Seriously, what should I do with my time if I'm in real quarantine and I cannot go out for two weeks? How to avoid going crazy without face-to-face contact with the human race? If you're in a similar situation, here come a few of my quarantine tips from art.
Quarantine Tips from Art
Establish a morning routine
Spending hours in bed? No, no, no, wake up at the usual time, let the sunshine into your room, and get out of bed. I turn on salsa cubana to start my day with a positive vibe. Moving my hips and imagining I'm dancing with Patrick Swayze always puts a smile on my face.
Pajamas are a big no no
I don't recommend making these two weeks a never ending weekend. It won't pay off for your mental health and sooner or later you will turn into a mushroom. Wear tracksuits or elegant kimonos, but leave the pajamas in bed. It will make the distinction between daytime and nighttime clearer for your brain.
Enjoy long breakfasts
I love having long breakfasts. I usually have them on Sundays only but these days I have them daily. I usually pick a 40 minute long podcast which I listen to as I eat (that's for those who are alone in quarantine, otherwise, talk to your flatmates!) my fried eggs (or tofu), coffee, and perhaps a cigarette. Just simply listening to the podcast and looking out the window.
Gaze out upon the world
If you have a balcony, go out every hour for a couple of minutes. Put a jacket on, a scarf and look out on to the world. If you don't have one, open up the window and start noticing the birds which fly around or little insects walking on the windowsill. Befriend them, talk to them. Look at the leaves beginning to burst from their buds or at cars passing-by. Breathe.
Count your toes. And recount them
I am a very restless being who cannot sit still longer than an hour but these days I catch myself more and more often just sitting and staring. I stare at my reflection in the mirror. I count my toes or look at the shape of my own nails. I study my scars. I track the direction in which my hair grows. I examine my teeth and gums. I guess it's to make sure they're all in place and I'm still myself.
Pamper your plants
I love having plants in my flat but to be frank, I rarely take care of them. This is the moment to cherish them, so I dust the leaves and trim them, I water them, change the soil and, of course, play some Beethoven so they grow better.
Write a (gratitude) journal
Psychologists say it's good to start writing a gratitude journal and update it every day to keep the spirits high. I would say that writing any journal is fine as it helps to let your fears and anxieties out. Nobody has to read it. In my journal I even write what I eat and what movies I watch and how they make me feel. Another quarantine tip from art, a really important one:
Make time off-screen sacred
You work remotely on your computer. You watch movies on your computer or tv. You browse Instagram on your phone. You FaceTime your friends on your phone. You read news on your phone. Before you know it, you end up spending the whole day in front of a screen. And it's not good for your eyes, your brain or your mental health. Remember to plan your activities and to always spend some time, ideally 50% of the day, away from any screens. What to do then? See below.
Do new things
Keeping busy is essential to maintain a sense of purpose, the driving force behind life. I have reluctantly decided to learn Spanish (still cannot get myself to do it) and my mum says she will start to crochet again. You don't even need to look for an online course. Make a collage from old magazines, write letters to your lovers and friends, knit, make bread...
Cook creatively using all that’s in your pantry
It has been proven that most people rely on 8 recipes that they know well and they end up cooking them all the time. I do it, but I am also a great enemy of food waste, so I decided to cook new recipes with the ingredients that have been gathering dust on my pantry shelves for way too long. Jars of chickpeas, cucumbers, peas, hold on! If you are not a master chef, treat it as a challenge: to learn how to cook.
Clean! Dust off the cobwebs and spring-clean.
Most people do a serious clean-up in spring anyway. It's time to refresh your winter wardrobe, open long-neglected closets, go through your collection of shoes, bags and ties. Washing windows to let more light in is definitely a good idea. And turn your washing machine on, now the right time to wash all those pairs of socks that have been piling up!
Move your body
As I confessed at the beginning of this article, I dance by myself while listening to salsa. Being alone has one advantage in this instance at least, nobody is going to laugh at my dance moves! So turn up that old Micheal Jackson, Britney Spears, or Black Sabbath record and dance! If you prefer, you can lift weights, do some yoga, pilates, HIIT, whatever takes your fancy. What's important is that you do it consistently, every day please!
Make a home spa
Do you have a pile of face masks that you bought, thinking that you'd one day have 30 minutes to yourself to use them? I do, and now I will finally turn myself into a Top Model as my face will soon be as smooth as a baby's bum. Maybe you haven't done your nails in ages? Or maybe you need to trim your beard? The moment has arrived. Make the most of it.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve called my old friends from university, friends from high school, and I’ve checked on my little cousin. I speak to my grandparents every second day and of course my parents and boyfriend. I recommend calling friends that you haven’t connected with in ages, colleagues from work, even your exes. No, not to kill the loneliness but just to make sure they're safe and sound. And that they obey the quarantine rules!
These are my quarantine tips from art. Do you have your own? Share them with us!
Here’s a full list of our “Lockdown” home entertainment articles. Stay safe and #Stayhome!