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Q-TIPS (and Tricks): Quarantine Strategies to Keep You Sane

Before We Begin…

It’s probably a bit of an understatement to note that the current global situation has really thrown a wrench into our daily lives, and nearly everyone is experiencing stress and anxiety to some degree. I wanted to write about fun, different things to do while we’re all doing our part to “flatten the curve” – but please don’t take that to mean that I’m making light of a serious situation. I know that some of you are scared about your future, and worried about your family – and I know I’m starting to dread turning on the news every day – but we simply can’t give in to despair.

We live in a great Province, in a great country, with leaders and scientists and health workers that are rapidly becoming the new superheroes of our time. We will get through this together, no matter how long it takes. And for most of us, doing our part means staying at home, and getting through the days and nights of isolation as best we can. THAT’S why I wanted to write this blog. Plus, I’ve already watched half of Netflix and all of Amazon Prime…

Anyway, here’s some suggestions for passing your time. I think for the most part they apply to any family situation, and “Quaratiners “of any age:

Make a Good Old Fashioned Phone Call…

Many of you have already picked up on this one, but there has never been a better time to use your phone as an actual phone, and have a good old conversation with a family member or friend. You’ve got the time!

Here’s a fun spin, though – scroll through your contacts list and pick out a friend or relative that you haven’t spoken to in over a year. Give them a heads up that you’d like to talk, so that you both can set aside a mutually convenient time, and then give them a call and see how they’re doing. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even try to work your way through your entire contacts list!

Start on that Spring Cleaning!

I know, I know, cleaning can be a real chore. But did you know that it can actually be good for you? Many scientific journals (too many to list here, but feel free to Google it) and studies confirm that house cleaning can be therapeutic – it relieves stress and lowers anxiety levels. In addition to the psychological benefits you’ll enjoy by bringing order to the chaos, for me personally, cleaning also gives me a sense of accomplishment – like I’ve actually done something productive with my day (in addition to finishing that final season of “Friends”, I mean).

But I’m not just talking about the daily duties that we all have – I’m thinking more along the lines of that basement or garage that’s maybe gotten a little out of hand over the winter. That attic or shed (or SHE-shed!) that could use some love and attention. Maybe it’s time to go through the old wardrobe and see what’s what. Whatever you choose as your project, make a checklist of the activities that it’ll take to get the job done. You’ll be amazed at how you feel when that last box is checked!

…and if you’re self-isolating in an apartment or condo, or are one of those rare few who live “the life uncluttered”, you could always take a look at organizing your music library, or contacts list, or email accounts. See, there’s Spring Cleaning fun for everyone!

Host a Virtual Happy Hour!

I guess if there’s a silver lining to be found in this situation, it’s that the coronavirus crisis has come at a moment in history when it’s never been easier to communicate with each other electronically. With today’s technology, and with so many people now working from home, everybody’s getting into the act.

You can FaceTime a friend on your phone and have a virtual meal (or date!) with them. If there’s a senior in your family that’s isolating alone, invite them to Sunday dinner on their phone! With free apps like Zoom, you can host video meetings with up to 100 people, for up to 40 minutes, for free! A friend set this up for his daughter’s soccer team, just so they could all regain some of the camaraderie they’ve been missing, and it was great!

Host a Ryan Reynolds Movie Marathon!

I just love this guy. Born in Vancouver, a committed environmentalist, a supporter of homeless charities, and generally an all-around loveable fella. He and his wife Blake Lively have also recently donated $400,000 to New Your City hospitals to aid in their efforts to save lives during this pandemic. And just a few weeks ago, the couple donated a million dollars between the “Feeding America” and “Food Banks Canada” charities.

While Reynolds’ movies aren’t exactly what you’d call classics, they are definitely fun and entertaining; and he’s certainly got enough of them for you to while away a solid day or two as you self-isolate. So, I thought I’d end this blog with a list of my favourite Reynolds’ flicks.


  • 6 Underground
  • Deadpool and Deadpool 2
  • Pokemon Detective Pikachu
  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  • Life
  • R.I.P.D
  • The Change-Up
  • Green Lantern
  • The Amityville Horror
  • Blade: Trinity
  • National Lampoon’s Van Wilder