Everyone all over the world is finding themselves stuck at home and for those of us who can’t work from home the days can become very long, very quickly. I’ve been brainstorming all the different activities to do to not only stay occupied, but also enjoy my time. In today’s society it is very rare that we get an extended opportunity in life to be slow. Accepting what is happening in the world and having a positive outlook on the situation is important. Stay informed and help where you can but realize that there is only so much an individual can do. Utilize this time to improve yourself.
There are so many activities that can keep you happy and healthy in this time below are a few of my favorites with some advice on how to get started. I’ve linked helpful resources that I did not get paid to include but I did use and vet before I added them.
Clean the house
It has been on your list for months but you can’t seem to find the time. Well, now you have it. I suggest starting with this one because living in a clean and organized environment will make you feel so much better. Get rid of everything you haven’t used in the last year and scrub in all of the hard to reach corners. It’s not shelter in place, it’s just spring cleaning.
Plan out your nutrition for the next week, then go shopping and cook awesome meals!
This one has undoubtedly been on the list for a while too. Trying to lose weight or just eat healthier? (who isn’t?) Now, time is available to sit down and plan out the foods you want to eat. Pick out healthy recipes online, schedule the days you will cook those meals during the next week and set a time of day when you will start cooking. If the idea of cooking for yourself sounds horrifying, use the extra time you have to learn. I find it too easy to overeat when I am bored at home, especially when I bought a lot of healthy snacks for myself. Using a tracker to analyze and review how much food and what nutrients are actually being consumed on a daily basis has been the main reason I’ve lost and maintained a healthy weight. I use MyfitnessPal and I absolutely love it but there are a number of these out there and a lot of them are free. It is easy to search for a few and find one that works best for you. Here are some resources to help no matter where you are.
- Need help to build your own nutrition plan or eating healthy? Contact me with questions, I am happy to help or start here: Eating Well they have some great content about nutrition as well as recipes.
- Need EASY healthy recipes? Food Network is a great resource
- Need to learn how to cook? Gordon Ramsay can help. Get that quarantine body!
Schedule your days
When you have a list of responsibilities that you intend on accomplishing but haven’t given them a specific time to action, it is incredibly easy to get stuck watching Netflix or scrolling social media for a few hours instead. Sit down and write out an hourly plan for your day and stick to it. All you need is a pen and paper but an actual planner is nice to have and you can always go back and see what you’ve accomplished. If you really need help with scheduling and prefer to use technology to stay accountable, there are a lot of resources online. Use Google or outlook calendar and schedule out every hour of your day. Weekplan is a great site and links directly to your Outlook or Google Calendar if you want even more productivity and are willing to pay for it.
This one is non-negotiable. The body is made to move and you have to give it the opportunity to do that. Even if you only stretch for 15 minutes, do something every day. Getting some fresh air is also important so going for a daily walk, run or bike ride are all excellent ways to get your body moving. Most gyms and studios are closed due to COVID-19 but in reaction are offering online options. It has never been easier to get a quality workout at home with free online resources. Check out my page Free Yoga Videos for some at home workouts and if you need a little more, contact me to set up a virtual class. Below are some other great options for exercise ideas:
- wildflowersyoga.com/ – Incredible yoga instructor with classes throughout the day.
- Good Housekeeping has collected an outstanding list of free classes and discount codes.
- If you need some real inspiration to get moving, Chris Hemsworth has a free trial workout routine right now; I know I wouldn’t have a problem exercising with him for a while. One of my favorite skiers, John Collinson posts a lot of his workouts on his Instagram. I like John Collinson’s workouts because they are always a little different and a bit harder than the average movements that most people consistently end up doing in a gym.
Regardless of current sheltering in place, it is the time of year to start planting vegetables. Now that you have some time on your hands, get ready to see if you have a green thumb. If you are already an avid gardener try planting more difficult veggies like cauliflower, celery or even wasabi! Check out these gardening resources for all competencies.
- Join a group: Gardening for Beginners, or for the more advanced: Homesteaders of America. It is also a good idea to search for gardening groups that are local to you. Depending on the climate you live in, certain foods need to be planted at different times or may not even grow at all without a greenhouse.
- If you go to a nursery to by starter plants or seeds, ask someone. In my experience, people that garden LOVE talking about gardening. Just stay 6ft away when you ask.
There are so many things to DIY and making something yourself instead of buying it is so much more satisfying. There is also a real therapeutic aspect of doing something to pass the time that is for yourself and your interests.
- Beauty Products – There are so many chemicals in beauty products these days. A number of very standard products, that you can find in your own kitchen, can do wonders for the skin without the harsh and carcinogenic chemicals. I’ve been loving this chocolate face mask or scrub from the book “Wild Beauty” by Jana Blakenship. She has got some other fun recipes for free on her blog that are worth a try! Also try learning more about essential oils with the guru herself, Nadine Artemis
- Build a Backyard Gym or Ninja Warrior Course – Unfortunately living in an apartment rules this one out but having somewhere to play when you are stuck at home for an extended period of time can be a big help mentally and physically. Local ad sites like Facebook marketplace and Craigslist are full of great finds right now (I guess everyone is cleaning out their garage…)
- Paint, Knit or Macrame – these will always be great meditative hobbies and you’ll find an endless amount of how to guides on Pinterest and YouTube. You can even paint a picture of where you wish you were instead of being stuck inside.
- Practice braiding your hair for when you finally step foot into civilization again. Any hairstyle will do but here is your chance to perfect something so you can dress to impress. If you can get a hairstyle down to a reasonable amount of time maybe you can add it to your daily routine.
- Start making jewelry! And when you get frustrated or don’t want to spend the money on all the supplies, you can pop over to Janna Drake Originals and buy some beautiful hand-crafted pieces.
- While your cleaning out your closet, turn some of those old clothes into something new!
Support local businesses
If you are lucky enough not to have been financially effected by COVID-19, please consider stimulating your local economy. Small businesses are trying to stay afloat right now, and they may not be able to make it through this pandemic. Order take out from your favorite restaurants. If your gym is shut down continue payment and utilize online classes or virtual private lessons from your favorite instructors. A lot of cities and towns are using hashtags on social media to post opportunities where you can help locally. In Denver check out the hashtag #wegotthisdenver.
Learn a new skill
Recently, the rise of online courses has skyrocketed and right now all of them are vying for your business. Most of the popular platforms for online learning have increased their “free trial” period to one or two months! Now is the cheapest time to jump on board. There are plenty out there that are offering courses for next to nothing. Blueprint for crafts, Udemy for anything, Coursera for academic endeavors (be careful with this one, the courses are great but they will try to charge you even if it is listed as “Free”), and Dummies for anything you can imagine. I’m sure there are more out there if you do a quick search. You can always use YouTube but those tutorials are not vetted or certified so just make sure whatever you are watching is legitimate; I like to pick 3 or 4 videos and if they are all telling me the same information I know it is likely to be accurate.
Catch up with old friends and family
Skype, Zoom (best video quality), Houseparty, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger; these are just a few of the free programs that you can use to virtually hang out with friends that also have some extra time on their hands. Take advantage of this slow time and enrich your life by filling it with friends and family. Or even make new connections; join a local Facebook group because they are lit right now! Everyone is bored and everyone is turning to social media. It’s a good chance to e-get-to-know-someone new in your area and make plans to hang out in a month or two.
Now that you have all the resources you need to stay happy, healthy and busy there is no reason for boredom during the next few weeks to months trapped inside. A lot of these are kid friendly and budget friendly. All of them are healthy for your body and soul. Get started slowing down and focus on yourself for a while, we’re all doing it together.