Advice for Getting Through Social Distancing & Quarantine

Let’s face it, the world is in a weird place right now.

Covid-19, more commonly referred to as the Corona Virus, is making its way across nations, infecting people at an outstanding rate, and forcing many countries to call for their citizens to stay at home to reduce the number of infected in relation to available medical supplies.

Even my own neighborhood in the Bronx, New York feels surreal during this time. My favorite local chicken spot had its tables flipped upside down to deter customers from dinning in, a response to the regulations put into place by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. People on the street, if you can even spot any, have masks on to protect themselves and others from infection. Every cashier I’ve gone to will reach out a glove covered hand to accept your money or bank card. And, like myself, many Americans are sitting at home watching the news wondering when their daily lives will return to “normal.”

However, despite all of this, we should make the best of this time!

This article is for those of you who’s neighborhood may be on quarantine, or maybe you are scared to leave your house, or you’re just doing your part to prevent the spread of the virus. Sometimes, being confined to four walls day in and day out can get tiresome and really take a toll on the human spirit. By following any of the tips on this list, maybe you can make this more tolerable!

1.) Exercise

It is no surprise that we humans can get…antsy.

Sitting around for 12 hours doing nothing isn’t the most ideal way to utilize that human vigor our species is so well known for among the animal kingdom. The best way to get the blood flowing when you can’t leave your house is by doing some simple exercises. Many of us aren’t used to carving out time in our day to get a workout in, but this is the best period in history to practice that!

Do what you can and make a habit out of it! If 15 push-ups are your limit, get up and go for it! Maybe the next day you will push yourself to go to 16! If you like to dance, take 30 minutes to put on your favorite song and get your body moving!

When we exert ourselves, even if we are staying indoors, we will tire out quicker and reduce the risk of feeling like we haven’t “done anything” throughout the day. Even cleaning can be a good work out, something I learned from my own mom! Change your curtains, mop the floor, do the dishes, stay active! One of the worse feelings is when you are sitting down with pent up energy waiting to escape. So make sure to let it out by being active as best you can!

2.) Exercise (your mind)

Okay, this one is kind of cheating to have on the list, but the same thing holds true here!Make sure your strongest “muscle” is getting its own workout in!

With less social interactions and more time on our hands, it can be easy for boredom to creep in.Boredom is caused by our brains not feeling stimulated or challenged enough at any given moment. A great way to counteract that is by reading! Take some time out to pick up an old book you love or even discover a new one! They don’t even have to be physical books. Check out some articles on the internet (like this one) or from any other blogging sites you come across.

How about learning a new skill! There are hundreds if not thousands of “learning” websites on the internet that will teach you a variety of subjects, from becoming a master chef to coding a video game for beginners. Some websites are paid like Masterclass and Lynda while YouTube offers millions of tutorials for free daily.

Do things that will stimulate your mind! Our brains tend to gravitate towards two things, education and entertainment. While entertainment is fun, note that there are more ways to entertain your brain than just binge watching a show or two on Netflix. Just something to consider~

3.) Limit Social Media (But Not Entirely)

This point came to me while I was having shower thoughts;

“If people are forced to stay home all day, they will naturally gravitate towards picking up their phones and scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. more often throughout the day. But even before the virus outbreak, there are well known problems that come with an overuse of social media like anxiety, negative self-perceptions, and the sort.”

Now, I am by no means telling you to unplug or do a social media cleansing process during all of this unless that is already your plan. I love my memes more than the next person! And I also think some of these Instagram challenges and the booming numbers of Tik Tok videos are awesome for keeping people connected digitally!

Just be conscious of how much social media you are consuming during this social distancing period. If you find yourself laying down and only texting or scrolling, try calling a close friend or family member for your dose of social interaction. If you are at home with family then spend some time with them, especially any older people who are used to being out and about but must now put everything on pause (they may not be as connected to the digital fun as much as we are and they are looking for social interactions themselves.)

Know that the dangers of over consumption of social media still exist even during this tough time and be cautious with how much of a deep dive you decide to take into the use of it while you’re at home.

4.) The News.

Oh boy. This is going to be tough for me to write as a journalism major posting an article to an old portfolio site titled “Peters News Network,” but turn off the news.

And if you haven’t been watching the news and following the outbreak at all, then turn ON the news!

Let me explain.

It is no secret, even to journalists, that the “daily news cycle” is rough. Not enough “newsworthy” things are happening at every hour of the day to report on. This means that many local news stations will repeat the same “breaking news” stories 3, 4, even 5 times a day, adding only small updates or interviews as things develop.

If you are like me and have the news running in the background all day and the only sound filling your room is “Number of Individuals in New York Infected with the Corona Virus Exceed 7,000 while the Death Toll Continues to Increase” on repeat every hour….it’s time to change the channel to something else.

As I said before, this period we are in is not only a test to the human body, but to the human spirit. It is important to stay informed and educated with the latest updates and how things will affect you and your community. However, it is just as important to not torture yourself by listening to the same tough news repeatedly.

Stay informed, but not at the determent of your mental sanity.

Finally, 5.) Stay Positive 🙂

I decided to write this article because in my own boredom inspired free time, I found out that this website was still active. This caused a spark in me to want to write again despite how rusty my blogging had become. Now it did take me a day or two to sit and focus, but eventually I decided to get my fingers typing and start constructing this article.

I didn’t want that ounce of inspiration to fade away like a candle in the dark woods of this outbreak.

Be sure to remind yourself of the positives and don’t let these tough times bog you down. Yes, we should all stay indoors to prevent the spread of the virus, but that does not mean this is the end of productivity and positivity. Find what makes you happy and start doing it! If it involves you going outside to practice it, take the time indoors to continue learning and preparing for it! If you love basketball and can’t wait to get out and go play after this quarantining/social distancing is done: hop online and look up interviews with your favorite basketball players in the meantime, take notes, read basketball books, watch highlight reels, reach out to some basketball players in your area ( the likelihood of them being home on their phone too is pretty high right now so they might see your message and reply!)

Do things of this nature for your interests, hobbies, and profession. You’ll keep yourself occupied and active while the world takes time to heal.

I really appreciate you taking the time out to read this article. If you would like to learn more about the Corona Virus and how to prevent it, I saw an amazing video that breaks things down in easy to understand language.  If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends and family to help them get through this all too!

Stay safe and stay strong!