Are you feeling especially antsy, depressed, or under-productive after more than a month of quarantine? Here are 10 ways to use your time well.
Learn a new skill: The business world is rapidly changing. New skills are needed constantly. Now that you are home in quarantine, you can take an online coding class, practice your video editing skills, or start learning something new. There are lots of ways to teach yourself, with blogs, apps, and online courses at your fingertips. Brushing up on a useful skill while waiting to return to your job may payoff in advancement or a new opportunity!
Get some exercise: While it’s fantastic to be proactive about fitness, it’s imperative to make sure you are moving throughout the day. It’s all about routine! Try to get up around the same time every day. You might choose to do some yoga, Pilates, or meditation to get your day started. Whatever does it for you, get moving. Being stuck inside, you’re probably not getting in as many steps as you would have before the pandemic began. One person I know who is quarantined paces back and forth in her room to try and meet her daily quota of steps. To help make sure you’re not being sedentary, wearing a fitness tracker each day provides you with some satisfying feedback.
Read a book: If you would like to read while quarantined, but find yourself lacking the time and mental capacity to do so, there is a solution: Audiobooks. If you feel a bit guilty reading a book while you could be more productive, with audiobooks, you can do two things at once! You can read while cleaning or while cooking.
Take on a puzzle: Choose a puzzle that is fun and brain-stimulating for yourself, and if you have a roommate or others in your family, include them. If you don’t want a puzzle that feels too intense, choose something that requires minimal thinking, like a jigsaw puzzle that has a reasonable number of pieces. They come in all sizes and shapes. Focusing on a puzzle lets your mind escape from reality for a bit. Puzzles that come with problems to solve can help clear your mind and offer a respite from too much screen-time.
Start a productive passion-project: If you have kids, there are a lot of ideas out there for resources and crafting notions, all of them doable with what can usually be found at home. For the productive part of projects, you can get some things done that you didn’t have time for. For instance, go through the bookshelves, and thin out your collection, weed out old board games, get ruthless in the closet and toss anything that hasn’t been worn in the previous year. Then organize the sock drawers and throw out the single socks.
Try out new recipes or a pre-cooked meal service: Try one original recipe a day for lunch or dinner. Make it fun, like baking sweets, or try working your way through a stack of cookbooks that you haven’t opened for a while. If cooking and/or baking make you feel overwhelmed sometimes, try out a pre-cooked meal service from one of the local small businesses that offer delivery of great food. This way, you can get fresh, cooked meals delivered to your door that only require you to heat them up before eating. This isn’t to say you should give up on all of your quarantine cooking and baking dreams if you have them. You just don’t have to be productive in the kitchen all the time. After all, everything in life is better in moderation.
Sing: If you live alone, there are karaoke apps that will give you a connection to background music you can sing along with the lyrics for your favorite songs. If you are with roommates or family, just remember – the family that sings together, stays together. Clear the living room after dinner and if you have some instruments like guitars, harmonicas, or pianos, or make-shift ones. Play the family’s favorite tunes and invite everyone to sing, dance, or just zone out.
Reach out to friends and loved ones: If you do one thing with your free time, and one thing only, it should be checking in with friends and family. It’s essential to communicate with others to show that you care and that you are there while people are isolated and keeping their distance from others. Zoom is an excellent tool to use for chats with large groups, and a personal favorite I’ve been using with clients and groups of friends.
Meditate or pray: Dedicating time for yourself to meditate or pray has proven benefits in studies many times over. Start small by dedicating 15 minutes to not looking at your phone or giving in to any other distraction. Then add more time to your meditation each day. Like with any workout program, you have to build up those muscles. During quarantine, meditating is a practice that you can improve that provides benefits to your well-being and life. It’s something you might wish to continue whenever things get back to normal.
Show some kindness: Daily practicing of service can feel very satisfying, whether you are home alone or not. You can call your grandparents, mom, dad, or anyone you know who is especially at risk of complications from COVID-19. While keeping socially distant, check in on elderly neighbors, and If they need supplies and feel unsafe, going to the store, offer to go for them. Be generous with tips to those who deliver to your home.