With Big Data and Artificial Intelligence playing key roles in 2019, many thought 2020 would follow suit. Instead, the buzzwords of the year turned out to be “confinement” and “quarantine”. Today, a vast majority of the world population lives in confinement. Turn to any news outlet and you’re likely to be met with the word QUARANTINE in large case. It’s the new (albeit unwanted) trend, and everybody’s doing it. Sitting in the same place for hours can be unsettling. Now imagine having to do that for days or weeks without the ability to go out or change scenery? We know quarantine-ing can be a daunting challenge, but as usual, we’ve got your back. Here are a few tips to stay fresh, upbeat and make the most of your one-on-one time.

Make a schedule


This works for everybody. Our brains have been trained to be goal-oriented, and finding yourself suddenly with nothing to do at the start of the day can disturb the mindset and leave you down and disoriented. Make a plan to draw yourself a route. It helps your brain see the day more clearly and interpret your time in a healthier manner (instead of time-wasting). Students and professionals will benefit from time-keeping to follow up on their studies or maintain their work pace. For anyone outside these two categories, this can mean setting goals and following through with them. There’s plenty to do with free time on our hands, and if you don’t know where to start, then keep reading through.

Music


Always wanted to learn how to play that cool instrument? Now’s your chance. Music is a great hobby to have or pick up in self-isolation. It is calming for the senses and at the same time requires discipline and rigor. While simply sitting and listening to music brings its own magic, you can use your time alone to take that extra step and start making music. And that is a different feeling altogether.

Books


Books have seen a resurgence since the start of the quarantine trend, which is a shame because they are becoming more and more unpopular on regular days. Books are a portable magic, as a famous author once said, and we fully agree with that. Especially when they are not forced or kept as a last resort at home. Spending time with a book has its own reward, and even if we describe it to you it still won’t do them justice. You just have to try it and see for yourself.

Now what’s a book’s best friend? A journal. If reading consumes too much energy or you’re simply looking for a change of pace and still love words, try writing. That doesn’t necessarily mean producing poems or the next great novel…it can be keeping a diary or creating stories. Writing has proven to be a therapeutic activity and an excellent stimulator for our creativity.

Knowledge


Even if you’re no longer a student, this section still concerns you. There’s never an excuse to not learn something new. We’re fortunate to live in an era where knowledge is attainable by the click of a mouse (or tap of a keyboard), and there’s plenty of material to learn from online. This might finally be the time to learn a new language or skill or dive deeper into a subject that fascinated you during your schooling years.

Sports


We’re not suggesting you play basketball indoors but we’re strongly hinting at investing in some physical activity. Staying in can be a stressful time for many, and most of us compensate that excessive stress with excessive food. Maintaining a regular physical activity – as simple as a routine stretch or a set of push-ups on a daily basis – can go a long way in ensuring you keep a healthy mind encased in a healthy body.

Movies


Ah, what a great time to catch up on those shows your friends kept building up for you over the years! Time to take out that list and start watching!

Relaxation


While the activities above seem like a great way to make good use of your time in self-quarantine, the most important thing to remember is to relax and breathe. Yes, staying in for a long time and seeing our routine drastically and suddenly altered is not easy, but this is a great opportunity to see time as a gift given to us along with other things we have and can be thankful for. Take time to appreciate what you have and savor the moments you spend alone. This can mean staring at a beautiful scenery, picking up some old photo albums and looking through them, meditating or drinking a hot cup of coffee and conversing with a loved one.

We certainly don’t consider this list exhaustive. There are plenty of other things to do while battling quarantine. This list is a curated selection for those struggling to find their rhythm or are afraid to get started. We hope you find these suggestions useful. Stay safe and stay healthy!

By Hanna Abi Akl, alumni