If I could actually break into a song and dance right now, it’d be a favourite from my teen days. *sings ‘We’re all in this together’ from High School Musical* Globally, we are all coming together against a common enemy – the COVID-19, with social distancing as our powerful weapon.
In trying times like this, especially having to stay indoors, and some of us undesirably away from family and our loved ones – the mood can be dull and frustrating . Here are some ideas on how to keep you out of boredom coma, and find a silver lining whilst you feel deprived of content for your social media accounts.
1) Take Up Challenge(s)
There’s a plenty of things you can attempt as a challenge – and it doesn’t have to be very complicated. Think about some of the habits that you’d like to make or break, and use this time to work on it. Staying home gives you more control and less distraction (relative to your day-to-day life). I, for example, have taken the challenge 1) To drink at least 1.5 L of water, 2) Eat all home-prepped meals & no junk food and 3) Write 3 blog posts , in the course of these 14 days. Keep track of your progress, and reward yourself at the end (only if you stayed on track, baru halal ah).
3 days of meals that I’ve been preparing at home #alonelife
Tips : Keep the challenges to a max. of 5; and choose what really matters & is meaningful to you.
2) Learn New Things
Lucky for us, there’s whole lot of FREE courses available online to enroll in. Some sites available are Udemy, Coursera & EdX. Some of the courses require payment – but mostly it’s for the certificate & grading. The course materials are almost always free. The next best thing about these sites is that they have pretty structured syllabus from renowned universities -so you can learn systematically. If you’d like to invest in better courses, try FranklinCovey-OnDemand, which costs about RM1000 – has various impactful softskills 1-hour programs. I finished 2 courses on the site which I found very useful. (Disclaimer : My access to Franklin-Covey was paid for by the organisation I work for; you can request your HR/Training &Development too!).
Other simpler alternatives are CrashCourse on YouTube which offers a wide range of topics, or Explained series on Netflix. I used to watch these while running on treadmill (when once upon a time I went to gym). If you want to learn a new language, then use the Duolingo app – and you really can progress. I didn’t know that I knew that much French until I watch an ad recently and could more or less make out what they were saying!
We all have that space or drawer in our house that’s a ‘Everything Corner’. I have a storage box which contains my stationary, some souvenirs, random notebooks, stuffed toys, certificates, paper bags, vases, candles and what-not. I’ve been adding more to this said-container, especially because I hoard at every city I’ve been relocating to. Whenever I move, I don’t really unpack this container, which really questions the essentiality
(is this even a word?) of these items. This is a good time to Marie Kondo similar spaces and clear that mess you keep hidden.
You can try this for your online clutter as well. That email address that you use to sign up for EVERYTHING, and now you have 3705 unread emails in your Inbox. Spend some time unsubscribing to the newsletters that are irrelevant to you. You can do this on your social media accounts as well – unfollow the pages you followed a decade ago but find no longer your cup of tea, or the ones that are no longer active. This way, you get more control of what you see online.
4. Catch Up
While it’s relaxing that some of our critical tasks at work have been postponed; and it’s a breather to work from home – it is easy to get distracted and impact our productivity. Working from home can so easily be counter-productive. This is a good time review your To-Dos and work on what’s important. It can be that improvement idea that you have, or a proposal for a potential saving – the kind of things you never got around to doing because there were always more urgent things that needed your attention.
I’m almost grateful that I have this breather – to resurface from the pile I’ve been under – because at least 60% of the urgent items have been pushed; giving me time to refocus and catch up on work that add more value.
Tips : Use the Urgent-Important Matrix, and reevaluate your To-Do list; so when you return to office, you can focus on Q2 instead of burning out with Q1 and Q3 tasks.
5. Reconnect with Your Loved Ones
Other than the stories of hardships of how they struggled during commute to school and struggling childhood (most Brown parents tell these stories?), we rarely know our parents for who they are as individuals. Years ago, I sat both my parents (separately) for an ‘interview’ session and asked them a set of questions. I found out that my father wanted to be a teacher if he’ve had the resources back then, and finds it difficult that his girls have grown up and that my mother told me that she thought I could’ve been smarter – but still proud of me! There’s so many parts of their younger lives that we don’t know – maybe you could sit & interview them to find out more.
The same applies to your partner or spouse. Give a call and catch up with that friend that you’ve spoken to in months or years.
BONUS: Try Social Media Detox
Truth be told – this is a tough one. Being cooped indoors can already be frustrating – and scrolling up social media keeps us occupied. That being said, social media can also be a source of frustration – what with the bad news, increasing number of cases, fake news, repeated tweets about the same things and videos of our clown of a Health Minister. We all need a break from this constant feed of negativity. Thanks to the RMO, there’s no need for FOMO – because everyone’s home (at least they should be!). I am yet to try this one out myself – so I’m curious if I remain sane, especially because I’ll have to remain home alone.
That sums up my ideas for now. Do let me know in the comments if there’s anything else that you’re doing; would love to know. 🙂
Till the next post, stay home, stay safe and most importantly, stay sane! ❤