What a strange strange place we have come to as an ENTIRE world. EVERYONE is in Quarantine in some form or another across the globe. Think about that for a moment, EVERYONE, in the ENTIRE World is fighting ONE common enemy, Novel Coronavirus, Covid-19. This is unfathomable. Our enemy is not a person, a nation, a living being of any kind (man or animal). No, it is INVISIBLE to the eye, VIRUS! Even if you lived through the two World Wars, this is a different kind of worldwide disaster (I would imagine, what do I know about what life was like living during the two world wars). But to my knowledge, no one living now has probably experienced such a global pandemic quite like this.
Everywhere you look people are home, trying to stay safe, trying to keep their loved ones safe. There are over 400,000 cases worldwide as I write this of people who have been infected with the virus. Countries are struggling to keep containment, but how do you contain something you can’t see? cant detect? cant know if you have it until you’ve already been infected with it for a while? You do your best by quarantining yourself so that you do not spread it. It has been a challenge for everyone I know and I’m sure everyone I don’t know. The challenges have come in may form, of course, the worst of it has been for those who are sick with it and in life and death conditions. For everyone else, it spans from unemployment, shortage of supplies, adjustments to new working from home conditions, anxiety, stress, coping with how to stay indoors without losing your mind, and everything in between.
While I cannot offer much in the way of a solution for most of those, I do have a list of things you could consider doing while quarantined at home. I don’t believe it is possible to be bored, not truly bored unless of course, you’ve given up on life. So, if you are treading towards boredom, you are doing something wrong. I hope the following list of things will help spark some joy in your daily routine in the new reality that we are all now living.
- Indoor Scavenger Hunt – You’ll have to get creative with this, of course.
- Puzzles – No time like the present to start on those 3000+ piece puzzles we all have but have never touched.
- Crossword Puzzles – You can find loads of printables online
- Read – Read, read, read. Read books, listen to audiobooks, download e-books; libraries are offering downloads and audiobooks even though they are physically closed, Audible is offering free audiobooks for children.
- Movies/TV Shows – Catch up on your favorite shows, watch classics or those “must watch” movies and shows you’ve never had a chance to see before. Check out Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, or just good old YouTube for viewing options.
- Board Games – When was the last time you had time for board games?! Bring them all out!
- Scrapbook or Other DIY Projects – Turn to those inner talents that have been hiding within you or accrue a new one. Michaels is offering curbside pick up for all online orders (they put it in your trunk, you can order online).
- Cook/Bake – Try a new recipe or cook an old favorite! May I recommend Half Baked Harvest and Barefoot Contessa for some inspiration?
- Podcasts – There are quite literally thousands of FREE podcasts in every conceivable genre you can think of. Don’t know where to start? How about Jay Shetty’s On Purpose?
- Meditate – There are free apps like Headspace, Calm, Aura and Live Sessions with Jay Shetty currently available on his Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.
- Yoga or other Exercises – Chris Hemsworth’s fitness company, Centr is currently offering 6 weeks free (until March 31). Go for a walk around your neighborhood (maintain at least 6′ distance).
- Coloring Books (adults and children) – Amazon is full of them coloring books for adults (and children, of course)! They are truly known to be relaxing activities. Can you remember the last time you picked up a coloring pencil?!
- Paint – Another equally relaxing thing to do at home is to paint. Grab a paper, canvas, pottery, anything and start painting. There are lots of panting guide resources available online if you don’t know where to begin.
- Sew/Knit/Crochet – With all this time on your hand, why not try out a new art skill? See how you like it?
- Hike – If you have access to a state park or are lucky enough to have a national park within a reasonable distance, head over there! Most parks are open, as long as you maintain the physical distance required to practice social distancing!
- Write/Journal – This is a tried and tested for centuries. In times of such uncertainty and first-time experience for ALL of us, journaling, writing or even voice noting (if writing isn’t your thing) is a great way to de-stress.
- Create Video/Audio Content – Ever wanted to create your own YouTube video? what about recording a podcast? maybe an Instagram live? whatever your heart has wanted to try out, now you’ve got all the time in the world to give it a whirl!
- Begin a Passion Project – Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? write a book or poetry? learn a new skill? something that’s been on your “wishlist” but never felt like you could make time to make it a reality? think of this as the ultimate silver lining for that passion right now!
- Spring Clean – No one likes to do it, no one wants to make time for it, but now you’ve got the time so you might as well get on it.
- Garden – This can be incredibly rewarding and therapeutic. I live in an apartment and began a garden in my balcony last spring and can’t wait to do it again. I don’t have a green thumb at all but I successfully grew loads of herbs and vegetables. Start with something easy!
- Write Letters or Send Cards to Friends/Families – Snail mail is very much appreciated now! So forget the email and write a letter or send a handwritten card to someone who could use a little pick me up or someone you really want to connect/reconnect with. Honestly, the list of people to send letters or cards to are endless.
- Call/Connect with Friends and Families – We have been given the gift of time as a by-product of this pandemic, use it to connect with friends and family you don’t get to prioritize. Set up family or friends group chats, do a zoom (it’s free right now) call weekly to have happy hour, tea time, the book club meets and just about anything else in between!
- Reorganize Home – This can be fun (or not), but think about reorganizing that pantry or bathroom shelf you’ve been meaning to do for… years! Rearrange your furniture for a new and refreshing look. Swap out some cushion colors and bedsheets to bring more SPRING into your home color scheme. Re-do that bookshelf in a new way. Throw out all those papers in your drawers you haven’t touched in ages (go through them first though).
- Sunbathe – This may sound kind of silly but just because you can’t be out and about, doesn’t mean you can’t bring a bit of the outdoors to you. Being in the sun for ten minutes is a good way of lowering your cholesterol. Research shows ultraviolet light converts dangerous cholesterol to vitamin D.
- Practice Stillness – Our lives are just a mish-mosh of constant go go go. Now that you are forced to stay in and stay put, practice stillness, not just physically but mentally too. Take deep breaths and even if you start at just 2 minutes a day, practice what it is like to just be STILL. It is really powerful and a great way to reset the mind and body during these stressful times in our lives.
- Learn a New Language – What a great time to pick up a new language! You can use free tutorials available online like Duolingo or sign up with Rosetta Stone.
- Pick up a New Subject – Ever wish you could’ve studied a different subject than the one you did? It’s never too late to pick up something new (it doesn’t necessarily have to be academic). Want to learn more about Oceanography? or maybe Astronomy? or maybe just more about Astrology? Whatever it is that has sparked your interest once in the past that you put away, now is a great time to delve into it.
- Self-Care Spa Days – Obviously, we cannot go to a spa, but it’s very easy to bring the spa to you. Grab your diffuser, candles, relaxing music (YouTube has tons of playlist options), favorite hair and face masks, some cucumber and boom! You’re ready to go! Don’t have masks at home? Make some with the things that are readily available in your refrigerator and pantry! Look up DIY spa treatments on Pinterest.
- Start a New Hobby – This is an excellent time to pick up a new hobby. How about candle making? Just a thought!
- Buy Chirp Wheel – Chirp Wheel is an absolutely amazing product for everyone in your life. It provides 4-way pain relief in a way no foam roller ever will! They come in three sizes (large (gentle pressure), medium (medium pressure) and small (deep pressure). Now is a great time to purchase them because they’ve lowered their prices to ease the financial burden during this time.
- Cleanup the Photos on your Phone – How often have we come to a point where our phone tells us we have no more storage space! Have 53,000 photos on your phone? Let’s organize, delete, and declutter our phone space. Get rid of apps you don’t use while you’re at it.
- Sleep – Understandably, a lot of people in the world are having difficulty sleeping. Anxiety is at an all-time high but if you’re not sleeping, you’re weakening your immune system. Find a way to get more rest. Take naps if you can’t get through a full night of sleep. Constantly sleep-deprived? Take the time you have now to create some methods to help you sleep better. Use music, sounds of nature, breathing techniques, read a book, turn off the phone, step away from all screens an hour before you intend to sleep. All of these are great ways to begin sleeping better. Just start somewhere.
- Take Online Course – This is all the craze now, especially since distant learning is at its highest than it’s ever been before! Universities (many Ivy League Schools, in fact) are all popping up with Free Online Courses. I just signed up for Yale’s Science of Well-Being course. Highly recommend it!
- Acquire New Skill — Not sure what skill you want to acquire? Just ask your AI (Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home) to help you!
- Study – If you’re in school, study. Get ahead of the subjects that have been difficult for you OR one that interests you.
- Online Shopping – If you have the financial capacity, online shopping is definitely a pastime many are enjoying. Most retailers are offering some kind of incentive to shop (waiving minimum purchase amount for free shipping, offering discounts, payment plans sans interest, etc.). It’s a great way to support small businesses in your local area or around the world who are greatly suffering due to the impact coronavirus is having on the economy. Check out Affirm (if you have never heard of them) and consider shopping through them. They offer interest-free (and low interest) payment plans at tons of online retailers.
- Video Games – I’m not personally a fan of this but hey, for everyone else that has an inner gamer inside of them, have at it – guilt-free!
- Decorate for the Season – Decorating your home, or just even a personal space in your home is a great way to connect to the season and have a visual reminder of life beyond the pandemic. The seasons are still changing, whether we are aware of it or not. Take some time to bring some Spring into your living space. After all, you’re going to be here a lot more than ever before!
- Taxes – The federal tax return deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait. Check with your state though because not all states have pushed back the deadline, yet.
- Practice Gratitude – Wake up every morning and list three things you are grateful for. Write it down or say it out loud. Grateful to be alive? to be healthy? for the weather? for your family? for the nice thing, someone said or did for you yesterday? When you live in gratitude, you cannot be anywhere else. That is the power of gratefulness. Alternatively, before going to bed, list three things that went well today. Going to bed with a grateful heart will enable you to sleep better.
- Stream Concerts – Many Performing Arts Centers are offering virtual/streaming concerts online. If you want to just watch something beautiful and peaceful, this is another method of visual aid to consider. Try the Lincoln Center as a starting place.
- Stargaze – Just look up at night. This will, of course, depend on where you live and how much light population you have, but regardless, you’ll be able to see some stars above you. Stargazing is a powerful reminder of our place in the great big universe. It can be calming and humbling. I highly recommend it!
- Delete Negative People – Get rid of negative people in your life. Now more than ever it is clear how people react in a crisis, it brings out one’s true self. Got someone racist in your life? Incompassionate? Mean? Unempathetic? GET RID OF THEM! Here and NOW!
- TikTok – When all else fails, there’s always TikTok?
If you have some unique ways you’re keeping busy, please share in the comments below. I’m sure everyone would greatly appreciate it.
Sending much love and positivity your way.
Stay Safe, Stay Home and Stay Healthy, Everyone!