It’s only been about two weeks since St. Joseph’s University closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, sending students back to their homes, but it feels like I have been stuck inside of my house for a month.   The days start running together and you soon can forget what day it is. Television and gaming can only entertain humans for so long. I am so tired of sitting on the couch all day gaming or watching Netflix movies, news channel updates and sporting event reruns.  How many different ways can ESPN break down Tom Brady’s move to The Tampa Bay Buccaneers? In order to maintain my sanity, I started to search for other activities that would pass the time during this awful quarantine. I even started to try activities that I am not really into in an effort to pass time.  Maybe it would change my mind.

One activity that is a great way to pass some time and is a valuable skill to learn is cooking.  I am a terrible cook with a very limited repertoire. I can cook some things to eat when I have no other choice, but I do not like to cook.  With all of this time on my hands, I decided to learn more about cooking and to try new recipes. Yes I did have to leave my house for groceries, but this was inevitable regardless of my new project.  I have found many useful cooking instructions and exciting recipes on Youtube. The whole process usually takes one to two hours around dinner time to watch a Youtube video and then prepare a new recipe.   I am becoming a better cook, eating some great meals and taking a few hours off from watching television or gaming.   

Home workouts or exercise are good for the body and get you away from the couch and your phone. If you didn’t previously workout or exercise much, now is a great time to start or get back into it.  You’re stuck at home with plenty of time on your hands. Getting some daily exercise, whether a full blow workout or just taking a run or even brisk walk will help your body and mind. Haven’t exercised in years and don’t know where to start, there are many great instructional videos on the internet.  

The most important aspect of getting through the quarantine period for me has been to make a daily schedule with goals for each day.   I have this type of structure during the school year between classes and lacrosse activities and without it I am lost. Being stuck at home somewhat limits my schedule and the goals that I can set, but even the smallest goals can keep me looking forward and prevent me from falling into a rut of sitting in a dark room gaming or binge watching some Netflix series for hours.  In recent days I have made an effort to make a daily schedule with goals. On-line class meetings and school work are the first priority followed by exercise, some household chores and my new passion, cooking a new recipe. Sure walking the dog or exploring a new recipe is not much of a goal, but if you line up enough small goals in your daily schedule, the day is gone before you realize it.  

The nationwide shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak has impacted our lives in ways we have never seen.  Taking this time to get back to activities that you haven’t had time for or giving some new activities a try will help you emerge as a better person when the coronavirus outbreak ends.