5 things to do at home during lockdown
What is the key difference between the people and pigeons in Hong Kong? The feathered Hong Kongers seem to have more freedom than the people. As we sit in our homes, caged behind the bars of Covid-19 Restrictions, life for most extroverts and even introverts such as myself has begun to feel dull, repetitive, and somewhat demotivating. Numerous psychological studies state that Covid-19 restrictions, specifically quarantine, have damaging effects on one’s physical and mental health. One could even argue that the seemingly endless waves of Covid-19 may be an allegory for the human condition, punished as Sisyphus (西西弗斯) was, condemned by the gods to roll a boulder up to the top of a mountain, only to have the rock roll back down to the bottom every time he reaches the top.
As depressing as my words may sound, I assure you, your life at home doesn’t need to be. The good news is, there are many more differences between pigeons and people, one of them happens to be the fact that we are blessed with the gift of language, intelligence, and imagination, which give us the ability to form ideas and have power over the state of our lives.
Before my wordy introduction gets any wordier, here are five things you can do, at home, during the pandemic, to make your life a little less dull, repetitive and demotivating.
1. Dive into the world of food apps
While most listicles would suggest you take this opportunity to open up your cookbooks and see how well you can fend for yourself in the kitchen, I say otherwise. Cooking is fun, and even more rewarding when you take the risks to try out different recipes which turn out good on your taste buds. However, I believe Hong Kong’s two food delivery giants Foodpanda and Deliveroo can offer you more. Not only can you pick from hundreds of different restaurants, ranging from a wide array of cuisines, but you can also do it all through a few clicks of your smartphone. If that isn’t enough to convince you, there’s also a moral silver lining to the act. Through the food delivery apps, you can support and give back to the city’s economy by buying from local eateries, many of which are struggling to stay afloat.
2. It’s time to grab a book
Before Covid-19, I would spend my 9 to 5 staring at the bad screen at work or school, only to come back home at night to stare at the good screen, my favorite Netflix shows, video games, and social media apps. However, with the pandemic, that isn’t the case anymore. When you spend your entire day at home, trying to juggle between work and fun, there comes a point where you can’t differentiate between the two, because all screens seem to be the bad screen. In such a case, a good book, alongside an open window for some fresh air and sunlight, has become an escape from all this ‘screeny’ madness.
Don’t know what book to start with? Here are two short reads that have helped me relax my mind and gather my thoughts:
The first is the famous Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s Desire. This 100 pager explores five short and captivating tales of individuals realizing their language of desire, be it in the form of hunger, lust, inexplicable infatuation, or the secret desires of the heart.
The second one you may want to try is a classic, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Written in 1951, The Old Man and the Sea is about a veteran fisherman’s two-day journey and battle with a fish he hooked. What at first glance seems to be nothing but a story about an old man trying to catch a mere fish, Hemingway’s usage of metaphors, symbolism, and dialogue has food for thought sprinkled all over it, gifting the reader lessons and messages they are bound to ponder over.
3. Let’s’ reconnect, like actually
Remember those friends and people we planned to get in touch with, but never really did? Well, this is the time to hit them up, and actually make that hang out happen, virtually of course. I am not the most outgoing person, but staying at home, all day and night, without any form of non-work-related social interaction? Zoom can be a friend sometimes, and if that’s not the case for you, the friend can be on zoom. Pull out your phone, build up a little courage and take that step to hit up those acquaintances and people you once planned to connect with. I promise you, no matter the conversation, virtual or not, you will be thankful you had it.
4. Compensate for that gym membership you wasted
Pre-pandemic, things were different, very different, and the 9-5 life may have affected your commitment to that gym membership you got during the new year. However, life at home, during the pandemic, is flexible? This could possibly be the best time and opportunity to get in shape. Start easy, start small, pull up a YouTube home workout video, and start building a routine. By the time the pandemic is over, you too could be ‘too hot to handle,’ for your co-workers or classmates.
5. Writing letters
As crazy as this may sound, write a letter, for your future self. You don’t need to do this every day, just here and there when you feel like it, and honestly, it could be about anything. Your letter could be about your day, the struggles you are facing, or in my case, write about all the things you long to do after the pandemic ends. Sit down, grab a blank lined A4, put down the date, and just start writing. Give each letter a theme or topic, and once you’re done, fold it and put it into a folder.
We may not be as free as the pigeons of Hong Kong, but we can be smarter, stronger, and safer. So, let’s get together, from the inside of our homes, and create a life we can one day look back at without any regrets.
edited by Jessie Larbi and Kyle Tse