I’m stuck inside too, and I get it. It can be challenging not to focus on the headlines, the uncertainty and the heartache. We are all leaning on our families, pets and maybe even houseplants (if you are that desperate) during these times of hardship.
For me, personally, I have only been experiencing the “quarantine lifestyle” for about a week and a half, but I have already found myself turning to alternative, quite odd I must add, methods of spending my time. Between classes being online and every possible extracurricular or social-stimulating activity being cancelled, I have been left with quite a chunk of time on my hands.
Extra time can be inspiring, at least to me, to reorganize, rebuild, redo and readjust. Whether you have run out of ideas, are ready to get busy or the sight of scrolling through one more TikTok makes you sick, here are some ideas you can start doing right now to enrich your days at home.
For when you are feeling active, energetic or just need some fresh air:
Not much is worse than the feeling of being trapped, a mood we can all relate to right now. If you are adamant about working out each day or a few times per week, going on a run around your neighborhood can get you out of your quarantine funk. I’m not sure if it’s the fresh air, the change of scenery, the exercise in it of itself or a combination of the three, but pushing yourself to step outside the boundaries of your bedroom can work miracles. If you are feeling extra motivated, try an at-home workout on YouTube. Living in an apartment or tired of your neighborhood? Go to the nearest park. Yes, they are still open! You can do yoga, hammock in between trees, walk your dog, play frisbee or even do a scavenger hunt… the social distancing options are limitless.
For when you are feeling crafty, artistic, or want to use your hands to do something other than typing:
Art can be very therapeutic. You can search online for adult coloring book pages or paint-by-numbers art for intricate designs to color for hours. Another crafty trend that a lot of young women have been following is bleaching clothing items. Whether it be tie-dyeing a sweatshirt or creating two-toned jeans, this activity spices up your closet and is fun to do. You could also pick up a few markers and learn how to do calligraphy, a skill I have found to be very useful and quite entertaining. Or you could start bullet journaling, which is a great outlet to be creative, express thoughts or just plan your week. Pinterest holds a wealth of inspiration on bullet journals!
For when you are feeling inspired by the baking shows you have been watching or just plain hungry:
Try your hand at making something new. I attempted to make macaroons a few days ago, keyword attempted. Some recipes will definitely be harder than others, but baking is a great way to pass the time and pick up new skills. If you want to save a trip to the store, try to spice up something you bake regularly. You can add intricate decorations to a regular boxed cake recipe or maybe experiment with a new cookie recipe. On the cooking side of things, you can try recreating that Food Network video you saw on Facebook. Not the cooking type? Try putting together an attractive charcuterie board using only the food you have in your fridge and pantry.
For a rainy day:
Whether working out indoors or baking, the odds are the weather will make you feel gloomy and lackadaisical. Now what can you do? Here are some projects to distract you from the gloom. I’m not the puzzle type at all, but if you enjoy spending hours trying to make 1000 separate pieces into one picture, go for it! Or start an online blog about something that inspires and interests you. Creative outlets, such as blogs, not only clear your mind but are great to look back on one day. And all those endlessly long, three-hour movies you have avoided watching – well now you have no excuses! Every Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Avengers movie awaits! As a freak organizer and fashion enthusiast, take my advice courtesy of Marie Kondo and try on all your clothes to determine whether they “spark joy.” You could also try learning a new language, meditation, a spa day, a DIY, throwing out all your old makeup, cleaning out your camera roll or making a list of things you are grateful for.
During these times of turmoil and uncertainty, the best thing we can do is stay positive. With all this extra time on our hands, it can be easy to let your days slip away from you. So, pick up a new habit or try something that is out of your comfort zone. Make the best of this extra time you have been given. These days really can be a blessing, if you use them the right way!
Image courtesy of Kate Janson ’20