It’s definitely an understatement to say that times are weird and uncertain during the Covid-19 pandemic, as the world responds with idiosyncratic practices on how to slow the spread of the virus. But one thing you do have control over is how you choose to spend your time in lockdown right now, whether you’re isolating by yourself, your family or with roommates. If you’ve run out of Netflix shows to binge, or you’re tired of waking up at 2 PM everyday, here are some tips and ideas to get you productive and enliven your everyday routine. From virtual tours of the Grand Canyon to online multiplayer games with your friends, these activities will have you entertained, informed and invigorated in no time.
1. Meditate. Meditation will relieve your stress and allows you to practice improving your wellbeing. It’ll soothe and relax you mentally and physically as you clear your headspace. To manage any coronavirus related stress, begin your mindfulness journey with life coaching apps such as Aura, Headspace or Calm.
2. Keep A Journal. What better way to organise your life and stay on top of your schedule than to jot it down onto paper. You can try habit tracking, mood tracking or count calories to process your lifestyle and even make improvements. This is a good way to preserve and externalise your memories, perhaps to tell the grandkids one day.
3. Green Juice? A concoction of leafy vegetables made into a smoothie might sound worse than it is. It can’t hurt to add this to your breakfast routine every day so that your immune system is fortified, and your waistline is supported.
4. Relax with Yoga. There are plenty of yoga classes on Youtube for you to experiment with. Do Yoga With Me is offering quality Yoga instructions for free amidst the pandemic so everyone at home can enjoy their high definition classes with one less financial worry. You’ll find it can be stress relieving and very meditative.
5. Brain Training. Challenge your brain with agility games to keep your mind active. There are plenty of mobile apps such as Luminosity which offer courses or games to boost your cognition and memory, all whilst educating you.
6. Set Up Your Home Theatre. You can still enjoy a blockbuster movie from the comfort of your own home despite all the cinemas being shut down. Get creative and decorate around your TV or Computer, or connect your mobile devices to a projector, and build a cosy fort around it.
7. Revamp your Home Office. Your workspace should set the appropriate mood and atmosphere to get you motivated and focused on your work. Simple touchups like removing clutter or tucking away cords will go a long way in helping you be productive.
8. Make Quarantine Art. Use this time to express your emotions and externalise your feelings onto any medium- canvas, embroidery, digital art etc. It’ll be a great skill to improve as there are no wrong moves, and you will teach yourself to appreciate your surroundings much more by painting them in a new form.
9. Discover Your New Favourite Podcast. Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Audible, to name a few sites, all connect you to great stories. There’s a huge range of genres to choose from so you will never get bored, and you’ll also stay informed on current events or therapeutic talks.
10. Grow A Green Thumb. Get a headstart on Spring gardening by using items you have around the house. A small Tupperware container or plastic cup makes a great pot, and you can easily reproduce fruits and veggies you have in your fridge by preserving their seeds or replanting their roots. Your home-cooked meals will taste a lot better knowing you grew the herbs that are in it!
11. Learn a New Language. They say it takes a minimum of 480 hours of practising a language to learn basic fluency. That’s 10 hours a day, for 48 days. Luckily for you, now is a great time to dedicate your energy to learn a new language! With apps such as Duolingo, you’ll have access to free courses with daily lessons for 35 languages.
12. Bake Homemade Bread. What’s better than the smell of fresh, hot bread wafting through your house?! Perfect your own bread recipe during quarantine so you can whip up some great bread-based meals later for your next neighbourhood block party.
13. Go For a Jog. In Australia, you are excused to go outside for the purpose of physical exercise. Fresh air will do you a lot of good, and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle as cardio and sunshine is beneficial for your physical and mental wellbeing. Never forget to enjoy and appreciate the nature that is right outside your doorstep!
14. Finish a Puzzle. Puzzle.io is a great website to test out if you want to complete an online puzzle- you also have the option to do the puzzle on your own or collaboratively. Make it your goal to relax your mind with at least one completed puzzle by the end of quarantine!
15. Free Live Shows. Many DJs are showing off their tunes for free on Facebook Live or Eventbrite in lieu of available venues. Popular icons such as Marlos can be found on these platforms performing for the public. You can also find authors, comedians and other performers regularly interacting with their audiences online.
16. Dance Party! You’ve definitely performed as if you were the King of Pop in the shower, why not make a whole night out of it? Get loose on your own, or with your roommates or siblings to your favourite songs on the highest volume, just like you would at the club. You can also explore virtual clubs online such as Club Quarantine, for virtual party-goers.
17. Sew a Face Mask. Public Health Officials recommend wearing a mask to help slow the spread of the virus. Should you leave the house for a quick grocery trip or an essential errand, it’ll be hard to maintain the strict 1.5-metre gap with all the strangers you pass. Instead of wearing the standard face mask, try sewing your own mask by following simple Youtube tutorials from materials in your home.
18. Practice an Instrument. If you’ve forgotten how to play an old instrument, exercise those muscle memories and learn a new musical piece or two.
19. Start a Blog. Write about your interests and publish stories about prevalent events in your life. Chances are, you’ll reach people who can relate and help them through the quarantine.
20. Did someone say ‘Face Masks’? You have so much time for self-care, specifically skincare nowadays. Test out what works for you, from the Korean 12 Step beauty routine, to a DIY Egg Face mask. Don’t forget to spare some time for yourself to take a nap with cold cucumbers on your eyes.
21. Charcuterie Boards. Practice making an aesthetic charcuterie board for your next picnic opportunity. All the materials and ingredients can come straight from your fridge or pantry, which is a bonus! Plus it’s a fun skill to have, and definitely an instagrammable one!
22. Write letters. Touch base with your writing skills by addressing a few ‘How have you been’ letters or romantic love letters to family and friends. It’ll jog your creative thinking ability and will definitely get you in the mood to reminisce. You can take it one step further by writing letters to strangers who have unfortunately been separated from their families during the pandemic- such as senior citizens or essential workers in self-isolation.
23. Learn Calligraphy. You’ll never know when this skill will come in handy but it’ll surely impress anyone who has the pleasure of reading your pretty penmanship. You can incorporate your own decorative handwritten labels around your workspace to make you feel more inclined to be productive in your office.
24. Boardgames with the Family. With all the spare time, you can now thoroughly read through those long instruction pamphlets for boardgames. Spend time creating a competitive spirit with your family, and see if you can finally finish a game of Monopoly.
25. Marie Kondo your Wardrobe. What more has to be said? Does it spark joy? (if it doesn’t, consider donating your unwanted clothing to charities)
26. Catch Up with Friends. Don’t let the lockdown stop you from seeing your friends, online, though, of course. Video chat your friends on Facetime, Skype or Zoom. There are many virtual multiplayer games available at your fingertips. Try out the recently trending Covidopoly, Skribl.io or Virtual Escape Rooms. As the world adjusts to the pandemic, be considerate of everyone and try your best not to break social distancing rules despite how hard it may seem.
27. Attempt a Self Portrait. It’s a great exercise for self-reflection and introspection. Take a long look in the mirror and draw the person you see.
28. Reflect. What goals have you accomplished recently? What goals will you set for yourself this coming year? How have you made the most of your time? Deep dive into your subconscious whenever you can to build up your self-awareness and emotional connectedness.
29. Write a Short Story. You can take inspiration from anything around you. Let your creative juices flow onto the paper.
30. Pinterest Home. Actually attempt to remake something you’ve pinned on Pinterest. Its time to stop telling yourself you’ll get to it someday. You might fail, or you might not. Good news is, you can try again.
31. Plan your Financials. It might sound like a drab, but you should take your time to explore your options for a Plan B income, and check if you have any loans to refinance. There has been a lot of economic pressure to save more money so it will benefit you immensely to take a look at how you could manage your money more effectively.
32. Support Local Businesses. Buy gift cards from your favourite restaurants or venues that you frequent. It’ll help the small businesses in the short term, and you can always spend that money you paid in advance once they reopen. It’s a win-win as you stimulate the economy.
33. Quarantine Hair. No one will have to know if you gave yourself a terrible box hair dye job, or experimented with some unflattering bangs. Fellas, you can finally grow out a lovely quarantine beard, or get a bit crazy with a buzz cut!
34. Rearrange your Furniture. You’re at home all day and have probably grown bored of seeing the same layout every day. Keep things interesting for yourself and scramble the furniture around your home to make the space feel new, yet familiar.
35. Learn New Party Tricks. The partying scene will have a massive jumpstart once the quarantine laws are lifted to allow large gatherings. You’ll want something to show for your time in lockdown, so learn some party tricks to impress your fellow peers. Some ideas include perfecting your rendition of Rap God by Eminem, complex card shuffling tricks, or breaking an apple in half with your bare hands.
36. Talk to your Plants. It might sound silly but check up on your green friends! Are they getting enough water? Enough sunlight? Would they prefer different soil? Studies show they grow faster and stronger if spoken to.
37. Tour our National Parks. Take a trip through some natural wonders on Google Earth and experience the world in virtual reality. There are countless virtual tours offered online, not just of natural landscapes but also museums, amusement rides and zoo enclosure tours.
38. Cute Animals! The internet would not be the internet without hours of cat compilations and cute puppies being cute. Get lost in an endless stream of animal videos and then wonder why its already dinner time.
39. Repair shop. Become a master of many trades by finally fixing up all the broken or worn-out objects around your home. There’s a shirt in your cupboard with a hole begging to be patched up, a squeaky door hinge to be oiled, or a creaky floorboard that need replacing.
40. Give Back! Remember to be grateful for all the hard work and collaboration of essential workers and health care professionals. Everyone is working towards one goal and risking their safety to save their communities. As long as we cooperate with quarantine laws and practice being selfless, we can get through this together and come out stronger at the end of it!