How To Stay Sane While You're self-isolating in Hong Kong | Liv

Just because you’re self-isolating, it doesn’t mean you have to go on a month-long Netflix binge (although if that’s what you need to do to keep you sane, we are here for it!). Here are a few simple suggestions on things you can do to keep your mind, body and soul in shape while you’re stuck indoors.

Enrich Yourself

Learn a skill 

Take your pick from online courses and tutorials to learn something new. Platforms such as Udemy, General Assembly, Ted-Ed, Get Smarter, Skillshare and Duolingo offer free or paid short courses that allow you to brush up your skills, whether it’s graphic design, photography, languages or even how to change a car tyre. 

Catch up on documentaries

Sure, bingeing a decade’s worth of “Friends” is tempting, but you could also use this self-isolating time to finally get to those documentaries you’ve been meaning to watch. 

Download a new podcast

Thought-provoking, educational or just plain hilarious, podcasts are where new ideas are shaped. If the endless news cycle is getting you down, give your brain a boost with a podcast instead.

Sort Your Life Out

Digital declutter

Time to delete old apps and photos from your laptop or phone, unsubscribe from unwanted mailing lists, and sort all your digital documents. It’s boring, but so worth it when you free up all that storage space. 

Have a clear-out 

Always wanted to reorganise your wardrobe, Marie Kondo your paperwork, and cull the clutter? Now’s your chance!

Read more: how to embrace minimalism in Hong Kong

Sort out your will 

A bit morbid, but this is one of those “mañana” tasks that you’re better off tackling now. 

Do a financial audit

This is an excellent opportunity to go through your bank statements and get a clear picture of your incomings and outgoings. 

Read more: everything you need to know about Financial Wellness

Find a Hobby

Get arty

Load up on arts supplies and discover your inner crafter. Whether it’s cross stitch, water colours, scrapbooking or making miniature dioramas of Hong Kong street scenes, there’s a craft out there for you.

Read more: in Hong Kong, crafting is the new mindfulness

Get (or stay) fit 

There are literally hundreds of apps, websites, YouTube channels and IG accounts dedicated to offering free fitness programmes. Pick one you like and set aside an hour each day to work up a sweat. 

Finally write that book

Or blog, or Wikipedia page, or Harry Potter fanfiction. Whatever floats your boat. 

Try out new recipes 

Follow your favourite chefs or recipe blogs/IG accounts, and get creative in the kitchen.

Take Care of your Mental Health

Reconnect with friends 

Have a lunch date over Skype, write old-fashioned letters to relatives overseas, or have a four-way conference over wine. While we are self-isolating, we need to check in with each other more than ever. 

Practice stillness

Feel like you’re going nuts? Meditation apps like Headspace or Insight Timer can help quiet those racing thoughts.  

Practice an attitude of gratitude

It might be tough right now, but it’s worth taking a moment to write down the things you feel grateful for.

Read less news

While it’s important to stay aware of the current situation, bingeing on a stream of doom-laden articles isn’t good for your mental health. Pick a few trusted sites and try to limit your check-ins. 


If all of these ideas just feel like an unattainable nightmare of self-improvement claptrap, here are our alternative suggestions:

Amen to ramen

Have a competition with your Whatsapp group to see who can make the weirdest meal out of instant noodles. Ramen sandwich, ramen bake, superfood ramen salad sprinkled with turmeric and quinoa… the options are endless!

Email bingo 

See if you can shoehorn the following words into your WFH out-of-office email: “henceforth,” “curtailment,” “hunker,” “apocalypse” and “synergy.”

Get drunk and go Amazon shopping 

What surprises will arrive on your doorstep in 2-4 weeks? Only time will tell!

Find out once and for all whether human hair is self-cleaning

Spoiler alert: it’s not!

Quarantine cocktail hour

What exciting drinks can you make with a selection of weird liquors left over from Christmas 2015, a shrivelled up cucumber, and a tin of pineapple chunks you found in the back of the cupboard? Self-isolating cocktails for the win!

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