Quarantine is, by its very name and nature, an experience that can make you feel alone.
Which means, you may be tempted to be shackled on the bed all day, go lost in thoughts and be physically unproductive. On the flipside, it’s the time to treasure moments with your family and yourself.
We have rounded up 14 seize-the-day, heart-warming things to do at home:
1. Unleash the games of yesteryear
Enough of being a couch potato with your PlayStation and mobile games. Relive the 80s and 90s fun times with Malaysian-favourite games like Batu Seremban, Pepsi Cola, Ice Man, Eraser Battle, The Conquer (Tiktik), Bottle Cap and more.
If you still have traditional games like gasing and congkak, even better. So much fun guaranteed with so less effort to prepare. The current generation may be a little puzzled at first but once they get a hang of it, they would finally agree that fidget spinner is the definition of boredom.
2. Personal art gallery
Finding an old photo that triggers a memory instantly brightens the face of parents and grandparents, so imagine being surrounded by hundreds of them.
Gather all those photo albums and look through them together. Each picture comes with a story, pick a few favourites and hang them on the wall.
And parents, just make sure your report cards don’t sneak out together.
3. Family bake-off
Remember the dish you always craved for or promised to cook for your family? The time has arrived.
Ditch the monotony in the kitchen by cooking as a family, split into teams and try new recipes. Make sure the dishes are big on flavours and bigger on immune-boosting properties. How about spiced pepper and corn soup, grilled salmon with tomatoes and basil, mango-ginger smoothie topped with cashews?
Educate your kids that such ingredients can go a long way in terms of warding off cold and viruses. And who knows, you and your family could be just one video away from becoming YouTube sensations. Get the camera rolling!
4. Write a gratitude journal
Start your day by writing what you are grateful of. Even if it as simple as staying together with your loved ones, the gentle rays of sunlight that woke you up, and thank the productive food delivery operations and dedicated medical staffs who are working around the clock.
This would also rewire your kids’ mind to be naturally grateful every day.
5. Call your old friends and distant relatives
Forget messaging and social media tagging. Sometimes a good conversation with a good friend just makes our day better. Drop a call or go face on-screen with former colleagues, high school friends, beloved teachers and far-flung relatives to make a big difference to their day.
Or spice things up a little: how about tackling the same recipe and cooking together while you’re on a video call?
6. Learn new things online
The internet is a goldmine to obtain online classes of various interests. Take up a photography course, master a new language, discover new cuisines or concoct a soap or alcohol-based hand sanitiser yourself.
7. Declutter your home
Quarantine serves as a grand opportunity to ensure your living space is spick and span. Go through old and disused items and decide the ones that can be sold or given away. Not only you will be surprised by the space you have after the clean up, but also find possessions that are worthy to you.
Here’s Where You Can Send ALL Of Your Items That Don’t Spark Joy Anymore For Recycling
8. Treasure hunt with the kids
Kids love to find hidden objects, particularly when there’s a prize waiting at the end. Place clue papers that lead the little ones to next spot on the mini trail at home.
Alternatively, to keep them excited, leave coins or candies at each point and finally, a gift. Keep the camera on standby to capture their rib-tickling reactions as they confront each clue.
Here’s an example:
“I'm filled with feathers or other soft fluff.
To sleep without me can be quite tough.
Bring me to grandma and kiss her to get your next clue.”
9. Build a fort
A classic that can never go wrong. Together with the kids, build a fort out of couch cushions, pillows, blankets and small movables.
Once all are cosy on the inside, stock up cookies and chips, then exchange spooky stories.
10. Plan your next eco-conscious holiday
Get your whole family together and discuss your next holiday. Remember to emphasise the importance of giving back to the community and nature.
Here are some ideas - Practise permaculture principles at Pulau Bidan Kedah, help turtles at Lang Tengah Turtle Watch and volunteer to repair coral reefs at Pom Pom Island, Sabah.
Holiday For The Soul: Top Volunteer Holidaying Destinations In Malaysia
11. Perform yoga and exercise together
With work, meetings and social commitments all bidding for our time, workouts have always slipped to the bottom of our to-do list. Not this time though.
Check out YouTube for family exercise videos, or play soul-soothing music to synch into a yoga session. Laugh the day away with those missed moves and poses.
12. Play 'Camera Hot Potato'
A perfect game for those who can’t stay off their phones. Gather everyone in your family and sit in a circle. Set your camera’s self-timer and pass it to the next person as they hold the camera at arm’s length.
Keep going until the camera goes off and you shall get amusing pictures that your loved ones will beg you not to tag on social media. As any good brother or sister would do, promise you won’t and let the world know anyway.
13. Get to know other families
Getting to know new people is a foolproof way to survive quarantine. During work-related video calls, feel free to introduce your family members to your colleagues.
Go on a video tour around your home, show your collections and get everybody at home to say some nice words. This warm bonding shall come to mind each time you meet your workmate.
14. Discuss news
Without a doubt, it’s the news channels that are turned on these days. A lot is going on in the world and some stories take the toll on our mental health.
Take the time to discuss the stories, appreciate the on-going efforts and be positive.
Having said that, please take care of yourself, Malaysians!
Stay home and spend some quality time with your family. Please do not go out unnecessary, yeah?