If you're feeling blue in quarantine, you're not alone. Even if you're doing the right thing by staying inside as much as possible, as the months pass by it's easy to become disillusioned. Isolation is against every human instinct, so it's no wonder that it can be draining. But don't lose hope just yet. Here are a few ways you can reclaim your quarantine and use this time to your advantage.
1. Walk Somewhere New.
While your own neighborhood might be a familiar place for walking, what happens if you cross the overpass, or take the left trail in the woods instead of the right? Chances are, there are plenty of sights to be seen within walking distance of your home that you've never even heard about. This is a great way to expand your mental map of where you live, and maybe even come across some wildlife. Besides, walking allows you to get exercise, connect with nature (even in urban areas) and it's easy to do in a socially distanced way.
2. Make Something You Would Normally Buy.
It's easy to rely on shopping to provide everything you need, but it's worth it to connect to the artisan traditions of the items you rely on for daily life. Whether it's a loaf of bread, a jug of lemonade, or even a piece of clothing, it's well within the reach of an average person to make any of these. In the information age, there's a tutorial for everything online. The satisfaction of making something with your own two hands far surpasses the instant gratification of buying it, and you save money along the way.
3. Write a Letter.
It may not be the 19th century, but letters are still a great way to add a personal touch to any communication. Consider writing a note to any essential workers and healthcare professionals you may know, and express your gratitude. A handwritten note is much more meaningful than an email and shows you're willing to go the extra mile. Alternatively, you could also write a letter to your future self. This pandemic will surely make the history books, and you may want to revisit these thoughts in a few years' time. Put the letter away somewhere safe, and it will be preserved for yourself and posterity.
4. Host a Virtual Gathering.
There are ways of circumventing the loneliness of isolation. There are plenty of video chatting applications, and while they will never compare to face-to-face communication, you can still have a good time. Instead of risking the spread of the disease, gather a few friends together online. You can organize games such as trivia and Pictionary, or simply have a chat. You'll be feeling like your pre-quarantine self in no time.
5. Do a Random Act of Kindness.
There is nothing that feels better than helping others. If you are quarantining with family or roommates, consider making them a nice breakfast or doing one of their chores. You can also pay it forward by leaving your local essential worker with a generous tip for continuing to work through the pandemic. There are thousands of ways you can make someone's day better and even small gestures can mean a lot. So get creative and find little ways to make the world a better place.
While the difficulties of quarantine are by no means an easy fix, these strategies can help ease the burden of the last few months. Even in a global pandemic, there are still silver linings to be found. So don't lose hope, and remember that the worst of times can bring out the best in you.