Isolating in Your Long Branch Condos? Tips for Staying Entertained and Connected in These Strange Times 

Human beings are great at many things, but dealing with uncertainty is not one of them. If you live in Long Branch condos then you live in one of the most beautiful places in the country –– staying indoors, 24/7 was probably not how you planned to spend these months. Nonetheless, every crisis represents an opportunity! As it turns out there are actually many things for you to do and experience during these strange times. Looking at the silver lining, we could say we are fortunate enough to be locked down during modern times. We can still get items and groceries delivered, and, of course, we have the internet to keep entertained. Luckily, the internet is much more than streaming services, and the sky is the limit when it comes to options. The array of choices is wide: from learning a new skill to catching up with some New Year’s resolutions, or spending more quality time with family. Here are just a handful of the myriad ways you can stay entertained and connected while isolating: 

MIND YOUR HEALTH 

Whatʼs the ultimate purpose of this quarantine? Is it to write the next great American Novel? To become an Origami champion? No. The primary goal is for you to stay healthy and well! To do so, the first step is to abide by the recommendations issued by health authorities at the CDC. These include regular hand washing and covering your face in public. However, keeping yourself feeling vibrant and healthy in a more general sense during this time is another thing altogether. A few ways to take care of yourself include: 

  • Sleep. Many health organizations state that the average American is sleep deprived. If you are isolated at the stunning Long Branch condos, now is the perfect time to enjoy your property and rest. Getting a good night sleep –both in quantity and quality –enhances the immune system. This helps your body create more resistance against catching any illnesses. 
  • Meditate. Mediation is an art. Donʼt expect to reach Samadhi if this is your first time attempting meditation. (By the way, now that you have some free time in your hands, you can Google the meaning of the word). You donʼt have to levitate—just closing your eyes for twenty minutes while watching your breath can be invigorating and restorative. Alternatively, you can meditate by simply closing your eyes and listening—sitting on your private terrace and listening to the ocean could be a wonderful restorative meditation practice. Give it a try.
  • Exercise. Living in Pier Village – in one of the many amazing Long Branch condos –you may have become accustomed to spending time on the beach, getting a lot of movement outdoors. It is understandable to feel frustrated indoors when youʼre used to walking on the beach, going to the gym, or practicing a sport. Thankfully, the internet offers a massive amount of links, videos, and platforms for you to keep in shape during the quarantine. Do you have a set of dumbbells? A bench? A Yoga ball? Then you are all set! If not, you can always order gear online. You can also utilize The Lofts state of the art fitness center. A daily session of bodyweight cardio and a stretching routine is all it takes to bring oxygen to your body and feel much better about your day.

MIND YOUR MIND 

So, you have figured out how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But what about our minds? During normal times, our brains perform multiple tasks to comply with our routines. Even when we are “doing nothing” or sitting in traffic, our neurons are working hard in the back of our heads. But what happens when we stay indoors? Sure, some of us still have jobs, meetings, and chores to do –often entirely in online mode. But our head needs more. It needs stimulus and pleasure. Have you heard of the term “tickle your brain?” Now is the perfect time. 

  • Puzzles and board games. If all experts can agree on something, it would be that this contingency represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend quality time with our families. Dust off those board games and puzzles, take out Pictionary, start an endless game of monopoly. Make it fun, so when you look back at this time, you donʼt remember the weariness but the laughter. 
  • Start a journal. Writing is one of the most therapeutic activities. You donʼt have to talk about your COVID-related feelings or experiences. You can take the time to work through tired patterns, write about childhood memories, or even fun topics such as paddleboarding, poke bowls or music. You name it! You could even try freewriting, in which you simply write whatever comes to mind for 20 minutes or so, without lifting the pencil from the paper. Taking the time to sit down, order your thoughts and devote yourself to this content will be relaxing. Also, those living in Long Branch condos have this inspiring advantage: the amazing views that flood your floor-to- ceiling windows every day. 
  • Pick up a new hobby or a forgotten one. Did you subscribe to Duolingo but never actually got started? Did you purchase oil paints and brushes but leave a canvas blank? Now is your time to rekindle your desire to learn something new. Maybe youʼve always felt curious about jewelry making, or knitting. Practicing your usual hobbies is nice, but challenging your brain out of your comfort zone will be exciting and good for your mental state. No pressure, no deadlines. Remember, this is not a checklist you have to cross off: being homebound presented you with the amazing gift of free time. Why not take advantage of it? Maybe you can try to perfect grandmaʼs amazing apple pie recipe, or replicate your fatherʼs perfect martini. Try it!
  • Read. Many online platforms are offering the public a wide assortment of audio and electronic books to read for free. You swore to yourself you would read The Count of Monte Cristo until the last page. Whatʼs stopping you now? If you are not into classics, thatʼs not a problem. The internet is filled with fantastic options: Self-help books, educational, modern novels, or romances that will melt your heart. Maybe you donʼt even need to look online; just take a look at your bookshelves and drawers. Immerse yourself in that adventure you left midway. While we are in the “reading section,” limit the time you spend daily with the news. The CDC recommends that you stay informed, but avoid overindulging in news that can exacerbate a feeling of anxiety. 
  • Watch movies. Perhaps attempting too much on too little time can be overwhelming. So the advice here is to mix things up. A thriller crime movie sounds good after a busy Tuesday. Or that documentary you have been putting off about climate change. But also remember to reserve some time for movies or series with the sole intent of making you feel good. A romantic comedy, even a cartoon. Not everything must be educational or life- changing. You are already dealing with a lot! Sit back in your favorite couch, surround yourself with your partner or family, and watch Clueless again. It doesnʼt get old. 

DONʼT FORGET TO… 

  • Clean, organize. If we complain about something, it is about our lack of time to accomplish certain house goals such as organizing our clothes, belongings, etc. If you are the exception and did not get caught up in the Marie Kondo extravaganza a couple of years ago, nowʼs your chance to jump on the bandwagon. Cleaning and organizing around the house accomplishes many tasks: one, we “liberate” from things we are attached to that serve no purpose. Two, we make space for the items we actually need and use. Three, assuming that what you are throwing out is in good shape and form, donating is a great way to ensure that someone out there will be delighted with your old item. Four, it provides an inexplicably pleasurable feeling of cleansing. Five, it gives you something to do! 
  • Keep in touch with your relatives. Unless someone is living under a rock, chances are you have heard about people communicating through video apps with their relatives. One of the hardest things about our current situation is how human contact is restricted. As human beings, we crave communication, touch, and closeness. Right now, we cannot see our friends, relatives, parents, and children who are physically separated. But now with the fantastic technology that surrounds us, we can stay close. Maybe a videoconference is not your thing, and that is completely valid. A phone call goes a long way when it comes to expressing our loving feelings. Want to surprise someone even more? Write a letter. Not an email. Go old fashioned, pour your heart into a piece of paper. In a few years, you will have a memento from this point in time. You can browse through Pinterest and attempt a recipe for “the perfect DIY face mask”; you can make a list with your partner about the “movies that should’ve won an Oscar” and watch one every other day. You can take a dip in your financial planning and work out some ways to save money or refinance your loans.

The list could be endless because the possibilities are infinite. Find a healthy balance between what you “need to do,” “want to do,” and “never thought you would do.” That’s the perfect recipe for a well-handled contingency. Not every day must be a lesson learned or a task completed. Every day should be about making you happy and staying healthy. If you have stay at home orders to isolate in your Long Branch condos, look through the window. Take a deep breath and repeat: “this too shall pass.” Meanwhile, have fun, learn something, and enjoy the novelty.

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