Bored in the House + I’m in the House Bored
We’ve been in quarantine for 60 days. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick of hanging out with myself. 60 days alone is a lot to handle and there’s only so much Netflix you can binge before your eyes get blurry and your couch has a permanent dent in it – let’s be honest, it can take a real toll on your mental health with you’re staring at a screen from the time you wake up till the time you go to sleep. Living alone, I’ve had to get real creative with how I spend my days, making sure I’m not isolating myself from friends and family by sinking too far into a slump. I’m going to share with you a few things that I’ve found to occupy my time in a more meaningful way than watching The Office for the 7th time.
I know what you’re thinking, we are supposed to be staying INSIDE. But hear me out. There’s literally nothing better than getting in your car, blasting your favorite nostalgic album (mine is old school Paramore or Aly and AJ) and taking a drive. You don’t have to go far and you don’t have to go anywhere in particular. A couple of times a week I will grab an iced coffee from my favorite local shop (#supportsmallbusiness) and drive through my favorite neighborhood in Dallas, looking at the gorgeous homes and blasting some feel good music. Whether it’s 20 minutes or an hour, there’s something about a drive that has no real destination that is so good for your soul. And the best part is, you don’t need another person to have fun doing it! If driving isn’t your thing, find other ways to change up your scenery; take a walk in another neighborhood that’s not your own, look up a new trail to ride your bike on.. anything to break up your day and get a new view is going to help you not feel so stuck.
Yes, I’m on TikTok and yes, I’m ashamed. TikTok is tricky because it can easily become another time stealer that sucks you into endless hours of scrolling, or it can be your new gym instructor. If you don’t know, TikTok trends are comprised mainly of choreographed dances, ranging from 15 seconds to 1 minute long. They seem simple enough, since apparently most of the dances have the same 6 moves in them but DON’T BE FOOLED. These dances are hard. And they take time to memorize. I find myself spending an hour or two memorizing these 8 counts and working up an insane sweat. It helps me get moving and it helps me feel accomplished. TikTok is a full blown activity if you want it to be. And the best part is, you never have to post yourself dancing. If you suck, no one has to know and you get your heart rate up…. If you don’t suck there’s a chance you’ll go viral. It’s really a win/win no matter which way you look at it! And consider this your warning – you WILL have all the songs stuck in your head and your friends will communicate with you solely through trending video quotes.
I’m sure cleaning and organizing were at the top of everyones list around day 5 of quarantine. You might be thinking “I’ve scoured every inch of my home, I’ve got nothing left to do” but I bet we all have an area of our house that goes untouched. Whether it’s your junk drawer in your kitchen, or your makeup bag – we all have that one place where things just pile up and you don’t even think twice about organizing it. In all honesty, I have a few places like that in my apartment. Even after deep cleaning from top to bottom, I have decided to really take the time to clean out some spaces that could just be better utilized. For instance, I have more makeup than I know what to do with. For someone who rarely does anything different in my daily makeup routine, I sure do love to buy and experiment with different palettes and bronzers, foundations, etc. But because of my extensive binging of Jeffree Star videos, I now know makeup has an expiration date. So slowly but surely, I’ve gone through every eyeshadow and lipstick to see what is good and what isn’t. The same goes for my nail polishes and my skin care products. It’s something productive you can do while still watching TV or FaceTiming friends so even though it’s more of a chore than pure entertainment, you sure will feel good when you get it done. (Plus you just have more room to buy new goodies)
One thing quarantine has taught me is that I’m not as great at calling my friends as I thought I was. During this crazy time, it can be emotionally draining to catch up on life with long phone calls, especially when there’s not a whole bunch of new stuff going on in anyone’s world. Enter video chats. There’s something way more endearing about scheduling a FaceTime hang with your closest girls or getting a group a big group together to play a few games on the HouseParty app! When you set a date and time it feels more like a party than an obligation – plus it’s an organic way to feel the pulse of how your friends are carrying themselves through the pandemic.
I think all of us can agree that we are forming some new habits during this pandemic. Of course some are purely out of necessity to be able to maintain a normal work/life balance. But others are born out of trying to still your mind and focus your energy into something. I got a bike at the beginning of quarantine. I didn’t like the fact that active people got a pass when it came to being out in public – so I decided to become an active person. There’s a small lake not too far from where I live in Dallas and after 3 years, I decided to venture over and take advantage of the trails surrounding it. It’s 9.5 miles all the way around, and a few times a week I take my bike and just ride the whole thing. Not only is it exercise, but it’s made me feel lighter mentally and emotionally. There’s something so pure about riding a bike; I instantly feel like it’s summer break in elementary school again.. and that’s a good headspace to be in in the middle of the day. This is one hobby that I know is going to stick for me. It’s something I look forward to, and knowing that I can turn it into a social activity with friends who also own bikes also helps to keep it in my weekly rotation for the long haul.
While there are so many other things that fill my days week in and week out while we navigate these uncertain times, these are the things that I have found to be the most healing, the most enjoyable, and the most productive. It doesn’t take much for your day to waste away. Trust me, I’m the last person who should be telling you to use your time wisely ( I mean, I’ve watched every true crime documentary that currently exists during these 60 days) but there will be a time where we look back at this time in our lives and we will either be proud of how we spent it, or wish we had taken more advantage of the solitude.