Living in a locked-down city can be a drag. With the government’s decision to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by deploying military personnel to limit the population’s civil right to freely move around the area of quarantine within the metro, instead of providing common-sense, medical measures to actually combat the spread of the virus, we are left with little recourse other than to stay at home as much as possible. And with the arbitrary closure of malls (or the modification of their mall hours), except for supermarkets, and the questionable imposition of a curfew, we will have to find creative and fun ways to keep ourselves entertained during this lockdown of Metro Manila.

  • Retain Key Routines – Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you have to change your routine, on the contrary, it’s best to retain some routines you already have. Wake up at the same time you normally would, have meals at the usual time, keep the same working hours, and go to bed as you normally would. Keeping these key touchpoints consistent will ensure the least amount disruption in your day to day life.
  • Move! – The time you normally spend on travel and traffic to and from your workplace can be spent wisely. From taking that free 30 minutes or hour in the morning and afternoon to exercise is a great way to get the blood pumping. Get a simple dumbbell set, stationary bike, or a quick trip up and down your condo stairwell is a simple adjustment. As Elle Woods says: exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t go crazy in isolation. Click here for bodyweight exercises you can do at home.
  • Start Cookin’– Another thing you can do is prepare your own meals. You are allowed to go to the Supermarket during the lockdown, go buy fresh ingredients and make something new and exciting in your kitchen. Go online and read back that recipe you’ve always wanted to try. Freshly prepared food is always better than delivery or take-out.
  • Lose yourself in books – Do you have any Big Bad Wolf purchases still sitting in a shopping bag somewhere? Or maybe an old classic that’s begging to be revisited? Now’s the perfect time to catch up with your favourite books. Be it on Kindles or actual bound books, your imagination is never subject to quarantine.
  • Spring Cleaning – Weekends without the chance to go out may be a drag, but Saturdays are a great time to look at the hidden corners of your house to get things put in order. Your closets, drawers, pantry, and even storerooms might benefit from a thorough cleaning. Rearrange your china, sort your clothes, and throw out stuff you should have thrown out a long time ago. Emerge from this quarantine with a fresh start!
  • Create instead of Consume – While sitting on the couch bingeing on both junk food and Netflix, you can fan the flames of creativity by making something (while bingeing on both junk food and Netflix, if you like). Pick up painting, writing, sculpting, or any other artistic endeavours you normally would defer in favour of going out with friends. Rediscovering a latent passion may just be the therapeutic kind of “me time” you might need.
  • Let Your Fingers do the Walking – One more thing you can do is pick up a new hobby or craft. Have you always been interested in starting quilting, crochet, or needlework? Go for it! Scrapbooking or decoupage? Why not? One of the most rewarding things you can do is grow a pocket garden. There’s simply nothing as magical as watching something you take care of grow and flourish.
  • Skin Deep – One of the benefits of staying at home would be avoiding sun damage. Take things a step further and stock up on beauty products and try a new skin regimen. You now have the time (and the privacy) to go ahead and go crazy with any new beauty fad you’ve been itching to try. You can even do this while working, though we don’t recommend it: you don’t need the extra hassle of trying to clean your laptop when you spill snail essence on it.

Being stuck at home doesn’t have to be boring. If anything, it is a great opportunity for us to slow down, take stock of things, and take care of ourselves. Stay safe always!

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