1) Do Sports:
Use the time to get fit or to stay fit. Now there aren´t any excuses anymore to not do sports because of the lacking time or pressure. The beginning might be hard but motivate yourself. Start with a short time and increase the time every day. Daily exercises keep you fit. Sports also affects our brain mentally, we get new energy and feel better and happier, as our brain releases chemicals, neurotransmitters known as endorphins, which reduces stress and creates euphoric feelings. Especially during these times, where nothing holds us anymore, where we might have a lot of worries, about our situation, whether health or fears about losing our jobs, not knowing whether you can return to your ESC project or not. There are a lot of thoughts in our mind, so just take your time, do some sports to feel better and forget about all these negative things, going on in the world. Do whatever you like to do, some stretching, some running, dance. Nowadays you find a lot of tutorials and ideas on the internet. Just stay fit and healthy.
2) Cooking and Baking:
You always wanted to cook and bake more, stay healthy, try new recipes but you could not find the time for it. No problem, now it´s the perfect opportunity to improve your cooking and baking skills and even profit from these newly developed skills during post-quarantine times. Look for some recipes you would like to try, there was this one dish which you always liked to eat but you never tried to do it yourself. Try it! Even though maybe the first time won´t be the best, don´t give up! Surprise your family or your flatmates with a freshly baked cake or a nice dish, not only will it improve your cooking skills, but also you will spend a great moment together eating, talking and enjoying what you prepared. Food connects people. Also psychologically, cooking and baking, trying to do something on your own, will help you to stay mentally healthy. Seeing the food you prepared from the ingredients to the finished dish, will give you a feeling of pride and happiness. You cannot travel, no worries. Bring an international kitchen to your home. How about cooking something from another country, bring the world on your plate.
3) Learn something new, further self-development :
Use the time to further educate and inform yourself. How about learning something new, a new language, a new skill, something you always wanted to learn but couldn´t find the time and motivation for. Start now! A lot of universities offer you free online courses, just search for your dream university and subject and attend the free courses. You want to learn a new language or further improve your language skills? Use apps and websites like Babbel, Duolingo, Memrise or Rosetta Stone. Acquire a new skill that you will benefit from afterwards. There are so many books in your shelf that are waiting to be read but you never could find the right time, to read them. Then now you have the perfect opportunity, grab your book, grab a drink and if the weather is good, sit on the balcony or in the garden to read. Also, read in different languages to improve your language skills.
4) Stay social:
I know that it can be really difficult to isolate yourself and to not see your loved ones for such a long time. But just because you cannot meet your friends and family in person, that does not mean that you cannot talk. Call your parents, call your grandparents, call your friends. Ask them how they are, especially during these times, where everything seems to be dark. It is important to keep in touch, to stay social, give other´s the feeling that they matter, that they are not alone. A simple talk with our loved ones can change our whole mood. Just hearing their voices makes us feels better and happy. So talk! What about a game night or a movie night with our friends? Thanks to applications like Zoom or Skype you can video call your friends and (virtually) hang out together, despite social distancing.
5) Plan your post-quarantine time:
Days in these times can indeed be really boring and there seems no hope. Every day seems to be the same and there is no end in sight but also these times will be over, even though it will take some time but inch by inch we will get back to normal life. So create yourself something that makes you feel good, find yourself something that gives you hope, and which you can look forward to.
Do you want to start studying? Search for universities and use this time to plan everything.
Do you want to plan a reunion with everyone after times of social distancing? Go ahead.
You want to travel, you want to see the world. Go and search for some places you would love to visit, look at photos of previous travels to get into the feeling of travelling, even though it is not possible these days.
No matter what it is, whether it is a walk through the park, the ocean you want to visit, your future life you want to plan. Most important just find something in the future, that gives you hope and something you can look forward to.
6) Be happy and stay healthy:
Do whatever makes you happy, stay positive and take care of yourself. Nowadays there are so many opportunities for online activities. You can visit a museum virtually, create your own cinema at home, talk to friends. Just stay positive, during these times it´s normal to start thinking a lot and questioning yourself, regretting your actions and falling back into old patterns or bad moods. Try to prevent that by giving yourself some hope, by doing whatever makes you happy. Take care of yourself, do some self-care, meditate, relax, do what you like and what you feel like doing.
As you can see there are a lot of things you can do with so much time, you will never have that amount of time again, so use your time wisely. But also don´t stress yourself, it´s a new situation for everyone, no one went through this before, so don´t be too strict to yourself, if it is a lazy day or even a lazy week that you need, then it´s completely fine as well. Just be true to yourself and accept it.
The Effects of Sports on Emotional Health, Dan Ketchum, https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/effects-sports-emotional-health-6567.html, (last access: 29.04.2020)
The 6 Best Free Language Learning Apps of 2020, Stacy Fisher, last update: April 21, 2020, https://www.lifewire.com/the-7-best-free-language-learning-apps-1357060, (last access: 29.04.2020)