Surviving the Isolation: A Beginner’s Guide – Nicole (Ecuador)

One would think that being an international student is hard enough. However, right now with all classes online and all restaurants and shops closed, it can get tough staying sane while protecting your health in isolation. If you want to not only survive this period of time but also enjoy it and relax, here are some things you can do to not lose your mind:

  1. Go for a walk around Tartu

With the spring weather slowly warming up the city, take a chance and go discover the parts of Tartu that you haven’t seen yet, or enjoy taking a stroll around your favourite street. If you want to enjoy an hour or two of wandering around town, here are some places you can explore:

Emajõgi and Anne Canal Riverside

Photo credit: Like a Local

Nothing more relaxing than enjoying the beautiful landscape of the “Mother River” while walking for the very well-kept paths along the river, connecting to the park bordering the Anne Canal. Watch the birds enjoy the water and enjoy the light rays of sun hitting your skin as you watch the water flow scurrying all your isolation worries away.

Colorful neighborhoods and street art

Photo credit: Road Affair

You have already seen them, but you can’t get enough of them! The charming and bohemian houses in Karlova and Supilinn are worth visiting again and again. And the colorful art adorning the walls and the little wooden houses are just waiting for you to go and have an Instagram-worthy photoshoot with your phone, and maybe a selfie-stick. Forget all about being alone while sharing a piece of Tartu’s street masterpieces with all your friends on social media and bring a smile to someone who misses you on the other side of the world.

Park tour

Photo credit: Like a Local

Tartu is full of parks. Big and small, we have them all, and chances are that wherever you are in the city, you have a park within a few minute walking distance. Take advantage of all the light that comes with spring days and explore Tähtvere park. Breath fresh air and admire how the trees bloom again while strolling through Vanemuise park. Just don’t forget to bring your umbrella!

  1. Connect online with friends and family

Isn’t it sad that we can see our friends as much as we used to lately? Well, invite them to play with you without putting your and their health at risk. There are tons of online multiplayer games that you can try right now: feel like drawing, try skribbl.io; want to challenge your geography enthusiast friend, then try Geoguessr or Geotastic; just want to have a nice time and laugh a little, then try one of the board games at boardgamesonline.net! The possibilities are infinite, so look for your favourite and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones without leaving home.

Photo credit: Pexels

If playing isn’t your thing, or you are just tired of winning every time, try watching a movie or a show with your family or friends using Teleparty!

And if no one is available when you are craving some social time, you can always try joining a community online. There are a lot of Facebook and other social media groups where you can interact with others with similar interests, and you can also join Discord servers of cool people who also love the activity you love.

  1. Spend time with yourself.

Finally, and one of the hardest things to do during this time is actually enjoying your time alone. Use this time to get to know yourself all over again. Are you still the same person you were before this crazy apocalyptic pandemic started? Have you grown, have you changed?

The truth is you can use this time to read that book you have been putting off because you were too busy; you can now watch that show that everyone was telling you about a few months ago; and finally, you can start meditating or journaling or whatever it is that you have been telling yourself to do for some time.

Photo credit: Pexels

Whatever you choose to do, just remember that just because you are taking it easy and finally getting some time off, it doesn’t mean you are wasting time or being lazy. Your well-being and mental health are important, so don’t use isolation as an excuse to stop taking care of yourself.