You hear the word ‘quarantine’ and automatically hear the long list of things we’re not allowed to do these days. But perhaps you should think of all the opportunities this slower lifestyle offers. Instead of sitting around worrying about coronavirus or feeling lonely, use your downtime to learn new skills, pamper yourself and reconnect with what makes you happy.
Just remember: it’s called downtime for a reason. So, don’t see this list as pressure or guilt to be productive every single moment but simply some ideas of things to do to get you through this tough time with your sanity intact.
Connect with your quarantined ancestors
This is certainly not the first pandemic the world has had to deal with and chances are you have a great-great-grandparent who lived through the 1918 flu pandemic. Find out more about their story and how they survived it through pictures, journal entries and historical records. You can also find out more about your personal ancestry, which dead celebrities you’re related to, which relative you look the most like, how closely you’re related to your spouse or friend, and much more.
Meditation is one of the best things you can do right now to relieve stress and improve your wellbeing. If you’re like the rest of us, you sit down, try to ‘quiet’ your mind… and then say “Well, now what?” Download Aura app, an app that walks you through meditation and mindfulness.
Set up a home movie theatre
Movie theatres around the country are closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your cinematic fix. At-home movie projectors have gotten a lot smaller and less expensive in recent years, allowing you to project a new release or family-friendly classic on any blank wall. Pop up some popcorn, set up the pillows, and enjoy the show!
Write in a journal
Sitting at home binge watching Tiger King on Netflix may not feel like you’re doing much, but you’re actually living through a major historical event that people will learn and talk about for generations after this is all over. Writing a journal will help you not just preserve your memories but will also help you process your feelings about this time that manages to feel simultaneously terrifying and immensely boring. You could also consider making it a gratitude journal.
Knit a bad hair day beanie
Needle arts used to be a staple for passing the time while making something useful and pretty. You can learn to knit, cross-stitch, embroider, crochet, or tatt with a beginner kit!
Plant a container garden
Just because you have to stay indoors doesn’t mean you can’t get started on your gardening. Bring the outdoors in by sprouting seeds or planting a container garden. Bonus: you can use your fresh herbs in your amazing healthy dishes you’re learning to cook.
Learn a new language
Want to know how to say, ‘quarantine stinks’ in five other languages? Now is a great time to learn or practice a new language. Duolingo is an easy-to-use, totally free app that gives daily lessons in 35 different languages. You can pick a standard like English, Spanish, or Cantonese, or you can branch out with Navajo, Esperanto and Klingon or High Valyrian (we’re not kidding).
Perfect your cat eye with liquid eyeliner
Drawing a smooth even cat eye with liquid eyeliner is some advanced makeup skills. Then, once you figure it out, you have to replicate it exactly on the other eye! Nobody has time for that on a busy morning rushing out the door for work – but now that you’re only commuting to your bedroom you have plenty of time to experiment.
Take the best bath ever
Bath lovers rejoice: self-quarantining is the perfect opportunity to take the long, luxurious bath of your dreams. You can even soak all day if you like! All you need is a good book, a favourite beverage, and some yummy-smelling bath products!
Fortify your immune system with green juice
Whipping up a produce-packed smoothie or a green juice may be too much work on a normal morning but what is normal anymore? These days it’s more important than ever to support your immune system and your waistline with plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies.
Take a (virtual) world tour
Ever wanted to see the Alps up close? Hike Machu Picchu? Stroll through Barcelona? You can do all that without worrying about spreading disease through virtual tours.
Upgrade an old shirt with tie-dyeing
Tie-dyeing isn’t just for kids or people who never outgrew the ’70s – it’s a versatile art form that is fun and easy to do. Upgrade a T-shirt, pair of leggings, baby onesie, hat or any other cotton item.
Stretch and strengthen with yoga
Do Yoga with Me is offering its high-definition yoga videos for free during the pandemic. They have classes ranging from stress-relieving breathing exercises to popular yoga poses to regular flows – no prior experience (or flexibility!) required.