Recently, being alone is something that we’ve all been forced to do and the pandemic isolation has certainly taken a toll on mental health.
But you know what? If done right, being alone can help you to find yourself, prune down any unnecessary relationships in your life and even find time for some much-needed self-care and self-compassion. The truth is, you don’t need to be surrounded by people all the time.
In this post, I’m going to share 5 unconventional tips for getting the most out of your pandemic isolation.
1) Create your quarantine room
This is about sparking your creativity and getting your mind to work on something productive. Sometimes you can’t think about what something is going to be like until you’ve experienced it, and at this point, we’ve all experienced what it’s like to be locked down in quarantine.
Use this experience to redesign your room into a quarantine room that you’d enjoy if you were forced to stay inside it for 2 weeks.
What would you put into your room if you had to do it all over again? Art supplies, books, music, video games, anything you like.
What would you change? Would you bring in a different color of paint, bigger or smaller furniture, decorations..?
Try to figure out what things would give you the most pleasure if you were alone but had constant access to them. Have some fun with this! Spend an hour or two each day actually redesigning and redecorating your room to take your mind off the broken record.
2) Seek alternative methods of communication
Imagine we’re in the days before the internet and you want to communicate with a friend… what do you do?
Write a physical letter! It’s actually quite rewarding to get a real letter in the mail from a friend in some other part of the world, open it, and dive into a new world of fantasy while you read it.
Go ahead and dust off your old stamp collection, pull out a pen and paper, and surprise a friend of yours by writing them a letter. In the letter, ask them to write back. This could start one of the most fun and interesting exchanges you’ll ever have with that person.
It’s funny to me as I write this that this seems like old technology, but you could also try calling your friend using a landline… assuming that you still have one. If not, try picking up your cell phone and dialing their number (don’t send a text first!) and see if they pick up. If they don’t leave a voicemail and ask them to call you back!
3) Join an online community
The internet is a vast and nearly limitless place for all kinds of people to come together and create a community. Go to Facebook and search for some random passion or hobby you have, then join one of the already existing communities and start engaging!
Some other places you can find communities online are Twitter (people using hashtags related to the community you’re interested in), subreddits (Reddit communities pertaining to the community you’re interested in. You can search for them on Reddit itself), and forums (specific forums about specific topics that like-minded people are engaging with already).
The next step after joining an online community is interacting and contributing positively as much as you can! If you don’t know what to post or comment about, just ask questions instead of immediately jumping into long posts about your own experiences and opinions. You must become a member of the community, not just an outside guest that jumps in whenever they feel like it.
If you can’t find the right community for you there, start a new one! There are tons of people who are into the same things as you. You’ll be surprised at what kind of people will respond to your invite and even more blown away by how interesting and fun these people will turn out to be!
4) Get a companion animal
Pets are always a great addition to your family. They can provide companionship, love, and even help if you have disabilities. (But not all pets are created equal in terms of time commitment, cost, or how much they need from you.)
Keeping the theme, here are four unconventional types of pets that might be the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle!
- Cats: These low-maintenance animals offer affection without too many demands on their owner’s time. Cats also don’t require as much space as dogs do. The downside is that cats won’t come when called (unless they’re hungry), so it’s important to keep them indoors at night to avoid danger outside!
- Fish: These aquatic creatures offer hours of entertainment because they live in an environment we can easily observe. It’s also possible to keep them in a smaller tank, so it’s not a huge expense to get started.
- Turtles: Turtles are easy to care for and provide observation opportunities that can last years! Test the waters before making a commitment to these special pets. They may need more resources than you expect, and some turtle species are endangered.
- Rodents: These pets are easier to keep than reptiles (though you’ll want a large cage to keep them safe). They also make great first pets, because they can be litter trained and often require less care than larger animals do.
5) Learn to read music and play the piano (or any other instrument)
Reading and playing music is a great way to improve your creativity and cure boredom because playing music requires you to imagine what you’re going to play before you actually do it. And this process trains your mind in how to think creatively when solving problems.
Plus, you can create songs that you can pass down for generations to come. This is easily one of the best hobbies in life because it’s something you can do as long as you’re alive.
Music is vibration, and this vibration can be used to affect your mood in any way you want. Therefore, learning to read music is a good skill to have because it teaches you the ability to change your moods in positive ways.
Now that you have some time on your hands, try these unconventional tips for getting the most out of your quarantine experience. Use this time as an opportunity to find out more about who you truly are by doing things you wouldn’t normally do. By the end of all this pandemic isolation business, you will have a better understanding of who you are, and maybe even a few new hobbies or skills too!