You’re days into quarantine and the original excitement of lying in bed watching Netflix all day is dwindling. Your screen time is pushing 10, maybe 15, hours and you’re bored out of your mind. You can’t leave the house, so what do you do? Try these four productive ways to avoid boredom during the COVID-19 chaos.
Clean up a bit
After spending so much time inside, you look around your apartment and see the destruction left in your path. It’s time to clean up. Melissa Maker, founder of Toronto-based cleaning company Clean My Space, says now is a great time to deep clean your spaces, especially points of high contact like doorknobs, faucets, countertops and remotes.
It’s extremely important to clean high touch points every day, Maker says, because diligent cleaning and disinfecting can help reduce the spreading of unwanted bacteria.
“There is a time and a place for it and that would be now,” Maker says. “We have to be a little more vigilant.”
Maker says staying on top of cleaning will help make the whole job a little easier, that way a mess doesn’t pile up into a daunting task. This is also a great time to take on a bigger project, like decluttering.
“As we all homestead, we have to stay on top of the cleaning and then find those bigger projects that we can embark on,” Maker says.
Follow along to some of Maker’s YouTube tutorials for some cleaning inspiration and tips.
Read a book
Reading can be a great way to reduce your stress over the current pandemic and also reduce your screen time. According to a study done by David Lewis from the University of Sussex, reading reduced participant stress levels by 68% after just six minutes. Additionally, reading increases mental activity and keeps the mind sharp.
For students about to graduate in May, reading could help you prepare for your career. Books like "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie and "The Quarter-Life Breakthrough" by Adam Smiley Poswolsky can help you develop skills for your first big job.
Ladies, read "Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth" by Mika Brzezinski. This book will teach you how to negotiate salary and get paid what you’re worth. It’s an empowering read with career advice from powerful women and men in the business world.
If you’re just wanting a good book to pass the time, follow former President Barack Obama’s 2019 summer reading list, featuring the works of Toni Morrison and 10 other books.
Create a professional online image
Use this time stuck inside as an opportunity to create or update your professional online image. Meredith Wiggins, assistant director at the KU University Career Center, says it’s never too early to start building your image online. “I think the earlier you get started on doing it, the easier it becomes to maintain,” says Wiggins, who is the education and helping profession career coach at the center.
One way you can begin building your professional online image is through LinkedIn, Wiggins says.
“LinkedIn is a really great way to keep yourself up to date on what’s going on in whatever field is of interest to you,” Wiggins says.
LinkedIn also allows you to connect with professionals in any field all over the world. Wiggins recommends using the LinkedIn alumni tool and the KU Mentoring platform to network with professionals, which can be done online, so you can maintain that social distance while building your network.
Wiggins says this time is also an opportunity to audit your appearance on other social media accounts. “Take a look at your accounts and try to approach them with an outsider’s perspective,” Wiggins says. This is important because often, she says, employers will Google search candidates and your image elsewhere online can illustrate your reputation.
All University Career Center resources can be accessed remotely through the career center website. Students can make appointments through Hirejayhaws.com or by calling (785) 864-3624 to work with a professional at the career center.
Exercise at home
Recently, a video of locked-down neighbors in Spain working out together went viral. The residents stepped onto their balconies and all exercised together, going to show now is a perfect time to begin exercising. Alex Baird, Kansas City personal trainer and founder of BodsByBaird Personal Training LLC, says with less obligations, now is the time to focus on yourself.
“This is the most important time that people can really, for the first time, put everything that’s going on in the world aside and really use this time to focus on their health,” Baird says. Check out Baird’s YouTube tutorials to learn how to properly do certain exercises and create a workout of your own.
Baird says it’s also important to focus on your mental health. “This is a great time to create some clarity for yourself mentally,” Baird says. Exercising can impact your mental health because even doing just 10 minutes of any type of movement can have positive physiological responses, like stress reduction.
Baird continues to provide online personal training, which you can sign up for through his website or by messaging his Instagram. He currently offers a $35 four-week at-home program for those who need an affordable option during this time.
-Edited by Brianna Wessling