In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, many of us are looking for things to do while practicing social distancing and self-isolation. Here are 10 things you can do to pass the time at home:
1. Find ways to stay connected with friends and family
2. Take time to adapt to your new lifestyle
- Change out of your pyjamas and wash your hair, even if you’re not leaving the house. I spent the first few days of quarantine lounging in my pyjamas and forsaking shampoo, both of which did nothing for my productivity and self-esteem.
- Maintain a schedule.
- If you’re working from home: try to separate ‘work life’ and ‘home life’ life by allocating different tasks to different rooms. My housemate, for example, set up a workspace in her bedroom — her ‘work’ — and uses the living room to relax — her ‘home’.
- Try to keep things organised around the house. A clean and tidy room = a clear mind.
3. Try out new recipes
4. Give your home a little makeover
Self-isolation is a great excuse to do some spring cleaning. Sort through your wardrobes, clean out your cupboards, and rearrange or update your furniture.
5. Take an online course
- A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course to become a qualified English language teacher.
- The Dutch Red Cross offers various online courses, including a free First Aid course (in English).
- Websites like Coursera and edX offer hundreds of (free) online courses in a range of subject areas by accredited universities around the globe.
If you’re interested in accessibility and disability-focused courses, make sure to check out:
- “Introduction to Accessibility and Inclusive Design” offered by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- “Disability Awareness and Support” offered by University of Pittsburgh
- “Disability Inclusion in Education: Building Systems of Support” offered by University of Cape Town
6. Start a new creative project
7. Explore the the world through virtual museum tours
Just because we can’t visit museums, doesn’t mean we can’t bring the museums to us. For a list of my favourite virtual museum tours in Amsterdam, take a look at: “5 Museums in Amsterdam that you can visit from the comfort of your sofa“.
8. Research your family history
If you’re interested in your family tree, now is the time to do some research. Thanks to Ancestry.com, I was able to get in touch with distant relatives in Canada and trace a photo of my British great grandmother. This was especially heartwarming for my grandmother, who lost her mum at a very young age and didn’t have a photo showing her face. Who knows what you might find!
9. Support your local community
Many people in especially isolated or at-risk (health) groups will need extra support. If you’re interested in helping, or in need of help yourself, look into suitable initiatives in your local area.
If you’re in Amsterdam and would like to offer or receive help:
- “Serve the City Amsterdam” to provide care packages, financial aid, and other services
- “Voor Elkaar in Amsterdam” if you’d like to help someone with groceries, transport, etc. or are in need of help yourself
- “Wij Amsterdam” provides information about various (volunteer) initiatives across the city
- “Vrijwilligers Centrale Amsterdam” to send a free card, become an online buddy, and a variety of other (virtual) volunteer opportunities
- “Ready2Help” by the Dutch Red Cross is a network of volunteers that can be connected to individuals who need support, especially those in high risk groups
- “NL Voor Elkaar” to place/ respond to individual requests for support
10. Take a break
The uncertainty, change and loss caused by the coronavirus makes it a stressful and difficult time for all of us — for some more so than others. Whatever your situation, try to take a break and take care of yourself as much as possible.
Thank you to everyone working round the clock in hospitals, in medical labs and elsewhere to battle this virus. Thank you to teachers, daycare staff, supermarket workers, pharmacists, delivery workers, and all other professionals playing a big part in keeping our society going. The rest of us need to do our part and stay at home as much as possible. Take care and stay safe.
What have you been up to in self-isolation? Let me know in the comments below!