35 Things to do to Cope With Quarantine | Part 3: Family & Relationships and Catching Up

35 Things to do to Cope With Quarantine | Part 3: Family & Relationships and Catching Up

Ways to care for your mental and physical health were the focus of Part 2 of this listicle. This time around, Egyptian Streets is delving into the things you can do to maintain your different relationships, and to use your time to catch up on tasks.

Family & Relationships

Staying home means both spending many more hours with those you share your home with, and not being able to meet the loved ones living in different homes. Finding ways to cope with these changes can come in different ways.

27. Set up regular video calls with your closest family and friends

As was mentioned in the previous installment of this article, it is arguable that ‘social distancing’ is a misnomer and ‘physical distancing’ is a more adequate naming for what we have to do. This lockdown does not mean that you should not remain in close contact with the people you love and need. Video calls are not quite like meeting in person, but they are a good placeholder for the time being. Having video calls with your parents, grandparents, siblings, and close friends can help you maintain some semblance of normality while nurturing the relationships most important to you.

26. Look up engaging educational activities for your children

If you are a parent to young children, you know that their pent up energy from sitting at home all the time is probably making them restless and driving you up the wall. To top that, not being able to go to school has probably limited their exposure to educational material. One of the ways to deal with that is to find activities that are both fun and constructive for your children to fill their time and make up for their lost time at school. Find worksheets or home learning activities that can keep your kids’ minds busy in quarantine.

28. Engage in reading and writing activities with your family

Another way to make this trying time memorable for your children is to engage them in reading and writing activities. Whether it’s as simple as taking turns reading aloud together or engaging in reflective writing exercises with teens, this can serve as an exercise that strengthens bonds and educates the younger family members. But while such activities can be fun for kids, it’s important to remember that they can also be fun for adults. Perhaps reading aloud to an older parent or listening to an audiobook with a partner can be a meaningful way to spend quality time and share an experience with the people you are living with.

29. Play screen-free games with your kids

Reliance on screens is almost inevitable at this time, but many experts suggest that excessive screentime can have a negative effect on children’s psychology. Therefore, screen-free games can be a healthy and welcome change for families with children, or even without! There is a variety of board games that can entertain, and you can’t go wrong with charades, pictionary, and a good old deck of cards. Not only can those give your children some time away from blue light, but they are also more likely to engage the whole family.

30. Do communication exercises with your partner

For those sharing their lockdown space with a partner, the lack of variety in the daily routine or the inability to be alone or spend time with other people may cause a strain on the relationship. During these times putting extra effort into being accommodating and understanding is important, but doing exercises that encourage empathy can also be helpful. One idea, described here in detail, entails each partner speaking openly and uninterrupted about their feelings for an amount of time, and afterward each partner tries to explain their partner’s feelings back to them. It can encourage healthy and open communication and lift some of the weight of lockdown off your shoulders.

Catching Up

The tasks are always piling up. But with the commute time decreased or eliminated and your presence at home, you might have the chance to tick some things off that have been on your to-do list for longer than you care to admit.

31. De-clutter your home

If your home is full of useless ‘stuff’ that you have been ignoring for a long time, this could be a great time for you to de-clutter. Sort through your clothes, books, papers, and kitchen gadgets, and donate the intact items you no longer use and dispose of the damaged or no longer functioning items. Not only is this an exercise that will make your space cleaner and more organized, but it will also lift a psychological weight from your mind and help you make the best of living in your home.

32. Reach out to friends and family you do not frequently speak to

While staying regularly in touch with your closest friends and relative is an essential lifeline during this time, it could also be a good idea to reach out to those loved ones that don’t play as central of a role in your life. Rekindling old friendships or checking on second cousins or great aunts, especially those who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19, could bring joy to you as well as to them.

33. Run online ‘errands’ you’ve been putting off

If there is any online banking, updating of account details, or some other online errand that you’ve been putting off, now could be a good time to do it. Like home de-cluttering, task de-cluttering can lift a weight off your mind and clear a space for other, more important things.

34. Switch to your summer wardrobe

As April wears on and the weather in Egypt and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is getting warmer, it’s time for the annual practice of putting away your winter clothes and bringing out all the shorts, summer dresses, and cotton t-shirts. With more time at home you can make sure to complete this task in an organized and systematic way, making it easier for you to find what you need to wear, and to bring the winter clothes back out when it’s time later in the year.

35. Organize the data on your devices

If your phone memory is full to bursting or you’ve completely lost track of the way you wanted to organize the files on your computer, you may now have time to turn your attention to that. Go through the data stored on your electronic devices and make sure that the things you don’t need are no longer weighing on them. Create folders on your computer so you can always find the files you’re looking for and know where to save new files, delete all the duplicate photos and old chats on your phone, and organize your music library.

Must Watch: 3 Classic Egyptian Short Films Based on Tawfiq al-Hakim Stories Online
5 Classic Family Activities & Boardgames to Re-Visit During Quarantine

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Senior Editor at Egyptian Streets and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo. Holds a master's degree in Global Journalism from the University of Sheffield, where she wrote a dissertation about the effect of disinformation on the profession of journalism. Passionate about music, story-telling, baking, social justice, and taking care of her plants. "If you smell something, say something." -Jon Stewart, 2015

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