When you’re looking at the same four walls all week, the days can begin to roll into one. But a weekend is still a weekend ― and there are ways to enjoy it even if you’re in self-isolation or practicing social distancing.
Sure, it might mean canceling group plans and being a little more creative, but proactively filling the weekend with enjoyable activities is a sure-fire way to boost moral. And boy, do we need that boost right now.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Clear away that work station
For many of us, our homes are now our workplaces. To help get you out of that headspace, first thing’s first: clear away anything that reminds you of work the moment you log off.
Place your work laptop, notes and any other office paraphernalia in another room where possible. Alternatively, shove them in a drawer or throw a blanket over them if space is tight. Repeat after me: do not touch until Monday.
Stay connected with loved ones
If you’ve been working from home all week, you’re probably used to chatting with colleagues via video calls. But now is the time to do it with friends and family ― and make it fun!
If you’ve had to cancel plans with friends this weekend, do it digitally using group video apps like Zoom and Houseparty. Would you normally be at a bar? Have a team wine night on video (even better if someone can organize trivia). Intended to go to the movies? Watch a film together using the Google Chrome extension Netflix Party and analyze it in great detail en masse afterwards.
To stop you staring at a screen for hours on end, you could also set up your phone or laptop for a call with a loved one while you’re completing an activity. Why not chat while you’re both making dinner, for example? It’ll offer a sense of normality, especially if you live by yourself.
Find a way to enjoy nature
Hearing from people around the world who are currently in lockdown is a reminder for us to enjoy the great outdoors while it’s still possible. Providing you don’t need to stay indoors for medical reasons, you can still get out and about while following the social distancing guidelines.
Go for a solo walk or run and take time to connect with all your senses: the feel of the breeze, the smell of the flowers, the sight of fellow walkers in the distance. Staying in the present moment will hep take your mind off the news.
Cook a delicious meal
Boredom can very easily slip into mindless grazing, but you can do better than munching cereal straight from the box. Take time to plan and really enjoy food this weekend.
If you can’t find the ingredients you want in the ever-empty supermarket, don’t sweat it. Instead, use it as an opportunity to flex your culinary muscles and get creative, Masterchef “market challenge”-style.
Alternatively, why not support a local business (and treat yourself) instead? Many local businesses are still offering delivery and takeout options.
Keep an eye on social media and government guidelines to see what’s going on in your area ― but remember to be sensible about it. If it’s possible to pay online and have the food left on your doorstep, do it. Minimizing contact is key for everyone right now, and crucial if you’re sick.
Indulge in entertainment
Sure, you could use this period of solitude to Marie Kondo your home, but who really wants to spend a global pandemic clearing out wardrobes?
It’s been a draining week, so don’t put pressure on yourself to be productive this weekend. Instead, check out our recommendations for shows you can stream for pure escapism.
To get away from screens entirely, close your eyes while listening to one of these podcast recommendations or snuggle down with a good book. You deserve it.
This story originally appeared on HuffPost UK.
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