Blair Garrett

Amidst the COVID-19 chaos, it is tough to get out and do many of the things we’re so accustomed to doing.

The virus has everyone on red alert, and with awareness of germs and transmission of illnesses at an all-time high, opportunities for a fun day trip seem like a distant venture. But being on lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t still do things you enjoy.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has put guidelines and suggestions forth for the public to follow, including limitations on numbers of people in groups (10), hand washing and sanitation procedures, and non-essential places to avoid. That includes bars, movie theaters, and your favorite local hangouts until notified otherwise.

Cancelation after cancelation has limited many of the group activities, and with the uncertainty of how long the social distancing and quarantines may last, taking a break from all the madness may be just what you need to outlast the virus. Check out a few of the ways you can relieve stress, be productive, and escape the boredom of the restrictions around us.

Outdoor Exercise

Going outside may be your last thought during a quarantine, but fresh air and a bit of movement can do wonders for you mentally and physically. Nobody likes being stuck indoors for days on end, and the CDC has promoted distanced exercise as a safe alternative to your regularly scheduled lockdown activity.

That means a walk around the neighborhood or a walk through the woods is a perfectly fine way to pass the time, and exercising to keep your body in shape is one of the very best ways you can build up your immune system’s defense.

As the weather gets warmer, the outdoors become more inviting for an early morning jog, and as long as you maintain a healthy distance from crowds, it’s a perfectly fine activity. Many residents of cities and more urban areas may not have the luxury of wide open space to take the dogs for a walk, so be sure to take advantage of rural Northern Frederick County’s fresh air. Best of all, dogs are immune to the virus, so no need to worry about your pups getting ill, too.

Purging the House

It’s a great time to clear the clutter in your household. Cleaning out the closets, the pantry, the garage, and so forth, is one of life’s most procrastinated-yet-necessary tasks, and an undetermined amount of time stuck at home gives the perfect excuse to tackle a messy house.

Often the thing keeping us from organizing the things out of order in our lives is lacking the time to dedicate adequate focus toward it. With most businesses on a temporary hiatus, the time you would normally spend out with friends or blowing off steam is likely freed up to be put toward something else.

Productivity in crisis is a great way to keep your mind occupied, while also greatly benefiting other areas of your life you may have been putting on the back burner for some time.

Reading/Writing Something New

Catching up on books or finally pushing yourself to write something of your own is a great way to spark creativity that may have been put off. Watching Netflix or Hulu will burn time, but reading and exploring a new story where your mind can fill in the details has unparalleled benefits to healthy brain function.

The discovery and critical thinking associated with reading and writing is tremendously important for brain development; so whether it’s you tackling a new book or your kids, it can be the perfect way to allow yourself an escape, even for just an hour or two a day.

One of the most popular creative outlets is poetry, and whether or not you have ever read or written poetry before should not shackle you from trying it for yourself. There are tons of forms of poetry easy enough to grasp, and they can be a powerful means of communication to express a state of mind, an imagined scene, or an innocent moment in time.

 If poetry is not your style, there are thousands of sports and art forums to explore through national magazines, newspapers, and massive online social information centers like Twitter or Reddit. With professional sports seasons on indefinite suspension, millions of Americans are clamoring for material, ideas, and information, all at your fingertips with the internet. It may just be the perfect time to write that blog or article about whatever interests you.

Picking Up a New Hobby

Too much free time can breed complacency. Without ample access to our normal day-to-day tasks, it is easy to fall into a rut of binging TV and taking far too many naps. Why not pick up something you’ve always wanted to do?  

Obviously the big restriction is whether or not your desired new hobby is something you can do mostly from the confines of your home. But there are plenty of valuable skills you can at least start from the comfort of your property.

Gardening, learning a new recipe, or learning how to hand-craft a bench all prove to be incredibly valuable skills, not just for the time being, but throughout your life. Food homegrown in your backyard somehow tastes just a little bit sweeter than food bought elsewhere, and it goes hand-in-hand with sharpening your culinary technique.

A new hobby will soak up your time and push you through a quarantine in no time, and you never know what a new and interesting skill will lead you into next. 

Use what free time you do have wisely, and don’t be afraid to try out something new. Regardless of how you pass your time, taking proper precautions to keep yourself and others safe from the virus is paramount, but it doesn’t have to run your life.

Life is what you make it. Make it good.

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