Schools are closed, public gatherings banned. The major airports in the country are also closed and now, there’s a lockdown in some states in Nigeria. All these seem surreal, but it is real. This is basically ‘Birdbox’ in reality. More than ever before, it is important to stay home. Almost everyone needs to self-quarantine and practice social-distancing.
Self-quarantine simply means staying home and ‘avoiding’ people as much as possible for 14 days (the incubation period of COVID-19). While self-quarantine might be business as usual for introverts and remote workers, for others, it might seem like a ‘death sentence’. However, it is needed for safety and preventing a ‘geometric virus’ spread.
Briefly, here are tips for a proper self-quarantine:
- Find a separate area in your house and retreat there (preferably your room).
- Do not go outside for shopping, socialising, or eating.
- Avoid sharing utilities (e.g. utensils, towels) with others.
- Regularly disinfect all devices, e.g. doors, phones, seats, etc
- Observe all recommended safety practices.
However, this does not mean you have to binge-watch Netflix or sleep all day. Yes, this is a difficult period, but nothing stops you from using it to your advantage. Because when we overcome this pandemic, a drastic change awaits us. And only those who have invested in themselves will survive.
Here are 7 productive things you can do:
Learn a Skill
The job market is increasingly evolving and is in demand for competitive skills. The aftermath of this pandemic will have a multiplier effect on this demand as it proves that the world is more interconnected than we realise.
Unfortunately, with so much to do in the pre-COVID-19 era, most of us had little or no time to learn new skills. But this lockdown period proves otherwise. In a time where public gatherings, schools, religious events, and non-essentials are getting banned, distraction is all-time low!
The best time to put your data subscription into better use is now. With lots of blogs, videos, and online courses at your fingertips, you can quickly learn any skill. So, I challenge you – take that online Machine Learning class, practice your Web Development skills, learn digital marketing. Acquire as many certifications as you can.
If you learn a new skill in lazaretto (just another fancy word for quarantine), you will return to a more difficult labour market with an edge over others.
While this period is the worst time to go to the gym, no one said you couldn’t exercise at home. In fact, you should exercise more than ever. Not only will you build your immune system, but you will also be fit and have that perfect body.
The best part of home exercises is that you don’t need weights (or any of those fancy gym equipment) to stay in shape. There are several other alternatives.
To make your home exercise routine effective, check YouTube for workout videos. You can also try an online fitness challenge competition with friends. Remember, the exercises don’t have to be strenuous. A simple exercise as press-up or skipping does wonders as well.
Update Your Resume
One major productive thing you can do while observing self-isolation is to update your resume. Remember that resume you abandoned after getting that dream job or gig? This is the perfect time to update it.
Updating your resume takes time and lots of edits. Well, self-quarantine offers you more time (20,160 minutes to be precise) than you bargained for. Why not use it to get your resume in order ahead of your next job hunt? And while at it, you can also optimise your LinkedIn page.
No one likes to admit that they hate reading. Rather, they cover up their poor reading habits with the excuse “I don’t have time”. Well, now you have time!
Each day, set aside certain hours for reading. No, you don’t have to read only what you enjoy reading. Try something different. For instance, if you’re the type that prefers personal development books, why not try novels? If you are the romance genre lover, try reading something philosophical or more profound, yet, enjoyable. Catch up with that pending book.
Reading will enrich your mind and improve your life. In these trying times, that’s one of the things we need.
Engage in a Brain-Stimulating Activity
While observing your quarantine, you might want to buy time by mindlessly scrolling social media and binge-watching Netflix. Nonetheless, remember the mental distresses (like anxiety and depression) that emerge from these mindless activities. Try to make cognitive fitness a priority.
Play that puzzle game. Challenge your family and friends to a chess duel. Learn a new language. Meditate. Play cards. Build your vocabulary. You can also check out brain games on the App Store or Google Play Store. These are some brain-stimulating activities to try.
Do everything you can to keep your brain sharp and improve your mental strength.
Work on Long-Term Projects
Everyone has it; that long-term project they cannot wait to finish and showcase to the world. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s taking forever. Have a website that you’re currently developing? Or a book that you’re working on? Or a business you want to create? These are examples of such projects. With other urgent matters at hand, many of us find it easy to find excuses for not making time for these projects.
Fortunately, self-quarantine gives you plenty of time to tackle your long-term project. Sure, you can’t use all the time to work on it, but each day takes you closer towards your goal if you’re intentional about it.
On the other hand, if the current crisis threatens the success of your project, now is the time to reassess, review, and improve.
Network, Reconnect, and Rebond
If there is anything this pandemic has taught us so far, it’s that none of the things we chase matter. Right now, those vacation plans, jobs, concerts, and other glamorous stuff that we pursue don’t matter. We simply don’t want to die. Finally, we are compelled to spend time with family and friends. This makes it an excellent time to bond better with them.
Asides bonding with family, here is a great chance to network with people online. More people are online now, reach out to that LinkedIn connection, not for business purposes but just to check up on them. This time is the best for supporting people while expanding your network contacts. Perhaps, once this is over, they might even pay for your services.
Make time for your family again. Call that old friend. Check up on your colleagues and clients. Reach out to strangers. All these will help you build a better relationship and help you suppress loneliness.
Also, don’t forget to relax. Watch movies. Clean your room. The truth is, no one knows how long this will last. Perhaps, it is for a while. Maybe we will stay home much longer. But no matter what happens, we must all maintain optimism and healthy practices. We will get through this. Stay safe.