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A COVID-19 Survival Guide for Social Distancing in Stockholm

By: Kornelia Januszewska & Grigorios Georgakis

How do you survive social distancing without going crazy at the same time?

I bet you didn’t expect global isolation when you said that 2020 is gonna be “the best year ever” on the New Year’s Eve, but here you are, as confused as everybody else in the world, trying to figure this situation out.

Even though Stockholm isn’t under lockdown at the moment, it’s recommended to stay inside and cut down on social gatherings, if possible. It’s not easy to distance yourself from your family and friends, but it’s important to follow this advice because it’s not only your health that’s at stake – to be mindful of other people’s well-being is the key to slowing the COVID-19 down. 

Human beings are social creatures that tend to get bored very easily, so here are my top 8 activities you can do, while going through quarantine, or simply spending some time alone:

🤩 1. Learn something new
learning something

When was the last time you said you’d love to learn something new, but you’re always lacking time? Well, guess what? Now, you are officially done with this excuse, so stop being a lazy couch potato and use the time you were unexpectedly given.

Whether it’s learning a new language, picking up an instrument you were always fascinated by, or starting an online course in drawing/writing/marketing (literally anything) – do it. Many websites are offering free courses such as Google Digital GarageSkillshare and Class Central where you can even obtain valid certificates that may come in handy when the world comes back to normal. You’ll never know!

🧘🏼‍♀️ 2. Meditate or exercise

Exercise and meditation is the key to keeping our minds and body healthy. 

I cannot even begin to stress the importance of working out at home or from your balcony. It makes you feel so much better after a session and you can even participate in online gym classes with your friends or other strangers. Exercising together is more fun! Your body & mind will thank you, I promise.

🏃🏻 3. Go for a run and exercise
man jogging

Yes, it’s recommended keep distance and stay home if you are are feeling ill, however, fresh air is one of the things you shouldn’t get deprived of.

Stockholm is known for its many green areas you can spend your free time at, so make use of it and go for a walk, or a run – it’s up to you – and get that vitamin D. Wherever you live in Stockholm, even in Vasastan or Stureplan, you can find the appropriate places to “revive” yourself by exploring nature and what it has to offer. Remember to keep your distance from other people and you’re going to be just fine. 

🧹⁠ 4. Tidy up your living space
clean your home

Maybe it’s just me, but I find being productive incredibly difficult if I’m surrounded by a messy environment. When faced with an overload of free time, fold the laundry you made two days ago, clean those windows, wipe that floor and you’ll see that staying at home has instantly become 10 times more enjoyable. 

Also, it’s a perfect opportunity to go through your old stuff and see whether you should keep it, or make room for new things to come.

🍲 5. Do something fun or creative

Dance, sing, draw, paint.. whatever that sparks your imagination.⁠ If not, you can always cook or bake to release all that stress and get creative with food. Cooking up a storm seems to be something that I have never imagined that I could do, and it also turns out to be one of the most productive things I have done. Making waffles, crepes, mac ’n cheese and tortelini al Forno with 5 different kind of cheese is exactly what I did last week. 

P.S. I am making a full brunch for myself every day with omelettes with bacon, chocolate cake, danish bread, french toast, orange jiuce and of course a little bit of roman sallad with baby tomatoes!

👗 6. Get dressed up even if you are home 

Being in pyjamas or messy hair all day won’t help improve your mood, so why not dress up to cheer yourself up? It’s a great way to to keep life ongoing and normal as possible, and also a good motivation to start the day with fresh makeup with a cute outfit. It will give you some confidence for sure, and also may get you some compliments online!

📺⁠ 7. Watch a comedy or read a light-hearted book 
watch tv

This one is quite obvious, but yeah… binge the Netflix show you’ve been eager to see half a year ago, or read the book that’s been laying on your shelf for way too long. 

Relax.. nobody said you need to be productive all the time. We’ve come to live in strange circumstances and if you feel like doing nothing at all, by all means, go for it. Put your loungewear, have some snacks and don’t feel guilty about it – there’s no right or wrong way to go through social-distancing. As long as you are healthy and happy, it’s totally alright.

👨‍👩‍👦⁠ 8. Organize video group chats
get connected

Being away from your loved ones is one of the hardest things during this time. Thank the heavens someone invented video calls, am I right? Make plans with your family and friends online to stay connected. Play some games. Have a video dinner together, or spend an entire day just in someone’s presence on the other side of the screen without even talking. It’ll bring you comfort and help you feel less lonely.

We are not in this alone, we are doing it together.

Keep yourself healthy, and wash your hands. Stay safe and positive, everyone!