With public places closed and social interaction banned, activities and ways to keep busy have been severely limited. Less reasons to go out translates to spending days in sweats with only technology for entertainment. And now that classes are online, it is incredibly easy to transition from studying to scrolling through social media or binging a Netflix series.
Technology provides endless new updates, funny memes and connection to friends that play a crucial role in our new quarantine lifestyle. However, if you find your lower back aching from slouching over your computer all day or your eyes burning from staring at Tik Tok for hours on end, it may be time to put down the device and detox. This time at home may be the best chance to try something new or relieve some of the stress that college life brings.
As a champion Netflix binger and social media addict, I definitely needed a break from my screen. I gave up electronic-based entertainment for three days to try various other forms of amusement, and I honestly feel more productive than I have since coming home. Here’s my guide to a technology-free quarantine.
Closed gyms are not a reason to stop exercising. According to Time Magazine, exercise is linked to increased memory and learning ability as well as a release of chemicals like dopamine and endorphins that improve mood. Online courses and lockdowns make these two facts increasingly important for mental health and success during the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, the key to exercising during quarantine is to move it outdoors. Whether that is going for a run, bringing the yoga mat to the backyard, or playing frisbee with a friend 6 feet apart. Exercise is one of the few reasons people have to go outside, therefore it’s an obligation to take advantage of it.
There are plenty of resources online for workout inspiration. Besides the many Youtube channels for all types of workouts, the internet and social media contains thousands or printable workouts to strengthen your muscles and increase your heart rate. Body weight workouts are excellent if you do not have equipment at home. Planning workouts for the week will help with motivation, reduce screen time and generate a routine to promote productivity.
With restaurants only delivering everyone must make their own food. Cooking and baking provide a large variety of recipes and hours of entertainment. You do not have to cook exclusively for yourself either; prepping family dinners (with washed hands!) supplies vital social interaction at the table.
You can find a recipe in a cookbook or online and have the luxury to go to the store to pick up the ingredients. But, if you are like me and have parents who are currently afraid to step into a supermarket, you can use what you have. Pull out random ingredients and cook “Chopped”style or adjust recipes to fit your resources.
During my detox I noticed there were large amounts of peanut butter and almond flour in my house, so I baked these six-ingredient peanut butter cookies. Improvising utilizes more time, but requires more creativity to keep you entertained.
Crafts and Hobbies
There are thousands of different crafts and DIYs posted online or on social media. If your house lacks art supplies, Amazon contains many different products to supply your crafting needs and Michaels now provides curbside delivery when you order online. I luckily live in a very crafty house, and therefore have broken this category up into two subcategories.
The first category is reviving old hobbies. Maybe the college lifestyle required sacrificing hobbies and activities for clubs, internships, and classes. Maybe there was a craft you enjoyed as a child and haven’t picked up in years, and now is the perfect time to start again. I personally loved friendship bracelets growing up and have been scouring Youtube for new patterns to learn. You could play your musical instrument from high school, revive your childhood drawing style, reread your favorite book series or construct a puzzle. This is your chance to do something with your hands and head that brings back a little nostalgia.
The second category involves finding a new hobby. Whether it’s playing guitar or building a computer, there are Youtube tutorials for anything and everything (the one exception to technology detoxes are Youtube tutorials). Rather than filling your Instagram and Tik Tok feed with painting, woodworking and makeup videos, just do those activities yourself. You could even grab a family member or friend to try the hobby with you; I took up knitting and knit with friends over Facetime and painted with my mom. Without clubs and social events, there is plenty of time to get over the learning curve and master a new skill.
Self-care is not just a buzzword that correlates with bath bombs and face masks; self-care is really any activity that involves scheduling time for yourself to relieve stress. This varies from person to person, but I have a few personal favorite activities that all college-students love.
In our current chaotic world, you sometimes need an escape that excludes a screen. Music offers a chance to dance around the room or chill out on your bed and immerse yourself in the beat. You can swap playlists with your friends or stalk their Spotify to discover new jams as a way to stay connected with others. Spotify also offers podcasts and meditations to listen to during exercise or hobbies.
Creating organization and routines are crucial during times of great uncertainty. If you have been living in sweatpants in your bed for the past week, then your room might need tidying. Rearranging your closet, donating old clothes and throwing away old papers declutter the space you spend most of your day in. Taking an hour to plan your week with planners or bullet journals relieves stress from all the online work and allows you to schedule in time for yourself, whether that is an hour power nap or time to learn a new skill.
Email Emilee Klein at [email protected]