Social distancing is tough. The days are long, and the hours can seem to drag by. During this tough time, it’s important to listen to your needs. Some days you’ll be motivated to completely reorganize your closets, and, other days, getting out of bed will seem like a victory. Both are ok! If you do need ideas on how to fill your time during quarantine, we have some suggestions.
Be a Gamer
Playing online games with friends has become very popular. And if you pair it with a Zoom ‘meeting,’ then you can see your friends as well.
The great thing about puzzles—crossword, jigsaw, Sudoku—is that they both take up time and stimulate your brain.
Rediscover the Great Outdoors
Thank goodness we are social distancing in the spring when the weather is warming up and flowers are blooming. Going outside for even a few minutes every day can cheer you up while also giving you a break from looking at the same old ‘scenery’ in your house. Here are some ideas on how to spend your time outdoors.
Hammock – Have a hammock? Spend some time in it. Don’t have a hammock? Order one! They are great for rest, relaxation, and naps.
Garden – Pull weeds. Dig holes. Nurture something beautiful.
Sprinkler – Turn on the sprinkler and run through it with your kids and/or dogs.
Go camping – Set up your tent in your backyard and camp out under the stars. S’ mores are a must!
Reading, Writing, and Drawing
Read – Yes! Read a book you’ve meant to start. Don’t have a new book in your library? If you have an electronic reader like a Kindle or a Nook, you can check out books from your local library using the Libby app.
Journal – This is a strange and unique time. If you put your thoughts and feelings down on paper, chances are you’ll want to reread what you had to say in a few years. Don’t express yourself well with words? Draw instead.
Mother’s Day is coming up – Write your mom a letter or poem.
Websites that you’ve bookmarked – How many times have you bookmarked a site or article thinking that you’ll come back to it and read it later? Now’s the time to catch up on your bookmarked reading.
Pick a kids’ series to read and watch – There are lots of children’s book series that have been made into movies. Alternate reading the book series with your kids and then watch the movie or television series.
Lists – Do you like to make lists? Make a gratitude list. Make a list of all the places you want to visit. Make a list of your dreams for your life. Just make sure that all of your lists have a positive intention.
Coloring books – They’re not just for kids!
YouTube Lessons – YouTube has a wealth of free instruction videos. Want to learn to knit, dance, play an instrument, draw calligraphy, etc.? Chances are, YouTube has videos to help you get on the right track.
Learn a new language, or at least a few useful phrases – Download Duolingo, or a similar app, and practice your pronunciation. This will be a great skill to have once we’re out of quarantine and traveling again!
Meditation and Breathing Exercises – Stress and anxiety can get to us all right now. Download a meditation or breathing app and listen once a day.
Take a bath – Remember baths? Hot water is perfect for tight, tense muscles. Add Epsom salts for an extra-relaxing soak. Light a few candles, add soothing music, and a glass of wine, and you’ve got a complete spa experience!
Sleep. Nap. Repeat.
Deep condition your hair and hands – We’ve all been washing our hands a lot, but quite a few of us are avoiding washing our hair. Take time to rub a moisturizing lotion or oil into your hands to combat dryness. Wash your hair and allow the conditioner to soak into your hair for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy your soft, manageable hair after the conditioner is washed out.
Food during quarantine can be complicated. Sometimes you want something simple and quick, while other days you want to cook elaborate meals and spoil your family with homemade baked goods.
Five-ingredient dinners – Search for ‘5 ingredient dinners’ online, and you will be amazed at the number of recipe options that come up, making mealtime both easy and delicious.
Charcuterie board – Fancy charcuterie boards at restaurants can be the perfect appetizer or even meal. Create your own delicious board at home just from the things in your pantry and fridge. Cheese, olives, pickles, pickled vegetables, bread, crackers, chutney – the list goes on and on.
Bake – Nothing says comfort like homemade baked goods. Whether you try something new or bake an old favorite, baking is good for the soul – and the stomach!
Recreate favorite restaurant meals – Try to cook something from scratch that you would typically get at a restaurant – pizza, burgers, nachos!
Easy Recipes – You can even look at some of our favorite recipes.
Move your body
Find out what you like. Maybe you think you hate exercise, but what you really hate is the gym or lifting weights or traditional fitness classes. Try bike riding or dancing or Tai Chi! There are endless ways to move your body that make you feel great. Figure out how you like to move.
Go for a walk or a bike ride.
Take a free YouTube fitness class or download a fitness app.
Dance around the house to your favorite upbeat music – a guaranteed mood lifter. You could even learn a TikTok dance!
Stretch. Feeling tight? Work on your flexibility. What’s great about stretching is that you can put on your favorite TV or radio program and be entertained while you stretch.
Zoom. Skype. FaceTime. Google Hangouts. Use technology to connect and chat with your friends and family members. It’s so important to laugh and connect with other people.
Play! With your dogs, kids, partner, cats – just play!
Organize closets and drawers. Clean up your computer bookmarks and files.
Make a keep, donate, and throw away pile.
Call an expert. There are some chores and home fixes that can only be done by a professional. Just be sure that anyone you hire is taking necessary precautions to protect you and their staff during the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, at Stuart Pro, we are wearing shoe covers, masks, and latex gloves, sanitizing hands and tools before each job, and maintaining a social distance – no signature required. Payment by phone is also an option if needed.
Doing chores doesn’t have to be a drag. Subscribe to a podcast or two (almost all podcasts are free) and be entertained while you cross things off of your to-do list.
Sometimes the quickest way to feel better is to help someone else.
Donate to a food bank.
Shop for an older person.
Buy gift cards from your favorite local businesses to help keep them through difficult times.
Don’t pressure yourself. There are many hours in the day and an infinite number of ways to fill them. Some days will be busy, and others will not. Find what works for you and your family, and remember to be kind to yourself.