How to keep yourself busy at home during a lockdown

9:52 AM

At this point I don't even think that living under a rock would be an excuse not to have heard about Covid-19 and the pandemic situation it created worldwide.
I don't think a single country is really spared right now, and many nations are now enforcing social distancing and lockdowns in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable segment of the population.

Here in Mumbai we are on a semi-lockdown. This means that schools are closed, along with all places that sees mass gathering such as malls, cinemas, theatres, gyms and swimming pools, along with public parks.
People are encouraged to stay home and minimise the time spent running errands down to just the essential grocery shopping. Many companies are also encouraging people to work from home whenever possible, this includes my husband's.

As an introvert, I feel like I've been the queen of social distancing long before it became a thing. I work from home, prefer ordering my groceries rather than going out, and I only really go out and meet friends once a week or so. The guidelines in place right now are pretty much what has been my daily normal for years. What I think will strain me is to have my two closest loved ones share my fortress of solitude and no longer being able to escape to the swimming pool to get my workout.
Fortunately the weather is still nice, so my daughter can still go down to play in the garden down our building, she still can do so with her 2 best friends as we haven't reached the point at which people need to stay indoors as much as possible, and I still can go for a long walk in the compound in the evening to get my close quarter living frustration out of my system.

All in all, I think this lockdown has it's benefit, the first one being less traffic and honking going in the street, and an already noticeable change in air quality (at least in my direct neighbouhood). I also like that we get to slow down a bit and are no longer slave to the social pressure of "doing something outside the home".
I hope some of what is happening during this lockdown will stick once the restrictions are lifted, such as seeing more people working from home and rethinking their priorities.

If you are new to working from home, and I think it applies to most people, know that those of us who've been doing it for years because we are freelancers and entrepreneurs have valuable tips for you guys.
I myself wrote not one but TWO blog posts on the matter :

Optimize and decorate your home office for productivity

Working from home isn't easy 


With kids stuck at home and the possibility of having to homeschool, now is the time to get into craft projects.

Going to the craft store might not be an option right now, but I encourage you to start looking for things you can use around your home. The bottles in the picture above were made with plain old white glue, a bit of twine and glass bottles that would have otherwise gone in the trash. You can substitute bottles for glass jars, or even plastic containers if that is all you have.
Once you start looking at what you have at home, you will realise that you have more than you think you had to start getting creative.

And, while heading to a craft supply store might not necessarily be a good idea at the moment, know that you can still order things on Amazon and get them delivered to you. A few years ago, I put together a blog post called "My favourite art supplies", it has all the basics, and you can all buy them online.



If you've always toyed with the idea of starting a journal, or dive into bullet journalling, why not use the extra time you have right now to do so?

I think by now it has become pretty obvious that I am your source of info on everything Bullet Journal in India. Cue in the fact that my post "Your Bullet Journal options in India" has been a popular post and has been figuring in the top 5 posts since I wrote it.
All the supplies can be bought on Amazon, so even if you are on self-quarantine, you can still get them to your door steps.

Journalling doesn't mean keeping a Bujo by default, there are plenty of ways to journal, you could keep a gratitude journal, which during this time of stress and uncertainty is something I HIGHLY recommend. Or you could do an art journal, and if you have kids, why not have them keep a journal of their time spent at home?

A few years ago, I got my daughter to write a journal during a VERY long Summer break since we were switching schools (almost 4 months long break). That projects was called the Summer of 2016 Journal.
The idea was to write something in it EVERYDAY, talking about what we did that day, and then decorate it with stickers. Again, you can find all those supplies on Amazon easily just head to my blog post "Everything you need to scrapbook" to know more.


Being forced to stay home is also a great way to FINALLY make time to read more books, frankly when I kept reading about people hoarding toilet paper in the US and Europe, and kept reading about people raiding the supermarkets here in my neighbourhood last Friday to stockpile enough dal and pulses to last a year I was the one thinking about how to survive being an introvert stuck home with other people.
I ordered a few books on Amazons for myself and my daughter, and re-stocked my tea collection (different sets of priorities!)

I wrote a few blog posts about books if you are out of ideas :

My list of memorable books, a list of all the books I enjoyed reading the most in my life.

Self help and business books for creatives, which are all books to read if you are an entrepreneur in the creative field.

My motivational books list of 2019, because I keep reading self help books and can't stop doing it

Amazing book finds of the weekend, was a list of all the books I bought in a well stocked book store in South Mumbai but all of them are available on Amazon, and many of them are kids books.


If you live in India, do consider giving your maid a time off, and make it a paid leave, most maids belong to a segment of the population that cannot afford good healthcare, and are probably dealing with other health issued that make them far more vulnerable to covid-19 than you are. They also have less access to clean water to maintain a good hygiene and most live in extended joint family setups that means that if the virus hit them, it's likely to spread.

Doing without a maid is very doable, I've been doing it for 3 years now. With everybody stuck home, you are also having a lot more hands to help.
Yesterday hubby and I did some deep cleaning, as I write thes lines my daughter decided to deep clean the bathroom.
We are without a cook as she opted to get out of the city and spend time with her family in her native place while the virus spreads in Mumbai, so we are also all hands on deck with the cooking at the moment, since nobody has to commute to work or run errands and stuff outside the home, we have that extra time to do it.



Last but certainly not least, remember that small businesses are going to be the most hit by this crisis. Where you spend your money matters a great deal.

As much as I recommend buying certain things on Amazon, if you live in an area on semi-lockdown you can still go shop for essentials in your area, where I live all mom and pop stores are open still, and while people are going berserk cleaning the shelves in supermarkets, those Kirana stores still have stock, and are less crowded.
If you feel unwell, play it safe and stay home, regardless of what bug has you. All these small shops do deliver and their delivery boys are in all likelihood daily wagers, if they don't work, they don't get paid.

Just because you are stuck at home doesn't mean you have to stop being an active participant in the economy, right now, small businesses need you more than ever, and they will really need you a lot once the crisis is over, so think about it now.


All in all, this pandemic is a good opportunity to reassess your priorities, slow down a bit, recharge your batteries. So stay off social medias that stress you out, resist the urge to forward all WhatsApp message that comes your way (too many are fake news), get your infos from trusted sources (The WHO website is an excellent place to start) and know that this too shall pass, and that by abiding to social distancing rules in your area and practicing good hygiene you are doing a lot to help the situation. 

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4 comments

  1. It has been a terrible few months in Delhi. A lot has happened. Then, when everything looked good this damn virus crept in stealthily. We cancelled the trip to Amritsar the umpteenth time as our doctor suggested that train travel might not be a good idea. Still early days and the danger lurks for a month. People quarantined were surprised by the clean facilities. So far so good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right now I don't think any travel is advised, it's really better to stay home and practice social distancing.

      My biggest fear right now is racism, I have seen a few comments in some Fb groups in y area pointing out that the fact that people should avoid foreigner, from there it's just one quick slip into deciding that all foreigners are a threat and assume stupid things like "they must have travel history and lied"

      If this pandemic goes on and rumors and fake news are not tamed we are going to descend into madness.

      Needless to say I am keeping a very low profile right now, just to avoid dealing with ignorance, I can prove that the last international travel I took was in November 2013 and that I haven't been in contact with anybody returning from an international travel in the recent past, not to mention that I have no symptoms of anything whatsoever, but it matters little to those active in the rumor mill.

      Delete
  2. Hi Cynthia,
    Today was the unprecedented total national lockdown.
    India has never been so quiet before, as I have mentioned in my blog post.
    Hard days ahead, as the numbers of people falling ill is only increasing by the day.
    Please take care. Stay safe.
    - Pradeep

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stay safe and take care too,

      It was amazing how quiet Mumbai was yesterday, and how clean the air was, we had the lower AQI I have ever seen in Mumbai.

      I am really concerned about the days to come, there is no shortage of stupid people that are breaking their quarantine rule, the municipality keeps tightening the rules of confinement for everyone, yet you still find people with a quarantine stamp on their hand, who returned from abroad, and are just roaming around and carrying on with their lives, completely oblivious to the fact that they might be contagious and infect the community.

      Delete

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