- December 24, 2020 05:10
Months have passed and people can attest that most of them are running out of things to do while keeping themselves at the safest by staying at home.
For more than a hundred days, the whole country had been placed under different types of community quarantines to prevent the spreading of a pandemic—the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Cities were placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and General Community Quarantine (GCQ), each with its own guidelines and measures.
Even with the variation of community quarantines, it all brings people to a unified rule—localities are generally ordered to stay at home and refrain from doing outdoor activities.
However, with the abundance of leisure time this pandemic has given to most, it is inevitable to run out of ideas to keep oneself productive and recreational. So, here is a list that might help:
1. Get into decluttering
This might be a great time for everyone to turn their rooms upside down and back to its best state by decluttering their stuff and putting everything into place.
Aside from having a clean and organized room, as claimed by Coleen Pabalan, a 3rd year Psychology student, decluttering also increases her productivity and improves her well-being. She carries the habit of tidying up as this also benefits her sense of responsibility.
“For me, my bedroom is my personal space and I find it hard to focus when everything is messed up. I began to make decluttering my top priority when I learnt its benefits to my well-being kasi (because)I become more focused on getting my thoughts together which helps me a lot when I study saka (and also)when things are in order, I feel like it frees up a lot of space for my thoughts to roam around and breathe,” Pabalan said.
2. Take time to reflect
Productivity does not only mean that we have to work or do activities that require our body to move. We can also be productive by enjoying our solitude and taking our time to reflect on ourselves.
With all the spare time people have gotten from this pandemic, this might be a good chance to manage social connections, reflect, and think thoroughly about the things that are currently happening like how this pandemic has been affecting each and every one.
Irma Geraldine de Guzman, a 3rd year Accountancy student, made it her habit that when things get a little out of hand, she purposely takes her time to breathe because it is something that helps her get her focus back.
“Hindi naman dahil sa nagpahinga ako sa outside world eh ibig sabihin isinasantabi ko na 'yung pake ko sa mga bagay-bagay. Tao lang naman tayo eh, we have to rest when we feel tired kasi we cannot fight back kung tayo mismo ay hapo na, kaya I personally recommend that we take our time off to think because it will do wonders (Just because I take a rest from the outside world, it doesn't mean that I am putting aside my interest from them. We are only human, we have to rest when we feel tired because we cannot fight back if we ourselves are exhausted, that is why I personally recommend that we take our time off to think because it will do wonders),” she stated.
3. Journal your thoughts and ideas
Bizarre and spontaneous ideas can often pop up in mind whether when doing homeworks, on the way home, or even while at school thinking about the next meal for lunch. Spending the days at home in this community quarantine will surely bring several ideas of that kind.
For Kristinne Celestial, a 2nd year Interdisciplinary Studies student, these past few months in quarantine had been a roller coaster of emotions. This made her thoughts disarrayed, making her more stressed than on a normal school day.
“There are times when I would even feel thankful to have something to do which is very unlikely because it used to stress me out when I have so little motivation to do it that’s why I started listing down my to-do list every morning including the most mundane tasks like watering my plants. Also, I jot down some reminders every day or on the days I feel unmotivated so I wouldn’t be out of touch with reality,” she stated. Other than that, a study from University of Rochester also proves that journaling can also help in moderating our mental health by jotting down our thoughts and feelings to understand it more clearly.
4. Learn new things
Whether it is learning to cook a new recipe, learning Nihongo to watch anime without subtitles, or even learning a new course about Science or Economics, any of these can absolutely be learnt and done with the amount of resources floating in the surrounding.
Abundance of learning materials have been circulating online even before the community quarantines began; all of which are accessible through smartphones and computers with internet connection.
Many prestigious universities around the world offer various online courses which enables people to enjoy studying fields outside their current program for free. Some of these are Harvard University—an Ivy League school, California Institute of Arts which ranks 20th worldwide for arts and design in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2020, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology that specializes in science, technology, engineering, managing and business courses.
Some YouTube channels also offer educational videos like Crash Course, launched by the Green brothers, John and Hank which holds plenty of playlists to learn from; whether it is Organic Chemistry, History, Astronomy, Government and Politics, etc.
With the amount of time everyone has right now, it would not be impossible to learn new things and broaden one's perspective on different topics even just by spending the daily quarantine life.
5. Do simple exercises
Establishments were required to close when community quarantines began and surely, gyms were not exempted from this order. Even so, it does not mean that we cannot perform our yoga or even do our thrice-a-week workout anymore.
Free spaces in rooms, balconies or even in the garden can be used to meditate or perform various workout routines while also enjoying the privacy at home.
For Lorenzo Lei Soberano, a 3rd year Psychology student, this pandemic heavily affected not only his daily routine in school but also at home since he used to be a big baller for his institute—Institute of Arts and Sciences (IAS).
“Before the suspension of classes, dapat maglalaro na kami noon for sports fest kaso nagkaroon ng pandemic. Pakiramdam ko na kinakalawang ako kasi na-stuck lang ako dito sa bahay kaya every once in a while, lumalabas ako near sa’min para mag-shooting pero madalas, workout ‘yung ginagawa ko sa bahay para ma-keep ko ‘yung stance ko kasi sobrang helpful din talaga para sa physical and mental health ko ‘yung exercise. (Before the suspension of classes, we were supposed to play for sports fest but the pandemic happened. I feel like I'm getting weaker because I'm just stuck here at home that is why every once in a while, I go out near our house to do shooting but most of the time, I work out at home so I can keep my stance because exercise is really helpful for my physical and mental health),” he shared.
Moreover, according to Health Direct, a government-funded service for health information and advice, exercising also releases chemicals in our brain such as endorphin and serotonin, also known as, the happy chemicals. Exercising stimulates these chemicals which improves mood and the parts of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
6. Spend time with family
There is nothing more rewarding than going home to family after a week-straight of exams or even just a tiring week of regular school days. For most, being far from family, forced to be slightly independent, can be one of the most heartbreaking parts of college.
Quarantine has given most people, especially the students who do not live near their families while studying, an opportunity to go home and spend time with loved ones. Days that will surely offset homesickness, missing, and longing for a family to achieve the dreams are now here.
For Tatiana Valovaya, the Director-General of UN Geneva, this pandemic may be a huge lump of inconvenience and uncertainty for everyone but there can also be a silver lining through all of this.
“...despite the challenging time brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s all take this opportunity to take care of ourselves and our mental health, check in with our family and friends while we are staying at home,” as stated in her tweet.
7. Talk to a therapist
This pandemic has been a big risk to everyone not just to physical health but also to mental health. Mental health risks were expected to proliferate when this pandemic began and this has been causing mass hysteria, triggering some people's anxiety.
However, according to the World Health Organization, fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, and at times when we are faced with certainty or the unknown.
Talking to a therapist is one of the most productive and helpful things to do in this quarantine period because this can be a great support in alleviating anxiety and other mental health concerns one has.
COVID-19 has been taking its toll on people for more than five months already, which is why Mindcare Club is here to offer mental health services to those who might be struggling during this period. Mindcare is a network of psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors in the Philippines.
Due to the system of transportation, or lack thereof, Mindcare Club which is located in UP Town Center offers telepsychiatry or online videoconferencing technology to deliver services to patients who have yet experienced treatment and therapy in the most convenient and socially-distanced way possible.
Different kinds of things can be done to improve productivity but let us always keep in mind that this period is not a contest on who is the most productive nor merely a season for improvement of one's self. It is never each one's obligation to force productivity in this time of pandemic when a lot of people are being affected negatively.
-Kristine Emerald S. Oliva
(Illustration by Glenda Corocoto)