5 Ways to Stay Happy in Quarantine
If you told me just four months ago that I would be wishing — praying — for a reason to leave the house, I would think you were crazy. Me, an introvert, tired of being home?
Nah, you must not know me well enough.
But here I sit, and here we all sit, surrounded by electronics and tucked in our beds… wanting to go back to public. Yearning for the much needed conversation with a friend or even a stranger at this point. Who would have thought that we’d be dreaming of returning to our obligations? You know, the ones we used to complain about.
When we locked our doors to the outside world, I thought to myself, everyone welcome to the introverts world. Truly, I tell you, I expected my life to basically stay unchanged as I am your classic example of hermit. I’m getting a degree online and my job is not your typical 9–5, I have plenty of free time. Free time which I spend relaxing in bed.
But I was wrong. I never even realized how often I actually spend outside the house!
It’s 2020 and we have all this technology, but we want to get away from it. We want human interaction, we want to see others and eat in a restaurant again. We are stuck taking five walks a day, wishing our neighbors would stop crossing the road to avoid us.
Ok, I might be getting a little sidetracked here.
The issue that I face, as many others, is that being cooped up in a house causes us to be cooped up with our emotions. I’ve struggled with both anxiety and depression for years and have only began to discover coping mechanisms that work for me.
However, this quarantine is making this a lot more difficult.
For those of us struggling to keep ahold of themselves, know that there are still things you can do. I know it might seem tough, but remember that you are stronger than your negative thoughts.
With that being said, here are a few ways to stay happy during quarantine.
Before you tell me that this is not your style, I implore you to try it out. Humor it, if you will. Have you seen the research done that supports regular meditation?
As I mentioned in one of my other articles, I am a psychology major. My interest is mainly in mental disorders, which includes anxiety and depression. Meditation is proven to yield high and long lasting results!
Only 30 minutes a day can significantly improve depression. I personally do meditation in 10–15 minute sessions at least twice a day (once in the morning, once at night). I’ve seen such a turnover in my own mental wellbeing and an improvement in my self-worth. My happiness, confidence, security and compassion has bloomed more than I thought possible through meditation.
Meditation not only improves depression but also grounds you. Through breathing exercises, you train your brain to focus on the physical exercise of breathing. This calms your brain which directly affects your anxiety. When you practice meditation regularly, this allows you to keep in touch with your mood swings throughout the day. Not only do you become more aware of your feelings, you’re able to catch them before they spiral.
It is necessary and probably one of the most helpful tools to be able to tame that wild ego.
If you are interested in finding out more about the scientific benefits of meditating, here is an article by Healthline.
2. Try a New Exercise
When we are trapped in our homes, we lose sight of the importance of taking care of ourselves. We think, “no one’s going to see us, so it doesn’t matter.” Due to this mindset, we allow the mundane tasks to slip away.
Exercise is no exception to this.
I urge you to take a step further than just exercising. Sure, we might fall into the habit of doing HIIT workouts or yoga everyday (or never, I’m not judging), but these aren’t normal days.
We need to be entertained. We need something refreshing in our lives.
So, what have you not tried before? It could be fun, even. Look up Just Dance videos on YouTube or even learn kick boxing! There’s so much you can watch. It’s all at your fingertips! It doesn’t have to be super intense; I’m not trying to wear you out here. We’re trying to find something fun.
Your body will thank you for it (you will too, when summer comes).
3. Try Arts and Crafts
If you’re anything like me, you will have some sort of artistic material laying around. I have oil paints, charcoal pencils and many colored pencils.
It can be simple. Maybe you’ve got some Crayola markers. Anything will work here.
Now, do something artsy. Something fun. I recommend watching a Bob Ross. I surely don’t have all the paint colors required to make an actual painting, but I sure as heck can try! Invite a family member if you can, or a friend on a face chat.
Make it fun. Add in rules, like if you don’t have a color similar to Bob’s to do something silly or take a drink. Maybe use crazy colors, where you don’t look at them before you dip the brush into the paint. Imagine the memory attached to an “abstract” piece such as that?
There are so many possibilities with this one. Art doesn’t have to come out perfect, it just has to be fun.
If you’re not into that, find some lace or yarn around the house. Try to make your own dream weaver. Or a birds house out of the random stick of wood in the backyard (come on, you know you have some).
There are many things you can do with just household items. Want more ideas? Here’s a link to another source! I personally think the DIY vintage tin cans are something cute to try.
4. It’s a Good Time to Explore the Internet
Go deep, deep, deep into the internet. And I mean DEEP. There are crazy things there! You know how you begin watching YouTube and then five hours later you’re somehow watching a video on strange conspiracy theories?
You can’t say you haven’t.
There’s just so much to experience (good or bad). Maybe you’ll find something worth texting a friend about, because you know that these text messages are starting to fall flat.
What did you do today?
Oh, nothing. You?
After you’ve seen things you probably didn’t mean to, take time and search things that you’ve been curious about. Mine recently was discovering that some people consider themselves witches.
Admittedly, I might be late to the show, but this blew my mind! Before I knew it, I was so deep in watching these videos about the best witchy items to buy at Hobby Lobby and what the heck a spirit animal is. Of course, I mean no disrespect to any witches that might be reading this.
Please don’t hex me!
5. Attempt Productivity
Did you know that a lot of schools are offering free classes online? Many Ivy leagues are doing this, and it’s truly amazing!
It seems like the best time to be able to grab an opportunity such as that. Why not, right? It’s not like you’re doing anything else but watching TikTok for hours. No shame, I’ve been there too.
So, try and learn a new skill!
You could even learn to cook. I’m sure there’s something in the house you can cook or even bake. I just made a delectable cake today and plan to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch next week.
Maybe work on that book you’ve been tossing around in your head? Start your YouTube channel? After all, everyone’s drowning their time watching YouTube… at least I am.
My productivity has been spent writing articles, such as this one, because I have found that I enjoy doing it. Maybe you won’t get much traction if you’re just starting (as I am), but if you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t really matter.
Of course, once you’ve started four different novels and can’t seem to continue writing any of them, then maybe it’s time for a creativity boost.
I sure needed one. Those stories aren’t going to write themselves.
Don’t cause unneeded stress in this already hectic time. Enjoy yourself, this “break” from reality isn’t going to last long. Surround yourself with positivity, laughter and things you enjoy doing.
Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new passion during this quarantine.