Social isolation. No March Madness. Concerts being canceled. Events canceled. School is online. If you’re an extrovert, coronavirus (COVID-19) is making it very difficult for you to have fun.

More than ever, it is important to prioritize your physical and mental health. Having fun should not completely stop. Conversations should not stop, love will not disappear and it is important to remember we live in a time with abundant amounts of technology to entertain us.

Here are a few things you can do in your new free time that don’t involve large gatherings:

Movie Marathon

If you’re back home, this is a perfect time to re-live your childhood days and re-watch the classics you used to watch with your family as a kid. Disney+ came at a perfect time. You don’t have to feel guilty about staying home and binge-watching animated movies for hours upon end. If you’re feeling intellectual, there are countless documentaries on Netflix and other streaming services.

If you are really craving some sports action like me, YouTube has old footage of previous NCAA Tournament basketball games (yes, I am that person and I'm not the only one). Further, you can always start a new series, or be like my dad and watch CNN for 48 hours straight.

I, for one, have been glued to news sources daily, especially articles about COVID-19. So, in order to distract myself from the disheartening news, I decided watching mind-numbing reality shows is a better idea. “Love is Blind” on Netflix is a dating show that requires no thought or intellectual ability. 

Self-care

Spring break suddenly became endless. So, you have plenty of time to do things for yourself. Sleep in, make breakfast, enjoy your coffee. More importantly, put your health above all. Practice self-care by sanitizing surfaces, washing your hands and paying close attention to your health.  

As an extrovert, I know how tough it can be when you are stuck inside and all you want is to attend a large social gathering, go to class or a new restaurant with your friends. Part of self-care, and care for those around you is staying home and away from large groups of people. Relaxing face masks, lighting a candle, meditation, yoga and at-home workouts can help combat the cabin fever you may feel.

FaceTime or Skype

Now is the perfect time to FaceTime family members and friends who aren’t close to you. FaceTime your uncle, siblings and grandparents, have a conversation face-to-face, and share in the COVID-19 animosity we all have. Since classes are canceled and some students are returning to their parents’ homes, FaceTiming is a great way to stay in touch.

Have brunch together with your friends through technology or study for a test together — nothing is impossible. More than ever, it is important to call, text and FaceTime those you love. 

Do not refrain from human interaction just because we can no longer attend large group events or go to class. Check on your friends and family, because everyone deserves a human conversation, regardless of quarantine and isolation status.

Read a book … or 10!

Once upon a time, I was a literature major. Then, I realized reading 13 books for each class was overwhelming, so I switched. Now, I have plenty of time to read books of my choice at my own pace. While I would much rather be going to class and watching March Madness with my friends, being able to read new books is a silver lining in all this corona-craziness.

Libraries and bookstores are closing shop. But, audiobooks and online access to thousands of books are available through Foley Library and most public libraries. Electronic versions of books are also more sustainable and cheaper than buying brand-new books at Barnes & Noble. 

If you are back home, dig out the old Percy Jackson books you read as a kid, or sneak through your parents’ collection of books. And the last resort option is to get ahead on assigned reading for class.

Karlie Murphy is the opinion editor.

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