By this point most of us have lost count of how long we’ve been in quarantine. Our mental health is suffering. If you have kids, both you and them might be getting frustrated with online schooling. Maybe you’re getting bored waiting to go back to work…if you’re able to go back to work.
Today I’ll be sharing 20 things to do while in quarantine. Many of these are things I’ve done, or would like to do. While we may not like spending most of our time at home, we have an opportunity to learn about ourselves, complete unfinished tasks, or invest time into our hobbies.
- Meditate: You don’t need to be a zen master to meditate. If you can practice being still and clearing your mind for 15 minutes a day that’s plenty. You can listen to guided meditation, or find a video on YouTube with relaxing nature sounds like my loom knitting thunderstorm video.
- Start a gratitude and/ or prayer journal: During this time, it’s hard to be grateful. Much is uncertain in the world, and many of you might be unemployed. However, it’s still possible for each of us to find something to be grateful for each day, even if it’s just waking up. If you believe in prayer you can start a journal with daily prayers. If you’re not religious an, you can substitute prayer with affirmations or well wishes.
- Eat good food: Whether you’re testing new recipes or ordering take out from you favorite local restaurant, it’s important to enjoy the little things like a good meal. If you’re spending more time at home, now is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes, or learn how to cook from scratch. Personally I’ve been making sauces from scratch, and experimenting with gluten free baking. I might also attempt to make my first loaf of sourdough bread. (My sister is currently making a starter.
- Support local businesses: As mentioned in #3 it’s important to enjoy good food while in quarantine. If you’re not a cook, most local, family owned restaurants will appreciate your delivery order. Small businesses are suffering the most with these closures. If you have a favorite local business, now is a great time to support them. If you have the means order take-out or buy a gift certificate. If they have an online presence, order from their online store. If you live in the Milwaukee area and love to paint order a kit from Farmhouse Paint and Sip. They’re currently doing live classes on their Facebook Page.
- Do some spring cleaning: Now is the time to clean areas of your home that don’t get cleaned as often as they need. De-clutter and scrub the top of your fridge. Clean your windows and wipe down blinds or wash curtains. Dust those hard to reach areas of your home, or scrub the walls if needed. Along with following my typical cleaning routine, I’ve scrubbed my bathroom walls and wiped down the blinds and heat register in the bedroom.
- Rest: If you’re not working now is the time to get plenty of sleep (try to get around 8 hours if you can. I always feel my best with 7 or 9 hours lol). Along with sleep it’s okay to have the occasional lazy day where you watch Netflix all day and eat snacks.
- Get Dressed Every Day: You don’t need to get dressed up like you’re going to work, or like you’re going out. Just change out of your pajamas and into different clothes for the day. Depending on the weather I’ve been living in leggings, hoodies, sports bras, lounge pants/ shorts, and cotton dresses. Just change into something comfortable that you look and feel good in. Getting dressed helps keep you in a routine, and can help boost your mood even during these difficult times.
- Stay hydrated: I’m usually good about drinking enough water. However, since being home I’ve been forgetting to hydrate my body. As someone with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) it’s extra important for me to drink enough water. If like me, you’re also struggling with hydration aim to have a glass of water when you wake up, and about 30 minutes after each meal or snack during the day to prevent bloating. I also like to have one last cup of water before bed. If this doesn’t work for you, another option would be to keep a large/ gallon size water bottle with you and sip on it throughout the day. There are also smartphone apps that remind you to drink enough water.
- De-clutter your space: With being at home, you have more time to tackle projects you otherwise wouldn’t be able to complete. Have you been meaning to cull your wardrobe? Maybe you have stacks of papers from the the past decade that need to be sorted, or kitchen gadgets you bought but never used. Now is the time to pick an area of your home to de-cluttter. While you may not be able to drop items off at donation centers right now you still have options. If something is new or gently used consider selling it on a site like Poshmark or Mercari. You can still adhere to social distancing guidelines while removing unwanted items from your home. Another option would be to re-purpose items. Old t-shirts can be turned into wash cloths, dish rags, shop towels, or shopping bags. Check out my video to learn how to make your own reusable bags.
- Do a digital de-clutter: This is something I’m currently in the process of doing. Go through all of your social media accounts and unfriend or un-follow any inactive accounts, or anyone whose content is toxic to your mental-health. If you have differing opinions on politics with friends or family members, some platforms now allow you to either un-follow (while still being friends) or filter which content your see or don’t see. While your de-cluttering your social media accounts don’t forget to uninstall apps and on your devices that you no longer use, and organize your apps into folders based on categories. Do the same thing with documents and assorted media on your laptop or desktop too. Lastly, don’t forget to empty your inbox and unsubscribe from newsletters and store email lists that no longer bring you joy. Recently I discovered a website called Unroll.me which makes this process extremely simple. Unroll.me condenses all of your subscriptions into a list, and you select which subscriptions you want to keep and which ones you want to unsubscribe from. Unroll.me also lets you condense all your subscriptions into one email called a “roll up” which helps keep your inbox clutter free.
- Exercise: Despite being in quarantine we need to keep our bodies moving. I’m not talking about following a strict work-out routine either. Do what feels right for you and your body, even if it’s just a 10 minute walk or 15 minutes of yoga. Just like it’s important to stay hydrated, it’s also important to stay active.
- Research Sustainable companies and locally made products:Many of us are getting, or have already received our stimulus checks for COVID-19 relief. If you have the extra funds, now is the time to research sustainable companies and locally made products. This money is to help jump-start the economy once the pandemic is over. As mentioned previously small businesses are suffering, and it’s crucial to support them wherever possible. Big box stores and large chain restaurants will be fine after this. However, you can use this time to research brands and products that support your core values. If you’re against animal testing, research which companies do/ don’t test on animals. If you believe textile producers and coffee growers deserve a living wage and safe working conditions that provide these items to their employees (ect), and use your money to show that you support their values. While cash is currency, it talks. Money tells companies that their product is worthwhile and that you support that company’s business practices.
- Get Creative: Hospitals are still facing shortages of PPE and the CDC is no recommending everyone wear a mask while out in public. If you’re able to sew people still need masks. If sewing isn’t your strength you can also make masks for friends and family members out of various materials like shop towels and bandanas (neither require sewing). Along with making masks you cn also invest time in other crafts and hobbies. Do you want to learn how to knit or paint with water colors instead? Now is the time to do that.
- Read/listen to a new book or audiobook: Have you been wanting to do more reading but, don’t have time? Now is an excellent time to read that book you’ve been wanting to read, or listen to a few audiobooks if reading isn’t your thing. Scribd is personally my favorite subscription service. Your fist month is free (2 months free with my link), and after that you get unlimited books and audiobooks for $8.99/ month. Most other audiobook subscriptions give you a limited number of free books with your membership.
- Discover New Podcasts: Whatever your passionate about, or whatever you want to learn about, a podcast about it exists. You can search any major streaming service like pandora or spotify for podcasts. Even scribd and other aduiobook subscriptions provide the option to listen to podcasts.
- Pamper yourself:Now is the time to give yourself a little extra TLC. Feeling bold? Research how to cut and color your hair, and do it yourself. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure, and add some fun decals to your nails. Upgrade your skincare game with a facial or a sheet mask. Give your hair some extra love with a hair mask or hot oil treatment. Take a warm bubble bath with some luxurious bath salts or a fun bath bomb. Yes, you can have a glass of wine in the tub too.
- Learn how to make your own bath and body products:Salt and sugar scrubs are super easy to make and great for exfoliating your skin. I recently made a coffee sugar scrub with 1cup ground coffee, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup coconut oil. You can also make a face wash with 1 part castile soap to 3 parts water, and 10 drops tea tree oil. I use the same ratio for foaming hand soap but add 15 drops of any essential oil (usually lemongrass).
- Learn how to make plarn: If you still use plastic bags there’s a good chance you still acquire more than you need. Sure you can drop of your bags at the grocery store to recycle but, what fun is that? This video shows you how to make plarn aka “plastic bag yarn” which can be used to make water resistant mats for homeless people to sleep on. You can even make baskets and other various crafts with plarn.
- Start a garden:Depending where you live will determine whether or not you can start your garden outside. Here in Wisconsin we had an almost 80 Degree (farenheiht) day last week, and yesterday we had snow and temperatures just above freezing. At this point I’m glad the squirrels dug up my seeds. I still have to get some netting to go around my gate, and I’ll probably wait until May to re-plant everything. Anyway, regardless of how much or how little space you have you can start a garden. Most herbs can easily be grown in a window. You can also buy planter friendly seed packs which contain seeds that don’t need to be planted in the ground. This year I’m growing, oregano, basil, rosemary, chives, scallions, cucumbers, green beans, spearmint, and 2 different kinds of lettuce. I might also grow some catnip. However, Alex doesn’t want me attracting more stray cats to our yard (they might keep the squirrels and chipmunks away though).
- Create a chalk mural: Due to the pandemic many chalk drawing festivals have been cancelled this summer. If you have the sidewalk space create your own chalk mural. If you have kids they can help too. Even if you’re not artistically inclined you can write simple messages of hope, draw hearts, flowers, or anything that resembles spring.
There you have it! Here are 20 things you can do while stuck in quarantine. I did my best to incorporate a variety including self-care, supporting small businesses, and being creative. If you think I missed anything leave a comment below. Also, feel free to share anything you’ve done while in quarantine.