When I was a kid on summer vacation, it seemed like I had unlimited time with next to no responsibilities. I had hours to play outside or play video games or read books, and it didn’t really matter because I didn’t have a job or bills I had to worry about.
With self-isolation, quarantine, and shelter-in-place laws, millions of people are finding themselves at home with seemingly nothing to do. Many people are still working from home or have been deemed “essential” – like my healthcare sisters and brothers. On our days off, nights, and weekends, however, we are restricted from going out and having fun.
Author Ruth Burke has a quote, that “only boring people get bored.” I would argue that so many of us are used to such busy lives that we don’t even have the opportunity to get bored.
Right now we are being given an opportunity to slow down, reflect, and grow.
If you are being isolated at home by yourself, it is especially important to stay productive so that you don’t feel depressed and alone. Instead of letting ourselves become bored, anxious, and lazy, here are 20 ideas for how to spend your 2020 quarantine.
1. Maintain a Routine
This is one of the most important suggestions I can give you. Keep your alarms set, wake up at a regular time everyday, and go to bed at a decent time. Maintain your usual meal schedule, and don’t let yourself submit to mindless snacking. And yes, unfortunately, this means putting on pants… real pants.
Maintaining a routine will help you stay productive, focused, and fulfilled. This will allow your body and mind to stay aligned and prevent you from feeling so discombobulated.
2. Do Some Spring Cleaning
Now is a prime opportunity to deep clean your house. Not only will this help you kill any germs that might be lingering around, you will also feel great after you see how your house looks when it’s really clean. Take this opportunity to Marie Kondo the crap out of your house and clear out all of your unused stuff taking up space.
3. Rearrange Your Furniture
Start with one room and try out a new arrangement and decorate with stuff you already have in your house. Try a little feng shui. Changing up a room with a few simple rearrangements can make it feel like a brand new place!
4. Train Your Dog
Now that you’re spending more time at home, do you notice that your dog barks a lot at the smallest disturbance outside? Has there been a trick you’ve always wanted to train your dog to do like shake or rollover? Grab some treats and get started with your furry companion. Just remember to be patient and if you get stuck, Youtube some dog training videos. This youtuber, Zak George, has tons and tons of great videos to get you started. He has lots of videos you can do with your dog at home, too!
5. Have a Date Night
Lots of couples are being quarantined together. Hopefully, this is a time when you get to enjoy spending extra time together. Unfortunately, sometimes the extra time can lead to increasing slight annoyances with each other. A fun date night can be just the thing your relationship needs to keep that flame ignited.
Read my post: 10 BEST At Home Date Night Ideas
6. Try a YouTube Workout
Closed gym got you feeling down? No problem! There are literally thousands of at home workouts you can get for free on YouTube. Whether you want to do yoga, a HIIT class, abs, or whatever, you’ll be able to find plenty of material. Try one of these great at home workouts from this YouTube playlist Sweat with SELF.
7. Play a Video Game
When I was younger I used to spend hours playing video games. As an adult I always feel like it is a waste of time and unproductive. Now is a perfect time to pick up a new game and check it out. Video games have actually been shown to improve problem solving skills and teamwork. If you play an online multiplayer game, you can get some human interaction with other people playing at the same time.
Read this NY Times Opinion Piece: It’s a Perfect Time to Play Video Games.
8. Binge Watch a Good TV Series
While I definitely advocate for being creative and productive, it can be good and healthy to veg out and let your brain rest… for a little bit. Watch a new show or re-watch one of your favorites. Watch whatever suits your fancy, but right now, I would recommend avoiding anything zombie or apocalypse related.
9. Read a Book
If you’re anything like me, you probably have a whole list of books that you’ve been meaning to read but didn’t feel like you had the time. Well, now’s your opportunity! With the libraries all closed, acquiring books can be pretty cost prohibitive. A resource that I absolutely love is OverDrive which allows you to connect to your local library and download FOR FREE thousands of ebooks and audiobooks.
10. Better Yet, WRITE a Book
Do you have a story to tell or specialized knowledge that you want to share with the world? Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and just start writing. Don’t worry about it being perfect, just get something down and you can revise it later. The more you write the better you’ll get – or at least that’s what I tell myself!
11. Learn a New Skill
12. Practice an Old Skill
Do you have an old instrument lying around or some knitting needles you haven’t touched in ages? Take this time to hone your skills and get back into the hobbies you used to enjoy doing but didn’t have enough time for.
13. Start a DIY or Craft Project
The Do-It-Yourself movement has become super popular over the past few years. It’s a super fun way to learn how to make things yourself and you get to feel super accomplished when you’re all done. Use resources like the diynetwork to find ideas!
14. Finish or Start Your House Projects
Start your garden for spring now by getting your seedlings started. Put the final touches on your bathroom remodel that you’ve been meaning to get to. Paint your bedroom a new, bright color. I’m sure there is at least one project you can think of in your house that you’ve been procrastinating – now you just gotta go do it!
15. Start Studying
Is there a certification or licensure that would help boost your resume or advance your career? Now is the perfect time to start working on continuing education credits or to further your depth of knowledge in your field. When you go back to work, surprise everyone with how much you’ve learned.
16. Revitalize Porch Culture
Set up some deck chairs and hang out on your porch or stoop with a glass of lemonade. Not only will you be getting some fresh air and sunlight, but you can also wave to your neighbors as they pass by. This is a great way to get a little bit of socializing without breaking your social distancing.
17. Go for a Walk or Run
While we are trying to reduce the overall time we are spending out of the house, walking outside or running can help us stay active and healthy. Unless you are in a densely populated area, it should be easy enough to avoid/dodge other people in your path. If you find that there are too many people out at one time, try going at a different time like earlier in the morning or later at night – thankfully the sun is up later into the evenings now!
18. Plan for Your Dream Job
Revise your resume or CV, hop on LinkedIn, and check out some companies that would be your dream job. Do a little research about what makes that company great or what employees say about the work environment. Really take a close look at the mission statement and values in order to formulate responses on how you align with them.
If you want to be your own boss and make the rules, plan your own business. Learn how to create a business plan, formulate your target audience, and start making content.
That’s it, that’s the idea – just create something, anything. Work on a drawing or a painting, start a blog, write in a journal, plant a garden. It doesn’t really matter what it is. You will feel so accomplished and cool when you look at your creation. Send me a picture of whatever you come up with!
I saved this one for last because it is honestly the most important. We don’t need to be physically present to be able to connect to our loved ones. Technology has given us so many modes of communication and right now I am so thankful for it. Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or just telephone or text are great ways to connect with people. If you’re feeling lonely, I can guarantee you know others that are, too. Loneliness and isolation can lead to depression and reclusion.
Make a list of people close to you and contact them every day. Check in with them, make sure they have enough food and supplies, make sure they are emotionally holding up. Support each other and lift each other up.
Adversity and hardship can be opportunities for growth in disguise.
This is a crazy time in our lives. Be one of the ones that comes out of this experience stronger and better. Use this time to create and develop and connect.
Share this list with someone you think could use some ideas for how to spend their time.
And always remember to comment below on how you’ve used these ideas! Connect with me on social media.
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