19 May 2020

Things to do in lockdown

Divya Kataria
Engineering graduate

As we are all stuck in our homes while the world tries to fight this virus, we can at least talk about something different. Let’s take a deep breath in and out! Good!

You are stuck at home and all you are doing is watching TV, craving McDonald's and waiting for things to go back to normal. How about we try to find some normality in this abnormal situation.

So, here we go, these are my top 10 things you can do in a lockdown:

1. Adopt a hobby: Let’s read

I finished reading the book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I picked up that book last year and I never got the time to finish it. I felt pretty great finishing my book and it motivated me to start another one!

2. Start running

I got so bored with staying at home that I decided to go running 4-5 times a week. It felt great to get out of the house. You know what felt even better, running on the road with no cars, no noise and all solace. I could hear the birds and crickets chirping. One time, I went for a run later in the evening and it felt good to run under a beautiful night sky with stars shining. Try it, it’s fun. I use the Nike Run app to motivate me to run.

3. Take a digital detox

While the world is going crazy on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, take this time to take some time off social media. I try to put my phone on silent for 3-4 hours a day and spend it with myself. It feels good.

4. Binge-watch Netflix

Take this time to start a new TV show which you didn’t have time to watch earlier. I am usually busy with work most of my week and I don’t get a lot of time to start a new show. It’s addictive! Take the time to watch a show or two, you deserve it.

5. Watch some documentaries

This might sound boring but now is a good time to watch some documentaries and increase your knowledge of the world. I watched some documentaries on Hiroshima Nagasaki and World War 2. Guess what? Documentary-watching is not that bad - it was much better than Netflix on some level, haha!

6. Apply for some graduate opportunities/internships

Don’t waste time or get demotivated due to the global situation. A lot of companies have opened their internships and grad programs. Think of this time as a blessing, now you have time to think properly and submit an amazing application to your future company.

7. Connect with old friends

This lockdown gave me time to call people who I have lost touch with due to time difference, busy schedule or laziness. This is a time to connect with long-lost friends or relatives.

8. Think of a business idea

This might sound silly but this lockdown gives you enough time and boredom to take on a new project. Why not think of a business idea and work on it? Maybe by the time you get out of lockdown, you could find potential investors or pitch to future clients. Let’s get productive!

9. Think of what you would do when you get out!

This lockdown has made me think about how we live in an unpeaceful time. This lockdown has motivated me to continue to help people who need help and raise awareness of my cause. I am volunteering on an initiative to raise awareness about the severity of tuberculosis in North Korea. I started a Facebook page and connected with lecturers around the world who specialise in TB (tuberculosis). What motivates you?

Think of all the things you can learn from this pandemic and what you want to do once life resumes back?

Join a non-profit or your student association, give back to the community!

10. Get better at cooking

Believe it or not, I ate mostly vegetarian food in this lockdown. I missed my mother’s homemade vegetable curries and I decided to take up this challenge. I miss vegetarian food and I could never go back to it as I was lazy and I didn’t know how to cook Indian vegetarian curries. I am good at it now! I experimented with eggplant, okra and cottage cheese. I am so proud of myself. Vegetables provide so many nutrients, vitamins and fibre and I am glad I could go back to a healthy diet.

More information

For official COVID-19 information for international students in New Zealand, see The coronavirus: what you need to know.

Check out some more stories from international students in lockdown in New Zealand and get their tips for staying connected and well.

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About the contributors
Divya Kataria
Engineering graduate

Divya Kataria, from India, gained a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). She is working as a graduate civil engineer in Wellington.