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How to live with your *self* during coronavirus isolation

Since we're all in the same boat, the COVID-19 pandemic affects us all. Being in the hospitality industry myself, I was recently let go until further notice. Not saying my situation is worst, but believe me when I say I do feel the pain and anxiety this brings up to anyone finding themselves in this precarious situation. Now one can only hope to resume our normal daily activities once this situation dies down. Hopefully, it will be soon; so fingers crossed. But in the meantime, as a good citizen, I listened to our Premier, Mr. Legault's directives by practicing social distancing in the hope to flatten the curve and help save lives. Yet in order to avoid experiencing mild breakdowns, I have concocted a list to help/inspire anyone who's looking to kill the time during this historic crisis.

Now's the time for that lengthy spring cleaning sesh

Get a bucket, hot water, cleaning products and go and clean the walls, ceilings, windows... any surfaces you can find. Your home will be spotless and there's no excuse for delaying this task. You literally have ALL the time in the world!

Rearrange your closet

Bring a hint of Marie Kondo into your life. Why not declutter your closet while you're at it. "Does this spark joy" is your new mantra, I believe in you!

Feng shui your home

It doesn't have to be too technical, but simply moving a few pieces of furniture around to create a new space might do you some good.

"Hi, my name is Nadia and welcome to my crib"

Take up a new hobby

As seen on social media, I have stumbled upon many memes that made me chuckle. One of them was a delightful declaration of how after this isolation period we shall whether be accomplished cooks or alcoholics. Hopefully, you'll steer towards the former as food is undoubtedly one of the best remedies to a healthy lifestyle. From our local hero, Dr. Horacio Arruda's Pastéis de nata, to people baking their own loaf of bread (this brings me so much joy seeing loved one undertaking new culinary projects such as this), just go ahead and transform your kitchen into a sanctuary.

Said you wanted to be fluent in a new language? Why not give it a go? From many apps available to online courses, this could be the perfect opportunity to carry out this project. For those living in Montreal, I would suggest you visit Mundo Lingo's Facebook page. The latter usually hosts cultural events in bars once or twice a week where one must put flags of the countries you speak the language of and once you're in the mix, simply spot someone and strike up a conversation. Of course, considering the current situation, these events are currently postponed, BUT this is a great place to find people through the Facebook group that will be willing to exchange their knowledge of their native tongue to help you out in your quest. Plus you can always give tips to the people looking to improve their linguistic skills in your native language too.

To bring it up a notch, I would suggest watching movies/series with subtitles in your target language to help with the learning process. You're welcome.

Take advantage of the free shows offered online

From your favorite musicians to stand-up comedians, I would say everybody is coming together to help us get through this tough patch by allowing us to be moved and laugh until we cry. Regularly check your favourite artist/comedian's social media platforms, they might drop a free show which you'll be able to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Stay active

Social distancing doesn't mean you have to stay home and look at your wall all day long. You are allowed to go outside for a nice walk (it is also encouraged). But by doing so, you shall practice precautions in order to keep yourself and others safe by staying 2 meters away from anyone. Now if you need a bit more motivation, there are several outlets that have shared their workouts for free online (check YouTube and Instagram Live per example).

One of them is Cardio Plein Air. The latter is an annual outdoor training program that takes place in over 140 parks in Quebec. Of course with the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to cancel all events, but decided to share their workout videos online, and FOR FREE! Indeed Défi Cardio Plein Air is an invitation to anyone who wishes to stay active by watching a series of videos from their backyard, back porch or even in the outdoors! All thanks to Danielle Danault, Cardio Plein Air President and CEO, these 30 to 45 minutes long videos will be published every day at 8 am on all outlets of the company. After the success of their first video posted on March 20th with over 35 000 views, Cardio Plein Air vowed to share daily videos and ensure you stay fit amidst this insolation period.

Stay connected

Not because you're practicing social distancing will mean you can't see your BFFs. Call your mom, do a video group call! If you do the latter during your 5@7, you might as well implement a quirky drinking game just to lift your spirit.

Support local businesses

We cannot stress this enough, the time has come to support small businesses as they're the one more at risk of never recovering from the COVID-19 crisis. Check any local vendors that can deliver your groceries, some restaurants are still open for deliveries and also deliver alcohol. I know shopping might not be on your mind, but from essential services to a small treat, you can help others by staying home and buying local.

Here are some of my favorites:

Having two locations on the north shore of Montreal, Inédit du Nord prides itself on offering local and eco-friendly products. From jewelry to home decor and hand sanitizers, this boutique has it all and of course is still open for business... online!

Let me just start by saying how the only way to get liquor is usually through a liquor store, supermarket, etc. Before the pandemic, it wasn't possible to order a drink to go to any restaurants/bars. But NOW, our prayers have been answered in the weirdest way by allowing restaurants to offer takeout deliveries and this particular restaurant will also take your cocktail order. Yup! So if you're craving tasty Mexican food and a delicious signature cocktail, Mezcaleros is here to the rescue! *Order with UberEats right HERE.

I stumbled upon her page via Instagram after seeing this amazing photo used as a phone wallpaper (used here as the cover image of this piece). Not only is Joannie Houle talented, but she is sharing her work on Etsy by offering amazing printed pieces used as cards and, of course, wall art.

Honey, indulge yourself with some me-time

The only thing I'm happy about during this isolation period is how my face can now catch a break. No more makeup! No more breakouts! Living life in sweatpants! Yet before falling into an *I give up* attitude, do not neglect these little treats such as face masks, mani-pedi (I'm sure you can find an article of the "latest" trend that says it's SUPER easy to recreate but it ain't -take it from someone who can't even apply a solid color effortlessly- plus if you screw it up... no one is going to see it).

Make it fashiuun

PJs all day every day is giving me such good vibes! But make it cute. You can still wear your comfiest PJs in a fashionable way. Plus if you arrange a group video call with your friends, why not make the effort of dressing up as if you were meeting them at the bar? It sounds stupid but it goes a long way for the mind.

Online dating is not dead


Sorry, let me rephrase this. As a single girl, dating in the 21st century is giving me heartburns just thinking about it. However, this *little* situation might be beneficial for everyone. Hear me out. After having a match, you guys WILL HAVE TO TALK FOR SEVERAL WEEKS before meeting up. Ain't no way he'll be ghosting you now, eh? If he does, well he's a dick and this could've been avoided. To help skip this predicament, check out my red flags here, which might save you some time.

Make a schedule

When you're out of a job, this might feel like an overdue vacation at first but it's easy to fall into old habits. Make a schedule and stick to it!

Lastly, smile, breathe and stay safe. Everything will be okay.

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