“Bored Out of My Mind” is a colloquialism that is ringing true these days. In fact, “Bored In The House” by Tyga is fast becoming the most popular track on TikTok.
We are staying at home, observing social distancing and isolation to preserve our physical health and to stop the spread of the Covid-19 disease.
However, we cannot forget our mental health. It would be a sad thing if, after this public health emergency, we end up with a significant portion of the population suffering from depression or some other mental ailment.
Seriously, except for people who are used to doing nothing, whom society can well afford to lose, normally busy people forced to be idle are in danger of suffering from varying forms of psychosis so we have to act and take measure to keep our brains busy and Netflix, or even TikTok, can only go so far.
It is because of this that I decided to come up with a list of things that people can do to keep themselves productive and busy during the quarantine period. Thus:
LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE. There are tons of videos on YouTube teaching the basics of almost any language in the world. So, if you are doing business with foreign companies or associates, a frequent traveler, or just a Pinoy guy with a serious crush on a Korean girl, now is the time to learn. After the quarantine period, your language skills in Beijing would no longer be limited to the usual “She-She” (Thank You) and you would already be able to ask “Nin Hao Ma? (How are you?)” or respond with “Wo Ye Hen Hao (I am very well)” or ask a new Chinese friend “Ni Jiao Shen Me Ming Zi? (What is your name?)” or respond with “Wo Jiao Jikjik” (I am Jikjik)”. Just as a caveat, it is very difficult to learn Korean from just constantly subtitles on Netflix.
WRITE A BOOK. If you are someone who has always thought of writing a book, whether fiction, non-fiction or a textbook, but have always had no time to do it. Well, now you have all the time in the world. This is something I am seriously considering because I have, for so many years, been thinking about writing my own law books or even just a pre bar reviewer that I will call “The Idiot’s Guide to Criminal Procedure”
START A BLOG or VLOG. If you fancy yourself to be a potential Internet Star, you can make your own blog or, if you want to be seen online, a vlog. For example, if you really cannot stop yourself from binge-watching on Netflix, Iflix or Apple TV, you can turn this into something productive by writing reviews of movies and tv series’ you have watched. If you get good enough, or popular enough (hopefully both), you can actually make money out of this.
TEACH ONLINE. If you are someone with knowledge to share and you don’t want to do it through a blog or vlog, you can hold live online lectures using Google Meets, Zoom, Facebook Live, etc. This is something I do regularly and it is quite satisfying (well, maybe not so much if no one attends). I have a good lawyer friend from Pampanga who holds cooking classes on Facebook live and watching him makes my mouth water.
FINALLY FIGURE OUT HOW YOUR GADGETS WORK. I am constantly the recipient of questions from friends and relatives about how to do this, or that, on their newly bought gadgets like phones, TVs or tablets. Well, you now have the time to actually download your gadget’s instruction manual or watch tutorial videos and figure everything out. I hope you will soon be able to call yourself the “Iphone King”.
These are just a few suggestions on how you can keep your mind at work during this quarantine to avoid boredom and the perils of mental illness from having too much of it while being productive at the same time. Unless you are actually working from home and consequently busy, you need to make sure that your brain will not remain idle for too long because, otherwise, it will turn against you.
If you do not have an internet connection then (you won’t be able to read this article anyway), GO OLD SCHOOL and READ, READ and READ some more. There must be some kind of reading material in your house. As a last resort, read the dictionary and try to improve your vocabulary. Please do not read the directory, it will drive you insane faster.
There is a Latin saying that goes “MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO”, literally meaning “A HEALTHY MIND IN A HEALTHY BODY”. These days, we have to remember that the reverse is also true, we are keeping our bodies healthy through the quarantine but we must also keep our minds healthy as well.
Again, everyone, STAY AT HOME, STAY SAFE, STAY SANE.