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6 Affordable Ways to Make the Most of Social Distancing

Are you having issues finding ways to be productive with your time while social distancing? Here we have listed a few ways that can help you make the most of your time during the current quarantine.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is the act of keeping a distance from others around you. Currently, due to the coronavirus, we are facing a global pandemic. In order to remain healthy and stop the spread of the highly contagious virus, we have to try to keep our distance from others and stay to ourselves for a period of time. Prime Minister Modi issued a nationwide lockdown for at least 21 days to fight Coronavirus on March 22, 2020. To help you stay busy and entertained during the lockdown, we have listed out a few activities that can help you pass the time.

Personal Development Through Online Courses

For this activity, you won't need anything other than a laptop and internet connection. There are many resources online for you to use; for example, the Ivy League universities (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale). These schools are currently offering more than 500 courses online for free that you can take advantage of, while at home. These courses are focused on professional development and can range from computer science to business development or even the arts. This would be a great way to spend your time, while also keeping your mind active.

Additionally, those interested in more courses can use Khan Academy as a resource. This free platform has courses ranging from mathematics to history. This would be a better alternative for those looking to brush up on specific skills, such as financial modeling or linear algebra. The platform has many courses to choose from that can help you come out of this lockdown more skilled than when you entered it.

Learn How to Cook

If you are still new to the art of cooking and are looking to improve on this skill, then we would recommend you try it out! Being on lockdown also means that you cannot go out to eat, nor would it be wise to bring in delivery or other objects into your house. This is the best alternative and with practice can be a lot of fun too. A great free option is YouTube, where chefs like Jamie Oliver and accounts like Tasty provide free cooking instructions. These recipes include cuisine from all over the globe.

Alternatively, there are other resources available that are more exclusive and tend to charge a fee. An example of this is MasterClass, which costs about Rs. 1,121 ($15) per month and the classes are taught by celebrities who are at the top of their field. Culinary course instructors include Gordon Ramsey and Wolfgang Puck. There are cheaper alternatives like Udemy, which also provides a wide array of culinary courses.

Further, you can use this as a way to build a relationship with the person in your family that cooks the most. For instance, if your mom is usually the one that cooks for the family, then take advantage of the free time you both have and help out in the kitchen. This will teach you valuable cooking skills and can help you foster a stronger relationship with a loved one.

Reach Your Fitness Goals with Home Workouts

A great way for you to spend your time to try and stay active. There are many benefits to staying fit other than keeping up with your outer appearance, such as cardiovascular health and anti-aging benefits. By remaining active during the lockdown you will come out of the quarantine feeling and looking great. Although it might be difficult to motivate yourself to work out at home without all the regular equipment; however, there are great videos and online trainers offering workouts for you.

For individuals looking for an intense and personalized workout regimen, they can get a specialized plan from select platforms. For example, JC Fitness and MyFitnessGoals are great resources that provide meals and circuits that are made for the consumer and their goals. For those looking to get free video and instructions, they can look to an app called Couch to 5k. This app provides different routines and asks individuals to set aside 30 minutes, 3 times a week for 8 weeks in order to successfully run a 5k.

Listen to Some New Music

Another great way to pass the time is to catch up on all the new music that was released. Many of us have very busy schedules and it can be hard to keep track of all of our favorite artists. Now is a great time to listen to some of those tunes you have been missing out on.

There are many music streaming platforms offered in India at different price points.

Graph showing the estimated annual subscription cost of music streaming services in India

Depending on your preference and taste, some platforms are much better than others. For instance, Spotify has a more international library with personalized playlists for its users, whereas Gaana is much more local and features music from up to 17 regional languages in India.

Catch Up On All Your Shows

Another way to make the most of social distancing is to catch up on all the shows that you find yourself falling behind on. Hopefully after the quarantine, you can finally join in on the conversation everyone is having on the new season of Stranger Things. There are many streaming services offered in India. Some top ones include; Netflix, Amazon Prime, HotStar Premium and Zee5.

Table showing tv streaming services in India

However, this is not the most recommended option on this list as studies have shown that sitting and watching TV for long periods of time can lead to bad diets and lowers our levels of daily physical activity. These can have negative long-term impacts if not moderated.

Read or Listen to a Book

Reading or listening to an audiobook is a great way to try and pass the time, whether it be gaining knowledge on a new topic or by diving into a fictional story. A study conducted by Emory University stated that reading can have long-term impacts on language receptivity. Reading can also boost neural function through a process similar to muscle memory. For example, reading about the main character swimming can transport us and give our brain the sensation of swimming.

An option for those looking for online books to read or audiobooks to listen to is Amazon Prime. Amazon offers free books and audiobooks to their paying Prime subscribers. This opportunity should be taken advantage of during this time when we are stuck indoors anyway.

Stay Responsible and Stay Inside

It is imperative that we all do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus. The best way for us to do this is to remain indoors and let the situation play out. These activities will help you stay indoors and remain entertained during this difficult and complicated time.

Sahmi Chowdhury

Sahmi is a Junior Research Analyst specialising in credit cards and insurance in India. He previously worked in the financial services sector at Brown Brothers Harriman and True Capital Management.