Everywhere in the world, due to the whole situation caused by COVID-19, people are told to stay home in order to prevent the spread of the virus. For us travelers, this means no more trips. Flights are canceled, airports and hotels are closing, some people even found themselves stuck in a country where they were only supposed to stay for vacation and aren’t able to fly back home anymore. Everybody is stressing out, supermarkets are quickly emptied and some articles like toilet paper and pasta are almost impossible to find if you come too late. Schools are closed, as well as restaurants, nightclubs and so many businesses. In other words : the world is in panic.
I know that it is hard for some of us to stay home everyday and do nothing, or do the same thing everyday: wake up, then eat, watch Netflix afterwards, eat again and finally sleep. I personally don’t like being at home everyday and just sleep so I decided to find ways to entertain myself, be more productive, learn new things and I want to share it with you to help you cure that boredom and be positive despite what is going on in the world right now.
I am currently back home in Ivory Coast. I had the opportunity to fly here before it was too late, my parents were stressing out and didn’t want me to stay alone in Cologne in my 20 square meters studio apartment. I hesitated before coming back because my exams were not canceled or delayed yet but after seeing how the situation was becoming worse around me, I decided to come back home and a few days after, Germany closed their borders. I am lucky because I can enjoy the sun and warm weather but I haven’t put a step out of my family’s house since I arrived. Here are some of my suggestions to survive quarantine…
Waking up early is a good way to start the day and be productive, the more early you will wake up, the more time you will have to enjoy your day and do things. I usually set up an alarm (or 5 ) when I need to wake up early in the morning because I used to sleep so much and wake up at 1pm everyday when I didn’t have to go to the university. Now I wake up naturally, without any help, around 7 or 8 in the morning because I conditioned myself to do so. I have thick curtains on my windows but I always make sure not to close them entirely so that the sun will still come through in the morning and wake me up. I suggest that you do the same and let the sun wake you up instead of staying in the complete dark.
I also used to naturally wake up before my alarm and check the time to see how much time I still have to sleep again and I sometimes overslept or stopped the alarm to sleep five more minutes and ended up waking up an hour later. This is not the example to follow because you will wake up in a bad mood or with no motivation and the advantage of waking up early is to be productive and actually do something but if you don’t have any motivation how are you going to concentrate on something ?
When I was a teenager, I used to read everyday and I owned so many books. I was reading about Love, Drama, Vampires, and also real-life stories. I sometimes didn’t sleep at night because I had a book to read and I didn’t want to wait until the next day to continue. I could finish a book in 2-3 days and I was friends with the librarian at school. I even received a certificate in Middle School awarded to me because I used to read all the time. Nowadays, I am sad to admit that I don’t read anymore and I am also feeling that my French is degrading. I believe that this is the time to start reading again and start old books that haven’t been read yet or try a new one. Reading is so important and younger generations tend to prefer social media over books. I decided to read more about lifestyle, meditation and Buddhism which are topics that are really interesting to me and I want to learn more about it and read about self-confidence, how to be positive and make our human experience better.
I recently found myself a passion for bakery since I haven’t been able to go out of my house. I made an apple crumble, banana crumble, fluffy pancakes, crepes, a cake and an apple pie. Yummy right? I am also trying to reduce my meat consumption and online it is pretty easy to find all kinds of vegetarian recipes that are really nice and also taste good. I highly recommend that you try a new recipe, you don’t need to search for difficult meals to realize you can find easy meals with not so many ingredients. You should also look for simple recipes of another country’s cuisine, and try out food from the world, something that you’ve never had before. It’s ok if you fail a meal or 2, you still have plenty of time to try again.
You have always wanted to learn how to speak Japanese but you never found the time for it? Well, now that you’re stuck home, it might be the best moment to start learning a new language! E-books are available online, you can also use YouTube videos to support your learning process and help you have the right pronunciation. There are also language teachers offering their courses online on certain platforms like apprentus or fiverr. If you don’t want to spend money, you can start by learning with the app Duolingo which is pretty nice if you want to know the basics of a language. You can also find a penpal to practice the language on the app HelloTalk or a tandem partner on Facebook groups. It is so simple, you just have to join a group for finding a tandem partner (International or in your region) and you can publish a post where you tell people the language you speak fluently and the one you want to learn. You will see that people who want to learn the language you speak already will quickly contact you if they speak the language you are learning in order to have conversations together in both languages and help each other!
If you already have all the equipment at home to do sport, well it’s great, you will have the opportunity to use it! If you don’t, it’s fine you can find other ways to exercise. I am lucky because at home, my father does a lot of sport so we have the machines, we don’t need to go to the gym and we also have a swimming pool. I have to admit that I am a lazy person (ups), I rarely find the motivation to do sport but I do like Zumba classes and I used to go to a gym where they also had Thai-Bo classes, which were really fun and the coach was very handsome (ups again). On YouTube, you can find so many exercises to do at home depending on the parts of the body you wanted to work on. If you don’t want to do it at home, you are still allowed to go on a quick run outside around your place and breath some fresh air.
I am IN LOVE with the app Tik Tok since I started it, even though I don’t get that many views with the videos I make… I still like creating fun content and posting it on the app. You can recreate famous Tik Tok dances or create your own and it might blow up on the app! If you are not a dancer you can also do fun challenges or just lipsync songs or famous tik toks. There’s so much content and so many opportunities on Tik tok, some businesses are also using the app to reach more people, and if you are a makeup artist, a cook or a musician you can easily create content on the platform and attract people who are interested in it. Here are some of my Tik Tok videos :
You’ve always wanted to learn how to use Adobe Premier Pro and edit your vacation videos or start a YouTube channel? Well, do it now! You can find tutorials on YouTube for anything you want to learn. If you’re a French speaker and like me you would like to work in the digital marketing industry and you want to acquire some skills by yourself, openclassrooms is offering free courses about digital marketing, e-commerce, web design and many more. You will learn to create a Wordpress website, or how to come up with the best social media strategies for your business, etc. I highly recommend it if you want to take your time and learn new skills on your own. There’s also Udemy where you can learn pretty much everything and find any course you would like to take, it’s not free but it is definitely worth it. Learning a new professional skill will allow you also to earn money if you want to start freelancing. Platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and freelancer.com will allow you to connect with people and sell your services. You will use your free time to work and earn money online quickly. You can also start your own business online, design and create your own website and sell products or services.
Just remember not to procrastinate and enjoy your time at home!