Amidst a worldwide lockdown, if you have a profession that allows you to work from home or belong to the affluence who can afford a fleeting time off without having to worry about the bills, consider yourself privileged. If you are struggling to keep yourself occupied, and Netflix seems to be over-hyped, here are ways to spend your self-isolation better.
Meditate: Bring your room to a comfortable temperature. Sit in lotus position. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Exhale. Repeat. Follow the motion of your breath. Empty your head of thoughts. Assume a state of mental vacuum and get absorbed in the oblivion. After a good 10 minutes, open your eyes, and carry on with your chores.
Sip with added love: Prepare your favorite beverage and lace it with some extra love. Now that you have more morning minutes, simmer the regular morning tea with ginger, cardamom, cloves, or cinnamon. Make it creamier. Switch white sugar with brown sugar, jaggery, honey, or maple syrup.
Clean your home: Corners of your enclave are collecting dust because the baai will only do so much. Grab the dusting cloth and shine your furniture, reclaim the space behind those frames from spiders. Run your broom under your bed and couch, the dust-monster there is enjoying his privacy, which, the baai is polite enough to never invade. Defrost the refrigerator and clean. Take everything out, trash items that has passed its shelf life. Rearrange.
Succulent experiments: If you have ingredients in your fridge and your pantry, court a novel recipe from the internet. Put your culinary skills to test, experiment with untried combination of aromas, sprinkles of finely chopped herbs with batons of vegetables, slices of fish or heaps of cereals you haven’t stirred together before. Venture into a palatable and unknown dish.
Train your kids for adulthood: In this leisure, train your children on essential life skills. Assign them safe chores like washing veggies, straightening up the wardrobe, making dough balls. Irrespective of the gender, every child must learn to cook. Introduce them to the disparate assortment of spices and their uses. If they are old enough, hand them the needle box and let them stitch the opened ends of the pillow cases.
Log out of Social Media: Rekindle real attachments: a granny you visited over a summer vacation, an aunt who knitted you a cozy little muffler, a cousin you bonded with during some random family gathering years ago - make a call to them. Know how life has been treating them, if they need anything, if they are well taken care of, if you may help in any way.
DIY: Fish out the abandoned album from the pit of that god-forsaken drawer, carefully pull out yellowed snaps. These fond reminiscences of your babyhood, your parents’ weddings, your maiden tryst with nature you had almost forgotten, have been catching molds away from your eyes. There are plentiful YouTube videos which will entice your imagination to secure them in an artistically crafted hand-made album.
Learn Languages: Dive into the internet to learn a new language: German, French, Italian, Arabic. Or, Tamil, Sanskrit, Gujrati, Bhojpuri. There is nothing as rewarding as learning new languages. They open an unmapped universe, divergent cultures that, through their oddities and contrasts to the way you have known life so far, invite you, appeal to your senses.
Explore world cinema. A true-blue cinema lover would vouch for this experience. Immerse yourself into the cinematic gems produced in Japan, Senegal, France, Russia. Get familiar with the brilliance of film-makers like Akira Kurosawa, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Souleymane Cisse, and Paul Verhoeven. Yes, there is a world of bewilderment beyond Hollywood also.
Love Yourself: Pamper yourself. Grind up a homemade exfoliator with coffee beans and almonds. Massage your face in circular motions with a blend of honey and fresh lime juice for 10 minutes. Slather your face with a face-pack of strawberry pulp, beaten into a spoon of curd and gram flour. Let it dry. Rinse and tone with rose water. A relaxing champi with almond oil and an olive oil body massage will be exuberant during this otherwise boring epoch.
If you are the religious kind, don’t forget to end your day sending out a little prayer to who you believe in. Pray that He heals His creation, this beautiful planet, soon.
Oh! Don’t forget to wash your hands at regular intervals.