We’re so used to letting work (or travel) consume us and our everyday lives. This unprecedented event that has unfolded of late has really caused the whole world to take a step back and re-evaluate what is going on with our lives, with the world, and our impact on the world.
I don’t need to mention what is going on in the world right now because it is evident how much impact it has on every single one of our lives, but I’m hoping that we can all use this much-needed time at home to give ourselves the deserved attention and to care for ourselves. True self care is about connecting with yourself, and building a relationship with you. What better time to do that then when you’re stuck at home anyway?
Now that we have so much more free time at home (and hopefully with your family), it’s the time to use our time wisely and recall the things we used to do that brought us joy before work and responsibilities bogged us down. It’s the time to reconnect with loved ones, and most importantly, ourselves.
Instead of mindlessly watching Netflix, let’s not let ourselves and our precious time go to waste while we’re stuck indoors!
I posed a question to the blogging community asking for suggestions on productive things to do indoors while being stuck at home. As they say, “idle hands are the devil’s playthings.”
In case you’re running out of ideas, you can always refer to this list of things to do indoors for more ideas to engage with either yourself or with your family when you’re stuck at home.
- FOSTER RELATIONSHIPS
- TRAVEL.. VIRTUALLY
If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you love reading. And, if I happen to be right, you might as well love writing! Whether you have tried journaling or not, I’m sure you have heard this before: writing is an excellent way to free your mind, and journaling, a great way to get started.
Now, how you do that is up to you. Don’t let anyone else mess with your creative juices nor do you have to follow what others are doing. What might work for them does not necessarily have to work for you.
When her country went into lockdown mode, Inma started jotting down a few thoughts and called them The Lockdown Diaries. They might be useful for somebody else during times like these we are living or just serve as a memory for yourself. Whatever comes, let it come.
It can really be liberating to free your thoughts when you put them in paper, and you’ll realize you’ll emerge a much lighter, carefree person.
2. Create a gratitude journal
During this time of stress and anxiety, Sally suggests take a step back to reflect on how lucky you are. Use this time to create a gratitude journal. Each day, write down between three to five things that you are grateful for in your life.
This can be something as simple as being grateful for the cup of coffee you’re drinking, seeing daffodils in the garden or having caring friends and neighbours. Present this beautifully in a journal or share online with friends and loved ones.
The simple act of voicing gratitude is a great way to connect with yourself, and remind yourself that life is good, even when we face challenges.
Self-care comes in many forms and is something that we commonly neglect in our day-to-day lives. Work can be stressful and when bad news hit our screens, it can be even more difficult to switch off from the doom and gloom.
As amazing as yoga, meditation and spas can be, Sheree’s best advice for our mental health is to take a social media detox. Step away from constantly comparing yourself to your peers and consuming fake news every time you hop online.
By distancing yourself from dangerously addictive social media, you can work on improving yourself, instead of getting caught up in the drama around you. As human beings, we only have so much we can process at a time, so make sure you are prioritising the right things.
4. Listen to podcasts and read books
There is no better time to catch up on the podcasts and books than right now. If you are looking for some great sources of self-improvement, do check out the podcast, “Your Motivational High 5”. Of course, some Tony Robbins won’t hurt either.
I personally am a big fan of self-improvement books! Some really effective, life-changing ones are The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch, The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris.
5. Practise mindfulness/ meditation
Extra time indoors could have an impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. There couldn’t be a better time to start introducing mindfulness into your life. It is one of the most important self-care activity. Meditation is simply quieting your mind for a short period of time, it’s like giving your brain a break from the constant thinking it does throughout the day.
The first step in implementing a self-care routine is just that – routine! Choose a time of day (morning or evening) when you will take 15-20 minutes for self-care practice.
With just a few minutes practice each day, you can learn to be calm and content in these times of uncertainty. Through meditation and informal practice, you can learn to stress less, increase your energy and motivation, reduce the risk of experiencing depression and anxiety and help with feeling connected and balanced within relationships which may feel more pressured living in close proximity to one another.
When you start meditating on a daily basis you will quickly find yourself getting to know your inner self better than ever before!
This time of isolation is the PERFECT time to create a good habit! The thing that has changed Hannah’s life recently is morning mediation.
She was a part of the Chopra Center’s free 21-day Abundance Challenge and she couldn’t believe the impact these morning mediations had on her. Instead of stressing about everything, she could feel a subconscious change of allowing things to just flow naturally. She stopped stressing and everything became…easier. She felt more relaxed and more fulfilled than I had in a long time.
If you want to try this specific challenge, there are many outlets online where you can access the Chopra Center meditations. She cannot recommend it enough!
If this isn’t exactly what you’re thinking, try any kind of mediation habit. Maybe it’s 5 minutes a day in silence where you simply set a timer on your phone, maybe you try a mediation app. Whatever it is, I can guarantee it will bring a new sense of gratitude into your life.
If you’ve never meditated before, Brittany recommends using a guided meditation recording. These are available on every major audio streaming service, and Youtube is full of free guided meditation videos.
6. Write a capsule letter to yourself
Now that we have a lot of time indoors to reflect on our lives, things we appreciate and things we don’t like so much, problems we are going through and goals – why not put all these thoughts on paper?
Moreover, you can write a letter for your future self and open it in 1, 5 or 10 years – the choice is all yours.
Write about how you are coping with a difficult period – maybe you finally have some free time to spend with family or start a new hobby? Or maybe you are struggling and going through some stuff?
Inna concurs that writing about your feelings will help with self-awareness and in a few years when you read it, you will be proud of how you handled it.
If you are a family person, why not write a capsule letter with your kids or/and significant other. I used to do it as a kid and then I would put it in a box along with some little treasures and bury somewhere in the garden. I promise you, kids would love it! I still love it as an adult.
If digging up the garden is a bit much for you, you can just hide the letter somewhere or use one of the services that post you the letter in X amount of years. There are plenty of them and they charge a small fee to post you the letter. Or you can type your letter and use one of these services to send yourself a delayed email; you can find free resources for that.
Overall, there are a lot of options for writing a capsule letter from a chill and self-reflecting activity to a fun family event.
7. Write letters
Revive snail mail.
Writing letters to loved ones is a long-forgotten art form. There is something very romantic about putting pen to paper and letting your thoughts flow without the option for spell check or hitting the delete button.
It’s a joy to receive a letter through snail mail and it is a thrill for our loved ones to receive such a thoughtful surprise. To make things interesting, you can include family photographs or drawings by children to add a cheery touch to your letter, like what Khushboo has done.
So, write a post card or craft a greeting card, then send it off to your grandpa, cousins, college roomie, office-mate, anyone! (Experts say transmitting the coronavirus through the mail is extremely unlikely.)
If you’re not sure who to write to (or you have an abundance of post cards left over from your travels, like me), ask on social media for names and addresses of more vulnerable people. Or as Catherine suggests, join a Facebook group that sends mail to homebound seniors, like From the Heart. You’ll feel good, and you’ll make someone’s day.
This is something I personally insist every time I’m on a long distance relationship with my boyfriend. Nothing like good ‘ol snail mail. 🙂
8. Spend meaningful time with your family
Instead of obsessing over the news or escaping reality on Netflix, why not dedicate certain hours of every day to spending quality time with your family members?
This can include deep conversations you don’t normally have time for, looking at old family photos, reading books together, developing shared hobbies or projects, and the list goes on.
For those with children who are staying home from school, Nick suggests continuing their learning by taking advantage of the numerous educational resources being offered for free online.
You can even do offline activities together. Last summer, Elizabeth spent three weeks in Hawaii with her family. Her boys used their money to purchase their own ukuleles. Unfortunately life got busy when they got back home and the ukeleles were just on display, never played.
Now that we have so much extra time, her whole family is learning to play them together! They sit down together in the evenings to watch instructional videos and take turn practicing together.
It’s been fun learning something new together and it also brings back lots of memories from an amazing trip – which is nice considering that we all won’t be traveling anywhere any time soon.
9. Create a list of family activities
If you’re not used to having your young kids home with you during the week (and you’re wondering how on earth you’ll survive self-isolation!), what’s helped Mary is compiling an activity chart to help guide her time with her family together.
It can be overwhelming trying to keep active pre-schoolers busy without resorting to screens, but having a list of activities to reference can relieve some stress (at least, it does for her!).
This includes things already on hand — like Play-Doh time, colouring time, water table play, book time — and also more creative things like outdoor scavenger hunts (no need to overthink it, just ask them to find things that are already outside). Good luck, parents!
10. Date at home
When was the last time you and your partner took time for each other? No distractions, just the two of you.
Even at home, there are many opportunities for a nice date from home.
Susanne suggests a couple of ideas: Surprise your partner with his or her favourite dish, favourite game, or any other activity he or she particularly likes. Or how about recreating the first date? Have you been to the movies? Two chairs and some snacks in front of the TV in the dark will take you right back to that first date. And if you can even find the same movie, your romantic recall is complete. Or how about a blanket on the floor and a picnic in the living room?
There’s nothing more beautiful than remembering how your love story began. Just use what you have at home. Dating at home is not about giving perfect presents, but about closeness, an open heart and lots of love!
11. Dinner dates over Skype
In Italy, many locals make it a habit to meet friends for an aperitivo before dinner on the weekends. They head to their favourite bar, order a glass of wine, a snack, and talk about anything that comes to mind, from dinner plans to what to do that night to how their week has been.
The whole affair takes around thirty minutes to an hour yet it is probably one of the most important parts of the week.
With most of us being stuck at home now, we can’t leave our homes, let alone go to the bar to meet friends. Not to be discouraged though, as many enthusiastic folks like Ralph are now opting to have aperitiviover Skype. They grab their own glass of wine from the cellar, some leftovers, and have a group chat with all of their friends at once.
It’s not the same as going to an actual bar but it’s still enough to maintain healthy relationships.
12. Organize your own yoga retreat
With all the buzz going on outside, namastay in bed… Wrong!
Even though many of us may be confined within our homes, there’s no need to cower in bed – and I agree with Martha. Throw aside that duvet! It’s time to work up a little sweat and turn toward yoga to help you find your productive streak.
At its core, yoga is meant to centre and rejuvenate. By focusing on the small, yet present, sensations throughout the body, yoga teaches us how to be fully aware and focus on even the most boring tasks.
After your morning workout, not only will the endorphins boost your performance throughout the day, your to-do list will whittle away with ease with your newfound sense of productivity and motivation.
Yoga, though it does require some flexibility, is a great form of exercise for bodies of all levels. Whether you struggle to touch your toes or haven’t worked out in ages, yoga is meant for everyone.
A great yogi that inspires individuals of all athletic abilities is Yoga with Adriene. She has an abundance of videos that guide you through a complete practice. She emphasises over and over again throughout her videos to go at your own pace, breathe, smile and celebrate in the fact that you showed up for yourself today.
Another great resource is Yoga International which is an online archive of yoga sessions lead by diverse yogis around the world. This is a paid option, but also offers different variations to either make the workout more or less challenging.
13. Exercise indoors
How about keeping your immune system and brain healthy with home exercise? Set up home HIIT training circuits – no equipment needed. Melanie shares that free sessions are available online from Joe Wicks. Freeletics is also another popular virtual training plan.
If you’re not a huge gym buff and entering the gym makes you self-conscious as if the whole world is staring and judging you like Jade, then you’ll know that sinking feeling when you walk into a new exercise class and realize you’re the only one who hasn’t got a clue what you’re doing.
This makes you steer away from these classes because of constantly been worried about being thrown into the deep end.
Now, you can spend time at home from the comfort of your own home practising new gym class skills such as Zumba, Body Combat, Tabata and Pilates.
That way, when it’s safe to enter a gym again, you are going to be a lot more confident in these classes, have a better idea of what to expect, and even show off your moves!
14. Get out!
One of the best things we can do for our bodies during this time of social distancing is to get in some movement and fresh air.
There are many ways to accomplish this, such as going on a family walk or hike. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and is even a great workout for kids! Running outside (in open spaces) is free and a chance to get fresh air.
Take some time to research trails in your area that have little traffic and pick a few options near each other. If your first selection seems crowded, consider moving on to the next selection on your list.
The fresh air, Vitamin D, and mental clarity that comes from the outdoors might be just what you need.
15. Manage your savings
Having a savings day is a fabulous way to use your home time productively and give you some financial breathing room at the same time. Gather up all your insurance policies, utility bills, monthly subscriptions and go through each, asking yourself if each service or subscription is currently serving your needs. If so, can you find a better deal elsewhere?
This is something you can do annually as part of living a frugal lifestyle. Spending just a few hours doing this once a year can save you thousands of dollars, for relatively little effort.
16. Update your bucket list
Developing or updating a bucket list is a long-term goal for self-improvement. The tasks, or destinations, that are placed in a bucket list are items that require some time dedication, or potential sacrifices to be made in order to be accomplished.
So, while being stuck at home, this is a great time to look at some large goals and update that bucket list.
Amy gives some ideas on what to add to your bucket list:
- Nearby attractions or locations that you want to visit – but just haven’t yet: its always good to have some easy to accomplish trips on the list – and we are sometimes the worse at being tourist in our own hometowns.
- Foreign destination or attractions that you want to visit – these are the dream destinations, the ones that you may have to save several years for or have a dream vacation jar for.
- Easy to accomplish habits or hobbies – look at small habits you can develop, such as taking those harder tasks and breaking them down (write a book translates into write 500 words a day)
- Harder to accomplish habits or hobbies – those items that will be harder to accomplish and will require more time to establish such as writing that novel or learning a new language
17. Organise your bedroom
How often have you seen the advertisements for designer bedroom wardrobes and drawers with everything in its place and thought that it is nothing like your own jumbled mess?
Use this time to sort out your clothing, advocates Justine.
Decluttering and organizing your space usually doesn’t feel urgent, but it’s important – it can make a massive impact on your normal day-to-day productivity!
You can start small, and it will still make a difference. Where to begin? Ask yourself which area will make the most impact, such as your closet, books, reference files, or pantry. Prepare charity bags of the things you won’t wear again and iron the things you will and rehang them according to colour and size. Even take a moment to tidy your pants and socks neatly!
Then, when this is all “over”, you’ll have a clean slate and new environment to work with!
A fantastic way to maximise your time productively at home is to build a capsule wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe consists of limited clothes to mix and match to create hundreds of outfits.
Capsule wardrobes are fabulous because they save you time, money, and storage space, whilst ensuring you look stylish, are happier, and can make money from selling unwanted clothes.
To create a capsule wardrobe, declutter your clothes, identify gaps in your wardrobe, and buy the missing items. You will always look chic if you build a capsule wardrobe.
18. Prepare your flat to be rented
Odoardo is a humanitarian who used to work in war-torn countries and is now stuck at home under quarantine in Northern Italy. It may sound like the world is upside-down, and it probably is, but not all hope is lost.
In the meantime while being stuck at home, he is preparing his little loft in Varese to be rented on Airbnb when he’s on the road. Most of the main work is done, what’s left is to prepare a little website, clean it and take photos. Luckily there is a terrace he can use during sunny days, with a sofa built by himself which is great for reading.
That’s a good habit to keep especially if you’re looking for things to do inside the house!
19. Organise your phone’s photo library
The photo library on Jill’s phone and the cloud are terrifyingly vast – more than 10,000 pics from the last three years alone. And I’ll bet she’s not alone.
Everyone’s phones are now bloated with blurred, duplicate and downright terrible pictures. What’s more, we now know that taking up all that space on cloud servers causes significant CO2 emissions.
Organising your digital photos can provide a great sense of order and comfort, and makes locating your photos easier going forward. Plus you’ll relive the memories of some of your favourite travel experiences.
Tackle a small batch at a time—such as the photos from a certain trip or a specific month. That way, the task does not become overwhelming.
To help with the organising them, follow these steps:
#1 Delete duplicate photos
If your phone automatically downloads every photos, gif and video sent to you on WhatsApp, text or other forms of social media, this free app by Google or on the Apple app store will find them so you can delete them.
#2 Quickly create online albums of friends and family
Both Google and Apple have a Find Faces functionality, and you can use it online or on your phone. These will create clusters of faces of what it thinks are the same people, but you need to just check boxes to confirm whether it has identified the right person.
It’s really nice to have your pics sorted into Faces as, for most people, these are the most important ones in your library.
#3 Swipe to sort remaining pics
Many Tinder-style photo-sorting apps are available in the app stores, such as SlideBox. They show you full-screen images that you swipe left or right to keep or delete. It’s a lot faster than the usual ‘Select’ ‘Delete’ method. It still takes time, but you should be able to get through about a thousand pics in an hour.
You can also declutter your digital files, such as photos on your laptop, or email Inbox.
20. Collate your photos into a hardcopy photo book
Tools like Adobe Lightroom make batch editing photos from your DSLR camera or iPhone a breeze. You can set up presets to apply automatically when you import photos, and then adjust individual photos as needed.
Don’t be surprised if you’re inspired to create a hardcopy photo book, like what Jackie did. You can use Lightroom to print to an on-demand printer like Blurb. Or, look to online services like Mixbook, Shutterfly, and Snapfish, who make it easy to preserve your memories with a professional travel scrapbook delivered right to your door.
What could be better at a time like this than keeping a coffee table book of your travels within easy reach?
Now that the universe is slowed down and the earth is finally getting a chance to breathe, so why not do the same for ourselves? This lull period has given us a chance to reflect and evaluate our strengths and weaknesses.
Many of us have ‘pleasure’ tasks and activities that are incomplete because of our busy lives. Why not use this leisure time when we’re stuck at home to indulge in your interests and complete a task linked to a hobby you enjoy doing? This may be learning a new musical instrument, submitting a draft of writing to a magazine, crocheting a blanket, completing some IT coding, making a bird table or whatever it is that floats your fancy.
21. Take an online course
Have you ever seen an online course that you wanted to take, or wished you could pick up a certain skill, but always felt you couldn’t squeeze it into your schedule?
Well, there is no better time than now to do that. Whether you want to leverage Pinterest to bring traffic to your blog, pick up a second language, hone your yoga skills, or learn how to build your own sailboat, there are courses online on how to do literally anything.
22. Level up with SEO
As travel bloggers, our job revolves around traveling which is now restricted globally. Now, we can look to expand our knowledge in content marketing so we can level up.
The importance of guest posting! Networking with other bloggers and getting your brand out there is crucial for Google to rank you as a reputable authority in the industry.
This is the time to do lots of outreach to see how fellow bloggers can collaborate and provide value to others. It is also a time now to do SEO audits and re-optimize old posts for targeted keywords.
23. Go back to school (virtually)
In case you want to brush up on school subjects such as data science, humanities, business or others, here’s a free resource of 450 Ivy League courses you can partake in.
Take a TEFL course so you can teach English online
Are you stuck at home and looking for something that will help maximise your time and keep you productive? Why not make the most of this opportunity by taking an online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training course, as Alan has done?
A qualification in TEFL is a valuable qualification that can lead to regular income from anywhere, provided you have a Laptop and Internet connection.
In countries where English is not the first language, such as China and developing Asian countries, there is an ever-increasing demand for online overseas teachers to teach students the English language. The teaching is done via the Internet.
Many schools and private academies in these countries are hiring foreigners from native English-speaking countries to teach students English skills online. These countries realise that English skills are essential if they are to compete in a globalised marketplace.
One of the reasons westerners are preferred is that the students are also able to learn from a native English-speaking teacher, which can better equip the student on how to understand conversational English.
If you think this would be right for you, there are many online organisations that can get you started with the qualifications needed. A great resource is the Go Overseas website which has all the information needed and links to various online academies that provide the qualification.
The world is connected more than ever and as such there has never been a better time to take advantage of earning an online income.
24. Learn a new language
If you’re looking to learn a new skill while stuck at home, why not make it a new language?
There are all kinds of resources available for learning languages online these days, both free and paid.
Duolingo is a popular free resource for beginner language learners who wish to work on basic grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension skills, no matter the language.
Paid platforms like Rocket Languages or Rosetta Stone have in-depth curriculums which will help take you from beginner to conversational. These programs include a mixture of reading, writing, listening, and speaking exercises. If you’re looking for a structured learning experience, these programs might be right up your alley.
If you prefer a more interactive learning experience you may wish to hire an online tutor. Sites like iTalki and Live Lingua enable you to work with instructors from countries all over the world. This is a great option for improving your conversation and pronunciation skills.
Whether you’re starting from your language learning journey from scratch or simply want to brush up your skills, Janine believes there are all kinds of ways to do so without leaving the house.
25. Improve photography
Since we’re all avid travellers, we all want to be good at taking pictures too, even if it’s for old times’ sake. If you are that someone who purchased an expensive camera and never spent the time actually learning how to use it, then now is the time to start. Not only will you get great satisfaction out of learning something new, you will soon be able to take incredible photos of your boyfriend, wife, children or friends.
You can take advantage of the quarantine that applies in many countries to learn how to take better photos while you’re travelling. If you want to learn from an expert, a good recommendation would be to take this online course on Udemy, like what Laura has done. The course has 10 sections and the total duration is around 45 minutes, plus all the time you would like to invest in practicing the skills you’ll learn.
Alternatively, Jennifer believes YouTube is a great place to start if you want free videos. You can search your exact make and model of your camera and get some great advice from camera enthusiasts.
In case you usually travel light and shoot almost all your photos with a cell phone, you can take a phone photography course that’s specifically designed for that kind of traveller. There is also a free lesson on Skillshare on how to edit with Snapseed.
During this course, you will learn simple, everyday things that can help you to get more amazing pictures. You can even get some practice taking pictures of the stuff you have at home.
For example, using geometrical lines that you can find in architecture or in nature to easily direct the eye of the viewer. Another cool tip that you can find in that course, is that in case you want to give more depth to your image, you just have to add some ground (like the road or the grass) to your photo composition.
Then, if you really want to learn how to get out of auto mode and shoot in manual, then head to Skillshare. The video-based courses are great as they show you great examples and it’s much easier than reading multiple articles. A plus is that after being a member, there are thousands of other courses you will access to too.
26. Improve photo editing skills with Photoshop
Photographers know there’s no software more complicated than Photoshop. It surely is a tough beast to tackle. In the past few days, Bilal has learned how to cinemograph (moving animation in a still image) and colour tone graphs to make images POP more.
27. Publish a book
If you’ve always wanted to publish a book, now is the time to get a good start on it!
Please don’t think that you need to push out an entire book ready for the printing press in one sitting – that will just stress you out.
What you can do, however, is lay the building blocks to set yourself up for publication. Though publishing a book is almost the same between fiction and non-fiction, there are a few key differences that Kay highlights below, so let’s start with the common ground.
Solidify your outline. If you are stuck inside, now is the perfect time to outline your book! Think of what you want your book to contain, and how you want to get there. Take it chapter by chapter.
For fiction, it may be easier to write out a couple of sentences of the key points of each chapter, getting from the beginning to the climax, and leading to the end.
For non-fiction, title each chapter and write a snippet of what that specific chapter will cover.
Having a clear outline will make your book-writing process a million times more efficient, and it is a tangible aspect that you can focus on and set a reachable deadline for.
If you finish before your deadline, or have a little extra time to spare, instead of jumping into the writing frenzy, take a step back from the outline. Share the outline with a close friend that is familiar with the genre (if fiction) or topic (if non-fiction). Ask for feedback on your proposed chapters and the pace of the book. Then go back and rework your outline!
Once you’ve set the foundation of your book, you’re halfway there!
28. Learn to cook a new cuisine
In light of the current situation, most people are stuck at home and running out of interesting things to do.
Well, there is something we all can do while stuck at home: learn a new cuisine.
Have you always been fascinated by a particular kind of food and always wondered how to make it? Have you wanted the chance to get creative with your food? Now that you have time on your hands at home, this is the perfect time!
For instance, many Brazilian dishes aren’t complicated, and chances are, you would have the ingredients in your pantry. Alternatively, Italian foods are really easy to make, and they even have options for those with gluten sensitivities, such as caputo gluten free flour for baking pizza or bread.
As a result, you do something meaningful with your time instead of watching Netflix. Also, you can work on learning new recipes to impress your friends and family once this situation has passed. I’m sure they will love it!
29. Do a pantry challenge
For many of us, spending a lot of time at home means cooking a lot. With supermarket shelves regularly emptying out, this is the perfect time to do a pantry challenge!
“Shop” your own pantry, fridge, and freezer and use up those items that you’ve been ignoring for longer than you’d like to admit.
Here’s your chance to clear up some space, save money, prevent waste, and get creative. If you’re not sure what to do with that exotic sauce or interesting mushroom you bought when you were feeling ambitious, consult the internet – or better yet, your friends.
Then post your greatest successes (or abject failures) on Instagram for all to learn from and enjoy. Learn all about doing your pantry challenge here!
30. Make your own Kombucha
Love Kombucha but hate the steep price of the delicious bubbly drink? There is no better time than now to start brewing your own! For the most part, once you brew the tea and set it to ferment, it’s a hands-off process.
The drink takes about 2 weeks to ferment for a first time. If you want to add flavours to it, you’ll have to wait a total of 3 weeks to taste the fruit of your labour. There are tons of recipes out there for different flavours. My favourite is ginger lemon!
Making Kombucha is as easy as making tea – all you need is a scoby, tea bags, sugar, water, a large glass jar, and cheese cloth! Check local Facebook groups to ask if anyone has a scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to spare or order a starter kit online!
31. Start a blog
If you love to cook and enjoy sharing food recipes, being stuck at home may be the perfect time to hone your cooking skills and start a food blog! Since you will be cooking anyway and have nothing but time, you can share your love of cooking with others.
Sign up for a hosting plan, choose a catchy domain name, find the perfect WordPress theme and start writing!
Sign up through this link for a discount of USD3.95/month instead of USD11.95/month of hosting.
This will also allow you to work on your food photography skills as well, which can take a little while to improve.
You will be working with the staples you have in your own pantry, and this is perfect as many people will also be working off the same staples during these times. You can use these staple dishes to practice while in the meantime, getting your new website up and running.
Once the quarantine is over, you will have the skills needed to move forward with sharing your love of food with others!
Even if you don’t promote your blog right away, writing will provide you with a creative outlet and keep you busy when you are stuck at home.
32. Upcycling and crafting
DIY can be a great way of reducing anxiety and stress. The act of upcycling a piece of furniture or crafting a piece of decor for your home can have a positive effect on how you feel and how you cope with having a bad day.
Having something to concentrate on can be an important distraction, especially those with nervous hands or short attention span.
Finding a creative hobby can become an important part of your well-being routine as what Sam has done when she’s having a bad day anxiety-wise, so find something constructive to do if you find yourself stuck at home.
33. Make your own soaps
This pandemic thing got us all on edge, but it’s also a good occasion to learn new skills. One unusual skill is to learn how to make your own soaps.
It’s time we all start doing it actually. We should all reduce our ecological footprint, so making our own soaps is a good way to use less plastic and less chemicals.
There are tons of very clear tutorials for all kinds of house-keeping and body-cleaning products: soaps, shampoos, washing-up liquid; but also air fresheners, insects repellents, even natural remedies. All the ingredients are easy to find online. Buying them in bulk reduces cost and helps save a lot of money compared to buying ready-made products.
It can be fairly easy to make most of these products – except soap bars, which requires precision – so it can be very encouraging to carry on and experiment.
Anthony’s last creation? A hand sanitiser, of course. Aloe vera gel, rubbing alcohol and a bit of oil/glycerine to make hands smoother. Add in an essential oil to give a nice smell and voilà!
34. Dabble in art
There is a saying ‘time in nature is never time wasted.’ Same is true of art. Art can teach you so much and can really complement your travels. It teaches you to ‘see’ things both as its whole and its parts, about perspective and how colour, light and dark work together.
Art can complement your travels because it is as flexible as you and your travel schedule; it is a productive activity to do on days you can’t go out and you can use your travel photos as inspiration.
Keen but unsure where to start especially as a traveller? Start with drawing or sketching because it is easy to set yourself up with a sketch pad, a set of lead pencils and an eraser. It is also possible to paint with a small set of acrylic or watercolour paints, a few brushes and a small pad of art paper.
Free tutorials online for all skill levels will help you get started and give step by step instructions to draw or paint just about anything. Practice and create original pieces by drawing or painting from your travel photos or other inspirations.
I highly encourage you to give it a go regardless of your skill levels and have fun with it. You can even hone your creativity through art, which is a great way to keep the traveller’s mind active and engaged. Emma also finds it meditative. These are good ideas and practices to apply other parts of life because it can really help to improve and strengthen mental health.
35. Pick up sewing (again)
Sewing is a useful skill and can easily be learned by following internet tutorials! Learning how to sew can empower you to make sure your clothes fit, you can sew personalised handmade gifts and make home decor at a fraction of the retail cost. Dust off that sewing machine and try one of these easy beginner sewing projects.
36. Make glass mosaics
Getting creative is one of the best things to do whilst stuck at home. Not only does it leave you with something tangible at the end (rather than those lost hours watching Netflix), it lets your mind switch off and concentrate on something new.
Working on glass mosaics is a novel stay-at-home activity and it can definitely test your problem solving skills and express yourself in a new way. You can even decorate your flat with pieces that you’ve created, and be able to look back at them with pride.
Check out the turtles Roshni decorated! (If you want me to make you one, get in touch with her!)
37. Learn magic tricks
Everyone should have a great party piece. Now is your chance to perfect your skill. Why not learn some cool magic tricks? Kids will love it and adults too!
Three of Emer’s favourites, which each take less than 10 minutes to learn, are the Banana Buster, How to bend a Spoon and How to Vanish a Coin under a Glass. You can find them and other great tricks here.
38. Plan future travel
Being stuck at home won’t last forever so this is a perfect time to get organised on planning the journey of your dreams and be fully prepared to take off when the time is right – and I can’t agree more with Pia!
What are your bucket list destinations you absolutely want to visit? Read some travel guides and blogs for inspiration.
What are the best things to do in those destinations and what activities you don’t want to miss? Which restaurants do you want to visit? How will you get around? What is your budget and how would you like to use it?
Check the typical weather in the location and create a packing list. Do you have a valid passport, visa, and travel insurance? Maybe even learn a few words in the local language now that you have time to prepare!
39. Worldwide virtual tours
Another fantastic opportunity to take advantage of while you are stuck at home is to go on any number of worldwide virtual tours of all the museums and galleries that you always wanted to visit.
Google’s Street View feature lets visitors tour over 500 museums and art galleries across the globe.
From the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase, to Musee d’Orsay in Paris, you can check out art and culture from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras. Find out more here.
There is nothing like improving yourself during these difficult isolating period. Being productive is the key to make the time in quarantine worth it.
40. Travel from home
The Travel The World from home blog series allows you and your kids to learn about the world around you from home. You will learn about and virtually visit 2 countries each week. You can visit by cooking a dish from the country, watching a movie about the country, crafts, books, music and more.
Instead of spending hours watching TV, you can spend time bonding and learning together as a family, using your time together productively.
There you have it! I hope this 40 ideas can give you ideas on things to do while you’re inside. Whether it’s for your own self-improvement, for you to get your hands busy or for activities to do with the family while you’re indoors, the key idea is to have a positive mindset and make the best use of this time you have on your hands right now!
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