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Self-isolation

Lifestyle

Self-isolation

Ways to pass the time at home alone

It’s been an interesting week for MacEwan University students. Within the span of a few days, we went from coming into class and piling into the library to study, to handing in the rest of our assignments online. There’s no in-person contact with other peers and professors. As of March 19, even library books got their due dates extended to the beginning of June, so fewer people would be in the university. 

Currently, these measures are the result of keeping COVID-19 in check. But what does that mean for MacEwan students? For some people, that includes turning off the alarm and sleeping in. For others, it’s panicking about how to get assignments done outside of the university environment. However, classes are still occurring online, and students in voluntary self-isolation can still go out to the grocery store to pick up more toilet paper.

However, there’s also going to be a point where parts of the population at different times will be self-isolating and quarantining, as they have caught the virus. That means no going out for 14 days and staying in the confines of either a house or an apartment. There may or may not be other people and it’s going to get boring and cramped fast. So, in the spirit of 14-day self-isolation, here’s a list of ideas to do during a two-week period or during a study break.

Reading

English majors rejoice! Reading doesn’t just mean perusing a textbook or reading a novel for class (but, really, stay on top of your homework). Reading extends to anything on the bookshelf and overgrown piles of books that take up the floor. It can be reading a graphic novel or an old, battered book that’s begging to be re-read. 

If everything on the bookshelf has been read and there’s nothing in a cardboard box in the basement, the Edmonton Public Library gives access to e-books that can be downloaded onto a tablet. If that’s not enough, the library also gives access to several apps, such as The New York Times and Freading. Hoopla also provides access to various movies, books and audiobooks if you need something new to watch. Find it all on epl.ca under digital content. All that’s needed is a library card. If that’s not enough, try finding a new podcast online.  

Board games

Chances are that family members are isolating together (or, at least, roommates). Why not pull out a board game to pass the time? There are plenty to choose from: Risk, Sorry!, and even Monopoly (the kids version is best you need to live with these people for the next 14 days after all). This even extends to pulling out a deck of cards and dealing out. Perhaps, a game of Cheat?

While it’s most likely that people will be self-isolating with family members, it’s also likely that people will be self-isolating by themselves in an apartment. In that case, start looking towards the app store. There are plenty of games to download, such as sudoku puzzles, or playing a game of Catan on the app. 

Start crafting

Crafting goes beyond the DIY kit and can be any number of things. If there’s a knitting project half-started that is hidden in a bag at the back of the closet, try picking it back up where it got left off. It can also be pulling out an old set of paints or pencils from the designated art corner and doodling a bit on some old canvas or printer paper. Even modelling kits aren’t exempt, and an old set can easily be finished. If none of these ideas work, try printing out a colouring page, and finding some old pencil crayons. That can go a long way in staving off boredom and letting creativity flow. But when it comes down to it, crafting should be fun, easy, and can be put away at a moment’s notice. It shouldn’t be frustrating, merely a way to see that progress can be made on something creative, and the possibility of seeing the satisfaction of getting it done.

Work out — yes, I mean it

Working out isn’t complicated and really, it shouldn’t be. While there may not be a treadmill or weights in sight, there’s still the possibility to workout inside, and in a confined space. All you need is an area with a carpet or a yoga mat. There are plenty of things to look up on YouTube that don’t require any equipment. Think stretching, yoga, and pilates. 

Call a friend

Self-isolation only means quarantining from face-to-face interactions and not from talking to friends. Try phoning someone that also has some time off from work and chatting for a bit.

Spruce up the resumé or learn a new skill

Okay, so this has more to do with the spring months than the summer months, and that is updating your resumé. Your resumé should always be up to date but now that there’s time, make sure it’s current and tailored to match what’s needed in the job market. Remember to use action words and to look at the Career Development and Experiential Learning page on MacEwan’s website. The department is currently offering digital feedback on resumes in time for summer break.

If the resumé feels a bit lacking or some personal development is needed, check out the Edmonton Public Library website. Listed under the same digital content section as reading materials, there’s access to language learning platforms and access to Lynda.com (otherwise known as LinkedIn Learning). Learn anything from a new language to business skills, or boosting skills in a current hobby.

When all else fails: Netflix

Congratulations, you’ve exhausted the listicle. Go watch Stranger Things and Sense8 again. While this article is a bit tongue in cheek, our goal is to help you feel stress relief. If you’re currently facing problems with stress, anxiety, or other mental wellness issues, due to isolation, please email Wellness and Psychological Services at wps@macewan.ca or your current counsellor to make an appointment. Wellness and Psychological Services is asking people in emergencies to phone 9-1-1, the Support Network at 780-482-4357, or the Community Urgent Services Stabilization Team at 780-342-7777. 

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