Being stuck in quarantine or isolation is not fun, especially when you’re by yourself.
You might find yourself doing the same things every day — whether it's binge-watching TV for hours on end or eating snacks — which can get old quickly.
Over winter break, I was quarantined at home with my parents after we all tested positive for the coronavirus.
Here are some activities I did when I was stuck in quarantine to improve my mental health.
Binge watch shows
If you’re looking for an entertaining way to spend your time, take quarantine as an opportunity to catch up on some new TV shows.
This seems like an obvious choice to spend your downtime, but take it as an opportunity to branch out of your favorite shows. Try watching a show you’ve never heard of before or a show you have been meaning to watch for months.
During my time in quarantine, I took it as time to quickly finish up some of the shows I was currently watching. It helped the time go by quickly and forced me to rest.
Watching a new show or a new movie can be a great distraction if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
If you have the supplies available, doing a craft while stuck in quarantine or isolation can be a fun and creative way to pass the time.
If you have paint, try painting an old pair of shoes, jeans or a jean jacket. This can be a fun way to spend your time, and you come out of quarantine with a spruced up clothing item.
When I was stuck at home, I painted jean jackets for all of my friends. I bought the jackets and supplies before knowing I had to go into quarantine, but then quarantine gave me the time to work on them.
This was the perfect activity to do when I was stuck at home — it helped relieve my anxieties of being stuck at home and being sick with my family.
Coloring or drawing can also help relieve some anxiety. It can help focus your attention on one thing and help calm you down.
If you’re in quarantine or isolation and are feeling well enough to stay active, try doing a quick at-home workout.
At the start of the pandemic last spring, working out was something I tried to embed into my daily routine.
There are thousands of different workouts to try on YouTube: Chloe Ting, Madfit, Sydney Cummings and so many others offer great at-home workout videos with different focus areas and experience levels.
It’s a great way to keep your body moving and release some endorphins to boost your mood.
Sitting in bed or on the couch all day can get boring fast. Staying active really helped break up the time and switch up my day.
Call your friends
We all saw some friendships and relationships suffer since the start of the pandemic. But, it is important to stay in touch with people to not only keep those bonds, but to also help relieve feelings of loneliness while you’re stuck in quarantine or isolation.
It is the middle of the spring semester, and I know I can get stressed out during this time.
Although FaceTime or Zoom are not the same as face-to-face interaction, they are still fun ways to talk with your friends — especially if you’re alone.
Even if it's just a quick five-minute call, having a conversation can help relieve some feelings of loneliness.
Find new music or podcasts to listen to
Break out of your music comfort zone and try finding new artists you haven’t listened to before.
Once you gather up a good amount of songs you enjoy, maybe try making the perfect playlist.
Listening to music can be a great way to easily keep your mind off things and calm you down. While you have the time, you can even find some new artists and new songs.
You could also try finding a podcast to listen to. There are so many different types of podcasts available, so there is definitely one that will peak your interest.
While being stuck in quarantine or isolation, a podcast might be a great way to fill the void and listen to others talk about topics you’re interested in.
Find a book to read
College is a busy time for everyone, and many people do not have the time to read for pleasure.
But being stuck in the same place might be the perfect time to finally read a book — or even reread an old favorite.
Reading is a great option when you need a break from using your phone or your laptop. Getting away from your screen will give your eyes and your brain a nice break.
It is a perfect way to unwind before bed or a way to easily get some rest while being sick.
Quarantining or isolating can be mentally-draining — especially when you’re all alone. But it is important to remember that it is for your health and the health of those around you, and it is not a forever experience. Trying new things can help the time go by and improve your mental state.