Self-isolation self-improvement

You have plenty of time on your hands now, so why not use it to your advantage? There are plenty of ways to better yourself, or at least do some things you'd otherwise not have the time for.


Update your LinkedIn/resume

It’s true that it will be hard to find a job while everything is shut down. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start prepping for a future job search now! If you’ve never made a LinkedIn profile, now is a great time to familiarize yourself with the site and make connections. If you already have an account, take this time to update it. Have you taken on any more responsibilities at work in the past year? Joined any clubs or started volunteering? These are all great things to add to your profile. If you’re unsure how to set up your LinkedIn profile, check out Josephine's tips and tricks. You can also take this time to shape up your resume. This way, you’ll be ready for when you can begin job hunting in earnest.


Complete free online courses and certifications

There are plenty of free certifications you can complete from the comfort of your bedroom, basement, kitchen, or wherever you’re holed up. If you’re interested in career development, the Bissett Student Success Centre has shared a bunch of resources on its Facebook page. I’m most excited by the Google Analytics courses and the Free Code Camp. Aside from improving your workplace skills, you can also complete Psychological First Aid training, take a course on The Science of Well-Being from Yale, or even get ordained by the Universal Life Church!


Organize your files

OK, I might just be a dork, but I find it super-satisfying to get all my files in order at the end of the semester. If you’re one of those people who only names their essays “dghjskdhg.doc” and then wonders why you can’t find those important documents, you can use this time to sort everything out. This is a great task for more low-key days, since you can easily do it while listening to music or watching TV. Plus, you’ll probably find some files you no longer need that will help clear some storage space. This doesn’t need to only happen on your computer, either. If you save all your class papers like I do, go through them and weed out what you really want to keep from those handouts that should have been recycled a while ago.


Consume informative media

This might feel like a cheat, because it’s more passive than a lot of the other things on the list. It’s still a good way to de-stress while learning something new. Lots of public libraries (like those in Halifax) have Overdrive partnerships, so you can borrow e-books or audiobooks without having to go outside. You could learn about the history of humanity with Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, understand the adaptive unconscious through Malcom Gladwell’s Blink, or overhaul your routine with Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. If listening is more your thing, there are plenty of great educational podcasts like Every Little Thing, Stuff You Should Know, and This American Life. The options are endless!


Take up a hobby

Maybe you’re not ready to take on a big project all at once. That’s OK! Your time might be improved by doing a little something every day. One option is meditation, which has been proven to reduce stress and manage anxiety. There are many guided meditation videos on YouTube, and apps like Headspace and Calm are providing free meditation exercises in the wake of COVID-19. If sitting still isn’t your thing, you could also take this time to try a new form of at-home exercise, which is also proven to help your mental health. If you’re looking for other hobby ideas, Leeanne made a list of her favourites, many of which you can do at home.