Five ways to keep yourself busy in isolation

By Madalyn Watson | Arts & Life Editor

Whether students are still in Waco, back at home with their parents or somewhere else in the world, the fact that school is going completely digital this semester is a bit of a shock.

And whether or not these students are socially distancing or having to self-quarantine, they’ll have a lot more free time all of the sudden.

Whichever category you fall into, there is a lot more to fill your time with activities other than scrolling through TikTok, binge-watching Netflix and worrying about the end of the world. Some of these activities can actually be relaxing or even productive.

Coloring Books

You don’t have to be an artist to fill in a coloring book or doodle a bit with colored pencils and crayons. Coloring has even been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve sleep and focus in adults.

There is also a large array of options when it comes to choosing a coloring book. In fact, many are available through online stores such as Amazon and can be shipped to your house.

Some examples of adult coloring books include: “Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults” for $9.27 or “Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Animal Designs” for $5.54 on Amazon.


Now that Baylor students are pursuing their academics from home, not only will they have more free time, but they will also need to have a good space to work in.

Not having the ability to work at a coffee shop or library can severely impact students who can’t concentrate when they are working from home.

Although some students may cringe at the thought, I personally enjoy cleaning and reorganizing my apartment. Mopping, shining, dusting, disinfecting and vacuuming aren’t the only things you can do. Even if you think your apartment, house or dormitory is spotless, there is always more you can do.

Reorganizing your closets, kitchen cabinets and junk drawers can be therapeutic and somewhat fun. I like to throw on a cleaning-related television show like Queer Eye or a podcast while I rifle through lost objects and confusing sets of keys.

Another form of reorganization you can try is reorganizing all your furniture. Maybe, you’ll even find out you like your bed or couch in a completely different spot.

Complete a Puzzle

If you have one lying around that’s still in its plastic wrapping or that has not been dusted off since you were a kid, it might be a good time to pull it out.

What used to be considered a tedious waste of time may now be a life saver. Puzzles can also be completed while listening to music or playing a new television show in the background.

If you don’t want to order a puzzle online, there are a lot of puzzle apps that are available on smartphones and tablets.

My absolute favorite puzzle game available on iOS and Android is Monument Valley as well as Monument Valley 2. However, there are a lot of different puzzle games in the app store ranging from more traditional to innovative and forward-thinking.

Although the apps lacks the same tactile feel, they are time-consuming, and at this point, that’s all you really need.

Board Games or Cards

If you’re locked away with roommates, family or your significant other, a board game could be a great way to pass the time. I have played games of Monopoly or Phase Ten that have lasted hours.

Also, board games are not like you remember them as a child. There are tons of different games available that were thought up by creative thinkers. Some have beautiful art and intriguing stories while others force you to fess up your inner thoughts.

Even if you’re self-quarantining or social distancing all by yourself, card games like solitaire and board games such as Arkham Horror can be played by one person.

In addition to ordering them online, you can also get your hands on a board game at King’s Landing Games at 1427 S. Valley Mills Dr. For the time being, they will bring the board game out to your car if necessary so that you don’t even have to enter the building.


With everything going on in the world right now, there are probably a lot of thoughts and emotions running through your mind. Writing your thoughts down can be helpful and lead you to process them in a healthier way.

However, journaling isn’t necessarily just writing. Today, many people fill their journals with drawings, lists and souvenirs.

There is also a certain focus on aesthetics when it comes to journaling. Some people use bullet journals for a more organized and set-out look or blank paper journals so they can engage in a more free form and creative journaling process.

Although some people may assume journaling can only be done in fancy Moleskines, there are several other beautiful journals out there that can fit a variety of preferences. Some cheaper options that I prefer include “Paperage Dotted Notebooks” that sell for about $7 to $8 on Amazon.

However, you really don’t even need a special notebook to start journaling. A blank sheet of paper, a lined paper ripped from a notebook or an empty document on your computer could be just what you need to start journaling.