The moment quarantine happened, readers everywhere, or at least the ones I know, silently fist pumped in glee. Why? Because now, we don’t have to pretend to want to go to that office party with our significant others. Or make up fake excuses as to why we can’t meet up tonight even though it’s the weekend… Oorrrr grit our teeth through social gatherings when we’d rather be reading! #SocialDistancingSuckas
Now I know what you’re thinking, wow, this chick is a little insensitive… nah – I’m just saying what we’re all thinking and not apologizing for it. Fact is, I’ve been practicing for a quarantine situation like this since I first read the Hunger Games in 2008 and the odds of me coming out of this situation sane are ever in my favor.
I get that not everyone likes to read as much or as often as most hardcore readers do. I’ll even try to refrain from too many snide comments about it. But as an introvert who’s sitting here with a giant bowl of extra buttery popcorn, watching all the extroverts lose their ever-lovin’ minds while they can’t gather in groups, I figured it couldn’t hurt to share some sage advice during this trying time.
So from this introverted book nerd, to all the extroverts out there, here are some things you can do instead of gathering together in groups only to be on your phones and not paying attention to each other.
1. Read a F*cking Book. No really… there are millions of them out there. Some even have pictures. Not sure where to start? Take a look around this site, because we’ve got reading ideas and suggestions for days. Literally though… for years.
2. Listen to a Book. No, it’s not the same as reading one with your eyeballs, so it totally counts as its own thing. Go sit outside and catch some vitamin D (but use sunscreen, people), or draw yourself a bath, and chill out as someone reads you a story like they did when you were 5.
3. Binge Watch A Series. You’d think this one is obvious, but I’ve had so many people tell me they have no idea what to do with their spare time…and honestly, I’m appalled that they didn’t have a Quarantine Plan in place… did you learn nothing from all the dystopian movies that came out between 2012-2014? PS: Most of them were based on books you can read. And if your excuse is there’s nothing to watch… I hope someone throws one of their old DVDs at you because there isn’t enough time in the world to have watched every second of streaming content that is available right now.
4. Try a New Hobby. Not sure where to start? One word: Pinterest. Think you can’t do anything with the stuff you already have at home? Think again. If there’s a way to repurpose anything, you’ll find 17 articles on how to do it on Pinterest. It’s how I’ve recently learned how to do hand lettering, turn the pages from an old book my dog chewed up into a bookish decoration for my shelves, convert my old candles into pots for an herb garden, and so forth.
5. Learn a New Language. Before you roll your eyes at me and skip this one like you did third period French – hear me out. There are a ton of apps out there that make it fun, and easy. You can even learn cool languages from some of your favorite fandoms like Dothraki, Klingon, and High Valerian. You’re welcome, fellow nerds.
6. Play a Board/Card Game. Yes, I know they usually require more than one person, but if you’ve got a significant other or children, you’re already ready to rock. Single AF like me? No worries, Words with Friends was created for a reason. And that’s not the only board game out there that you can now play with people all over the world via an app on your phone, or solo while you’re chilling on the couch, cuddling with one of your fur-babies.
7. Get Outside. Disclaimer for this one – please only do this if it’s safe for you to do so and make sure you follow all local/national government requirements etc. Even if you can’t go for a walk around your block, stepping outside and sitting on your front lawn, or even your front steps, and just taking a few moments to listen to the world around you, can be relaxing. Personally, I love taking my pups for a walk in my neighborhood. We keep our distance from anyone else who’s out and about, get some exercise and sunshine, and it’s a change of scenery from my backyard/house.
8. Video Conference Your Friends/Family. Sounds like a lot of work right? Well, it’s not. My cousin’s wedding got postponed thanks to good ole, ‘Rona, so when we should have been having a blast for her Bachelorette party, we all jumped on a Zoom call with some adult beverages in hand and hung out in our PJ’s on our couches. It’s not the same as being in person…but it’s pretty damn close. Aaaaannd we all laughed like hyenas for over two hours and completely forgot about why exactly we weren’t all together in person at that very moment.
I’m sure I could go on and on and list a bunch of different shit that you can do to help take your mind off of reality, but if this list doesn’t keep you busy for a while… put down the pot of coffee and try to take a nap, Karen…I can see your caffeine jitters from here and I’m more than six feet away. JK, but not really.
Practice some self care, do that DIY project you’ve been saying you’re going to get around to for months now, or hey, idk… pick up the book your grandma got you for your birthday five years ago that’s been serving as a coaster on your coffee table ever since. (PS I’m totally judging you if you use books as coasters…that’s just plain rude!)
Last but not least, remember you’re not alone. And at the risk of receiving an ungodly amount of spam in my inbox, if you ever need anyone to talk to, or just to remind you that you’re awesome and you’ll get through today, reach out.