Finding ways to keep busy at home
Contributors: Si-Cheng Dai, Simi Juriasingani and Ramtin Hakimjavadi
Hello BMSA readers,
This week, The BMSA Communications team is bringing you another edition of “What We’re Doing” as we all practice social distancing at home. Check out our first WWD post from two weeks ago here: https://www.bmsawestern.com/post/what-we-re-doing
REVISIT YOUR CHILDHOOD JOYS
While in quarantine, cooped up in your own little space, your thoughts might take you on a trip down nostalgia road. Well, turn your yearnings into action, and indulge yourself in the stuff you did way back when! For example, pick up a remake of your favourite childhood video game. Personally, I downloaded a copy of Pokémon™ Shield and just started taking that thing to town. Playing that game really took me back to those carefree middle school days, where your biggest obstacle was your bedtime and your greatest fear was a slow dance. Or, you could binge-watch a series you absolutely adored as a kid — I hear Avatar: The Last Airbender was a masterpiece back in the day. The point is this: don’t limit yourself because you’re in quarantine. I think your kid-self just might have done anything to be in the position you’re in.
CREATE A NEW ROUTINE
The uncertainty of not knowing how long we’ll have to stay at home can be difficult to deal with. I know I’ve been feeling more anxious than I normally do. Creating a new routine has really helped me overcome the anxiety. I have a set sleep schedule and I meal prep on Sundays like I would if I was going to campus. I’ve come up with to-do lists for each day of the week, which I tackle during set hours of the day. The rest of the evening is spent doing things I enjoy - taking a walk, learning a new dance routine, watching movies with my mom, writing, etc. By allocating my time to work and doing fun activities, I have less free time to obsess over the news. It’s easy to feel like everything is out of our control these days. But we can overcome that feeling by taking control of our day and trying to lead a balanced life.
STAY INFORMED (WITH CORRECT INFORMATION)
With everyone at home, and many of us glued to our phones, media outlets have more incentive than ever to sensationalize news related to COVID-19. Every few hours, our feeds get refreshed with news of higher profile celebrities who have been infected and increasingly troubling statistics. It’s easy to get sucked into a vicious cycle that only causes anxiety. While it’s important to take the right precautions and stay informed, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting your information from the right sources. I’ve fallen into the habit of checking the Johns Hopkins Real-time COVID-19 map for real-time statistics. The COVID-19 Statistics and Research page, maintained by OurWorldinData.org, is also a great resource to understand the spread of the virus in different countries and in the world as a whole. The Canadian government and the World Health Organization also maintain up-to-date web pages with important information. Now, more than ever, it’s important to think critically about the information we’re seeing and to prevent the spread of misinformation.
LEARN NEW BOARD GAMES OR CARD GAMES
If you cannot look at a screen anymore, you are too tired to pick up a book, or you are looking for a mind-stimulating way to kill some time, try to learn a new board game or card game! In your parent’s house, there are likely many old board games sitting in one of your closets. Some classics are Risk, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Taboo, of course Chess, and many people’s guilty pleasure, Monopoly. If none of these are feasible for you, pull out an old fashioned set of cards, and learn a new card game that you have never played before. The beauty of this is that you can find one online that suits the difficulty you desire, and the number of people available to play. Consider this a skill-building exercise, an opportunity for personal growth. When things get back to normal, you can be that person at a party or camping trip who always has fun games to keep people busy!
DIG INTO YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
With schools being shut down, campus being essentially closed, and all education assuming a virtual existence, many students find themselves back at home with their family. This is an excellent opportunity to sit down with (or video call) your mom, dad, grandfather, or grandmother, have a coffee, and engage in a long conversation about their past. Perhaps you have experienced the situation where a fascinating story is revealed to you about a family member, and you look at them thinking, “How could you never tell me this?”, and they give you a look in response expressing, “Well, you never asked.” This is the perfect time to ask. Learn about their experiences growing up, and any historical times they lived through. One day, you may be recounting to your children what it was like to live through the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. With all this time to reconnect with our families, let’s take advantage and learn about our family roots. (To extend this search even further, you could check out ancestry.ca or findmypast.com, but note that these services are not free).