Nov 11th, 2020, 08:10 PM

16 Ways to Ensure Your Confinement Is Positive, Productive and Present

By Presleigh Lauren Murray
Image Credit: Unsplash/Charles Deluvio
Image Credit: Unsplash/Charles Deluvio
Listed here are ways that you can make the most of your time during France's indefinite second confinement.

As of October 30, France has entered its second lockdown. Though not as stringent as the first, with some schools and businesses remaining open, the confinement still affects day-to-day life drastically. University students in particular are affected by this second confinement, as higher education institutions were instructed to shut down and provide online courses. Because this could easily become a lonely and stressful period for those forced to stay home, listed below are ways to help you use your time wisely and ultimately make your confinement more positive, productive and present.

1.  Be sure to take advantage of the one hour allotted outdoor time each day. Go on walks or runs, get some sunshine, or run an errand or two. 

2. Read a couple of books that have been sitting on your bookshelf. Educated by Tara Westover is an incredibly inspiring story. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is sure to improve your mind/body connection.

3. Make sure to keep your brain stimulated. Learn how to sew, how to draw or paint, how to play the piano or guitar, how to use Photoshop, how to speak or improve on a new language, or begin a new project. Some people used the first confinement to memorize the periodic table, learn all the U.S. Presidents and their terms, or learn how to say "thank you" in every language. Making small amounts of progress each day will be very rewarding!  

4. Cook more. It is a skill you will be able to take with you for the rest of your life! Kathryne Taylor's blog Cookie and Kate has delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes. 

5. Practice meditation and yoga. The Mindfulness app as well as the Calm app are great choices for meditation and better sleep. The Down Dog app is great for at-home yoga practice. From November 9 until November 29, Commune Yoga is offering a free online yoga course daily. The sign up is linked here!

6. Take care of your body and skin. Fun fact: skin is the human body's largest organ. Face masks, hair masks, body exfoliants and nail care can all become better incorporated into your hygiene routine.

7. Get tidy. Cleaning up and redecorating your space can lead to greater happiness and productivity. Be sure to let in as much natural light as possible.

Image Credit: Unsplash/Hutomo Abrianto

8. Keep in touch with friends and family, no matter where they are in the world. The app Marco Polo is free and great for sending short videos to friends down the street as well as friends across the world.

9. Expand your knowledge of different topics via podcasts and genres of music by listening to new songs. The podcast Becoming Wise is great for a quick pep-talk in the morning, The Daily for the world's biggest news of the day and the Tony Robbins Podcast if you really want to get motivated and productive. For music, consider exploring decades of music you have not given much attention to before. Perhaps go on a 70s rock binge; it will help you in a trivia quiz somewhere, someday. 

10. Clean out your phone and computer. Go through your 10,000 photos and delete anything that, in the wise words of Marie Kondo, "no longer brings you joy." Clear out the files on your computer. Delete old messages and notes. Remember, clearing the old makes space for the new. 

11. Visit museums, virtually! Google Arts & Culture allows you to visit museums from all around the world. 

A screenshot from the virtual Musée d'Orsay tour. Image Credit: Google Arts & Culture

12. Don't get stuck in a rut of being on your phone all the time. Social media can be particularly hard during confinement since some friends from other parts of the world will still be going about their days as normal. Put your phone down. You will thank yourself for doing so. 

13. Stay on top of your coursework. Go above and beyond on your papers, art projects and other assignments. You will feel good about the fact that you are getting the most out of your education during this uncertain time. 

14. Break bad habits. Stop smoking, stop biting your nails, stop spending two hours on your phone before bedtime. Be strict with yourself, but remember to give yourself compassion when you fail. 

15. Journal, blog or vlog your time in confinement. Years from now, you will be so happy that you did. Your kids and grandkids might be even happier.  

16. Think about and plan future endeavors. Where is it that you have always wanted to go? Make an itinerary for the trip. On the website Itineree, you are able to add destinations, hotels, transportation, restaurants and must-see places. The website TripHobo will build an itinerary for you based on algorithms, and will also include the prices and a personalizable timetable. The world is yours; go explore it! 

Just because life seemed to screech to a sudden halt as of October 30 does not mean that it actually did. Keep going. Use your time wisely. Maintain a positive outlook. Stay healthy. And remember, soon, this will all be just another memory. 

Bon courage à tous!