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8 productive routines to maintain positive during quarantine


Since COVID- 19 has us within the walls of our home as much as possible, we are suffering from boredom or experiencing symptoms of cabin fever.

Why not embrace the mindset of a simpler life and view this as an opportunity to focus on being productive, positive, and proactive in accomplishing things we may have been putting off, due to busy schedules that kept us outside the home.

1. Make that important phone call.

Being under self-quarantine can be draining – emotionally and physically. But avoiding the much-needed phone call can be ten times worse if it is the last chance you can ever get. Now is the right time to pick up the phone and dive in.

Give that person, be it your parents, your siblings, your best friend, your full and unlimited attention. Make them feel like they are the only person in the world that matter to you. Listen to their woes and hear them out for as long as they need to talk. This is the moment you need to know how much they may need you or what it might mean to them to know you care enough to make them a priority.


2. Spend quality time with your loved ones.

Marital relationships drift apart when they are neglected and children grow up way too fast, in a blink of an eye.

You don’t want to just have the memories in the form of photos and mementoes. Shower them all with endless love and unwavering attention. Put away electronic devices and pull out a board game to play as a family. Have a seat by your child’s bed and listen to them talk about what’s going on in their life. Work a jigsaw puzzle together. Even better, this is a great opportunity to cook a homemade meal from scratch, try out a new recipe, or make your family’s favourite dessert. Yummy indeed!


3. Enter into a sense of calmness.

As the world outside reels out of control, lean into the blessing of being inside your own space where you can control what sets the tone and atmosphere.

Turn off the noise. While it is wise to stay well-informed, it is not necessary to hear every hypothetical and worst-case scenario. Do not bury your heads in the sand, nor minimize the seriousness of COVID- 19, but many of the things we dread would probably never happen, and what we allow our minds to feed upon has a far-reaching impact on our wellbeing. Fill your mind with encouragement, meditate, and practice gratitude.


4. Time for self-reflection.

Take this free time of inaction to see where you are in life and identify things you need to change when the period of self-quarantine is over and life resumes a sense of “normalcy.” Setting goals is very gratifying and will feed your need to feel that you are accomplishing something meaningful.

5. Fill out that card and send it!

You know the card, the one you bought a while back with a particular person in mind, but just never got around to allow the pen to showcase your true emotions. We are so used to doing everything online and through a keyboard, we are losing the beautiful art of handwritten communication. You don’t know what may be going on in that recipient’s world and going to their mailbox and finding your heartfelt words may just be what they need to keep pressing on. Put aside your laptop and go fill out that card with all your heart!

6. Minimise, minimise, minimise!

Be like Marie Kondo, if it does not spark joy, it does not belong with you.

Look around your home. What about it that makes it stressful? Is it a messy area? Does it make you feel ashamed when outsiders enter your home and see it? Clear away everything you don’t want, need, use, or love from that area. Put those items in a box, remove it from the room, and store it somewhere out of sight, like a garage, basement, or shed. Again be like Marie Kondo.


7. Finish that project you’ve never had time to work on.

It’s time to silence that nagging voice and face it head-on. Maybe it’s a puzzle of your favourite animal or a cross-stitch of a lovely cottage. Dig in and do a little at a time until you are finished. Imagine the feeling of relief and accomplishment you will feel to know you have seen it through to its completion.

Maybe frame it in the dining hall once the quarantine is lifted, to put a smile on your face every time you passed by it.


8. Write an Oscar-winning script

Are you an avid film fanatic? This is the time for you to shine and to Netflix and Chill!

Learn the mechanics of screenwriting or the ins and outs of composing a standup routine. Learn from star comedians such as Judd Apatow and Steve Martin as they teach everything from stand-up basics to how to write comedic dialogue, and award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin parses through character development and how to properly research a script.

Show off your creation to friends in a Zoom meeting or during dinner with the family. Just remember, have fun while doing it. No need for seriousness in these tiring days.

Remember, it is times like these where need we keep our heads above the water for the sake of ourselves, our loved ones and our community. Keep calm and carry on the Malaysian spirit as high as you can! #StayHopefulWithIQI


This is a collaboration article with IQI Global.

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