In a way, I've kind of been training for this for years. You see, I've been predominantly housebound, mostly in isolation for 3+ years now.
I have severe Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (amongst other things) and because of this I have had to live in an air purified, hypoallergenic environment - just me and my dog, with my parents (who are also my carers) bringing me food or helping me with health needs etc at points in the day. The situation that many people are currently finding themselves in, is a LOT like my daily life, so I thought perhaps I actually have some wisdom to impart for this kind of situation and those who are overwhelmed by the idea of self-isolation and worried that they'll be bored or that their anxiety will overcome them without something to distract them.
SO! Here are some of my ideas for things to do while you are practising self-isolation or self-quarantine to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19.
1. If you don't already have a Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, NOWtv, Hayu etc account (I'm sure there are more but these are the ones I have used/use) snap up one (or all!) of their free trials and marathon your favourite shows, find new ones and have a movie night (or multiple!) *Note - if you don't intend to continue the subscription make sure you take note of when you will be charged so you're not shocked. Perhaps add a calendar reminder/alarm/notification in case you'd like to cancel before you're charged etc or just so you know when you will be charged for your subscription.
2. Video call with your friends/family (you can just have a nice chat OR you can play games together, watch the same thing together as if you're in the same room etc)
3. Indulge in your favourite craft or if you don't yet craft, learn a new one! Good places to start are Youtube and Pinterest ^_^
4. Watch ASMR videos on Youtube to help you chill out, Sophie Michelle has just released a great one that's very on topic - Let's Melt Your Worries Away - ASMR Personal Attention for Isolation
5. Draw your feelings - it doesn't matter if you don't "think" you can draw, it's a fun therapeutic exercise that can potentially help you with all this situational anxiety
6. Or if you'd rather - write out your feelings, whether you use a private pen to paper type journal or you want to upload publicly (via Medium or other sites) this can be really helpful
7. Crack out a deck of cards and play solitaire
8. Meditate - there are some great apps for this but also guided meditation etc on Youtube too ^_^.
9. Learn a new language through Duolingo.
10. Re-read your favourite books and get all cuddly in that beautiful nostalgia ^_^. (Harry Potter is my personal fave for this scenario)
11. Challenge yourself with the world's largest trivia site - Sporcle
12. Play Songpop with your friends or strangers. Songpop is a music trivia game and it's a LOT of fun. Great if you're a music buff! It's available on app stores and as a Facebook game.
13. If you haven't already, download TikTok and get lost for hours in funny videos and beautiful creative process videos from artists and creators ^_^.
14. Create playlists on Spotify for different moods and revisit songs you haven't heard in years
15. Grab a free trial from Skillshare and learn something new!
17. Do that thing you've been putting off - perhaps it's sorting through your paperwork or doing your taxes
18. Help out your favourite small businesses and spread the love by going on a liking/commenting spree on their social media, sharing their posts to your Instagram and/or Facebook stories (or retweeting on Twitter / pinning on Pinterest etc) and leaving reviews for your purchases from them via their website, Trustpilot, Google etc.
19. Play GeoGuessr. GeoGuessr is a geography game which takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognise your surroundings.
20. Enter online competitions, here's one of my fave competition sites
23. Do a jigsaw puzzle, if you don't have a physical one you can play online with 1000's of puzzles to choose from (AND you can upload your own photos to make into puzzles too!)
24. (If you can) dance like no-ones watching
25. Get engrossed in a phone game - my current faves are Candy Crush and Sand Balls
26. Or you can play some more indepth Facebook based games like Taonga: The Island Farm
27. Declutter and tidy your room and/or home
28. Listen to your favourite podcasts
29. Improve your maths, geography, and vocabulary on Freerice.com and do some good at the same time!
30. Read the dictionary (whether a physical copy or online) and learn the definitions of some new words
32. Try to learn something new each day. Explore new and different Youtube content, learn new words (either from your native language or a different language), learn about something you've always wanted to understand etc
33. Sort through your bookmarks, 'read later' articles and saved posts - if you're anything like me you have a MOUNTAIN of these - now is the time!
34. Join Letterboxd - Letterboxd is a global social network for grass-roots film discussion and discovery. Use it as a diary to record and share your opinion about films as you watch them, or just to keep track of films you’ve seen in the past.
35. Participate in some Random Acts of Kindness, the RandomActsOfKindness.org website has tonnes of great ideas
36. Create some Pinterest boards - this could be for crafts, decor inspiration, recipes, whatever inspires you!
37. If you're lucky enough to have a dog (and are able) try teaching them a new trick, or generally just having a fun time playing catch, hide 'n' seek etc.
38. Perhaps try keeping a diary of the events of this difficult time, it could be interesting to look back on in the future and also help you deal with your emotions at the moment.
39. Take care of yourself. Practising your own personal self care measures at this time is SO important.
40. If you're a massive nerd like me - read (or write) some fanfic! Fanfiction.net is a great place to start for a variety of fandoms but there are also sites dedicated to specific fandoms and "ships" if that's your thing ^_^
41. If this is an option for you (it isn't for me, personally) and you enjoy it, BAKE! Make some yummy creations.
42. Visit somewhere you've never been before on Google Earth and watch vlogs or other travel content - there's some amazing vlogs of Disney World for example that have been SO good it's really made me feel like I was there too.
43. If you can, exercise - this obviously isn't an option for everyone and quite often isn't an option for me either. This could be small movements from bed, dancing in your kitchen etc.
44. If you're in total isolation, this is a great time to sing your heart out. If you can of course, sometimes I completely lose my voice and my throat closes up so it's not always possible... but being in my own enclosed environment I can sing as loud as I want to haha.
45. Check out Greater Good which features "The Animal Rescue Site", "The Hunger Site" and many more where just 1 click gives to charity whether that be food for hungry people and animals
46. Join some online communities, whether that be forums or Facebook groups related to your interests - I've made some amazing friends through support groups for my illnesses as well as fashion groups etc.
47. Make some room decorations or cute little gifts for your friends (to give after this all "blows over" to quote Shaun of the Dead, haha) by practicing origami ^_^ (again check out Youtube, Skillshare and Pinterest)
48. There are a lot of lovely people doing lovely things right now, every time you come across something heartwarming on your internet travels, document it - this could be written in a notebook, written on small strips of paper and stored in a jar etc. Look back on these when things are feeling tough.
49. Participate in online activism - this could be raising awareness for rare diseases, animal welfare, human rights - whatever you're passionate about!
50. And finally - clean out your email inbox! I've currently got 800 emails to sort through, I'm sure many of you have a similar email situation too, haha.
So that's 50 of my suggestions, I hope they're helpful! I'd love to know how you get on with these and if you have any of your own suggestions, please let me know below!
Much love and best wishes everyone!