I don’t watch or listen to the news, but luckily, fellow Multiple Sclerosis News Today columnist Ed Tobias does. I’ve found that avoiding the news has helped to improve my mental health, because I realized that all the doom and gloom happening in the world was stuck in my head.
However, my husband showed me an article about the spread of the COVID-19 virus and I was shocked. In my bubble, it hadn’t seemed so bad. I’d heard about it on social media, but I hadn’t realized the extent of the situation until I was confronted with actual figures. I felt fear washing over me. Would I be affected because of my weakened immune system? That remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, entire countries are on lockdown. Schools are closing. Supermarkets are running out of toilet paper. What the heck is going on? Luckily, columnist John Connor shares his humor on the subject, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson even gave us a lesson on washing our hands to the tune of “Happy Birthday.”
If, like me, you plan to hibernate while the pandemic unfolds, I thought I’d put together some ideas for using this time productively and keeping our kids occupied while they’re home from school. It’s so easy to binge-watch TV, but that gets boring quickly.
The following are things you can do from home for free to keep you occupied and to keep your brain ticking.
Learn a language
So many free language apps and YouTube videos are available now to help you learn a language. Kids will love this, too, so while they’re home from school, encourage productivity rather than watching TV. Plus, evidence suggests that learning a language is good for the brain. I’ve been learning Japanese recently. What language would you like to learn?
Catch up on reading
I don’t know about you, but my reading list is the length of my arm. At the end of every “DISabled to ENabled” podcast, I ask my guest about their most inspirational book. Guests have suggested awesome reads, from “Man’s Search For Meaning” to “The Secret.” Now’s the time to catch up on those books you’ve been meaning to read. Did you know it helps to promote brain health?
If you run your own business, some great business books I recommend are “The Road Less Stupid” by Keith J. Cunningham, “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss, and my all-time favorite, “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. I’ll soon be getting into these books in more detail at the DISabled to ENabled website.
Drawing is another activity I love to do. Getting creative is good for the soul. You may be reading this and thinking, “But Jess, I can’t draw!” Of course you can! Art is subjective. It doesn’t have to be a perfect replica of the “Mona Lisa.” Anything counts. Grab some paper and a pen and get scribbling. The emotional freedom you’ll feel when you move a pen over paper is something magical. Give it a try. Tons of free videos on YouTube teach drawing skills. Check out some of my art here.
Start a YouTube channel
Why not? Grab your phone and start recording. No special equipment is needed for beginner videos. Your YouTube channel could be anything from teaching others how to bake cakes to creating a “vlog” (video blog) about what it’s like to be in isolation with the coronavirus going on outside. Again, it doesn’t have to be a perfect, polished video. As author Rob Moore says, “Start now, get perfect later.” Take action. Start something amazing. Check out the DISabled to ENabled YouTube channel, too.
Have a floor picnic
When my brother and I were younger, my mum would let us have “floor picnics” during school holidays. For a floor picnic, you spread out a blanket on the floor and everyone sits eating sandwiches and cakes. In my house, we ate whatever was left in the cupboards, which often wasn’t much. As kids, we loved it. It killed a few hours and didn’t cost my mum anything. It’s a proper English experience, especially if it is also raining outside and an odd stray ant appears. Give it a try with your kids.
These are five things you can do for free while in coronavirus hibernation. Which do you like best? Remember to have fun, look after yourself, stay on the bright side of life, and keep washing those hands!
What activities can you do while remaining indoors? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?