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  • Autumn Barker

The COVID-19 Diaries: Quarantine Sanity Savers

As we approach another weekend, I thought it would be fun to share some of the ways I've been passing my time as each day rolls into the next. If you're looking for some ideas of how to virtually hang with your friends or new activities to fill the time, this blog is for you!



Virtual Brunch

Some of my friends and I have been having virtual brunches on the weekends to give us a place and time to connect and catch up. I've enjoyed having a reason to dress up a little (and by that I mean my nice leggings and tees), cook some breakfast, and drink a mimosa with my besties. Some cities (including Orlando) have even been hosting virtual brunches to give people the opportunity to come together for our favorite weekend past time and to help support local restaurants.



Start that passion project you've been dreaming of for years.

Working on the blog I've been saying I wanted to create for the past million years is that passion project for me. I don't want to be that person that tells you "you have to develop a new skill" while you're in quarantine. If getting up and facing each new day is all you're able to do right now, that's perfectly fine and valid. This is a traumatic time and it's okay not to be okay. For me, working on my blog has provided a productive space to focus all my energy and has been a therapeutic outlet for some of my restlessness.


If you're like me and need something to focus your energy on, why not start working on that passion project you've never had enough time for?


Also, thanks for reading my blog and being a part of this little community.


Yoga

Some people have a mantra, some people meditate, some people pray, some people go on 12-mile runs, but yoga is what helps me decompress and find my center. I don't know if it's the practice, the stretching, or the increase of circulation, but practicing yoga helps calm my overactive mind and quiet my anxious thoughts.


If you're looking to dip your toes into yoga, here are some of my favorite apps that have flows for all skill levels.




Snuggling with Pancake (my adorable, two-year-old mini Goldendoodle)

I think the only creatures truly benefitting from this pandemic are the dogs of the world. Maybe cats, but they like their alone time so they might actually be annoyed that you're home all the time. I know my pup, Pancake, has loved having me and my boyfriend home all day every day and it's been great to curl up and snuggle him when I'm feeling sad about being separated from my friends and family. Hold your pets close during this crazy time, they're thrilled that you're home!


Here's my shameless plug for Pancake:



Game nights with friends, hosted by Zoom.

One of the activities I've come to look forward to is weekly game nights with friends. Of course, they're virtual. The gaming community has been looking out for us during this time and created fun games that allow you to play with your friends virtually.


Here are some of my favorites:


What games have you been playing with your friends?



Painting

I've always love to paint but it's a hobby that had faded away as I got busy with work. Now that I have some free time on my hands, I've picked up painting again. It's been a dream to have a brush back in my hands and I've found it both relaxing and cathartic to spend my time creating.


If you're looking to pick up an old hobby or learn something new to pass your time, I'd definitely recommend checking out Udemy, they're offering courses at extreme discounts right now.



Reading

My reading list is ever-growing. I struggle with wanting to read all the books and never having enough time to get through them all. I've taken advantage of the extra time on my hands to get through some of the books on my list.


Here is what is currently on my list if you're looking for something new:


What are you currently reading? Share your list below!



Music

I love music and music has definitely been helping me get through this quarantine. Between Spotify, my vinyl collection, and just working my way through playlists on YouTube, music has kept me sane. I've created a "Quarantine Playlist" of 100 songs that have helped me through this time, it's linked below if you want to check it out!



What bands or artists have you been listening to during quarantine?



Cooking and baking

They say that baking is a stress reliever and it's certainly been for me. I'm no domestic goddess. I know my way around a kitchen, but I typically stick to grilled cheese and pasta when it's my turn to cook dinner. I've tried out some new recipes during the quarantine as well as returning to old classics like chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins, and brownies. If you're looking for cooking inspiration, I recommend checking out Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa)'s Instagram. She's posting new recipes daily. I also recommend checking out Iliza Shlesinger's Don't Panic Pantry series that she's developed with her husband and Antoni Porowski's Quar Eye: Cooking Lessons in Quarantine series.


Check them out below!



Have you tried any new recipes lately? What are you doing to pass the time? Share your recipes and activities in the comments!


Until next time,

-A

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