Article by XIANEASE
Many of us right now, are beginning to feel the effects of quarantine. We’ve watched all the shows and movies, played all the games we can stomach, and have started to wonder exactly how long this will go on. Since the end is not yet in sight, here are 8 different things that you might do to alleviate your boredom.
1 Learn a New Skill
The internet is full of great, high-quality tutorials to help you learn a new skill during all this downtime. The best of these are things that require lots of focus and time to learn, and may have other benefits down the line.
Some suggestions include:
Learning to Code
Online coding ‘bootcamps’ are everywhere these days and for good reason. Coding is an interesting and useful skill to learn. With a great variety of free and paid options for learning code, you can get started with nothing more than a computer and an internet connection. While there are several coding languages that you could learn, some of the most common are C++, Java, and Python. A great step by step tutorial for learning C++ can be found at learncpp.com.
Learning to Draw
Drawing is one of those skills that many people wish that they were good at, but rarely have the time to put in the practice. In addition, art is a great way to distract yourself, as it can often take hours to complete. Plus, you’ll have something potentially pretty to look at once you are done. Tutorials for drawing can be found at places like skillshare.com; which also provides tutorials in other creative skills.
Learning to Cook
Look, eating instant noodles day in and day out is really not good for you. With most restaurants shut down for the foreseeable future, it’s time to learn how to cook. While there are a tons of recipe sites out there, first you will want to equip yourself with some basic knowledge. Learning knife skills, different cooking techniques, and different ingredients, especially herbs and spices, will go a long way towards improving your skills. Websites such as thekitchn.com and seriouseats.com provide informative how-tos and instructionals for all of these and more.
Learning a New Piece of Software
Digging in to a new piece of software, or relearning one that you think that you already know is a great way to pass the time, and help you later on down the line. Learning how to use apps like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or any of the other complicated pieces of software is incredibly useful. If you don’t want to shell out for these admittedly expensive pieces of software, you can use their free alternatives, such as GIMP(photo editing), Audacity(audio editing), and SVG-edit (Vector-based graphics). You also might consider looking up tutorials for some of the basics, including tutorials for advanced Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint, and Access, which can be very useful tools when you know how to use them properly.
Learning in an Online Class
In addition to the above, you can also take online courses to pass the time and learn something new in the process. Platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, and Khan Academy offer instruction in a wide variety of subjects, including history, psychology, engineering, and mathematics. While some of these are paid, a great many of them are free and the content is often created by top-tier international universities. Some even offer certificates for completion of certain courses.
2 Read the Classics
Now is the time to read all of those books that you have been meaning to read for so long. There are a variety of online shops for purchasing e-books, as well as many free options. Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) is a great place to start, as it is one of the largest online repositories for legitimate free-books, with over 60,000 titles.
3 Get in Shape
Exercise is essential to maintaining a strong immune system. But with gyms closed and outdoor exercises not feasible, you will need to get a bit more creative with your routine. Some different ways of exercising in small spaces include:
Yoga – Yoga poses range from the simple to the complex and can help with flexibility and muscle tone. The emphasis on breathing also helps reduce stress. Various apps and online videos are available to provide video demonstrations and classes to follow along with.
“Prison” Workouts – Prison workouts are simply bodyweight workouts that can be done in a confined space and require minimal equipment to perform. Guides for different exercises can be found online, as well as video instructions to let you know what to do. These exercises typically include things like sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups and other kinds of ups.
Indoor Cardio – Without the benefit of a treadmill at the gym or a street to run on(you seriously shouldn’t try exercising with a mask on) cardio might seem a bit difficult to do, but there are plenty of options for stationary cardio workouts, with all the apps and videos available online to guide you through it. Searching for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will yield plenty of at-home options.
4 Reduce Your Stress
Being cooped up inside for so long can be stressful. Add in worries about the virus, worried calls from home, and ever increasing restrictions and regulations on life, and you have a potent stress cocktail. As increased stress is detrimental to your immune system, its best to bring that down to a manageable level. Besides exercise, there are a number of other techniques to help lower your stress levels, including getting enough sleep, meditation (apps like Calm and Headspace can help you get started), and organizing your space.
5 Clean Your Space
It’s very easy to start to let things go after being stuck inside for a while. After all, it’s not like you’ll be having many guests under quarantine. But a messy apartment is likely to have a negative effect on your mind and mood. Really digging in and getting things clean and organized is a great way to distract yourself for several hours (or days depending on the level of funk). And with the ever present dust of Xi’an, you’ll always have more to do.
6 Finally Learn Chinese (or any other language)
Many of us who come here have a general intention of learning Chinese that tends to evaporate fairly quickly in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Now with all this free time, you can finally take a crack at learning the language. If you are lacking materials, apps such as Duolingo, Memrise, and, Rosetta Stone offer both free and paid options for learning Chinese. Other apps, like HelloTalk, can connect you to native speakers of whatever language you would like to learn.
7 Find an Online Gig
Once you’ve learned that new skill, brushed up on your language skills, or simply would like to put your current knowledge to work, there is an ever growing market for online gigs that you can do during this downtime. Websites such as Fiverr and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk offer a variety of lower paying gigs. More skilled workers might try out Upwork, Guru, or Freelancer for some higher paying work. Teachers might look into teaching online through one of the various platforms available. Side gigs don’t only have to be for money. Many charity organizations and non-profits have options for people to volunteer their time and efforts. Sites like Wikipedia and Project Gutenburg (mentioned above) are always looking for help in their efforts to bring knowledge to the world.
8 Write for XIANEASE
A shameless plug, we know, but this is something that you could try during your downtime. We are always looking for writers to provide us with a new perspective on life in the city. If you think you have something interesting to say, or just a unique perspective on life here, you can contact us through our official account or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that this helps in some way to alleviate your situation. If you have something else that you would like us to cover, or if you just have questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Send any questions you have to our official account or email us at email@example.com.