A few months back, I watched a Vox documentary about how the next pandemic was inevitable. Scientists didn’t know when, where or completely how, but they knew that an epidemic was imminent. Bill Gates also spoke at a Ted event a few years back, voicing his concern that we simply weren’t ready for a pandemic that could hit us at any moment.
Now, the new decade is here, and 2020 finds us quarantined, self-isolated and socially distanced. Coronavirus or COVID 19 is causing pandemonium across the world.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with anxiety and fear during times like this. After all, the future does feel blurry with uncertainty.
The best way to tackle this is to take it one day at a time. We’re all in this together and we have to ride the tide until it ebbs away.
Staying at home and making sure our hands are washed frequently is the most effective way of cutting short Corona’s destructive plans.
But the excitement of being home can quickly turn into boredom and/or cranky children.
To prevent this from happening, and to help you make the best of the homebound days, we’ve put together a list of 15 activities that you can do without leaving the comfort of your home. And it doesn’t include watching tv!
Lego and Puzzles
Building with lego and making puzzles have proven to bring a multitude of benefits such as honing creativity, fine motor skills, mathematical skills and problem-solving. Getting engrossed in activities like lego and puzzles can get your mind off work and your personal life while allowing your brain to do something less mind-numbing than watching tv.
Read a Book
Bagged or loose, caffeinated or decaf, herbal or fruity, black or frothy ― we all have our favourite beverages. The act of making tea or coffee can in itself be a form of ritual, but once you’ve made yourself a nice drink, find a good book to lose yourself into. Reading is so beneficial to our brains
― from learning new vocabulary to helping us become better storytellers in our daily lives, we should all do more reading.
Learn a new skill/new hobby
For the last few years, I’ve been inundated by ads from brands like Skillshare and Masterclass who offer courses on various subjects. You name it, it’s there ― painting, photography, dancing, digital marketing, sewing, embroidery, accounting, acting.
There are so many new skills and so much knowledge to be acquired, and they’re now all within grasp. These services often come with a monthly fee, but you can cancel them at any time (Always check their T&Cs). They’re worth a look if you want to broaden your skill set or knowledge base.
Work out/ Exercise
Experts are emphasising on the importance of keeping fit during pandemics. Keeping yourself in shape and healthy will help you fight the virus should you, god forbid, catch it.
Plus, the temptations to snack have never been more luring with kitchen cupboards filled with goodies only a few metres away from you at all times.
Youtube abounds with fitness videos for different levels of training – finding one that works for you should be super easy.
Google Niggling Questions
Google things you’ve always wanted to google but never have had time for
― it could be home-related, psychology-related or just questions you’ve always asked yourself but never had time to.
You know those weird little questions that pop into our heads throughout the day? Just put a note on your phone and, when you’re bored, sit at your laptop and google them. One piece of knowledge usually leads to another question. You can easily spend an hour or two doing this, and it usual bolsters knowledge and answers all those niggling little questions you get throughout the day.
There has been an explosion of digital creators on social media and YouTube in the last few years. Believe it or not, watching YouTubers can be super inspiring especially if their channels relate to subjects you’re already interested in ― from tech to fashion, YouTubers can bring a lot of joy into your life.
Here are some of my favourite YouTubers:
Casey Neistat – Tech, vlogs, travel, and socio-cultural videos
Peter Mckinnon – Photography, videography, cinematography, vlogs
Bestdressed – Fashion, thrifting, home decor, vlogs, witty
Korean Englishman – Korean food, Korean culture, celebrity interviews eating Korean food
Jolly – Comedy, challenges, international food tasting
Justine Leconte – fashion Industry, fashion tips, wardrobe tips, how to fashion
Hot Ones – celebrities eating hot wings while being interviewed
Linus Tech Tips – Super techy videos, PCS, videos games
Do some cleaning and tidying
Clean and tidy one room at a time and the week will fly by! A clean home will make you feel so much better for being stuck in it.
If you have the ingredients for it, make your own cleaning products such as toilet fizz bombs.
Take up blogging, vlogging, video making, social media creating
With so many people stuck at home, you can join the digital community and start entertaining, educating and inspiring others too. You’ll be learning new skills yourself, and it can boost your confidence.
Of course, the internet abounds with trolls and anonymous critics ― you need to develop a thick skin and focus on the positive aspects of sharing online content if you actually want to do this.
Create Pinterest Boards
I find Pinterest captivating and can scroll through it for hours looking for new ideas and inspiration.
You can organise and save your pins ― so finding them afterwards is super easy.
Mood boards, colour boards, fashion boards, home decor boards, video game boards ― the fun is endless. Especially so, when you consider that Pinterest is more like a search engine. Its algorithm is designed to show you things you like once it understands what interests you. So, the more you use Pinterest, the more curated to your interests it gets.
Perhaps there are projects you’ve had on your mind for a while ― like giving new life to a shelf, painting the shed or creating accessories and trinkets. Now is the perfect time to get to it. Make sure you have everything you need at hand before you start your DIY project though. The last thing you want is to make trips to the shops to buy bits and pieces for a hobby/non-essential affair.
Put down on paper what you’ve been feeling lately, what’s been going well and what’s not been going so well. Obviously, COVID 19 is not boosting morale, but perhaps there are more personal matters that have been bothering you. This is you time, so don’t hold back, you can destroy all evidence later. There is something so therapeutic about writing things down and giving your feelings life on paper.
Just having a chat with your loved one that goes beyond “how was your day” can be a great way to reconnect.
Perhaps avoid subjects that you know will cause awkwardness or upset them as you are homebound with them.
On the other hand, this can also be the perfect opportunity to work on those relationship issues you’ve been having but which you haven’t had the time to address.
You’ll want to use this tip with a lot of caution and judgement.
Put some meditative music on and explore the depths of your inner consciousness. Practise stillness and let your body and mind recenter. You can help yourself get into meditation with music. Again, Youtube abounds with videos that help you heighten your focus or ones that put you in a trance-like state.
Cooking makes me feel like a witch. Mixing ingredients, stirring pots brimming with hot contents and tasting ladlefuls of yummy food ― Cooking is fun. And the outcome is (most of the time) rewarding. I’ve had my fair share of disasters in the kitchen, but it’s never taken away from the joy of it all.
Plus, what kid doesn’t like making a mess with sticky, gooey dough? Making cookies or pancakes with your children is a great way to keep their hands full. It might entail a bit more clean up, but kids also get to learn how rewarding it can be when taking the time and effort to do something with their own hands.
Infrequent trips to the shops also mean getting creative with your recipes. Make a note of everything in your pantry and meal prep strategically. You want your groceries to last as long as possible without restricting your family from eating to their satisfaction.
This is your chance to experiment and have fun in the kitchen.
Curating your wardrobe
I wanted this list to be gender-neutral and decided to add this one because we can all do with a more well-thought wardrobe.
Whether we like it or not, our clothes say a lot about ourselves. And when we’re looking to make the right first impression, the perfect outfit can go a long way.
Step one, dig in your wardrobe to find pieces that have been gathering cobwebs for the last few years. Making your wardrobe light and functional will save you time and effort in the future.
Put clothes which are in good condition in a charity/donation bag, and put clothes which are falling apart in a bag for recycling (H&M does clothes recycling). Keep both bags in a cupboard ( I keep mine in the airing cupboard), and, when the outbreak is over, you can bring the bags to their final destinations.
Step two, learn what your undertone is, so you know what hues work on you.
Step three, learn about colour theory so you can make better outfit combinations and create a wardrobe with a colour palette in mind.
Step 4, take a quiz to find your personal style, so you know what you genuinely like.
Step 5, Now that you’ve got all this newfound knowledge, peruse through your wardrobe once again and look for new outfit combinations. Make a note of pieces you need to buy to create a more functional wardrobe once this pandemic is over. I always recommend buying second hand or purchasing from a sustainable brand if you can.
Here you go, these are my 15 tips to keep you busy while we all flatten the curve of infection by staying at home!