Written by Tanishka Khanduja.
Amidst the horrors of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the world, boredom and sedentary lifestyles have coaxed individuals to teeter on the edge of sanity globally. We are so accustomed to the idea of being preoccupied with work, life, travel, exploration etc that when we are forced to give up that idea, a bizarre sense of vulnerability possesses us because we are persuaded to confront our own thoughts and needs, something that we tend to suppress by acknowledging everything around us but ourselves.
Now that we are all locked up at home and in our own minds that seem like convoluted inescapable labyrinths, people are bound to spiral. Having said that, some might face this challenge head-on and thrive intellectually, emotionally, physically and/or spiritually whilst others may fall prey to unhealthy lifestyles. The only light at the end of the tunnel is evolving and adapting to the unfamiliar and challenging times that some might argue is a boon in disguise. Here are a few ideas to help you come out of quarantine as a winner:
1. Get Those Endorphins Pumping
As a fitness enthusiast myself, I can vouch that fitness and workouts are not only rewarding but can also make you happier because of the hormone endorphin that is released when you engage in strenuous physical activity that triggers a positive feeling in the body. It induces calmness in you and is truly therapeutic for your mind, soul and body. I know it is a bit of a cliche but biologically speaking, a healthy body truly does breed a healthy mind and vice versa. Because gyms are shut and we are locked within the four walls of our homes, it is essential that we develop a sense of flexibility when it comes to fitness because we do not have access to the same machines and equipment that we ideally would have had in gyms.
Functional routines and core intensive exercises are great because it doesn’t require any specific equipment. I would personally recommend downloading the app HomeWorkout to kickstart your routines and explore isolated workouts that strengthen particular parts of the body, especially core, triceps, biceps, back and glutes.
Yoga is extremely helpful for one’s respiration, metabolism, flexibility, weight reduction and vitality making it extremely beneficial especially during these times. Your physicality determines the extent of your mental and physical growth but it is essential to keep yourself motivated and never give up. Hustle that muscle!
2. Read Up
Did work and deadlines keep you from reading that one book you have been dying to read for the past three months? It’s your lucky day or better yet, your lucky year because you now have the liberty to do so and grow intellectually. Even if you aren’t into reading as much as most people and the smell of a fresh new book doesn’t excite you like a child hearing the sound of an ice cream truck, it is important to keep yourself mentally stimulated. Trying and learning new things assists in neuroplasticity which is why intellectual growth is dependent on the same.
It need not necessarily be a book you immerse yourself in. Familiarise yourself with the news, sign up for an online course, research about topics you have been dying to explore profoundly but have never gotten the chance or time to. Do anything and everything that kindles your intellectual curiosity like wildfire. Why? Because you have the chance to do so! Make the most of it because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
3. Know Your Way Around The Kitchen
Try learning new recipes and exploring the kitchen. Bake a cake or cook delectable curry for your family. Embrace your inner Gordon Ramsey. It is exceptionally relaxing and enjoyable to make something for yourself and for your family even if it isn’t impeccable the first time you try to make something. Hone your skills and develop new ones because they will indisputably assist you in the future, in some way or another.
It is important to know your way around the kitchen- as a husband, a wife or even a teenager going to university in a year. Being self-sufficient in life is paramount but who said you can’t enjoy the process of being self-reliant in the kitchen? I have personally transitioned from someone who could barely make toast for herself without burning it to someone who can cook three-course meals for her parents and her younger brother because of quarantine.
It is inexplicably wholesome to see someone’s face illuminate with joy because of a dish you made with your hands and the process itself is therapeutic. Even if you do not have the opportunity to share your happiness with your friends and family because of social distancing, you could always make food to feed the impoverished and homeless who are truly suffering during these dark times.
4. Express Your Creativity
Hone your talents. You may sing, draw, paint, write, dance etc because it is your hobby but when was the last time you actually removed time from your incredibly busy schedules to hone those talents that you have been blessed with? Let your imagination run wild and express your innovations because you have this once in a lifetime opportunity to do so. Inspire others with your self-expression, write that book you’ve been working on but never got time to finish, start a fundraiser or a project to help out the poor, express your creativity on canvas, do whatever makes you happy because it is during dark times like these that your happiness, hope and optimism matters the most.
Do not ignore the gifts you’ve been blessed with. Use them and hone them to change the world because you can. Being trapped in our own minds need not always be a bad thing. Find the things that truly inspire and beguile you in the labyrinth of ideas in your mind and deduce a way to express them in the best way possible. Find your source of solace. Explore it. Hone it. Repeat.
5. Make The Most Of Technology
Humans are social beings which is why social distancing and quarantine has been particularly challenging during these dark times but we do live in a relatively technologically advanced era. Do not abandon the meaningful relationships in your life or forget about your friends and family. Pick up your phone, facetime or Zoom Call them. These are the relationships that matter the most in life. All the success in the world can’t buy you the happiness that someone by your side will give you for free. Don’t forget them.
Apart from interacting with friends on social media, technology plays a pivotal role in several things that are crucial for us during the pandemic. Keep yourself updated about the news globally so that you do not feel entirely cut off from the world and are aware about the developments in different countries pertaining to healthcare, economics, politics etc.
Use technology to work on any assignments you have pending but you can also use it to detox every once in a while. Take a break instead of overworking. Watch that new movie out on Netflix or finish that tv series you’ve been dying to complete but never found the time to. Finding a balance during these challenging times is key. Your mental health is significant; never take it for granted.
I hope these suggestions help you navigate through these particularly difficult times and help you emerge as a winner after quarantine ends globally. Take care of your health in every way possible. Stay strong my fellow warriors!
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Tanishka Khanduja is a Content Writer at The Strong Traveller and for good reason! She is a free-spirited, effervescent and adventurous force to be reckoned with and loves travelling the world and taking inspiration from the beauty that the world offers. Being a student at OIS in Mumbai hasn’t stopped her from achieving her endeavours or pursuing her dreams that she strives to make a reality.
Another post by the author: Andaman And Nicobar Islands: The Underrated Treasure of India