As a homeschooled introvert, self-quarantining or having to shelter in place doesn’t sound very stressful. As long as I have food, electricity, Evan, Chili, etc. I will be fine. But for those of you who don’t try to avoid people in your normal lives, the thought of staying stuck at home for weeks sounds well, boring. Yeah, it will be boring at some points. My mom never tried to keep my siblings and me entertained constantly. She said boredom leads to creativity. She was absolutely right.
If you spend most of your time occupied by watching TV or playing videogames, you will probably get bored after awhile. Even if the game or show is interesting, just doing the same thing for awhile gets tedious. If you use the time you have available to engage in productive activities, you’ll probably feel better, have accomplished something, and mental health can improve as well. So, how can you use this time to have fun, be productive, and avoid constant boredom?
Arts and crafts are fun and one of the interesting things to do at home. I’m lucky in that I inherited all of my mom’s sewing, embroidery, and knitting materials. On my own I have supplies for drawing, painting, jewelry making, etc. So I have plenty of stuff to do. However, I know that isn’t the case for everyone. If you’re stuck at home and don’t have access to half a craft store, you can do things like drawing (people can do some impressive drawings with just regular ballpoint pens) and using random stuff around the house for DIY projects. If you can’t think of anything, Pinterest always has your back. Follow us on there, if you’d like. We’re more active on Instagram, but have some Pinterest boards related to our blog topics. Some of the creative projects we’ve done have been:
- Trying new drawing techniques
- Starting a blog
- Working on a YouTube channel
- Making a mermaid tail (Yes, full sized, swimmable, and sparkly.)
- Painting décor for the apartment
- Sing, dance, or practice a musical instrument
If you are into sewing, people are making homemade masks and donating them. Here’s an article from Forbes about it.
We spend a lot of time researching things like how to improve on Instagram, new stock market trading strategies, what’s going on the world, basically anything we’re interested in, we look up. We also love reading, but don’t always have a lot of time for it with school and work. If you’re self-quarantining, you have extra time at home you can use for reading or other intellectual things to do at home.
Some entertaining intellectual things to do at home are:
- Watch TED talks
- Find somewhere you want to travel to and research everything you’d need to plan a trip there (if this coronavirus thing ever ends)
- Learn a language
- I used Duolingo for awhile, but it was while I was in school, so I wasn’t consistent.
- Watch how-to videos for a big project
- For example, the previously mentioned mermaid tail is a one of a kind design, which required researching materials, sewing techniques, and learning about costuming. If you find a project like that with multiple steps that doesn’t have clear instructions on an exact way to do it, it can take up a lot of time but be rewarding in the end
- Research something you want to buy
- We tend to go through tons of reviews, compare prices, and weigh the pros and cons whenever we decide to buy anything that’s more than around $10. You’ll be an informed consumer and have something to look forward to getting. It seems like the more thought you put into something, the more satisfying it is once you actually obtain it.
- Do online classes
- I haven’t done this voluntarily since online classes for college and as a homeschooled kid, but I’m sure there are people out there who want to take online classes and learn. If you’re still in school, then you probably don’t have much of a choice at this point. Seems like most schools are putting classes online now. If you’re not in school, here’s a couple of resources for free online classes.
Spend Time with Whoever You’re Stuck with
Although I’m still going out for work because the office is still open and working from home has not been an option provided to me, Evan and I aren’t leaving the apartment too often. We go out for groceries and that’s about it. We spend most of our time together anyway, so being stuck in the apartment together hasn’t really changed anything. We’d be together in the apartment anyway. But if you have more time than we do, you can come up with activities you can do together. You could cook together, try to figure out where you’ll be able to find toilet paper together, just hang out and watch movies together, etc. There’s many possibilities there. You can have at-home date or family nights. If you have pets, you can play with them more, give them the bath they’ve been needing, and take them for a long walk.
Some more examples of things to do at home with whoever is there with you:
- Do creative projects
- Bake desserts
- Try new recipes with whatever you’ve managed to get at the grocery store
- Binge watch a new show
- Build forts
- Play board games
- Train pets to do new tricks
- Compete for the highest Tetris score
Boring Adult Things
With all this free-time, you could be productive and accomplish things you probably need to do, but don’t necessarily want to do. If all you do is entertaining stuff, you’ll run out of things quickly. Balance is important. Here’s a few things you might not want to do, but are important tasks you can do at home.
- Clean your house
- Wash your car
- Do some car or bike maintenance
- Start a retirement account if you don’t have one already
- Create a budget
- Fix things around the house
- Repair clothing from your mending pile
- Do people still do this, or are we just old-fashioned?
We love the gym. Right now we cannot go to the gym, but we don’t want to completely stop working out. So, we’re trying to figure out workouts at home. For us it’s a little bit more challenging because we usually weightlift and we don’t have weights or really the ability to have weights in our apartment. We currently have a gym bag stuffed with dirt to make it heavy. We’re also using resistance bands. Other options for non-gym workouts include:
- I will probably add this in on the weekends.
- This requires going outside unless you have a treadmill
- Just so you’re staying active
- We may or may not do abs more often since they don’t usually require weights. Leaning towards not.
A lot of the above topics are things that I do for self-care. When you’re isolated or just stuck at home even if there are other people around, it can get lonely or isn’t stimulating enough, which can affect mental health. Self-care is always important, but in particular during times of discomfort and uncertainty like the present state. You can check out our post Dealing with Unemployment Depression, which also has relevant content for this time. In addition to the examples in the post such as exercise and doing creative projects, here are a few more things to do at home for self-care:
If you have more time, you might find yourself spending more of that time using social media. It may not impact you, but if it does, keep note of that.
There are tons of productive things you can do at home. These are just a few of them. Hopefully the post helps give you ideas for what you can do while you’re at home. While not everything listed may appear to be productive, staying healthy helps you be productive in the long run. All of the activities described add value and/or entertainment in some way, shape, or form, thus leading to productivity.