Ways to Spend Time When Social Distancing

It’s 8:30 AM on a regular Thursday while I am writing this article for you – or at least it is what will become a “normal” Thursday for the next weeks. Until last week, I would just have arrived at our Vienna office right now but since Monday, Austrians are staying (and working) at home whenever possible. The current situation might be different in your country but  – without painting a black picture – having to stay at home is likely apply to you too.

So, what if you are really stuck at home? What if you are going stir-crazy?

It's a matter of mindset!

Before I dive into our tips on how to use your time in quarantine, there is one important thing to say: It’s all about mindset! Don’t see social distancing or hardly leaving your home as a punishment. First of all, it really is necessary right now. Secondly, you should look at it from another perspective and make the most out of it. So instead of complaining, especially when you are not able to work from home, tell yourself:

  • Now, I can finally do whatever I couldn't do because I didn't have time.
  • Now is the time to find new (or maybe old) ways to connect to my loved ones.
  • Now, I have the opportunity to discover new content, interests or passions.
  • Now, I can really focus on taking care of myself.
  • I am not alone, it’s just time to think “out of the box”!

With these thoughts in mind, we'll finally start to boost your time. Enjoy!

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Be productive!

Let’s start with the most obvious things. Usually, you are busy heading to classes, working or studying while trying to keep having a social life. Tasks like cleaning, doing the laundry or tidying out your stuff normally are the last things you want to do. Well, now’s the perfect time to be productive!

  • Spring cleaning: Time to make your home shine!
  • Minimalism: Tidy out unnecessary stuff like clothes!
  • Green thumb: Take care of your plants!
  • Memories: Sort out photos on your phone, laptop, …!
  • Better safe than sorry: Make backups of your laptop, phone, …!
  • Byebye, spam: Unsubsribe from unnecessary newsletters!
  • Email traffic: Tidy out your mailbox to never miss a friend’s mail!
Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

Get creative: Use your talents!

Remember, now is the time to discover new interests, talents and passions or just to revive existing ones. I am sure each of you has a passion. Well, I can’t tell you what applies to you but here are some ideas:

  • Make music: Practice your favorite instrument or learn a new one!
  • Bake yourself happy: Trying out new recipes will not only be fun but also yummy!
  • Cook yourself happy: Same same as above!
  • Become Picasso: Draw a picture or become artsy in another way!
  • Redecorate your home: Interior design can be a passion, talent or hobby but it will also make you feel like a change of scenery.
  • Share your passion: Start a blog or Instagram account to inspire others!
    (I am sure there are plenty of people who have enough time to consume your content now :P)
Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

Learn something new!

Again, it’s time to discover new things. Remember any tutorial or a documentary you have seen lately? Anything that made you think “Wow, I would love to know/do/learn that!”. Well, now is the time! Here are some ideas and ways to extend your skills and knowledge from your sofa.

  • YouTube is full of tutorials – each topic, each language, everything!
  • Learn a new language with apps like Duolingo!
  • Gym nerds, find a new way of working out with YouTube!
  • Learn to do a head- or handstand (really takes time…)!
  • Get crazy about handlettering!
  • Become a handyman and learn how to fix/build various things. This will also be helpful when redecorating your home ;-)
  • Learn to cook or bake – you will have to anyway, with restaurants being closed!
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Connect to others!

If you are done with being productive, creative or curious and just want to talk to someone else than your pet, do it. I really know what it feels like not to be able to see your family or friends physically. But who said you can’t do it online?

  • Digital Native: Use FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger or any other tool to call your loved ones. Tip: Group video calls are possible and highly entertaining!
  • Oldschool: Write letters and get crazy with a special design!
  • Neighbors: If you are lucky to have a balcony, go out and have a (remote but personal) chat with your neighbors!
  • Help others: If you live in an apartment building, you most likely have elderly neighbors. They are part of the high-risk group and should definitely not go out. Place an information notice somewhere in the building and offer these people your help with grocery shopping - only of course if you feel safe to do so!
Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash

Enjoy having time!

Done with socializing from a distance? Nothing left to learn or just tired (of it)? There's nothing wrong with laying back and enjoying your free time.

  • Watch every tv show or movie you ever wanted!
  • Explore new genres!
  • Explore new books!
  • Write reviews about your favorite shows to share your joy with others!
  • Take a nap!
  • Take a bubble bath!
  • Do your nails or hair (I would recommend that to the ladies here but don't want to exclude men specifically :P)!
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Stick to your routines!

Sometimes exactly the "having time" is too much for us. The feeling of boredome and uselessnes takes over and you go nuts. Being productive (see above) definitely gives you a sense of meaning - and so do your routines! Stick to them whenever possible and if not, create new ones.

  • Every evening, make a plan of what you want to achieve tomorrow!
  • Get up at a certain time!
  • Do your usual morning routine!
  • Get dressed! (There's a reason for the saying "clothes make the man"...)
  • Work your to do list!
  • Stick to your eating habits! (Maybe upgrade them because you have plenty of time to cook :P)
  • Do sports!
  • Be proud of how productive you have been!
  • Make next day's to-do list!
  • Stick to your bedtime!
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Self-care: Keep your mood up!

A crisis can be frightening - especially when it's about our health and affects all of us! Staying healthy should be your top priority but not only limited to your phsyical health. Adapting to a new situation especially requires the right mindset. We already "talked" about that. And the right mindset includes some proper self-care to keep your mood up. Here are some tips for being more mindful!

  • Be grateful: List 5 things you are thankful for each day - either in the morning or before sleeping!
  • Meditate: Healthy mind, healthy body! (Meditation needs training, though.)
  • Think positive: Choose 1-3 positive affirmations (e. g. "I am strong and will remain healthy") and repeat them every day.
  • Be social: Talk to your loved ones every day (see above how)!
  • Enjoy nature: No, you must not go out without a reason but taking a daily walk is officially recommended by governments! It is not dangerous when avoiding people. Enjoy the sun and say hello to vitamin D!
  • Be sporty: Healthy body, healthy mind and vice versa! You don't need a gym our class to work out. You just need your body and maybe a YouTube video with instructions. Moving your body will bring you loads of happiness hormones.
Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Need anything else?

There are plenty of options how to use your time mentioned in this blogpost. And there countless more in your or your friends' head(s). Remember, this situation is not going to last forever. You can not change it but learn to accept it and make the best out of it. Try to stay healthy and positive, help others and use this difficult times to personally grow.

In case you are living at THE FIZZ in Austria or Germany and have any questions, we have prepared some Q&As for you in our Help Center. Check them out and do not hesitate to contact us if you need any advice!

STAY POSITIVE. STAY HEALTHY.

Header photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash