It’s hard to plan a getaway when the whole world is on lockdown.
And for those of us living in the U.S. right now, local quarantine orders are a little complicated, to say the least.
Although prolonged social isolation has shown adverse effects on mental health, when flights are limited, travel destinations are closed, and people are more afraid of each other than ever, it’s a challenge to get away from it all when it feels like there’s nowhere to go.
So, how do you get away from it all?
You get creative.
Master Your Space
Whether it’s Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or you’re still riding that mid-2010s Minimalimism wave, you know a home is a special place for our minds.
A clean—and relatively, spare—home gives our minds the mental freedom to relax and create. And you’re going to need that creative energy to fully master your space.
So, before you do anything else, go clean your room. Do your laundry. Put all the “things” where they’re supposed to go. And donate anything else you’ve just had for a while but no longer use.
Trust us, clearing some space will have more of an effect on your mental health than you realize. Once you’re done, it’s time for the fun part. And with a cleaner, more efficient space, now you can actually make use of it.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started…
- Set up a movie projector on a spare wall
- Grab a virtual reality headset for your living room
- Read a book in a new corner of your room
- Do yoga in your backyard
By refreshing your room or home with an eye for freer space, it opens up your mind to utilize it in new and original ways.
And in a way, seeing something new in something old is its own creative freedom.
Explore the Wilds of the World Wide Web
Thank the gods for the internet, right?
With more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being uploaded to the web every day, it’s literally impossible to watch, hear, or read all the things on the Internet.
But thankfully, that still leaves plenty of rabbit holes for us web denizens to get lost in. Now, more than ever, there has never been a better time to dive into new cultures, subcultures, learn new skills, and experience a wide breadth of content for free.
Stuck at home and want to learn how to make sourdough bread?
Obsessed with The Simpsons and a fan of 80s electronic synth music?
Welcome to Simpsonwave.
Love video games but have no time to play them?
In every sense of the word, the internet is a global repository of culture. If you’re interested in something, you can type it into Google and find out more about it.
And that’s beautiful.
So, if you can’t escape outside into the real world, that doesn’t mean the real world is closed off to you. Dig around the internet, connect with similar people around the world, and embrace remote connection and discovery.
Here comes the fun part.
The world at large may be under quarantine but that doesn’t mean you’re confined to your home. Instead of sitting at your house watching Netflix all day, check your local ordinances for guidance on what you can do outside.
You may be surprised at all that’s available to you.
Heck, even in sunny Los Angeles—with some of the strictest lockdown regulations in the country at the time of this writing—residents are still able to go to the beach, go hiking, eat at restaurant patios, go to drive-in movie theatres, go into certain retail stores, etc.
And these kinds of attractions can open up your world more than you think.
Here are a few things to get you started…
- Take a friend out to dinner
- Watch the sunset at the beach
- Hit the thrift stores with a friend
- Go for a grueling hike for your health
- Grab some ice cream with a significant other
- See an old movie at the drive-in with a fun group of friends
It’s worth exploring what your local options are if you’re feeling ready to get out of the house.
Another option worth considering is simply going outside for a walk around the block. For those that are immuno-compromised or just wary of large gatherings and crowds, sometimes simply walking out the front door can be enough of a release from your routine to feel “normal.”
A quick walk around the block—particularly in a direction you’ve never walked—can be a great way to establish new pathways in your mind. In fact, ask a neighbor to walk with you, it’ll be a great way to get out of the house and develop a new relationship with someone close to you.
Create Your Own World
There’s a kind of magic to creating something new.
In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of measuring intelligence is the study of creativity. It’s said that the act of pulling unrelated points of information together to create something new and unique is what truly constitutes genius.
And we see this being borne out with every scientific and technological breakthrough of humanity:
Someone seeing something differently and expressing it.
Creating things isn’t just important to our progress as a species either, it’s also important to our mental health.
In the act of creating, our brain is forced to create interesting new pathways in the formation of novel ideas. And those pathways only grow stronger over time.
So, what should you create turning your time indoors?
Whatever you want.
Write a haiku, a poem, a short story, a song, a blog post, or a full-blown novel.
Learn to play a song on that guitar collecting dust in the corner.
Paint on canvas with oils. Paint on paper with watercolors. Heck, paint on sidewalks and street signs if you want (not really)!
The point is that our lives are short, and only through the act of creating new things can we progress as a species—and thankfully, it’s good for us too. So, take some time to learn a new skill and use it to create something original, whether it lasts a lifetime or just a few seconds.
In times like these, it’s important to balance your physical health with your mental. So, when venturing outside be sure to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask and keeping your distance when outside.
Even though the world may seem like it won’t be back to “normal” for years to come—and that may be true—you have more power than you think to plan the perfect getaway even when confined at home.
Freedom is in your mind.