Emergency COVID-19 measures have come as a nuisance and a complete bore-fest to many, particularly those who had plans to hit the road and travel the world, or who simply like to be constantly on the move.
In my particular case, however, the residential-lockdown doesn’t bother me at all, as I have come to the realization that home-staying doesn’t have to be boring, sad, or dull. On the contrary, it’s an ideal opportunity to diversify on our pastimes, and even experience some personal growth in the process.
So allow me to show you why this period of isolation can be a really good thing for you if you know how to make the most out of it. Here we go.
1) Plan your next move, and make it happen.
Social distancing is the perfect excuse to lock yourself into your private vault of unfulfilled ambitions; only this time, you have the chance to make them come true.
For a good while, I had an urge to write and share my thoughts with the world, and now look at me: I’m writing like there’s no tomorrow. And the fact that you’re reading these lines right now proves that I’ve somehow managed to take my message to others, for which I’m thankful and happy.
For you, this could be your chance to devise a plan for your most ambitious project, and why not, maybe even execute said project soon. You may be surprised to see how much you can achieve by dedicating a portion of your time to planning, rather than dreaming.
2) Use this disconnection from the outside world to unleash your creativity.
Speaking of personal projects, why not give art a try? And before you say “Art? Me? Seriously? I can’t even draw stick figures”, let me explain why I think you should attempt to develop an artistic side.
The advantage of art is that it takes numerous forms. There are visual arts (like painting, drawing, and photography), performance arts (like acting, dancing, or playing an instrument), crafting arts (like pottery), and literary arts (like writing). You don’t necessarily have to set up a canvas and get twenty tubes of oil paint to be an artist. You just have to take what you like doing and find an artistic application for it.
As I said in my previous point, my newly-found passion for writing is making me go to bed late, but I don’t mind: that’s just how much I enjoy it. Now, I don’t know if I’m any good at it, but even if that’s not the case, I’m still having a ball, and right now, that’s what keeps me going.
3) Invest in your professional development.
One of the advantages of living in the 21st century is that everything is just a click away from you, and that means anyone can now take courses from the comfort of their couch these days.
There are thousands of free online courses for you to take your professional development to the next level, many of which are readily available from top universities around the world.
So the next time you feel tempted to binge-watch Breaking Bad for the thirtieth time, consider checking out some of these courses instead. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find something that will interest you, and more importantly, something that will be useful to you for the rest of your professional life.
4) Reconnect with those who are closest to you.
One of the biggest ironies of life is that sometimes the people we’re physically closest to are also the ones from whom we’re most emotionally detached. This residential lockdown, however, may be just what we need to reconnect with our families and strengthen our bonds with them.
We have a golden chance to have a long heart-to-heart with our loved ones; to listen to their problems; and to exchange words of wisdom, encouragement, and hope, all of which would particularly come in handy in these difficult times we’re living.
5) Use this time as an opportunity for self-reflection.
One of the characteristics that set us apart from other sentient species on Earth is our capacity for self-reflection and self-learning, and this might be the best possible moment to do so.
Sit down for a few minutes every day and reflect on your habits and actions and how they affect those around you. That will enable you to identify certain aspects of yourself that could use some improvement, not only for your own benefit but also for the good of society.
Just ask yourself this: Even if one day you get to tell your grandchildren that you survived a global pandemic that took the lives of thousands, what good will that be if you don’t come out of it as a better person?
Finally, a word of advice
Whether you’re encouraged to keep social-distance or if you’re in mandatory residential lockdown, in the end, it’s up to you to decide what to do with the time you have in your hands.
And while there is nothing wrong with spending hours on end streaming your favorite shows and catching up with the latest superhero movies, I would advise reconsidering your pastime options by asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I learning anything useful from this?
- Am I showing myself any real self-love by doing this?
- Is this getting me any closer to reaching my goals?
- Is this helping me bring out my inner potential?
- Is this contributing to my mental and/or physical health?
- Is this getting me closer to my loved ones?
- Is this helping me become a better version of myself?
If all you get are no-answers, then you might have fallen for the trap of mindless entertainment, which ultimately is nothing more than a way of escaping reality and a waste of time, in terms of productivity and personal growth.
Now, if you get at least one honest yes-answer, then I’d say you’re on the right track to spending your residential-lockdown time wisely.
So what will it be? Will you be counting the time, or will you make your time count? The choice is yours.