February 25, 2021

Since lockdown, many people have been stuck on what to do to keep themselves occupied. Some have resorted to crafting, while others have begun renovating their entire house. 

Two students, Ayryk Labib and Ricardo Arizpe, have been doing their best to keep busy while at home.

Labib is a first-year student, studying Architecture at Conestoga College. He is quarantined with his family, in Kitchener, Ont. Labib has found it quite easy to stay occupied during quarantine, holding onto hope that COVID-19 won’t last forever.

Ayryk Labib walking on a street in Kitchener, Ont. 
Photo By: Alicia Narain

“I’ve worked on school, watched Netflix and YouTube, and play video games to make the time go by,” he said.

A study was conducted to research the effects that the pandemic has had on student’s physical activity, diet, and sedentary behaviour. 

The study found that only 10 per cent of Canadian adults are meeting daily physical activity recommendations (150 minutes per day). Physical activity reduced by 20 per cent, while sedentary activities grew to 30 per cent.  

“The pandemic has affected me physically. I had intentions to go back to the gym, but the lockdown came right as I wanted to do so,” Labib said. 

Arizpe, a second-year student studying Honours Chemistry at the University of Waterloo, has made use of the outdoors during this time to keep his physical health on track. 

“My physical health has maintained steady as I have developed a custom of exercising at home and going out for runs,” he said.

Ricardo Arizpe, pictured in front of a pond in Kitchener.
Photo By: Emma Bedessee

When Ontario came out with news of a second lockdown, Arizpe says he was not surprised.

“Emotionally, I felt nervous and frustrated. I’m stuck at home almost every day and focusing purely on school. I got a part-time job in clothing retail, but due to restrictions, I lost my job. It feels like life is rotating around school, all day, every day,” he said. 

Students’ mental health is being affected too. Post-secondary life is usually a great time to go out and meet new people. It’s typically encouraged at this time in a young adult’s life. However, since the pandemic, students have not been able to do so as much. This can have an impact on mental health. 

Arizpe says, “Mentally, I feel down. I am very social and love to be around people. With the pandemic, my social life has decreased and it has been hard to get used to being at home all the time.” 

How to stay busy during lockdown:

  1. Discover new recipes
  2. Try out a TikTok trend
  3. Make “Do It Yourself” crafts 
  4. Decorate your house
  5. Create a Pinterest vision board for your future
  6. Work on your green thumb, especially with Spring around the corner
  7. Read self-help books
  8. Journal, possibly learn the art of gratitude journaling
  9. Connect with loved ones through video calls 
  10. Play board games with those you’re in lockdown with

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