As Netflix streaming became monotonous and Facebook a dreadful exercise, millions of Indians took to balconies across cities on Day 1 of the 21-day COVID-19 lockdown to stay fit, read books, play Tambola and finish homework in a community session.
Fitness trainers fixed smartphones on tri-pods in balconies early in the morning and began training sessions on Facebook Live as others joined him from their homes.
Teachers were seen joining kids from their balconies in several localities where there was not much distance between houses, imparting daily lessons as kids patiently sat on chairs and beanbags. The popular game of Tambola was played in several areas, with videos going viral of players shouting from their balconies.
"It was great to see kids doing exercises simultaneously in their balconies in the morning, encouraging people like us to do the same. We have to evolve innovative ways to keep us entertaining as well as learning in these tough times," Onkar Sharma, 42, who lives in an upscale society in Noida Sector 143, told IANS.
WhatsApp Groups became active when it came to teaching while several parents put their kids on online learning apps to utilise the time as schools are closed.
"The key to spending time at home is to use this time meaningfully. Maintain a good sleep hygiene and get some physical exercise at home. Spend quality time with friends and family, whether face to face or through phones and video calls," Dr Samir Parikh, Psychiatrist and the Director of the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, told IANS.
Make personal goals for the day -- invest in a hobby or learn a new skill.
"Engage in household chores you may not have found time to do earlier. At the same time, even if there is no imminent work, use this time to reflect on your long-term goals and prepare for the future," he added.
This lockdown period can be utilized by involving in various activities, even people can be seen expressing on social media that now they have enough time to do something creative and spend more time with family members.
"It is a good time for self introspection and reflect and develop a positive approach, as there was a time till just few days back that people used to complain that they don't get enough time for other things in life," said Dr Shruti, Consultant, Psychiatrist, Narayana Hospital, Gurugram Instead of thinking about managing finance for upcoming days, be grateful that you have a house and other required things to survive for upcoming many days, and start appreciating small things in life.
"Inconvenience in this time cannot be counted as problem as people infected from this virus are facing bigger problems and we are safe. Keep yourself well informed, do regular exercises at home like yoga and other free hand exercise, eat healthy and don't let your spirit down," she told IANS.
This is an unprecedented situation for most of us, and while it's difficult to be prepared for such eventualities, it's important to learn from them.
"Even as the country is self-isolating, the need of the hour is altruism compassion - not to hoard essential supplies, spread false rumours or create panic. If we as a country can fulfil this role, we will emerge from it a more resilient people," Parikh noted.