Hello friends,

Here’s hoping you are not in a semi somnambulistic state, having overloaded on fries and beer.

While the virus has ensured we are locked down and quarantined, the big question now that all of us are grappling with is… what to do? How do we kill time?

After having seen the nth funny tik tok video or meme, you are about to throw up in boredom and frustration, aren’t you?  Well, worry not.

Here are some ways in which you can productively utilise the long hours which have been handed to you on a silver platter:

Improve your game – each of us has something we are good at and love to do. For some, it could be running the marathon (a tad difficult in such conditions, but how about jogging from the living room to the bedroom and back a 1000 times?). Seriously though, there is a passion that we all have – be it dancing, working out, singing (check out the awesome parody of Bohemian Rhapsody titled Coronavirus Rhapsody), baking a cake or two, painting… the list goes on.

Most of the activities listed above require little or no extra paraphernalia, so what are you waiting for?

Grab that easel/dumbbell/mic and let your creative juices flow. You have enough time, and the time is now.  

Doing what you love over and over again, will help you gain mastery over the activity. Per Malcolm Gladwell’s hypothesis, if you want to become great at what you do, you need to practice at least 10,000 hours. If that figure is too daunting, how about devoting a few hours a day during this lockdown?

Rediscover yourself – this is one of my favourite pastime, lockdown or no lockdown.

When was the last time you spent time alone with yourself? Just you and your thoughts and emotions without a device? Have you tried sitting alone for 10 minutes?

Being by yourself helps you to introspect on what’s really important to you. You will find yourself thinking about the things that really matter to you – Life, friendship, pursuing your goals, children, and also the big D.

Take the time now to rediscover your best friend – yourself.

As you sift through the thoughts and emotions that are you, you may discover some hidden truths about who you are, stripped down of your masks and appearances that you put on for the world. Get together with yourself. There is no better company.

Connect with family – this is perhaps the easiest to do. We are all under lockdown with our loved ones, except for some family members who may be away from home, due to unfortunate timing. (My own daughter being one of them). You have your wife/husband, partners, children, parents with you under the same roof.

Why not try to bond with your son and find out what’s really going on in his life?  Or appreciate your wife’s herculean routine of cleaning, cooking, feeding ? Have you sat with your father and just talked? What is your partner feeling in these uncertain times ? Have you really had a heart to heart with him?

Take the time out to connect with family and build bridges where there were none or strengthen the tenuous strands of relationships which have got frayed over time. 

Spread cheer among the unfortunate – while most of us live during this lockdown ensconced in our cocoons of comfort and stockpile food and drink like there is no tomorrow, have you spared a thought for the thousands of not so privileged souls who are out there on the streets without any sustenance?

How about sharing some food with the cleaning staff in your apartment? Or making essentials available to your domestic help? Reaching out to people who are not of your economic stature in life can help make their life a little easier in these tough times. And helping others will only help yourself.

As the legendary Muhammed Ali reminds us: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

To be of service to others in these turbulent times is the true hallmark of humanity.

These are just some of the ways you can gainfully utilise the hours during this lockdown. Doing some or all of these will definitely lead to an improvement in yourself – mind, body or soul.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s learn to ride the rough tides and let’s emerge triumphant out of this transient dark phase that is engulfing our globe.

All the Best and stay safe at home.

image: courtesy Anadolu agency