Not travelling this summer? Here are some tips to stay busy at home

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With the rising COVID-19 cases, another lockdown unfortunately seems quite likely. Last March, when the first lockdown was announced, people took it in their stride. Even though it was extended a lot longer than what we expected or were prepared to take on. 

The house arrest soon started fraying the edges of sanity for all of us. That’s when the violations to the lockdown started. People eventually stopped caring that much about the spread of the virus. This inevitably resulted in cases increasing rapidly again. 

In light of the second wave of the pandemic, we need to be proactive and protect ourselves (and others) by staying at home for some time- whether the government calls for a lockdown or not. But this time around, we won’t just while away time wondering when things will go back to normal. 

We will make the most of this time, and try to be grateful for it too! Seems tough? It really isn’t. 

Here are some ideas on how to optimally use this opportunity yet again:

Acquire One New Skill 

Remember that photography lesson you always wanted to take?

That instrument you’ve always wanted to learn? A certification from that dream college you want to name among your credentials? This is your chance!

With all the horrors brought forth by the pandemic, the silver lining is that now, most things including learning, are easily available online. The biggest and most reputable universities of the world are offering brilliant courses for students across borders, regardless of age, that too for a nominal fee. Now is the time to seize this golden opportunity and learn what you have always wanted to.

Image: Shutterstock

But whilst considering which skill to acquire, here’s what you should consider:

• Is this skill going to enhance my professional skill set? 

• Is it going to make me happy and add value to my personal life? 

If your answer is yes to either one of these contemplations, it is a good idea to acquire the skill. However, if the answer to both the considerations is negative; and you are taking up a course just because everyone around you is, you may want to reconsider. 

So think this one through, the right answer for you will come to you soon.

Take Up a Project

Ever since we were kids, schools gave us a list of projects to keep us occupied through the summer vacations. Perhaps it's time we gave our adult-selves summer projects too!

We’ve been stuck in our houses and our rooms since eternity now; why not begin revamping our surroundings? Paint your room, or redecorate it like you always wanted to but never found the time. Or pick a corner of your house and add your Midas touch to it.

Not a fan of redecorating? That’s okay. Why not finally finish reading that book you started in college, but never got around to finishing. Mine was… still is, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand! But hey I did manage to rearrange all my wardrobe and kitchen closets last summer. Maybe this will finally be the year, I reach the end of the book.

Up to date on all your planned reading? You could perhaps finally get down to making and crafting your family photo album. In today’s world, all our photos are on our smartphones or stored on some data device somewhere. We rarely look at them! Going old school and printing the photographs to maintain them in albums is a lovely way to store them and relive them often.

Get That Summer Bod Ready

The pandemic has reminded us about the need to build our immunity, make lifestyle changes that enable us to live a long, healthy and robust life. 

Image: Shutterstock

But the quarantine presented by the same pandemic has conversely and ironically lead to feasting on junk food and living a sedentary life whilst binge-watching endless Netflix shows from our couch. Many of us have, over the past year, become more sluggish instead of becoming fitter!

It's time to reclaim our life, get back on track, make healthy dietary choices and start exercising to get the last year off us (both in terms of the physical kilos and the mental pressure it has exuded on us).

If you are new to the whole exercise and diet routine, don’t worry; we’ll walk you through it!

• Set a goal- it could be in terms of weight or health (for example bringing down blood sugar levels, thyroid, cholesterol, or even 5 kgs!

• Set a daily goal and be resolute about achieving it. But don’t be brutal on yourself. Set an achievable target (For example; 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day or 45 minutes on a treadmill).

• Be conscious about what you put into your body. Eat less processed foods and more organic, home-cooked meals. Make sure your diet is a well-balanced one.

• Write down everything- from your step count to your calorie count. This will help you look back and see what works well for you and what doesn’t. 

• Listen to your body. Yes, it is important to lose the excess kilos, but more important to do it at a pace with which your body is comfortable. 

• Do not overdo anything. Moderation is the key.

Several apps help you record your diet/ exercise routine. Many even offer professional consultation to achieve your goals. Download one and start today.

No matter what you do, remember that though these are stressful times, your mental health is of pivotal importance that must not be compromised upon. Do what makes you happy, surround yourself with those you love and who love you, remain calm and know that this phase too shall pass.

We can officially say that staying at home is not that tough, and if you can plan a little in advance you may just come out of the pandemic - stronger, smarter and happier!

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