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Making the most of your time at home

Being stuck at home can be a real chore. Whether you’re studying for exams or just home for spring break, things can get tedious. Long hours spent staring at a screen should be broken up with plenty of short breaks, to keep you sane and help break the monotony. Rather than reverting to scrolling through TikTok or Instagram, take the time to try some things you’ve been putting off:

Tidy your room

Now is a great time to declutter your life and set things in order. If you’re going to be working in a confined space for an extended period of time, having it filled with dirty clothes and dishes can make things feel stuffy and enclosed. Open a window, clean your clothes, and bring your dishes to the kitchen. Vacuum the floor, wipe down the surfaces and change your sheets. Even if you do a little each day instead of all at once, keeping things clean and tidy helps to open up the space, and gives you something to focus on.

Grow something

In the process of cleaning you’ll likely find you have some new space on the floor or on a windowsill that you can fill. Now is the time to get that plant you always wanted. Even if it’s your first small cactus, taking the time to read about plant care and looking after something can be a great excuse to take a break. Watering, pruning and soil care all take time and thought. Plants also bring a new source of oxygen to a room, and can bring a splash of color to the space. Even if you’re just planting seeds and getting things set up, you’ll start a project that can really last. Start small and you’ll be a plant parent in no time.

Satisfy your curiosity

This one may seem a bit strange to those of you stuck at home studying, but learning about a topic that’s outside of your school work to satisfy your own curiosity can be really stimulating. If you’re stuck in a rut trying to memorize something for school, take 30 minutes in the middle of the day to think casually about something completely different. This allows your brain a rest, whilst still stimulating the same areas of the brain as hard studying. Pick a topic that you’ve always been curious about and skim a few articles on Wikipedia. No need to write anything down and don’t focus on one area for more than 5-10 minutes. Even if it doesn’t seem useful now, it’ll come in handy at a trivia night one day.

Pick up a new skill

This is one for those long days at the weekend when you would normally be out with your friends. Maybe you’re not studying, but you still need things to do. Take the chance to try out something new; it’s always good to have a party trick. You can try juggling, maybe learn some vocabulary for a new language, even pick up origami. YouTube is full of tutorials, and free apps like Duolingo are a great way to pass the time. Anything you can do that stimulates your brain but without putting it under direct strain will help. Learning something new is all about short, regular practice. You’re not going to master anything in one day, but regular practice over an extended period will get you much closer.

Being stuck inside can be hard on us all. By focusing on a personal project you can take breaks from the big tasks without feeling like you’re wasting time. Engage in small tasks on your breaks, and you’ll soon find that list disappearing. The key is not to stop when life returns to normal. Keep juggling, keep your room clean, and don’t let those plants die and you’ll have a set of good habits for life.

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