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15 Ways to Learn and Expand Your Brain During Quarantine

by Reagan Dellinger

In this time of the novel coronavirus, many are searching for ways to be productive, entertain themselves and learn something new or something they’ve maybe given up on learning. It’s easy to be hard on yourself for not “being productive,” but learning and expanding your brain doesn't always require a task that involves a pen or paper and your everyday job. There are many ways to be productive and learn while also being creative and most importantly, taking care of yourself and resting. We’ve come up with 15 ways you can keep busy during quarantine that could be both fun and beneficial. 

1. Rest

First things first, there is nothing your body needs more than rest. This doesn’t mean sleeping all day and never getting out of bed, either. Take time to rest when your body needs it. Sit out in the sun for a bit, take a break from your everyday routine and breathe for a second, nap when you need it, do things that relax you and slow your mind down.

2. Try something new

Whether it's a creative project, a new recipe, learning a new language, playing an instrument or even changing your everyday routine, now is the perfect time to try something new, get out of your comfort zone and explore things you never have before.

3. Read a book, article, newsletter

Reading is one of the easiest ways to learn new things—whether it's a book, a poem, an article, a newsletter, or even little fun facts in magazines. Reading doesn't always have to be dreadful, so find something you like and take some time to read a little about it. You’ll be surprised what you will learn, and may even come to enjoy.

4. Exercise

Exercising is one of the best ways to make your mind and body feel its best. Not only does it release endorphins that energize your spirits, it keeps you from being so tired during the day, helps you sleep at night, relieves stress and anxiety, and just makes you feel better overall. No matter what it is, walking, running, yoga, cycling, or even jump roping, exercising is important and beneficial.

5. Draw or paint

Drawing and painting is a project that eases your mind. It takes away stress, brings out a creative side in you and is a good break from whatever it is you're spending too long on. No matter your skill type (drawing, coloring, sketching and many more), you will be more relaxed and inspired after doing it. 

6. Organizing and Cleaning

There is no better feeling than a clean room, an organized closet, desk, cabinet or even clean sheets to sleep on. Staying clean and organized will help you focus better throughout the day and positively serve your mental health. 

7. Call/facetime a friend or family member

Quarantine is a hard time for many people. No one likes to be away from the people they love and the ones who bring them happiness. Life can oftentimes feel lonely and dark without those people, which is why you should always stay in touch with them. Even if you're busy or your friends and family have other things going on, try to make it a priority to spend at least an hour catching up with those you love. 

8. Bake or Cook

There is no better time to learn a new recipe, get messy in the kitchen, or even learn how to use the oven. The good thing is, there is room for trial and error. Watch a cooking show, order a recipe book, cook a meal for your family, significant other or even yourself. It truly doesn't matter what it is you are learning and doing during this time, as long as it keeps you happy and healthy.

9. Listen to podcasts or music

There are thousands of podcasts out there that are inspirational, funny, romantic, scary, entertaining and educational. Almost all of them are free too, so use this to your advantage. If you’re not into that sort of thing, listening to music will always boost your mood. Go find those throwback songs that make you think of your favorite memories, listen to up-beat playlists and have a dance party in your living room, sing out loud or just quietly listen. What your ears hear and enjoy, your heart will too. 

10. Watch informational videos, documentaries, how-to’s

By informational videos we don’t mean forcing yourself to watch a video on a world war or solving mathematical equations. By this, we mean watch something that intrigues you. DIY videos are always fun and can bring out your creative side, and documentaries on celebrities, designers, singers and authors are all over the place and incredibly interesting. Remember, take the time to do things you enjoy and don’t be hard on yourself when it isn’t deemed “educational” by the world.

11. DIY Spa

Nothing says happiness and relaxation like a DIY spa. Whether it’s taking a bubble bath, making your own at-home face mask or getting your nails ready for post quarantine, your body will feel happy and refreshed, and so will you.

12. Play a game

Games are a great way to pass time during quarantine. If you are with family or friends, play fun card games or even make up your own. Puzzles are a great way to expand your brain and make you think, and they can be completed with others or alone. Remember to always have fun and try not to be too competitive.

13. Write/Journal

Now is a great time to write or journal, whether it's about your past experiences, your daily routine, your feelings, memories or even fictional story writing. Journaling is especially good for expressing feelings and getting out those hard topics that maybe you don’t like to talk about. Have fun with it though, and write about what you want.

14. Practice self discipline

Now is a great time to practice self discipline. By this we mean meditating once a day, setting a certain bedtime/morning alarm and sticking with it, doing one thing a day that you love or maybe even challenging yourself to learn something new every day or do a quick workout. The important thing to remember is that no one is perfect and some days we don't feel like doing certain things, so know your limits and encourage yourself to stay disciplined, but don't punish yourself when it didn't go as planned.

15. Limit social media intake

Last but not least, take some time off from the screen. Social media is a great way to keep up with our friends and family but too much of it can often be harmful to our mental health. Instead, take time to spend with the ones you love, go on a walk, try something new, rest, bake a cake, listen to music or get some sun. 

We hope that these times are not extremely difficult and you are finding your way through. We encourage you to do things that you love, find new hobbies, spend time with those that you can, rest and be easy on yourself. Remember that everyone is in the same situation as you, so do whatever you can to spread some light and make the most of it. Hopefully these tips and tricks will give you some ideas to get through, but there are so many more ways and we hope that you explore them.

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