With most of us having to stay home for long periods of time (except when working or shopping for essentials), it can be pretty difficult to keep yourself occupied. An hour in isolation can feel like forever — you may miss going out whenever you want, meeting up with friends, and just being able to entertain yourself when you’re getting bored at home.
But staying indoors can be as productive and entertaining as gallivanting outdoors. There are many things that you might have unfortunately overlooked when you were busy with life before the pandemic, which you can now finally pay attention to. Here is a list of things you can do at home to keep yourself busy.
1. Brush up on your cooking skills.
Being stuck at home is the perfect opportunity to finally learn how to cook, perfect your culinary skills, or learn new recipes you haven’t tried before. You can find lots of fresh recipe ideas online, but if you want a challenge, get a cookbook and make your way through each recipe in it.
2. Experiment with new cocktail recipes.
Switch from the usual margarita to new homemade cocktails or mocktails for your evening drinks. There are a lot of great yet simple cocktail recipes to choose from online. Some of our favorites are pumpkin apple shandy, made with apple cider and pumpkin beer, and the easy-peasy Kentucky lemonade, which is just sparkling lemonade mixed with bourbon.
3. Clear out your wardrobe.
Use your prolonged free time to declutter your home. You can start by going through all the clothes in your wardrobe and asking yourself, “When was the last time I’ve worn this?” Keep the stuff you genuinely love to wear and throw out anything that you haven’t used in a while. You can also do some good by donating these old clothes to your local charity.
4. Start a virtual book club with friends.
Self-quarantining isn’t a reason to stop bonding with your friends. One of the many ways you can do so is setting up a virtual book club and holding weekly sessions via any of the available video chat platforms.
5. Dive into gardening.
If you haven’t already, try your hand at gardening. It’s one of the most relaxing hobbies you can take on, and surrounding your home with plants also happens to have amazing health benefits. Start slowly and get beginner-friendly plants like succulents and cacti.
6. Learn how to give yourself a manicure.
Sometimes, the small pleasures in life make us happier than anything else, and having freshly manicured hands is one of them. It’s also fun to do them yourself, so why not learn how to give yourself professional-looking manicures? You can look up step-by-step nail art tutorials online and practice, practice, practice!
7. Read a book.
Finish that book you’ve been putting off forever, or start a new book in a genre you’ve never tried before. If you often go for fiction, try some nonfiction this time. Love mystery thrillers? Pick up a sci-fi novel instead.
8. Try regular meditation.
Daily meditation, even for just a few minutes at a time, has tons of benefits for your health. It helps manage stress and stressful situations, improves self-awareness and concentration, and lowers blood pressure. If you’re having trouble clearing your mind, download meditation apps like Calm to help you get started.
9. Do minor home improvements.
Once you’ve decluttered your home, it’s time to update your home interior. You don’t have to spend a lot to do it. Even minor changes such as changing the wallpapers, painting your doors, and moving some furniture around can brighten up your home and breathe new life into it.
10. Learn a new language.
Learning how to speak a new language is not only a great brain exercise, it may also come in handy when you’re traveling abroad. Choose a language you want to learn the most or something that you think you will get the most use out of in the future.
11. Keep yourself busy with arts and crafts.
Try your hand at arts and crafts, such as sketching, painting, and pottery. Even if you aren’t a gifted artist, expressing yourself through this medium is an awesome way to destress and unwind, which we all need during this time.
12. Learn how to cut hair.
The world has mostly gone back to normal, but it’s still best to minimize our trips outdoors. So if you can, learn how to cut hair — not just yours, but your family’s, too. This way, you’re staying safe and saving some salon money as well.
13. Take up aerobic dancing.
It’s the perfect time to look after your health and get fit! Aerobic dance workouts such as jazz and Zumba are a great type of exercise that you can do anytime, anywhere. You can enroll in online workout classes or follow along aerobic dance videos on YouTube.
14. …or yoga and pilates.
Aside from aerobic exercises, yoga and pilates are other forms of physical activity that offer amazing health benefits. They relieve stress, help you develop flexibility, and teach you endurance. Look up beginner’s classes to try both and choose the one that you like better.
15. Teach your pet new tricks.
Take this opportunity to build new bonds with your furry friend, and reinforce their training as well. Dogs need to be reminded of their training every now and then, so retrain them and add a few new tricks as well.
16. Play board games with your family.
Avoid being glued to your phone all the time and bond with your family by busting out the board games. Play chess or snake and ladders for an afternoon of fun away from social media.
17. Call family and friends.
Keeping in touch with your loved ones is a great mood lifter, so give them a quick call to check up on them.
18. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
Jigsaw puzzles aren’t just for kids. A 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle is a nice way to get out of your own head and will keep you occupied for days.