COVID-19: Six Tips to Combat Loneliness and Boredom During Self-Isolation

Joan Thakor Making Raisin Scones. March 15, 2020 Photo: Lena Thakor

Joan Thakor Making Raisin Scones. March 15, 2020 Photo: Lena Thakor

Second in a series chronicling student experiences with remote learning and social isolation during the closure of Greenwich Schools, instituted March 12 to limit the spread of COVID-19.

As a Greenwich High School junior, this break from traditional learning that the district initiated to slow the spread of COVID-19 is taking some adjusting. Here are some suggestions on ways to remain calm and stay connected.

GET OUT

Ditch congested workout classes and take your exercise outside instead. Bike to Tod’s point and conduct a sunrise yoga session. Grab a fluffy companion and walk/jog the trails of Pomerance Park. Then, stay long enough to watch the afternoon sun sifting through the trees. Take advantage of the longer days and empty schedules. Plus, a little bit of vitamin D will boost your endorphins and help shift your outlook.

CHANNEL YOUR INNER CHEF

Now’s the time to bake all those elaborate treats you never made time to bake before. I’m itching to make raisin scones. Irish Soda Bread is a must in lieu of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. In need of some heavy duty comfort? Warm-apple sauce doled out in ceramic mugs will do the trick. Cut up soft apples with a paring knife and throw them in a sauce pan. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon and add a splash of water. Honey isn’t needed but is a nice addition. Simmer for about 15 minutes, and voila. Recipes are linked below.

CHANNEL YOUR INNER ARTISTE

Sit back and turn on Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting on Netflix. Follow along with your own paint set, or just admire Ross’s ease of being. Allow the program to lull you to sleep. Grab a dusty film/digital camera and head outside. Challenge yourself to make a photo essay – I’m thinking of documenting early signs of spring – or just shoot anything that tickles your fancy.

Documenting signs of spring. Photo: Lena Thakor

EXPLORE

Now’s the time to delve into topics you have never explored before. Listen to podcasts. I personally love NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast which uses science to probe into human behavior. This series tackles subjects from the psychology of how we eat to the unreliable nature of memory. If you are looking for something more relevant, watch NPR’s Fresh   Air or More Perfect.

Documentaries are another must. Looking for something relaxing? Watch the David Attenborough-narrated series Our Planet and wonder how nature series can possibly carry on after Attenborough retires.

In the mood to be inspired? Inside Bill’s Brain is certain to get the job done. As far as books are concerned, if you’ve been lying to your friends about reading Educated by Tara Westover, now’s the time. Westover’s story takes you from a small Mormon household in the wheat-laden prairies of Clifton, Idaho, to the cavernous hallways of Cambridge University. Be prepared for some emotional turbulence.

CINEMATIC BEAUTY

Didn’t get the chance to watch all of this year’s Oscar nominees? You are out of excuses. I watched Bong Joon Ho’s poignant masterpiece Parasite two nights ago and then proceeded to watch it again last night. I found it exhilarating. Joon Ho’s craft lies in his ability to make the viewer feel every possible way. Humor-filled moments are juxtaposed with blood-curdling ones in a way that will keep you on your toes. I plan on watching 1917 next and then Ford vs. Ferrari.

STAY CONNECTED

This is arguably the most important way to ride out potential weeks of self-isolation. Humans are gregarious animals. Prolonged periods of solitude will leave us feeling down. Incorporate others into everything you do. Utilize FaceTime and other messaging apps to keep up with friends. Challenge your friends to read the same book or watch the same movie as you. Afterwards you can debrief about it. Think of it as a virtual book-club or movie-viewing club. Challenge each other to make scones and then laugh about whose attempt was worse.

Reach out to relatives you don’t see often or don’t always get the chance to talk to and make sure they are doing okay.

Raisin Scone Recipe

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Applesauce Recipe


See also:

Finding Student Voices in the Tumult of COVID-19 and Greenwich School Closures by Lena Thakor, March 12, 2020


Lena Thakor is a member of the GHS class of 2021. She is chronicling the student experience with remote learning during the closure of Greenwich Schools that began March 12 to limit the spread of COVID-19. Share your feedback with Lena at [email protected]