Feeling bored? Spending too much time on social media? Maybe you’re overeating?
Sure, you can binge-watch a TV show, drink a little too much and play video games and get through the lockdown. If that’s not your perfect scenario, here are nine quarantine activities to keep you entertained while you’re learning and improving yourself.
1. Do yoga
I firmly believe in doing physical exercise every single day. It triggers the production of neurotransmitters such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Endorphins reduce the perception of pain and stress. Serotonin affects most of our 40 million brain cells, playing a role in regulating our mood, appetite, memory, social behaviour, and more. Dopamine levels influence our sleep, motivation, attention, among other behaviours and functions.
Aside from the purely psychological part of movement, it also keeps our bodies healthy. This is why I have selected some of my favourite free yoga classes to tackle some common issues we face when spending too much time at home, or just sitting in general:
2. Strengthen your core
Core muscles support your spine while having huge importance in basic everyday activities such as getting up, walking or bending down to grab something. A strong core (along with hip flexibility from point 1) is essential to protect your lower back, something many struggle with due to hours of sitting. Here are two of my favourite YouTube videos for core strength which get the job done in less than 15 minutes:
There are so many concepts and expectations surrounding meditation that many end up doing it while questioning themselves “Am I doing this right?”. If you are a complete beginner, going for a guided meditation, such as this one for manifesting the things that you want in your life, is your best bet. Guided meditations are easy to follow and getting lost in thoughts is harder with them. If you’re into this, drop me a line on Instagram and I can add you to my free Whatsapp group where I share a new meditation every day, along with some practical tips and curious information.
It might be hard to admit but to a large extent, we take care of ourselves to look better for others. As we are hardly going out or meeting any people, many are slacking on basics such as brushing your hair, shaving your beard or changing from your pyjamas. This, however, shows a lack of respect for yourself, that’s why it’s called “self-care”. Since it makes no sense to put on a fancy hairstyle or make-up, focus on treatments that will boost the health of your hair and skin. Think nourishing hair masks, hydrating hand creams, gentle face washes, etc.
5. Learn a language
To me, language-learning is a time and effort investment that is bound to pay off. My advice is to go for a language you like, or learn the language of a culture you’re curious about, rather than reasoning “Chinese will help my career” or “Germany has a strong economy”. It’s next to impossible to be motivated long-term to do something you are not passionate about. On my way to mastering a fifth foreign language, I’m using Italki, an excellent website that connects you to native partners for language exchange or teachers for online classes. Hit me up and I can send you some free credits.
6. Acquire a skill
Whether if’s learning about SEO, creative writing, negotiations, public speaking or videography, you’ve got a ton on free resources. My preferred way of learning is YouTube as videos are interactive and they activate two of your senses, which aids your memory. Alternatively, you can do a test to uncover the type of learner you are, to choose the best approach for you. Based on this knowledge you will be able to acquire skills faster, which will, in turn, boost your confidence and keep you going.
7. Cook something new
Chances are you’ve already experimented in the kitchen since the lockdown has started. If you still haven’t, or you’re looking for some healthy recipes in general, these are some that my readers and I love:
8. Social media detox
I tried this one last weekend to test whether it will help me be more productive. Truth be told, there are thousands of ways to waste your time and procrastinate even without social channels. Nevertheless, dropping constant messaging for a couple of days left me feeling more centred, relaxed and at peace with myself. You can even try to stay away from social media during the week if your job allows you to do that.
9. Minimalist challenge
Personally, I don’t do this now as minimalism has become a part of my digital nomad lifestyle, changing countries and cities too often to bother owning much. If you cannot remember the last time you de-cluttered your desktop or closet, doing a challenge like this can help you stay more organised and focused. I enjoy letting go of things that don’t bring me joy anymore they way that some feel about shopping. Here’s an amazing 30 days to Minimalism guide.