The message to ‘stay productive’ during lockdown is everywhere right now, and while the idea of staying productive with the extra time you’re spending at home is convincing, there are ways of making use of your time without adding stress.
Yes, you can learn a new language, organise your junk drawers, or even endure that DIY home project you’ve been avoiding, but it’s important to remember that just because you can doesn’t mean you must.
The ups and downs we’ve been facing through this pandemic are very real, so there’s no reason why you should put further pressure on yourself to get a thousand and one things done while you adjust to the circumstances.
Instead, try taking things day by day, starting with these three productive – and easy – things to do during lockdown.
1. Find an Escape
When lockdown restrictions first started being enforced, many people were under the impression that the pandemic would be short-lived. However, we know now that with the circumstances changing daily, no one can say for sure when we’ll come out of it.
That’s why finding a means to escape the chaos while you’re in lockdown is important, because sometimes your brain just needs a break from it all.
Here are a few simple ways you can keep yourself occupied.
Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are a form of escape for some people as much as music is for others.
There are a ton of unique and insightful podcasts out there that you can listen to right now, and the best of them have you hanging on their every word and quickly progressing to the next episode.
Podcasts allow you to learn new things, embrace varied opinions, and gain new interests – making them the ultimate escape when you’re looking for something to pass the time.
Read a book
Tested and true, reading a book can empower your mind to wander anywhere you choose – an ideal option when you’re cooped up in the house.
Whether you go back to a favourite read or indulge in a new one, a good book (and even better coffee) is a great way to keep yourself occupied.
Take a walk
If you’re not in self-isolation, take a leisurely walk around your neighbourhood.
A little fresh air will benefit you immensely by improving your blood pressure and heart rate, giving you energy, and improving your overall mood.
Have a nap
Aside from being simply luxurious, a solid thirty-minute nap can boost your concentration and reduce levels of anxiety and depression, creating an overall increase in your daily productivity.
So, yes, we’re absolutely giving you the go-ahead to take that afternoon siesta.
2. Help Your Community
Communities worldwide are taking major economical hits due to coronavirus, and as such, there is nothing more pressing right now than supporting your community where and when you can.
Hospitals are strained for employees and supplies, people are stockpiling food, and social distancing, while good for everyone’s health, is proving to be no good for most businesses.
Yes, it’s normal to focus on the concerns you have for yourself and your loved ones first, but it’s important not to forget your neighbours and your wider community.
Try your best to be empathetic by contributing in these small ways:
- Keeping social distancing a priority
- Shopping at your available local businesses
- Donating money or goods to local organisations
- Volunteering to run essential errands for those in need (i.e. the elderly or immunocompromised)
- Checking in regularly on your friends and family
It doesn’t take much to offer your support in some way and, under the present circumstances, every little bit helps.
3. Accept the Uncertainty
Embracing the uncertainty in the unknown can be tough when you can’t help but wonder when lockdown will be over or what the next COVID-19 update will be.
While there’s a lot that we don’t know right now, there’s no use worrying about what you can’t control. However, shifting your focus to the things you do have control over can help, such as:
- Taking care of your physical and mental health
- Limiting your consumption of coronavirus-related news
- Maintaining positive attitudes and behaviours
If you take time to remain optimistic, adapt to changes, and embrace uncertainty, you can intentionally side-step your usual instincts and avoid needless anxiety and fear.
Instead, you’ll allow room to lean into your concerns and come to terms with the fact that what will be will be – whether you worry or not.
You might be someone who flourishes in challenging situations like dealing with the uncertainty of coronavirus – which is great – but there’s no shame in making the smaller wins in productivity matter as much as any other.
In other words, try not to focus on whether you’re doing enough by other people’s standards. Keep it simple and focus on if you’re doing enough for you.
For now, that’s just plenty.