OPINION: Stay busy and stay active

Social distancing doesn’t mean students can’t work out, stay active



There’s no shortage of things for Cougs to do to stay active and occupied.


The pandemic has put the whole world on lockdown, and states across America have issued stay-at-home mandates. Since the shutdown in March, people have struggled to find activities to entertain themselves while staying home, so staying busy is very important.

Chris Dickey, WSU tuba and euphonium instructor, said learning to play an instrument is a great way to spend one’s time.

“There is tremendous joy that one gets out of playing an instrument,” Dickey said. “It is fun. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”

Learning how to play an instrument is very therapeutic for people. It is relaxing and a lot of funbut learning how to play an instrument is also a pretty daunting task. As a guitar player myself, it seems like there are infinite amounts of scales to learn and too many chords to keep track of.

“Take some steps to ensure you take the right path,” Dickey said. “That path might take you a while, and you might take small baby steps, but at least do what you can do get that ball rolling in the right direction.”

Dickey said people should play an instrument that resonates with what they like to listen to. He also said that music is highly personalized and can be used as an outlet for emotion.

Picking up an instrument is an intimidating thing to do. When I first started playing guitar, I expected to rip through “Eruption” or “All Along the Watchtower” right away, but it is a very long and slow process. Ensuring that you make a conscious effort to get better every day — and most importantly — learning to be patient and not giving up when it gets hard, will assist your efforts in mastering an instrument.

Another way to stay busy during quarantine is getting exercise and staying active.

Kinesiology professor Phillip Morgan said it’s important to stay active all the time, while making sure social distancing guidelines are followed. He said there are many benefits of staying active and eating healthy, and that a well-balanced diet and a good exercise regiment makes for a very healthy lifestyle.

“If you exercise, there is a whole host of physiological benefits, mental and emotional,” Morgan said.

When you exercise hard and push yourself through, the end result is feeling truly relaxed, he said. Routine is always important, but Morgan said having a sense of consistency during a time of crisis can help people have a sense of control.

Going outside and going for a walk or a run can help clear the mind and is a great way to stay in shape. The Student Recreation Center at WSU is open for students, but reservations must be made in advance on the SRC website.

Staying occupied during the current stay-at-home mandates can be tough, but it’s very important. Learning new skills and staying active are two great ways to keep busy. Perseverance, patience and routine are three key aspects to success.

“In the end … if you are able to move, move,” Morgan said.