. He devotes 1 hour every day to do what he does best.
“Of course, the best 1 hour of my day…that’s the time I workout. Thinking more creative how to make it interesting,” said Shafi who also makes workout videos on Instagram and delivers online classes to his clients. Hard to deny, he’s sure as hell good at it and his Instagram profile says it all!
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It’s all about the way you approach on… @muscle.xp #mujhmainhaidum #muslexp #aesthetic_life #aesthetics #livefit #eatclean #instamuscle #likeforlikes #gymaddict #models #fitnessmodels #finalfantasy #fashion #gym #bicepworkout #crossfit #hiitworkout #chestworkout #squadgoals #mrkerala #homeworkouts #stayhome #staysafe
- Embroidery (Learn a new skill)
This may not be something which most people may be good at, but it’s definitely a skill worth learning! Embroidery is a craft which requires focus, but at the same time helps to calm the mind. In fact, The Guardian mentions that the calming effects of sewing can heal people and also help combat depression. So, it’s definitely worth grabbing a needle and giving it a try!
Abi Whitehouse, a Masters student at Falmouth University explained how she was spending the most part of her lockdown trying to learn new skills.
“A guy I follow on Instagram, Stewart Easton, is an artist who creates a lot of work using embroidery. He decided to go online every night at 7pm to do a live video just for an hour to sew to really calming music, creating a meditative stitching hour,” said Abi who is now a part of Stewart’s online community of artists from all over the world. “I have found sewing to be such a good way to unwind and lose myself in this horrible sad time during lockdown. I have somehow managed to meet a lot of very kind, creative and lovely people during this time, and I will carry on sewing,” she added.
“I usually draw, but my creative energy seemed to dry up when the corona virus came here, so being able to sew is great and I have fallen into a new strange lovely slow pace and routine,” mentioned Abi.
- Guitar (Learn to play an instrument)
Learning to play an instrument is the best way to stay calm and destress yourself whilst being stuck at home. Music has a profound healing effect on both the mind and the body and can be used as a tool to regulate your emotions. Learning to play an instrument, by which I mean any instrument including a guitar, can help bring about a sense of satisfaction and contribute towards your overall wellbeing. While it takes skill and effort to play a guitar, it is an instrument worth learning, especially when you have ample free time on your hands.
Vishal Jagannathan, who works in the US enjoys spending his post work hours playing his guitar and learning scales, which he describes is a pattern of 8 notes in order – used to create melodies.
“Well, considering that I have my own free time at home, I do both work and guitar side by side. I have the freedom to restructure my time and do stuff as and when I please,” said Vishal. “Working from home is actually relaxing as I have my free schedule to finish my work. I am also able to save fuel money, outside spending, etc. This will be useful for me to repay my loan,” he added.
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Tool – 46&2, the badass intro Just added a flanger effect. Putting this together was like working a second job…. Messed up a little bit on the timing but fuck it. Recorded using Focusrite Thx @taj_hanspal for the lessons lel #bass #tool #quarantine #guitar #bedroommusic #plsdonth8
- Create Art
Creating art is one of the most relaxing activities that you can spend your lockdown doing. It can involve drawing, painting, sketching or a combination of all three. You don’t have to be particularly good at art to create art because ‘realization of imagination’ itself is an art. It acts as a medium through which you can express your thoughts and emotions, which is what makes the activity so relaxing. So, don’t wait long! Grab your pencils and brushes and start creating your masterpiece!
Praveen Patil, who works at a Biopharmaceutical company utilizes his free time creating beautiful pen art which mostly consists of scenery and portraits.
“I am utilizing my lockdown time by going to office on alternate days as it is a bio-pharmaceutical company which runs on essential services. On off-days, I do stuff like art, cooking and watching web series,” said Praveen who also has an art page on Facebook which shows off his talent and is definitely worth checking out!
- Catch up on your pending work
The lockdown is definitely the perfect time to catch up on some of that work which you have been procrastinating since months, just because you never managed to get enough time to do it. Your pending work can be anything ranging from a book that you always wanted to read to a dish that you always wanted to cook. So, make a quick checklist and get to work!
In the video below, Rahul Singh, who works at Accenture talks about his daily routine during the lockdown and the various ways in which he has managed to catch up on his studies and other pending work.
Experimenting in the kitchen is indeed one of the best ways to spend your lockdown time. Whether you’re a beginner or a master-chef, cooking new dishes is always fun! In fact, there is nothing more satisfying or rewarding that eating a meal that you spent your time preparing!
Journalism student Maud Hu has a passion for food and cooking is something that she has been doing much before the lockdown even started! But, ever since the lockdown began, Maud has been able to try out some new recipes from scratch.
“Honestly, I think the quarantine hasn’t affected me as much as I thought. I am spending a lot of time trying new recipes and cooking a lot,” said Maud who also mentioned that the confinement had given her and her sister more time to make content for their food page @foodwithmolo on Instagram. “Before the quarantine, I never made a lasagna or pizza from scratch so that was quite fun. I also made a lot of cookies, brownies and tried making cream puffs the other day,” she added.
- Make a DIY craft from scrap
Some of that scrap you found in your bedroom while cleaning might actually turn out to be ‘not that scrappy’ after all! It’s always fun to look up some DIY tutorials and start making something from all that so called ‘scrap’ that you thought of throwing away!
Have a look at this DIY teddy bear that Sneha Nadar managed to make from old fur clothes that her sister had! “My sis used to do all these crafty stuffs… she had a template and fur clothes from long back… it was long overdue to make it… and I made it!!!” said Sneha who is also spending her free time practicing digital art.
Writing poetry is an excellent means of self-expression and one of the best ways to calm yourself down by releasing pent up emotions. As you slowly begin to pen down your thoughts, you start getting in touch with parts of yourself that you were previously unaware of, thus making it an excellent tool for self-exploration. Whether you are a talented poet or a beginner, poetry is an absolutely refreshing and healthy activity to be practiced during the lockdown, which can help you to explore the depths of your mind.
“I used to pen down my emotions, because I didn’t have any other outlet and it was usually past 3 in the night when I used to write,” said Rohit Bokadia, who works as a process associate at Shipa Freight. He also has a poetry page on Instagram: @ironminstrel where he posts poetry on a daily basis. Worth giving it a follow!
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Tonight Tonight I ask for your prayers, Tonight I give you my faith, And I hope tonight, they both are answered. For all we have is tonight. Tonight we can fall in love, Tonight we can free our hearts, And I hope tonight, we heal each other. For all we have is tonight. Tonight you can tell me your story, Tonight I can tell you mine, And I hope tonight, we don’t need words. For all we have is tonight. Cc: @dhai_hoshiyar_baniya Pc: @rs._rathore
- Spending time with nature
The lockdown gives you a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level, something which you may have neglected on any other day. There is indeed scientific evidence that spending quality time with nature improves both physical and mental wellbeing. However, this does not always mean going outdoors, since most countries may have imposed quite stringent lockdown rules which restrict you from stepping out of your home. In such cases, you could start by spending time in your backyard or home garden by either having a picnic on the grass or probably doing an open-air workout!
Personal experience: I am extremely fond of the outdoors and have always loved to spend my free time (even before the lockdown) strolling through green places such as nature parks. The UK lockdown rules permit 1 hour of daily outdoor exercise. I feel fortunate to be living next to a nature reserve, which allows me to go for a walk or a run everyday and spend some quality time with nature, either by sitting under a tree or taking a stroll through the fields.
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A stairway to Heaven Literally! • • • #hill #walthamstow #walthamstowwetlands #nature #photography #hillshaveeyes #bluesky #sunnyday #january #londondiaries #grassisgreener #dome #heavenly #staircase #stairwaytoheaven #soothing #relaxing #peaceful #sunset #sunshine #bliss #appreciatenature #jauntwanderer #wanderer #travelblogger #travel #solotravel #ducks
I hope you found these tips useful! Remember to make the most of your time during the COVID-19 quarantine and most importantly, don’t break rules!
Just Stay Home! & Stay Safe!