One of the most common things that you could often say about millennials, it’s that we’re often thought to be a pretty introverted generation. We were the first generation to really experience the internet at a formative age and we’ve been right there for the rise of everything from social media to streaming services like Netflix. And sure, many of us have been more than happy to enjoy spending our time tucked away at home without the pressure of things like social events.
Of course, that all changed at the beginning of the year with the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of a sudden it wasn’t a matter of choosing to stay at home. None of us could do anything but stay at home regardless of what we actually wanted. It’s a funny thing when you’re suddenly not allowed to do something. You start to realize that you actually rather miss a lot of the things about leaving the house and going out into the world that you might have taken for granted in the past.
When that happens, it can be easy to start feeling seriously locked in being stuck at home. Cabin fever is something that many of us have been dealing with since the very start of this whole situation but it doesn’t look like many of us are going to be able to avoid staying at home for a while. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to stay sane while stuck at home.
Start a new project
If there’s one thing that we all have more than ever now that we’re all stuck at home, it’s time. After all, it’s not like your schedule is going to be filled up with dozens of social engagements. For the first time ever, you’ve basically got a free excuse to focus your time entirely on yourself and the things that you want to do. So why not start a long term project. Maybe it’s something that you’ve been wanting to do for a while now but that you simply haven’t felt like you had the time for. Or maybe it’s something that you never even thought of doing but, since you’ve suddenly got a whole lot of free time, why not give it a try?
It can be basically anything you want. Finish some incredibly long show that you’ve always been meaning to get to. Do some DIY projects around the house that you’ve been putting off. Heck, start building a ship in a bottle! It can be literally anything you like but having an ongoing project is one of the best ways to fill the time when many of us have no idea how long all of this is going to last.
The uncertainty that is inherent to this whole situation can leave a lot of people feeling seriously anxious and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to find ways to comfort yourself and feel more secure at a time like this. One of the best ways that you can do this is to surround yourself with things that feel comfortable and familiar. Embrace your nostalgia! Put on some 90s music, dig out some classic video games, put on a favorite movie from when you were a kid, and just soak in the comforting familiarity of it all. Sure, you don’t want to spend all of your time living in the past, but with the future feeling so uncertain, there’s nothing wrong with looking back to find a way to feel just a little bit less anxious.
Learn a new skill
Learning new things is one of the most satisfying things in the world and something that we so rarely have the chance to embrace as adults. After all, there are often so many things that get in the way. However, since so many of us are still stuck at home, there aren’t nearly as many things getting in the way of trying something new. Sure, you still probably have to work, even if it is from home, but after work, your time is your own so why not put it to some good use. One of the best things about the modern world is that it really never has been so easy to learn pretty much any new skill you want. There are online tutorials on places like Youtube and all kinds of blogs and websites full of advice. Whether you’re looking to learn to draw, learn to play an instrument, learn to code your own games, or do learn just about anything else you could ever possibly want, there really has never been a better time to do it than right now.
Have a socially distanced game night
One of the hardest things about being in lockdown is the fact that so many of us aren’t able to see the people we really care about. This can be especially difficult around the holiday season. Many people haven’t been able to celebrate with their friends and family and that can really take its toll. However, you should remember that just because you can’t be in the same place as the people in your life, that doesn’t mean that you can’t spend time with them. The rise of video conferencing software like Zoom, Discord, and many others, has meant that it’s possible for you and all of your friends to hang out even if you’re staying far apart for your own and each other’s safety.
One of the best activities to do while social distancing is to play games. There are plenty of online games that have become incredibly popular thanks to their ability to let people have fun with friends online. In fact, you don’t even need to play online games. Dungeons & Dragons is a game that has seen a massive resurgence over the last few years and a lot of that has come down to technology making it possible for people to play together no matter where they are. It’s the perfect game for you and your friends to enjoy together while staying socially distant from one another.
Get outside when you can
Just because you have to stay away from other people doesn’t mean that you have to lock yourself away at home every hour of the day. Sure, there are some places where people are being encouraged not to leave the house at all unless they have to. But there are always things that you can do to get out into the world without putting yourself or anyone else at risk. Just going for a walk somewhere with wide-open spaces and as few people as possible like hills, mountains, and woods, can be a great way to shake off the cobwebs. If you pack a mask you can even be sure that you’re staying safe even if you do bump into any other people. Even just taking a walk around the block can be a wonderful way to enjoy some fresh air and to feel as though you’re not imprisoned in your home all day, every day.
Of course, it’s also important to remember that there’s no pressure to actually do anything when you’re stuck at home. Sure, there are responsibilities that you will always have like working, keeping your home clean, and feeding yourself, but beyond that, it’s okay if you just decide to do nothing from time to time. If you’re not feeling up to doing something “productive”, that’s okay! Instead, just curl up under a blanket, make yourself a warm drink, and veg out in front of Netflix for a while.
Or maybe you could just listen to some relaxing music. Why not just have yourself a nap in the middle of the afternoon?! After all, as long as you’re still able to work and get the essential things done, there really is no rule for how you’re supposed to be spending your time during the pandemic. If the idea of starting a project or doing something active just feels like too much, don’t worry about it. Sometimes the best response to a difficult situation is just to relax and forget about the wider world for a little while.
One of the most important things to remember is that there’s nothing wrong with just being unable to handle getting up to a whole lot because the stress of this whole situation is just getting to you. After all, between the way it is impacting many people’s jobs, their health, their relationships, and their lives in general, it’s hardly a shock that this pandemic is having a seriously negative effect on a lot of people’s mental health and wellbeing. If you’re really struggling with everything that’s happening, there’s nothing wrong with that. Remember that it’s okay to need to just take a break from everything for a while and that there are always plenty of resources available to you, both on and offline, that can help to take some of the weight off your shoulders.