A lockdown has been declared in 75 districts in India for 9 days to combat the coronavirus pandemic starting from 23rd March, 2020. (Lockdown was extended to 21 days all over India from 25th March 2020 after this article was published). Irrespective of whether one is working from home, it can be quite unsettling to be under forced home quarantine. The constant feed of pessimism related to coronavirus can be more damaging than the disease itself. So, what are the things to do during Coronavirus lockdown?
Things to do during Coronavirus lockdown
Here is an ensemble of my Top 9 things to do during Coronavirus lockdown, other than spending time with your family and working from home.
#1 – Skill Upgrade
Honestly, there cannot be a better time to upgrade your skills. There are tons of educational and learning materials all the way from 10 minute capsules to long duration online certifications. Hopefully, the lockdown will not give you the time to complete the latter!
In case you are looking for ideas, there are innumerable options in addition to Coursera, EDX, Udemy, Khan Academy, etc. YouTube is not taken seriously as a learning platform for justifiable reasons, but you can find tons of high quality material to enhance your knowledge quotient and skills.
Actionable advice – If you haven’t taken advantage of elearning before, start with something of short duration and not completely out of your comfort zone.
#2 – Eat Healthy
Nothing succeeds like success. Similarly staying healthy is less about the disease and more about your ability to successfully fight it.
The coronavirus is a pandemic and at the community transmission stage the most important individual factor will be your immunity system. Hence, eat healthy with an objective of boosting your immunity system and overall health.
A lot of fake news has been doing the rounds regarding specific food items helping prevent coronavirus. However, my suggestion is to look at reliable material from credible people from medical and nutritional sciences, preferably not published after the coronavirus pandemic!
Actionable advice – I happened to watch a video a while ago by Dr William Li, author of “Eat to Beat”. It is quite long, but illuminating and worth investing a locked down hour. Here is what he said more recently in light of the coronavirus pandemic and another video by Diet Doctor on how to build immunity.
#3 – Exercise
Continuing with the thread of boosting one’s immunity, it is said that moderate exercise helps. The exercise doesn’t need to be highly intense, as it may be counter-productive to your immune system.
Luckily, we have yoga as a part of our culture that fits the bill perfectly and can be done indoors during lockout. If you don’t have two left feet, you can try dancing.
Actionable advice – Get creative and build in some moderate exercise into your daily routine at home. If you can have fun while you are at it, even better.
#4 – Your Pet Project / Hobby
The pace of our daily life has pushed several dreams of pursuing pet projects or hobbies into oblivion.
Now is a good time to get back to that long forgotten hobby of yours. Whether it is playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, gardening, cooking, origami or crafts, so many things can be done from the comfort of your home.
Actionable advice – Look for how things can be done within the constraints, rather than finding excuses. For instance, even though photography may be best practiced outdoors, there is a lot of learning and practice that can be done indoors, using the windows in North and South for different light effects. Similarly, even without recourse to a musical instrument, you can learn using apps that simulate musical instruments.
#5 – Spring Cleaning
Absence of household helps may be an unnerving reality for a lot of people in these lockdown times.
As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them.
If help is not around, might as well make the most of the situation. Time not just for household chores and cleaning, but an opportunity to do spring cleaning!
Actionable advice – If you do get into the spring cleaning mode, also look at digital cleaning. Unsubscribe to various channels, platforms and websites, deleting junk and ensure it doesn’t pile up. If you find this boring, and who doesn’t, try looking at your archives of photographs – this is surely going to be a stress buster!
#6 – Socialize
Ok, let me clarify this lest you label me crazy to recommend socializing in the times of social distancing.
We can use social media and the good old voice (and video) calls to actually start socializing and talking to people. Of course, you are free to share the link of this article on WhatsApp, Facebook and your favourite social media platforms, but I am looking at socializing beyond that.
Actionable advice – Try and call up one person you haven’t spoken with for at least one year. You can use opportunities created by the Social Distancing regime to increase your social quotient!
#7 – Read
I almost excluded Reading from my list of things to do during coronavirus lockdown, since it was too obvious.
In case you are oblivious to the benefits of reading, read my views on Quora on why the habit of reading can never be over-rated.
Actionable advice – Even if you dont have the book you want to read in your bookshelf at home, you can always read it on Kindle. If you dont have a Kindle, you can always download the app on your phone. If you dont like reading on the phone, you can read on Kindle Cloud Reader on your computer, without installing anything. You can try listening to Audiobooks or audio summaries on apps such as Blinkist and 12 min if you don’t like reading.
#8 – Play
We used to play a lot of games at home in our childhood days. This phenomenon has drastically reduced in current times.
No, you don’t need to venture to the nearest stadium or club or playground to play games. I am talking about board games, cards, puzzles, crosswords, activity games such as dumb-charades and pictionary and our very own antakshari!
Actionable advice – I recently saw a video of enterprising and creative people playing Tambola from their balconies. The announcements were made on loudspeaker. If this doesn’t catch your fancy, read my thoughts on the amazing by-products of fun and games.
#9 – Do What You Haven’t Done
Last but not the least, here is my final suggestion on things to do during coronavirus lockdown.
Let me not get too prescriptive here. Just think of something that you haven’t done for a while, or have never done at all. And you guessed it, now is the time to do it!
Actionable advice – If you are one of those whose life revolves around work and office and contributing to the household doesn’t fall under your purview, how about learning to cook?
Survival of the fittest and happiest
Hope you enjoyed reading through the list of things to do during the coronavirus lockdown. Coronavirus will impact a large proportion of population, most of whom are likely to recover. However, the social, mental and economic toll will be much higher and will be omnipresent.
Consequently, it is critical that we boost our physical, mental and social health during these trying times. Please feel free to share your experiences of things to do during coronavirus lockdown. Let us join hands (metaphorically, not physically) to make the world a better, safer and happier place.
How to Stay Positive and Productive in your war against Corona
Added on 31st March 2020
I have received a lot of encouraging feedback and responses for the above article. Consequently, earlier this weekend, I significantly expanded upon the above initial thoughts and added many more examples and details to publish a book. I have added a brief description of the book on this website.
The book titled “How to Stay Positive and Productive in your war against Corona” is available exclusively on Amazon. You can click through on the above link to buy the book. Or you can simply add your rating and review on Amazon.