A Very Real List of Things I’ve Done in Quarantine
My husband and I are now officially in week 8 of quarantine (I know, most people are probably in week 6 or 7, but his work went remote early and I work from home, so once he started working remotely I decided to start self-isolating with him). I could sit here and pretend that I am living my best Pinterest life, coming up with new recipes, and doing daily workouts in my Lululemon athleisure while in quarantine, but that would just be a lie. There is definitely a lot of wandering around the house in my Lululemon athleisure, but as far as my quarantine activities go, here is a real, unfabricated list of things I have tried and things I have been doing for the past 8 weeks.
This one lasted for about 2 days. Normally, I love doing regular yoga with Yoga with Adrienne, but while I have been in quarantine, I have not been motivated to do traditional workouts or keep up with a regular yoga practice. So while I am not powering through virtual CorePower Yoga sessions (available for free here during quarantine, if you are interested), I am enjoying . . .
I love going on regular walks with J and exploring different areas of our neighborhood. My routine walks have not only given me a fun way to exercise, but have also given me a great way to avoid cabin fever. This has been my number one most successful quarantine activity.
This is a pretty obvious quarantine activity, but it is also one that I didn’t realize would positively impact my mental health during this time. I think the need to socialize and interact with our nearest and dearest has been hugely underrated until now. Over the last few weeks, I have used Zoom, Skype, and Facetime (thank goodness group Facetime was already possible prior to COVID-19, am I right?!), and I have recently been introduced to Housepaty. Houseparty is a social media platform that not only allows you to video chat with friends, but also gives you the ability to play virtual games together. It’s so fun! And also completely free! This is definitely successful quarantine activity number two.
In our little family, J does the vast majority of the cooking, I do the vast majority of the baking, and Holly does the vast majority of the jumping-on-the-counters-and-sampling-food-without-permission. So far, since we’ve been in quarantine, I’ve made 3 loaves of banana bread, 36 cookies, and at least 1 batch of brownies (1 or 2? I dunno guys, I lost count after the cookies to be perfectly honest.) Baking has been a fabulous distraction. If you need to kill time and also want to make something delicious, I highly recommend this quarantine activity. Successful quarantine activity number three! Although . . . I am not sure I should positively reinforce this activity by labeling it a success . . . I mean, is it? My kitchen would say it definitely has been, but my body, on the other hand, isn’t so sure.
J and I have this 1500 piece puzzle that we have held on to for years. It’s a puzzle of a beautiful Manhattan cityscape and fits perfectly on our dining room table. Despite the pretty image, this activity lasted for about 2 days. Actually, it lasted for a couple weeks, but just collected dust after the first 2 days. I got so fed up with seeing it there that, in the end, I took it apart and put it right back into the box. Turns out we’re not really puzzle people.
Yup. I did it. I jumped on the trend, created a TikTok account, and even made a TikTok video with my husband (said video is currently private on TikTok, but you can find it if you look hard enough in my highlights on Instagram). I have killed a lot of time watching videos on TikTok and have tried to recreate a couple myself. This has given J and I a lot of laughs (in case you wanted a visual: I once asked J to spot me while I tried to do a handstand challenge. We ended up in tears from laughing because I severely overestimated my own strength and clearly needed a little more than just a “spot.” For the record, despite the difficulty of the challenge, I impressed my husband with my handstand abilities, so I consider that attempt a success!). Although I am a millennial that is probably way too old for TikTok, I still recommend it as a way to distract yourself and have some laughs. Successful quarantine activity number four.
There’s a huge trend of decluttering and reorganizing going on right now. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there is very little for us to declutter in our home. We go through our closets regularly and have been trying not to keep a lot of unnecessary things. As far as reorganizing goes, anyone who knows me knows that I could organize things for ages and not get bored. Again, the problem I ended up facing while in quarantine is that I am generally a very organized person, so there isn’t a whole lot in our home that needs to be reorganized. That said, I can always find something! So far, I have relabeled our entire pantry, gone through my entire dresser (I tried to go through my closet, but it was already disgustingly tidy #OCDproblems), sorted through all of my digital files, and started purging our paper files as well. Distracting? Totally. Satisfying? 100%. But maybe that’s just me. Successful quarantine activity number five.
To practice self-care, most people would probably do a face mask, take a bubble bath, maybe paint their nails. For me, right now, self-care means taking a nap, cuddling my cat, or binge-watching a TV show (Love Is Blind, I’m looking at you!). At first, I didn’t consider this a successful activity because it made me feel lazy and unproductive. What I ended up realizing is that some reframing was in order. If I don’t take the breaks my body and my mental health need right now, I could end up being completely drained and burnt out in the long run. Sometimes self-care is necessary, and I needed to realize that it is much more productive right now than it is lazy. Successful quarantine activity number six.
And there you have it! My honest and real quarantine activity list! It’s ok not to fit into the Instagram/Pinterest mold the internet says you need to fit right now. If I’ve learned anything over the last 8 weeks, it’s to listen to your body! Just because you haven’t decluttered your entire house and lost 10 pounds, doesn’t mean your social distancing wasn’t a success. A successful quarantine is whatever you want it to be.