The times, they have changed almost overnight. A week ago most people were happily out and about and not thinking much at all about the new Coronavirus Pandemic.
Now the 1987 R.E.M. hit "It's the End of the World As We Know It" is rising up the charts again and a huge chunk of the U.S. population and entire countries in the European Union are on quarantine, stuck inside at home, quite possibly for weeks. It's a formula for going legitimately stir-crazy. Fear not: We don't have to go all Jack Torrance in The Shining on friends, neighbors, and loved ones, as long as we practice a little self-care.
Sure, the term "self-care" sounds a little touchy-feely at a time when the last thing we want to do is touch anything or anyone, but it's really just about taking a little time for yourself to recharge, to get your head together, even reboot the system and put things in balance so you feel ready to face whatever it is we're facing now.
Keep Up Your Exercise Regimen
Does the gym suddenly look like a teeming hive of potentially deadly germiness? Those Clorox wipes and washcloths and spray bottles can only kill so many bugs and eventually, some jackass will forget to clean a bench or the stationary bike and boom, coronavirus. So the good old-fashioned home workout, already revolutionized by the internet and perfected by jacked dudes in prison cells, is the way to go. You'll feel good and get healthier in the process.
Learn a New Language
Been sitting there telling yourself for years that it's time to buckle down and learn Spanish, or German, or even Mandarin? There's no longer any reason to wait. Benefits include passing the time, being able to chat with hotties from other countries and a general sense of accomplishment.
Fire Up the Kitchen
No, don't set the kitchen on fire, no matter how many bugs that might kill. Start really using it. Clean off the counter, wash the dishes, hit up the grocery and get your bake on. If you can't cook at all, it's another learning opportunity and Youtube is rife with free lessons. At a time when multiple kinds of businesses are shutting down for up to a month, supermarkets and pharmacies are staying open in most places and unless you want a pallet loaded with toilet paper, chances are you can find what you need.
Watch All the Things
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, you name it—streaming TV was made for this moment. Let's face it: There's never been a better time to catch up on everything you said you wanted to watch in the last year or so but didn't get to. There's no shame in occasionally just shutting down and vegging out in front of the screen.
Don't Booze It Up...Too Much
Sometimes self-care is as much about what you don't do, and one thing many people might want to watch while self-quarantined due to the new coronavirus is overdoing the hooch. Why? It's so damn easy to do. Eating and drinking are two of the most time-honored human boredom-fighting customs. So keep an eye on your supplies and don't overdo. After all, there's a chance the package store is closed till April, anyway.
Clean Up and Organize
Normally not everyone's favorite downtime activity, organizing and tidying up in general—at a minimum getting rid of clutter—might actually feel like a necessity after being stuck at home for a week or two. At its worst, a space crowded with junk, even a coffee table covered with magazines and used cups and cans might contribute to a sense of claustrophobia. Think of it as giving yourself a little extra room to move around.
Start a New Hobby
Hobbies might seem kind of quaint these days but there are still plenty of fun ways to simply distract oneself and pass the time. Got an old camera bought for a trip or family functions and feel like you've never really gotten the hang of it? Now's the time to unpack it and start snapping. Ever wanted to sit down and take a shot at writing that detective novel? No one's stopping you now.
Take Up Meditation
If you've ever contemplated the mind-calming practice of meditation but felt like it was silly, or you just didn't have time to waste on simply sitting still and quieting your brain, here's an excellent chance to check it out and find out why some of the wealthiest and most famous people, like LeBron James, practice meditation.
Check Out Video Therapy
This is not the same as binge-watching Breaking Bad—again. No, this is actual therapy. There's plenty of skepticism surrounding talking to someone about whatever is troubling you, and for those who are amenable but may feel awkward or strange stepping into an actual therapist's office, video therapy is an option and covered by many health insurance carriers. It's really about as pure a form of self-care as there is, and always totally confidential.
Social Distancing Doesn't Mean Total Isolation
"Social distancing" does not mean we have to become a world full of isolated recluses. Don't shut out people close to you, stay in touch. Call your relatives, mom, dad, sister, brother. Call and text with friends more often. Utilize FaceTime. Play Words With Friends. Whatever you do, remember no one has to cope with the Coronavirus Pandemic quarantine alone.