4 Tips to make the best out of the worst situation


Aspen Snyder

Junior Aspen Snyder has been working on her photography skills during the quarantine. Here, she captures her cat, Frankie.

Riley Coesens, Editor in Chief

All over the social media, people share their daily quarantine activities with the world in the best light possible: spending hours making cute DIY treats and projects, decluttering neglected spaces, and making memories with family are all common on Twitter and Snapchat feeds. Others intend to use the hours learning a new skill or advancing themselves academically and personally with rigorous, overachieving plans to keep busy. Though these are certainly positive ways to pass the time, many people struggle in such isolation, left with minimal human contact and few ways to escape uncertainty, fear, loneliness, or boredom. With new each day indoors, it can become more difficult to effectively manage time and boost productivity and positivity. Here are some tips to maximize this valuable–yet sometimes daunting–time at home. 

1: Stay consistent with a routine or schedule.

The first tip is most obvious, but is also most commonly abandoned: keep to a strict sleep schedule, or if nothing else, wake up at the same time each morning. Not everyone’s schedule will be the same, as some people prefer earlier or later wake-up times, but either way, beginning the day minimizes how much time one loses track of as the day progresses. In the same way, people should start their morning routines as if they were preparing to leave the house for school or work; putting oneself in the frame of mind to accomplish tasks and be in a normal state will further increase productivity. In addition to boosting the immune system and lowering risk for infection, a regular, balanced sleep schedule “helps regulate mood, improve brain function, and increase energy and overall productivity during the day,” according to the University of Chicago Medicine. 

2: Keep your mind busy!

When it comes to staying occupied, there are many options, but generally it is best to find a balance between work and relaxation. Learning a new hobby or skill will not only make one feel accomplished, but it can be an ongoing staple to his/her adapted “normal” routine. Additionally, partaking in e

Aspen Snyder
Aspen Snyder’s Catniss poses for a photo. Students are looking for creative ways to improve skills like photography during a pandemic.

ndeavors that previously would have been impossible between usual obligations is also a rewarding mechanism to coping with barren social schedules. These include cleaning and organizing, reading, binging Netflix episodes, playing a video game, channeling one’s inner chef, journaling, painting or drawing, and more. Creative outlets are a crucial aspect to filling hours of alone time.

3: Connect with others virtually every day.

Despite the fact that no one may socialize outside the home, there are still ways to remain in contact with close friends and family to stay sane. Calling and chatting with people over Facetime or Zoom provide optimal opportunities to connect and share about your temporary lifestyles. Communicating regularly adds a sense of normalcy to a bizarre circumstance. This is also applicable to talking with others over text, email, social media, etc. Check on loved ones and find comfort in any form of contact that may be achieved from inside. “With less face time, there’s no better time for FaceTime,” said Marina Koren in The Atlantic. Though it isn’t a substitute for in-person interaction, this means of communication has been found beneficial for isolated older adults and children alike, as it keeps families and friends in contact from a distance. 

4: Get outside and stay active!

The final aspect that is crucial to creating a positive quarantine atmosphere is by getting fresh air and exercise. All gyms are closed right now, which may make it difficult for some to feel motivated to maintain fitness; following simple no-equipment workout videos and posts can be helpful to stay active. For those who have the means to do so, taking regular walks, sitting outside, and even opening a window on nicer days will vastly improve mental clarity and stress. As the days get warmer, this will be easier to do; consider incorporating a certain amount of time to spend outdoors daily, or plan physical activities to do with family or on your own. With a wide array of health benefits, including a reduced risk for serious health ailments and infection, releasing physical tension and serotonin and endorphins, weight management, and improving quality of sleep, exercise makes one feel as if he/she achieved something, and increases a person’s energy over time. 

Regardless of how people choose to use their time at home, the most important thing to be optimistic. Millions of fellow Americans, as well as people across the globe, have been asked to put their lives on hold in the same ways. Eventually, stores, schools, and offices will reopen, gatherings will be permitted, and life will slowly regain stability. Like any other process, it will take time, patience, and understanding for oneself and others. Be kind to yourself, family, and friends as we all try to make sense of the surrealness of a global pandemic.