Staying at home in isolation is a challenge for most of us. Here are 20 ideas to keep yourself busy, productive, active, and positive. We're all in this, and we'll get through that!
Quarantine life can be pretty hard: We can't see friends or family, we can't go out more than a few blocks from home, and sometimes it feels like there's nothing more to do! It's hard to not feel lonely during quarantine, and it's even harder not getting bored! To top that off, the amount of negative news regarding to Covid-19 we see every day can make us feel depressed, worried, and even anxious.
I know it sounds hard, but let's focus on the positive aspects of this first. When will we ever again have so much time for ourselves? Enjoy the fact that your schedule is cleared, there are no alarms, no appointments, you got all this time now, focus on yourself and learn new things. This actually can be a blessing. Embrace it!
Nobody knows when we'll get the Coronavirus under control, and when isolation and self quarantine will end. I created a list of 20 things to keep your mind active, push bad thoughts away and avoid feeling bored during quarantine. Let's get started!
01. Video call your friends and family
Loneliness is a silent monster. Sometimes it will make us feel sad and we won't even know why. In fact, when we are lonely it is easier to isolate ourselves even more than to try and solve the problem. To avoid loneliness during quarantine, set up a weekly call with friends or family. Keep the date and time in your calendar so that you don't find an excuse to miss it!
WhatsApp is great for basic video calls (you can even invite more than one person), and if you want something more sophisticated, Zoom is an amazing app that allows you to talk to multiple people at once!
02. Try new recipes (with a focus on healthy food!)
How about improving your cooking skills? If you're having a hard time stress eating during quarantine, try switching processed foods for healthy things. Instead of cookies and chocolate, eat fruits. When doing pasta, use whole wheat. Replace white bread with whole wheat, and swap white rice for brown rice or quinoa. If you're hungry for no reason, drink a glass of water or snack on some fresh fruits!
If you're not creative to come up with some new recipes, my favorite app for cooking is Yummly. You can set your dietary preferences including the diet style you follow, any allergies you have, or disliked ingredients. It will show you only recipes based on your preferences. Also, BBC good food and Tasty have some excellent ideas for healthy recipes!
03. Learn a new language
There is no better time than now to learn a new language. There are one thousand different resources online to learn it, too. Duolingo is a great app where you can find daily classes for more than 30 different languages! YouTube is another place to find great video classes for many languages. My friend Anja teaches German on YouTube in a funny way.
04. Start to paint
There is a reason why painting is also considered a form of therapy: It calms our mind and improves our creativity. You can choose from watercolor, acrylic, oils, or even pastels! If you're a beginner, try using acrylic paint: It dries quickly and it's easy to use! If you are looking for painting tutorials for beginners, Serena Art has some amazing ones in her channel.
05. Work out & exercise
Any physical activity keeps our body fit but also keeps our mind sane! Whether you like to go for a run or do a workout routine at home, your body will release happy chemicals (endorphins) that make you feel good after training!
If you're looking for free workouts during quarantine, YouTube has anything and everything you could possibly be looking for. I always find great workouts in Pamela Reif's channel.
06. Bake some sweets (and share it with neighbors!)
If you have a sweet tooth, try following (or even creating!) new recipes for cakes, cupcakes, tarts and more delicious things. If you love baking but don't want to come out of quarantine with extra weight, why not do it and share some cake with your neighbors? I'm sure they would appreciate it, too! This blog post by Tasty has 51 delicious ideas of desserts for you to try.
07. Practice yoga
There are so many reasons why everyone should try yoga, especially during quarantine. Yoga encourages you to relax by working on your breathing and focusing on the present. Yoga also helps you build muscle strength and improve flexibility. There are so many different types of yoga that it's impossible to not find one you like. If you're looking for free online yoga classes during quarantine, here are some of my favorite YouTubers:
- Yoga with Adriene is one of the most amazing YouTube channels when it comes to yoga.
- Boho Beautiful is combining yoga, workout and meditation with amazing backdrop locations.
- Yoga with Kassandra focuses on Yin Yoga, which is a more relaxing practice, ideal for beginners.
08. Watch a new series
Who doesn't love to binge watch a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime? TV series have this amazing power to take us to another world, to bring us inside their stories. Watching something new is definitely a great way to relax and stay calm during quarantine. Just don't overdo it!
Personally I recommend to go with comedy series to keep your mind in a happy place. Here is a list with the funniest shows to watch on Netflix. Let me know about your favorite TV series in the comments, always looking for inspiration!
Before you say anything that you think meditation is, let me ask you: Have you actually tried it? If you think you can't stay in silence for long or you'll go crazy, I should say that there are many guided meditations to help you with anything, from sleeping better to reducing anxiety and finding focus. Meditation is a powerful way to improve our mindset and push bad feelings away. Not convinced yet? Read this article called Meditation. The single practice that will change your life forever. It did change mine.
There are plenty of brilliant apps out there to get into meditation. The ones that I use the most are Insight Timer and Simple Habit. For starters, here is a 15 minute meditation to find peace in uncertain times, by Boho Beautiful.
10. Play video games
Video games are no longer what they used to be in the past: Things that only teenagers like. In fact, nowadays there are so many types of games that you can't say you hate all of them! You can find role playing games, dancing games, team games (races, duels, etc.), cooking games, all kinds of games!
If you have a console at home (PlayStation, Xbox), try searching the web to see if you find a game you like! Oh, and if you have a computer you can also find really good computer games on the Steam Shop!
11. Read a book
Reading during quarantine can stimulate your brain, help reducing stress, expand your vocabulary, all the good things. Many people say they don't have time to read, but jeez... how long do we spend on social media every day? Trust me, I am guilty too, but one day I saw that most successful people out there have a habit of reading. Now I am trying to read more too! If you're not sure where to start, or what book to read next, here's a list of 100 fiction books to read in a lifetime.
12. Join a book club
If you like books or if you want to find something good to read, a book club is a great way to start! In book clubs you also have the benefit of interacting with people, which might help you feel less lonely during quarantine! One great book club is Dear Alyne's Book Club. Alyne is a popular content creator who is passionate about many things: One of them are books!
13. Declutter and clean your House
Quarantine is the perfect time to start looking through old clothes, random stuff and house items that you don't use anymore. Try removing things that are just piling up in your house and making you stressed! Go through your clothes and see if there are any items that you can donate for those in need!
The budget dumpster website has an amazing post on how to declutter your home. After decluttering, the next step is to clean your house during quarantine. You can use the extra time as a challenge to deep clean your house: Clean behind heavy furniture (be careful!), on top of those shelves, sweep and mop the floor, make your house shine like it is brand new again!
14. Paint, repair and redecorate your home
So now that we talked about decluttering and cleaning, another thing you can do is paint or work on some repairs at your house! Maybe it's also a good time to redecorate! Try changing the colors of your bedroom walls, or maybe fixing that tap that doesn't close right sometimes! Move your furniture around to give your home a new look and finally order those fluffy pillows that you have been wanting for so long...
15. Listen to podcasts
If you're new to the podcast world, get ready to discover a whole new way of entertainment. Podcasts are an audio-only method of content, similar to radio shows (but 100 times better), where you can actually choose what you want to listen to: Be it a cooking show, a crime show, something to lift your mood or maybe even to learn a new skill, you can find all that and more. Personally I love podcasts about entrepreneurship or anything that can help me building my business.
To get you started, here is a list with 50 podcasts to listen to right now. You can also go to Podcasts Google, download their app, choose your favorites and start listening. The great thing about podcasts is the multitasking aspect of it: you can listen to business strategies while cooking or eating your breakfast, or maybe have a comedy show playing on the background while taking a shower. Sounds good, right?
16. Write a (gratitude) journal
One of the most powerful tools to stay positive is so simple, you won't believe it. If you haven't started journaling now, I urge you to do so. Writing down every morning the things you're grateful for, will shift your mindset for the better and make you a happier person. Don' believe it? Please try it for at least one month, I promise the results will amaze you!
You can write down your thoughts in a diary, but if you're not the handwritten type, there are plenty apps to help you writing down what's on your mind. I use Presently, its a free and simple app to write down every day what I'm grateful for.
17. Make plans for the future
It's hard to see it now but the world will eventually return to normal. When that happens, what do you plan to do? Do you want to change anything in your life? Change careers? Look for a new hobby? If you start planning right now, you might have a big advantage when everything goes back to normal.
18. Write a blog
Well, now you caught me! That's exactly what I am doing! If you also love writing and have good tips and information to share, why not write a blog and keep them all in one place? Some brilliant sites that offer free platforms to start your own blog are Jimdo (which I use and recommend!), or Wordpress.
19. Create a YouTube Channel
Do you like creating content but hate writing? Then how about video making? Have you ever thought of having your own channel on YouTube? Video making is a fun way to express your voice to the world: You can talk about (almost) anything you want, and who knows, maybe you'll become a famous YouTuber in the future?
My dear friend Janet Newenham just started a new YouTube channel called Social Media Growth Hacks where she has some awesome tips for new content creators, I recommend to check it out
20. Catch up with Old Friends
Do you have school friends that you haven't talked to in ages? Or maybe an old colleague that you've been wanting to catch up with but had no time until now? Before making new friends, consider re-linking with the old ones! I'm sure you'll have lots of good memories to talk about!
Finally, these are my tips to avoid being bored during quarantine. I hope they are able to help you keep busy and feel better while self isolating! Have you tried any of them? Let me know in the comments below!
A big thanks to May who contributed this helpful blog post. May is a travel enthusiast and a storyteller. She believes that all stories matter, and all moments in life are precious. She left Brazil to live abroad and collects stories from her travels in her blog Talk to May.
Join her on Facebook for video stories or Instagram, for motivational storytelling.
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