Ayesha Mahmood | Sargodha, Pakistan
There are many things that we all wished we could do whenever we found the time, but often, that time never came. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are home, and it is time to do all the things that we wished to do for so long. Experience new things, try out various hobbies, and make this time a memorable one for yourselves.
First of all I recommend that you take a diary and think about all the things you ever wanted to do and write it down. Create your ultimate at-home bucket list. Then, start completing the activities on this bucket list. If you cannot think of something right away, here are some suggestions I have which can help you get started:
1. Watch movies or television shows of your favourite genre
“If you don’t want to read, begin by watching”
I always wished to have more time to watch television shows (like dramas), because I have learned many things from dramas. This is because Pakistani dramas depict the true face of our society, and address many social issues that people are facing here, or in other parts of the world (if you are watching shows from different countries). They depict love stories, hate, fear, mystery and many more things. Most of all, they give you an opportunity to learn while watching a fiction show that keeps you engaged. Alternatively, find movies that interest you, or documentaries. There are so many documentaries about various social issues like climate change, or lack of access to education that you can watch to learn more about what is going on in various parts of the world and what you can do to help.
2. Read a book
“If you want to experience a whole new world, just pick a book”.
Movies make you see and books make you imagine. So, if you want to think and imagine then pick a book and start reading. If you want a list of books you should read, visit this article by a fellow writing intern: https://www.theworldwithmnr.com/post/4-books-you-should-read-in-the-new-year
“Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood”. Your positive oasis
Exercise is a great way to stay fit, active and busy during this time. Just because you are at home doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep up with your fitness goals. Go for a physically-distant walk outside, do yoga, or follow an online fitness tutorial/class. These are all great ways to have fun, relax, and spend your time staying fit.
4. Learn a new skill
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Henry Ford
Everyone has a gift. I believe that Allah has given a special gift or skill to every person. We only need to identify the skills we have and polish them. Use this time and find the thing you are passionate about, the thing you always wanted to do wholeheartedly, and spend time perfecting it.
5. Learn a new language
“The limits of my language means the limits of my world”. Ludwig Wittgenstein
I absolutely love watching Koreans and Turkish TV shows, and I always wished to learn these languages so that I can watch their shows without subtitles. So, if you ever wanted to watch TV shows from a foreign country without subtitles or talk with your friends in their native language (if it is different than yours), then consider this time as a blessing and learn the language you wished to learn.
6. Develop your painting skills
“Painting is dancing with chaos”. Melanie Circle
Paint whatever is on your mind and make your thoughts turn into colourful images. Painting can be a de-stressing and mindful activity to do whenever you get a chance, and since you are at home these days, I suggest you try it out and develop your painting skills. You can even watch online tutorials to learn painting techniques. These days, you can find tutorials for just about everything, and painting is no different.
7. Learn photography
“You don’t take photograph, you make it”. Hansel Adams
Learn photography and make memories of the moments you spend anywhere, with anyone. As they say, “today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories” - Genie. You don't even have to have a professional camera to be able to take good photos nowadays. You can be taking photos right from your smartphone, and use various techniques to enhance the quality of the photos you take. Watch online tutorials, and practise by taking photos of people or objects in your house, or outside on a physically-distant walk.
8. Learn graphic designing
“Design is thinking make visual”. Saul Bass
Graphic designing is a great skill to have, but it takes a lot of time and practise to get it right. Spend the time you have right now to learn some graphic designing!
9. Write a blog post for The World With MNR
If you are expressive or want to share your experiences or opinions with others then it is your time to write blog posts and help the community from your experiences. You can even contribute to this blog, The World With MNR's "Let Your Light Shine," and get your work published as a guest writer.
10. Try making a new dish
We all love to eat. But cooking? With all the time you have, spend some of it cooking a new dish or learning how to cook something from a different culture!
11. Spend time with your family
“No amount of money or success can take the place of time spent with your family”. Author Unknown
In this fast moving world we barely find time for others. We are all busy doing our own work. So use the time you have at home and spend this with your loved ones.
12. Video call
“Want to meet someone? Call.”
Don’t forget to speak to your friends during this time. We cannot hang out with them, but we can still spend valuable time with them with just one click. Make sure you call them, or your family members, and stay socially connected while maintaining physical distancing.