Quarantine has given people extra time during their day, and all this free time can ultimately lead to boredom. Much like the infamous “Freshman 15,” many people have been eating way more than normal. Now that everyone’s schedules are completely cleared, most people turn to eating as a way to cure their boredom. This new trend has been nicknamed the “Quarantine- 15.” A typical structured school day routine used to give people a good balance between snacking, physical activity and being productive. Now that the structure of school is gone, it has led to people overeating due to boredom.
Many people have also been using their new free time to get into new hobbies. One popular hobby that people have started taking part in is baking. Junior Caroline Bryson has been baking, and she said, “I have been wanting to try and cheer people up during this time, and I know everyone loves cookies, so I thought I would deliver some thumbprints to my friends.” Caroline has baked many treats over break, but her favorite has been her peanut butter thumbprint cookies. She makes a peanut butter cookie and sticks a Hershey’s kiss in the middle. The cookies are a favorite for not only her, but also everyone she gives them to. Making cute and tasty snacks for your friends can be a great distraction from being bored and can lead to brightening someone else’s day.
Baking is a great way to make yourself feel accomplished and can help you become more creative. Another idea is to try new recipes for the first time. Freshman Caroline Scott has been spending her quarantine at her lake house, and she said, “I have had so much free time on my hands, and I haven’t known what to do with myself. I try to bake fun stuff like cookies with my mom, but I also have tried to make some healthier choices.” One of the healthier choices Scott has recently started making for herself is a yogurt parfait. She said, “I usually just combine yogurt and a bunch of berries.” Eating the right foods and getting enough nutrients is super important for your overall health, and baking is a great way to relieve stress especially in situations like quarantine where you cannot control the outcome. All these days spent away from normal routine can drag on for so long that they seem never to never end, but if you give yourself an activity a day, the day can go by much faster. Baking delicious and new recipes can be a fun way to spread joy throughout everyone. Although all the extra snacking can add up, there are also some ways to prevent any “quarantine- 15” from happening.
Staying active is a great way to reduce stress and can really help you out from all the baking and snacking that happens during the day. Middle School P.E. Teacher and Coach Ryan Hodges said, “Since the weather has been so nice, it has been great to go out and either go for a run or walk. The key is to set an hour after your schoolwork is done to go outside. It is important to have a set schedule during this time, so you can allow yourself to spend some time outside.” Creating a new everyday routine while still incorporating some of your past routine can help bring joy into your day and going outside certainly helps. Even just going for a simple walk around your neighborhood can increase and boost your mental health and help you get rid of unwanted stress that is sometimes surrounded by people during their school activities. Hodges also said, “I think it is very important to get up and be active and not just sit behind a computer screen all day.” Activities like baking and walking can give you an escape from a long day of school and give you a stress relieving past time that can lead to a more beneficial day.
Although there is so much uncertainty in this time, it can also allow time to explore new activities. However, you choose to spend your free time, it is important to take some time out of your day to get active and get outside. Baking is a great option, and it can help bring a smile to you or your friends’ faces. Not only can you make great tasting treats for your family, but you can place some words of encouragement and a treat in a friend or neighbor’s mailbox to let them know that they are being thought of even during rough times.