20 tips for surviving quarantine.
From limiting screen time and preparing an emergency-preparedness kit, to stress baking and Epsom salt baths, here are 20 things you can do to survive quarantine.
20. Practice social distancing from social media and the news
Begin scheduling your social media time. Be deliberate about when, where, and for how long you spend devoted to screen-time. If mornings are important to you and if logging onto social media is causing you anxiety, consider putting off logging on until later in the day. Or if winding-down at the end of the day is important to you, save your screen-time for earlier in the day.
Narrate what the new normal means to you. One of the joys of journaling is that, during the course of free-writing, you’ll invariably write a thought you didn’t know you had. And, as the pages grow, you’ll begin noticing connections and relationships and patterns that were previously hidden. During a confusing time, finding connections in disparate experiences can be enormously therapeutic.
18. Grow sprouts
Sprouting grains is an easy way to increase the nutritional value of pantry staples like seed kernels and legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, or mung beans. Sprouting grains increases vitamin content and makes the carbohydrates more easily digestible. Here’s a link to an easy-to-follow recipe.
17. Drink lemon water
Squeeze half a lemon into eight ounces of warm or cold water to help aid digestion, freshen your breath, support weight loss, and improve your skin quality.
16. Become a snob
Now’s the time to fill-up on pop culture obscurities. In particular, if you want to be really insufferable, read-up on plague literature, including The Plague by Albert Camus, Blindness by Jose Saramago, Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, White Noise by Don Delillo, Angels in America by Tony Kushner, Nemesis by Philip Roth, and Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
15. Call someone
Check-in with family, friends, colleagues. No, this probably isn’t the time to drunk-dial your ex and desperately attempt to rekindle a romance. But it is the opportunity to call up friends, neighbors, relatives, and colleagues who you know are struggling.
14. Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt baths are a relaxing way to alleviate aches and pains, soothe sore muscles, and reduce swelling. Here’s an informational tutorial about the benefits of Epsom salt baths and how to do it.
13. Classic comfort TV available to stream
- CHEERS is streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and CBS All Access
- THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW is streaming on Hulu and YouTube TV
- THE WONDER YEARS is streaming on Hulu
- THE BOB NEWHART SHOW is streaming on Hulu and YouTube TV
- FRASIER is streaming on Hulu and CBS All Access
- THE SIMPSONS is streaming on Disney+
- THE GOLDEN GIRLS is streaming on Hulu
- THE GOOD PLACE is streaming on Netflix
12. Dig into arthouse classics
The Criterion Channel–the film buffs preferred streaming service–offers a wealth of history’s best cinema. Take advantage of their two-week free trial and immerse in the classics of Kurosawa, Bergman, Ozu, and Fellini. Or transcend into other worlds with the works of Tarkovsky, Kieslowski, and Satyajit Ray. Or maybe discover the comedic joys of filmmaker Jacques Tati and his Monsieur Hulot films.
If you’re new to international arthouse cinema, here’s a beginner’s guide to getting started.
11. Make an Emergency-preparedness kit
The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security have guidelines for making your emergency preparedness kit. FEMA and the New York City Office of Emergency Management also have strict guidelines that are helpful. All four of these groups suggest shelf-stable food and water, a flashlight, radio, first-aid kit, whistle, and a can-opener.
10. Brush your teeth, comb hair, moisturize
Self-isolating doesn’t mean giving up on self-care. In fact, this year self-care will be more important than ever. Work to begin and end your day with a deliberate self-care routine.
9. Re-arrange your furniture
Transform your home with a fresh new look. Dolly.com has five tips for furniture rearrangement, including measuring before you move, using room layout apps, and tips for avoiding traffic jams and incorporating the ancient art of feng shui.
8. Know thyself
Plague clarifies who we are, what we value, and how we see the world. Quarantine offers an opportunity to reflect on what we have, what we’ve lost, and what we’ve discovered during this historical crisis. Traditional wisdom and spiritual practices can help during this time. Philosophy and the history of thought can also be of assistance. Consider the following philosophical podcasts:
- IN OUR TIME is a podcast about the history of ideas
- ON BEING is a radio program about the moral imagination, deep questions, and social courage
- WTF WITH MARC MARON is a thought-provoking comedy interview podcast featuring interviews with iconic personalities
- YOU MADE IT WEIRD is a comedy podcast featuring long conversations with prominent guests about religion, sexuality, comedy, death, and the meaning of life
7. Discover ASMR
ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) describes a feeling of relaxation and euphoria that comes over a person when they are listening to certain noises or observing certain visual images. Common ASMR triggers are videos of people doing simple tasks, such as folding towels, baking, or brushing hair. Common audio triggers are the sounds of whispers, tapping, scratching, and rain. Here’s a link to a Spotify playlist of popular and relaxing ASMR sounds.
6. Life imitating art
It’s difficult to find the words to describe this historical moment. Painters Edvard Munch and Edward Hopper created two of the most iconic paintings of the 20th century, both symbolizing the anxiety of the human condition and both prescient.
5. Stress bake
I learned how to bake, in part, to deal with stress and anxiety. Now, nearly a decade after first learning, baking can still be a calming, creative activity. Pairing stress baking with the low-stakes thrills of The Great British Bake-Off can be eerily comforting.
4. Make plans
Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be emotionally distant.
Through the phone or online, reach out and begin to virtually socialize with people. Don’t get down-trodden if you’re confused and/or frustrated by this new way of communicating. For many, it will take time, ingenuity, and creativity to get accustomed to interacting this way.
Make plans to go for a hike together, use Netflix Parties to synch up your favorite show and watch remotely with a friend, or get really ambitious and form that book club you and your friends are always talking about starting up. Now’s the time.
Simple, essential, yet oh so easy to forget.
As long as you remain six feet away from other people, it’s ok to go outside for recreation. However, when you exercise outside, use caution and avoid park benches, banisters, public drinking fountains, and other objects that are high-traffic surfaces. Speaking of high-traffic surfaces, according to experts in infection-prevention, it’s a good idea to leave your shoes at the door before coming inside.
- During this time, it may not be immediately obvious how you can help. Or, you might need assistance and have difficulty asking for help. The newly-formed Decorah & Winneshiek Co. Mutual Aid Network offers a centralized platform for you to seek assistance or offer help.
- Donate to the Decorah Area Faith Coalition, a local group of a dozen faith leaders who is working with the Northeast Iowa Community Action Corp. (NEICAC) to distribute donations to help individuals and families struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Winneshiek County Community Foundation (WCCF) is accepting donations to help nonprofits during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Here are five ways to help local small businesses in the area.
- The Washington Post recently published a helpful guide to assisting your community during the coronavirus pandemic.