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You are probably cursing this quarantine period, feeling imprisoned within four walls and deprived of all those social and outdoor activities that are a necessary part of our psycho-physical well-being. It is true, but one must think that a) the situation is only temporary and b) not all evils come to harm.
Except for those who have to go to work all the same, a large part of us are now working from home or are even being forced to stop altogether and we, therefore, find ourselves having much more free time on our hands. Here, to ensure that this time “rained from the sky” is not lost, I suggest some activities to do to make the best of the situation, and to transform and give new meaning to this “limbo” in which we are immersed.
Spring has just begun and so there is no better time to devote yourself to green care. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, this is the perfect time to get it back in shape! Mowing the grass, pruning trees and shrubs, or perhaps even setting up a beautiful vegetable garden are all activities that will also allow you to spend some time outside. Otherwise, enrich the balcony, terrace, or internal rooms with vases and pots containing various plants (as well as some aromatic ones which are great for when cooking!). The beneficial effect on mood and air quality, by the keeping of plants indoors, has been proven, and taking care of them helps fight stress, anxiety and depression.
Forgotten contacts and underlying problems
Lost in our hectic daily lives, it can happen that we forget to cultivate relationships with people who live far away from us or with whom we are not dealing with on a daily basis. Now is an opportunity to pick up your agenda and make a call or send an email to someone dear, who, for one reason or another, in the last few months/years has been neglected. It will certainly be an appreciated gesture!
If there are issues that remain outstanding and still to be resolved with a person, this time can be used to reflect. It can be a time to try to find a solution and to clarify, first of all with ourselves and then subsequently, with others. In the stress of an avalanche of commitments to manage and life at a dizzying speed like that of our own contemporary society, we tend to give priority to the “most important and most urgent matters”, thus making hasty decisions which later become unresolved conflicts.
Indulge in culture with all the online programmes theaters, publishers, radios and various institutions are offering for free to promote themselves and search for new affiliates during this period at home. There are so many available and the amount is increasing by the day! You can choose to listen to an audiobook, read an e-book or comic, watch a famous theatrical show or a vintage film, visit a virtual museum, or browse the UNESCO heritage. There really is something suitable for everyone’s tastes! Here are some links:
There are no more excuses for not picking up (virtually) a newspaper and delving into the news and issues we have heard on the grape vine, the ones we have never really had time to inform ourselves properly about. Likewise, try turning to expert videos, radio podcasts, and streaming programmes which can simplify complex topics, offer you interviews, and give you a “vision” of the facts.
Tutorials mon amour
How about learning to do something new, something which you have always wanted to dedicate yourself to but never found the time? The beauty of tutorials – the majority being on Youtube – is that you can decide when to follow them, without having a fixed time. Another is that you can stop and review them as many times as you need to when you don’t understand a step! If you want, you can also share your doubts to the passionate amateur who published the video who will then offer an explanation. A few suggestions are: how to create the perfect smokey eye effect, DIY, simple Waltz dance steps, how to do a French braid… Use quarantine to do something useful!
It seems obvious but it really is the best time to do some spring cleaning. Sift through the accumulated bureaucracy, sort the photos on your hardisk and print the most beautiful ones, sell unwanted clothes, objects and furniture that you no longer use but are still in good condition, online. Revamp and give new life to vintage clothes with help from the fantastic ideas that can be found on the net. Get rid of all expired medicines. In short, make room for the future!
Board games in quarantine
Often they are underestimated but there really are some fun and interesting games to play in the house like Pictionary, Voodoo, Codename, Dobble, and Cranium. Not forgetting the classics, of course, such as Monopoly, Cluedo, Taboo, Trivial or Dubito (with cards). Even organising a small treasure hunt around the house could be fun!
Quarantine is an opportunity to get to know those around you even more: do some activities together, talk to your family, listen to the stories they can tell you and look at old slides and photographs with them, let them confess a recipe or dish that they particularly like and then try cooking it together…
Plan your next trip
Better to organise it in advance, right? Rather than doing it last minute, avoid the stress of not finding a place, the risk of paying skyhigh prices or even settling for choices that do not fully satisfy your requirements, and take this time to decide on a destination by weighing up the pros and cons. Inform yourself about the experiences of others who have already been there and listen to their advice. Think also about what methods of transport you will need to use, what attractions you’ll visit, what and where the best places to stay might be… and of course, if you plan on travelling with someone, get them to participate in the project too so that you can agree and plan together! Finally, put your budget aside thanks to the help of apps like Goodbudget and Mint.
Learn a language
Many language organisations are currently offering tools for learning or perfecting foreign languages. They range from online courses (hourly packages for conversation or exercises), to materials to use, not to mention the possibility of many TV series available in different languages. A good site to be kept up to date is Scambieuropei. http://www.scambieuropei.info
Finally, after reading this list of ideas of how to make the most during quarantine, make a list of your own inserting the activities you will do once this period is over. There will be so many that even those will require planning! I bet the majority will be hobbies that make you happy and that make you realise, and appreciate, how many things we have, up until now, taken for granted!