A Guide: How NOT to lose your mind during quarantine

Every once in a while we’re struck with something that the whole world seems to obsess over – everybody’s talking about it on their Insta-stories, it’s circulating around on WhatsApp, Facebook, all the social media. Fortunately, in the past it was things like Kylie Jenner being dethroned by an egg or Rihanna dropping her makeup collection or a celebrity’s marriage. This time is something serious and real – we’ve been struck with a global emergency of the scale of a World War. COVID-19 is the disease that you contract from the novel Corona Virus and there have been way too many WhatsApps circulating around for anybody not to know what COVID-19 is or how it’s contracted. In case you’ve been living under a rock, we do have a post on it that you can check out to get yourself caught up.

As concerts are postponed, sporting events are canceled – PSL was played in empty stadiums (moment of silence for all our cricket fanatics), schools are closed, international exams like O & A Levels have been cancelled, mosques and tourist hot spots are shut down, experts recommend that even those who show no sign of illness stay home during this time of global pandemic. Sindh itself has gone into complete lockdown, having only pharmacies and grocery stores operational. No matter, there’s a lot that can be done over the next few days to get yourself not only caught up but even ahead of life’s responsibilities while having plenty of fun as well.

Take off those pjs! Sure, it makes sense to lounge in them all day (the heart wants what it wants) but you need to break the cycle of treating this situation like it’s a holiday. It’s not! Prioritise your mental health and step out of your lounge wear / pjs into something that’ll help you kick-start your day – clothes that you’d wear if you weren’t quarantining.

Self-isolating can start to get to you, which it why it’s important to normalise things for yourself as much as possible, like following the same sleeping patterns, eating healthy. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with pampering yourself with a little something extra. Salons are closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own facial at home for a fraction of the price – splurge out with skincare! Face masks, moisturiser, oh my! Treat yourself to a 10-step skin care routine you don’t have time for during a normal work week.

Quarantine or not there’s still plenty of ways to stay in good health. It might not be the same as your routine workout but there’s plenty of options and workouts – check out @absolutelyaale on Instagram – she just did a live workout and plans to do more. Many influencers are posting their workout routines, if not showing them, so you’re never left blank-minded when you jump on that yoga mat. @thestrengthproject by Dosti ZJ is also a page worth following and keeping up with, especially, during this quarantine session. Dosti posts a new workout on her page every single day that you don’t need ANY equipment for, so you have no excuse.
If yoga is more your thing, whip out your yoga mat and join @bishashabbir of The Yoga Well at one (or more) of her online classes. For a more refreshing start to your day, try doing this in the early mornings because summer’s definitely arrived in Karachi. Yoga’s known to clear your mind too, away from all the depressing quarantine thoughts.
Meditation is another way to help you organise your thoughts. If it’s something you love, continue doing it. However, if it’s something that you haven’t incorporated in your daily routine, now’s the time to do it. It’s something that you have to practise quite a bit before you get the hang of it and with all the quarantining, now’s the perfect time to get practising. There are lots of apps, podcasts and YouTube videos to help you get started, all you need to run is a quick Google search.
Keeping in tradition with having a positive outlook, make lists for everything you’re grateful for – even the smallest things make the world of a difference. When you feel the negativity getting to you, have a look over your lists and everything you’ve jotted down that makes you happy – a surefire way to make you smile. Colouring books – they’re not just for kids – are also considered to be therapeutic so maybe pick one up and give it a try.
Another way to keep negative episodes at bay is by learning a new skill – you definitely have the time for it! Pick up a needle, thread and open up an embroidery tutorial. Try your hand at knitting, maybe even crocheting. If cooking isn’t your forte, maybe give it another go. Or maybe perfect a recipe that you’ve always wanted to get the knack of, like a basic karhayi or biryani, whatever floats your boat, maybe even a restaurant copycat recipe seeing as they’ll all be closed for the next 15 days. Nargis’ Instagram blog, @mumstheworkpk is a great place to start off, she posts her lunch and dinner menus, daily and gives easy, step-by-step recipes to follow along to. She’s also parenting 3 kids, so if your bachas are driving you insane, pick up some tips on calming situations for that end too, while you’re on there.

Let your creative side show and take an opportunity to make some fresh decisions for your living space. Move things around, play with your decor, give things a springy new feeling! This way, you won’t get bored out of your brain having to stare at the same thing, every single day. Even the smallest rearrangements can make the biggest impact to make things feel like new, without dipping into your wallet. If you are happy with your decor, however, now’s the perfect time to get your spring cleaning in. Give everything a deep, disinfectant-grade clean and beat the virus!

And finally, keep tabs on your loved ones. Many of us remember the days of group video chats on weekday evenings back from our younger days. Who’s to say you can’t have a night like you’re back in seventh grade, procrastinating your homework with your buddies? Check up on the older people, the dadis, the nanis, in your circle, ask if they need anything. If possible, do their groceries for them. Age deteriorates immunity and the youngest and oldest are the ones who are most at risk.
There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun to get through a challenging time.

This is definitely the most bizarre situations people have witnessed in this generation. Keep your spirits high! Everyone else is learning too, just like you!

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