Press pause on your busy life and take some much-needed me-time. New in Doha’s Fatimah Dhai shares her top 12 tips for self-care during social distancing – a guide filled with great ideas to make the most of your time at home…
- LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Harvard offers a variety of open learning opportunities including online courses, designed to make learning from home a great pastime (online-learning.harvard.edu/). Through the edX learning platform, which is founded by Harvard and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), anyone can gain access to courses from Harvard, MIT and other partner academic institutions (www.edx.org/). Explore your creative side with Skillshare for FREE. Discover hidden talents with classes in illustration, photography and design. (www.join.skillshare.com). Coursera is your companion during this time! If you’re looking for paid and free courses from top universities like Yale, Michigan and Stanford to reach personal and professional goals, check out www.coursera.org/.
- WORK (OUT) FROM HOME
More than anything, it seems that a lot of the community is missing their daily gym visits. Fear not, there are plenty of digital workouts to help you stay healthy and fit from the comfort of your living room. There are also some great FREE online apps such as Fiton (@fiton) and HiitButn (@hiitburn) to try out exercise classes and yoga on multiple platforms. You can even follow Greg Dagnall, an MNU Certified Nutritionist, for advice and nutritional fitness (@gregdagnallfit). Many gyms in Qatar like F45 (@f45_training_thepearl), Gymmito (@gymmitofitness) and others are offering live classes or daily workout videos to do at home on their Instagram pages.
- BYE, BYE, BYE TO SOCIAL MEDIA
In the age of information overload and online fatigue, it is imperative that we all monitor our time on social media and in front of a screen. Set limits on how long you spend on Tik Tok (as addictive as it might be), Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram each day with the Pyxsee app or using Screen Time (on an Apple device), or make use of the Digital Wellbeing option on your Android phone.
- GET CREATIVE
Make Pinterest your new best friend and be inspired by, literally, thousands of ideas. Creating something beautiful can be soothing for the soul. Whether it’s a mood board or knitting something special, a drawing or painting, or even writing a short story – wherever your creativity flows, let it pour out! Alternatively, create a vision board, explore new business ideas, and set new goals. Get creative online for FREE with Qatar group @cocreatehub who run regular virtual therapeutic art meetups.
- RECONNECT WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS
Staying in touch with friends and family ensures that you feel less lonely. My friends are planning a skype tea party in our pjs next week. I think a dinner party will be next on our list. Reconnect with and support older loved ones or single people who are self-isolating and could feel vulnerable during this time. If you feel low and need to speak to a professional, there are many available online who are there to help you through these stressful times. How to stay in touch? There are many video calling apps out there such as WhatsApp (with Turbo VPN), Google Duo, Skype or Zoom.
- PLAY ALL THE GAMES
Scrabble, Monopoly, Guess Who, the list is endless. Most board games are now available online or have been made into a FREE app. Live alone? Not a problem. A number of board games can be played with friends and family online. Plus, there’s plenty of other games such as Convo and Chill or Heads Up and even Charades which can be enjoyed with others over video call. The options are infinite! Qatar Museums sells a special edition of Qatar Monopoly online for QR220. Buy yours today at the IN-Q Online Gift Shop. Ship with QPost for QR40 (www.inq-online.com/kids/toys/qatar-museums-monopoly).
We don’t often get time to press pause on our lives. Let us use this opportunity to find a quiet spot, take a very deep breath and start to relax. Prayer and/or meditation is a great way to balance your chakra and soothe the mind at this uncertain time. Seeking clarity and reflection will help you to appreciate and be grateful for all the small things in life.
- UNLEASH YOUR INNER MASTERCHEF
Dust off your recipe books or google your favourite cooking sites and take joy in creating a delicious meal. Watch junior Masterchef with your kids for inspiration and then head off to the kitchen. Or bake that cake you’ve wanted to do try for a while, prepare a fresh, vibrant salad to accompany your meal or go all out and prepare an entire dinner from scratch. Whatever you choose, now is the ideal time to put your culinary flair to the test.
- LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN WILD
Start a good book and be transported to another world. Don’t have any good books at home? Don’t fret and download the Kindle app, or Audible which has a FREE trial, or BookHub which has FREE PDFs of the latest books. On Audible, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. And reading is not just an activity for young ones, grown-ups can curl up with their perfect read and take some time out as well. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet (www.stories.audible.com).
There are so many things to be grateful for during these times. Writing down your thoughts, feelings and emotions is a good way to make sense of the world as it is right now. Plus, what a time to document and live through – looking back, your journal will make for a reminder of gratitude but also a way to tell the story of social distancing from 2020, in the future!
- BINGE TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT
Stay away from depressing movies and choose feel-good series and movies. Netflix has three options to choose from starting at $7.99 a month. No commitments and cancel your subscription at any time. Netflix Party (www.netflixparty.com) is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronises video playback and adds a group chat to your favourite Netflix shows. Link up with friends and host long distance movie nights and pyjama parties! Love Broadway? For a limited time, you can watch Broadway musicals for free at home. BroadwayHD, a theatre streaming service priced at $8.99 per month or $99.99 for a full year has introduced a seven-day FREE trial to access their library of over 300 shows. Available on iOS, AppleTV, Android, Roku, Amazon Firestick and the Web (www.broadwayhd.com).
- LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Always wanted to learn French but never found the time? This is your chance. How about starting from scratch and tackling a new language altogether? Self-care is all about enriching yourself with new skills and there are so many great apps and tools out there to kickstart your linguistic journey. Take a free online language course in English, French, Mandarin and more on EdX (www.edx.org/).
GO: Follow @newindoha on Instagram and visit www.newindoha.com for more information.