This is a unique time in the world. Many people have been quarantined and/or locked down for some time now and are starting to get antsy about being forced to stay indoors. Unfortunately, eventually, people will all start to feel the effects of “caged bird syndrome”.
As someone who spent the better part of a decade stuck in various bird cages (military installations) throughout the middle east, I am used to living like a canary. I decided to throw together some tips that I hope will help you through this period of boredom and uncertainty.
- The first and most important thing to do is to stop reminding yourself of the things that you aren’t able to do and start focusing on the stuff that you can. The more you focus on the news and the death-tickers and the situation, the greater the feeling of helplessness you will have.
- Do something during this downtime to increase your worth. It could be anything from taking online courses to becoming proficient on different types of computer programs out there to just simply watching and listening to all of the self-improvement courses out there that have been proven to help people. Who knows, you may even find a new career path along the way.
- Find a new hobby that doesn’t require you to leave the room. Writing, blogging, making a YouTube channel and/or anything to do with you branding yourself are all productive hobbies that also have the potential for personal growth down the line. If you aren’t into any of that, there are a million streaming services and fantastic tv shows to keep you occupied. By the time you finish a few seasons of Spartacus, this could all be over.
- Catch up on some much needed and deserved rest. It is odd, many of the people I see going stir crazy about having nothing to do and being bored are the same people who complained before when they had to work every day and there was too much to do. USE this time for yourself and remain in good spirits. Go to bed early, get up and have a good breakfast, do some exercises around the house. Learn to love the time that you have because one day it’ll all be taken away from you again and you’ll wish you had more of it.
- Get to know your family again. In Afghanistan, we would share rooms with 6-12 people on average. During lockdowns, we would all sit around and tell old stories and learn more about the men and women around us. The difference for you is that many of you have your families in lockdown with you. Use this time to get to know them again and to re-build the familial bonds that may have been lost/weakened due to normally busy days full of work, school, dinners and sleeping.
- Plan for your return to the world once things are back to normal. If you are a business owner, start thinking about your re-launch campaign to kick things off to a big start when this is all said and done. Some businesses, unfortunately, will not make it through this period. The ones that do will have an uphill climb ahead of them. I see lots of folks just sitting around waiting for this thing to end so they can return to normality but not many folks thinking about how they are going to make their re-launch better. Remember, everyone will be re-opening at around the same time.
- Re-arrange your room every couple of weeks. Re-arranging the room changes up the mood and scenery of your room. This was important to us over there as it always kept things somewhat new and exciting. We were always finding new ways to arrange and re-arrange the furniture to make it a more comfortable space and to keep the room from getting too monotonous.
- If you have the chance to get out, go for walks alone. Walking around introduces you to much more appealing sights and sounds and allows you to think about things that you don’t normally think about just sitting in the room. Daily walks are a good time for both a little exercise and to keep your mind from focusing on the negative things happening around you.
- Remember that you are not alone. All of us are currently in the same predicament no matter where we hail from. If you are feeling a little destructive mentally, talk to someone. Reach out and let others know that you are having issues, chances are, they are feeling exactly the same as you.
We are all in this together and with a little patience, we all have a good chance of making it out the other side of this thing. Just like we were forced to weather the giant dust storms in the desert, we will make it through this and emerge more knowledgeable and slightly more mature. I know for a fact, when the dust settles, there are always blue skies again.
If anyone else has come up with good ways that they have passed their time, please include them in the comments or write to [email protected] We’d love to hear the creative ways you have found to pass the time.