These are unprecedented times…..as concerts are postponed, sporting events are canceled, schools are closed and tourist hot spots and non-essential stores are shut down, our government and senior healthcare officials have made it clear – we need to stay home during this time of global pandemic - we can all come together, by staying apart.
That's right: It’s time for self-quarantine.
Remaining inside is a good way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19, and is an important measure to help "flatten the curve" of daily cases that put pressure on our health care system, however, it could lead to a lesser evil: boredom and stir craziness.
What's there to do while stuck indoors? I’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help make your time quarantined as interesting – and perhaps even as productive – as possible.
1. Complete a puzzle: The more pieces the better! Feeling extra saucy? Take on a Rubik's Cube. More of a word person? Crossword puzzle!
2. Start a journal or blog. Sure, it can be about the coronavirus, but it could also be about a specific interest from chess to cheese.
3. If it won't bother your neighbors (or others in your home): Dust off that old instrument and practice.
4. Write poetry. Perhaps you can craft a haiku for Mother's Day, or something without a specific structure. Just try it!
5. Watch all the really long movies you’ve avoided until now or watch a classic favourite.
6. Download Duolingo, or a similar app, and teach yourself a foreign language.
7. Download a library app, Audible or similar app & tackle a subject you’ve wanted to learn more about…you got this!
8. Meditate. Try lying down with your eyes closed, palms up and while focusing on your breath. Or spend 20 minutes sitting cross-legged and repeat a soothing word to yourself in your head.
9. Face masks, moisturizer, oh my! Treat yourself to a 10-step skin care routine you don’t have time for during a normal work week. Many papering items like bath bombs can be made from common household projects you likely already have on hand!
10. Watch funny cat videos….who doesn’t love those?
11. Put together an attractive charcuterie board, using only foods you already have in your fridge and cupboard.
12. Get Crafty! Painting, Paper Mache, Colouring and other easy crafts are a great way to spend some quiet time.
13. Write actual letters to family and friends.
14. Write thank-you notes to service people who you remember went out of their way for you or essential workers who are risking themselves for others.
15. Learn calligraphy. YouTube can help!
16. Learn to knit – YouTube an also help with this!
17. Play a board game - finally read the rules to those long and intense board games you've never played and encourage the family to play too!
18. Put on a soap opera. Mute the sound. Create your own dialogue.
19. Have a space in your home where all of the tupperware goes? Organize it and actually match lids to containers. (this one you may need to repeat)
20. Try on all your clothes and determine whether they “spark joy” á la Marie Kondo.
21. Better yet, go through this process with your junk drawer and supply shelves.
22. Have a family/roommate meeting about how to be more considerate of one other, especially while you will likely be spending more time together. Bring baked goods.
23. Bake those goods.
24. Use Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Marco Polo to video chat with your friends and family.
25. Try out at-home aerobics or yoga videos. Consider downloading a fitness app with curated workout playlists.
26. Look at yourself in the mirror. Attempt a self portrait with pencil and paper.
27. Take a bubble bath (bonus: Add a glass of wine)
28. Make a classic cocktail, from negronis to Manhattans and aperol spritzes. Don't forget the garnish.
29. Take time to reflect & goal set: What have you accomplished in the last year? What goals are you setting for yourself in the next year?
30. Write a short story or get started on that novel.
31. Actually try to reproduce something you see on Pinterest. Probably fail. Try again.
32. Clear out the family room and camp indoors with all blankets, popcorn and scary movies.
33. Finally get around to fixing that broken doorknob and loose tile or cleaning scuffed up walls.
34. Pretend you're 13 years old and fold a square piece of paper into a fortune teller you put your thumbs and pointer fingers into. Proceed to tell fortunes.
35. Learn how to braid (fishtail, French, etc.) via YouTube tutorial..
36. Throw out all your too-old makeup and products. (Tip: most liquid products have a small symbol on them noting expirations, usually six months to a year. This includes sunscreen!)
37. Interview your grandparents (over the phone, of course) and save the audio. Can you create an audio story or book with that file?
38. Go through your camera roll, pick your favorite pics from the past year and make a photo book or order framed versions online.
39. Learn how to cook new recipes with ingredients you may not be using already.
40. Create a Google document of shows or movies you’re watching and share it among family and friends.
41. Make a list of things for which you are grateful.
42. Have your own wine tasting of whatever bottles you have at home. Make up stories about the journey of the grapes to your mouth.
43. Work on your financial planning, such as exploring whether to refinance your loan or ways to save more money.
44. Perfect grandma’s bolognese recipe.
45. Buy gift cards from your favorite local businesses to help keep them in business while we quarantine.
47. Write a book with your family. Pick a character and each member writes a chapter about their adventures. Read aloud to each other.
48. No March Madness? Have a Scrabble tournament. Or Bananagrams. Pictionary, anyone?
49. Get into baking with "The Great British Baking Show," but your technical challenge is baking something with the ingredients you have on hand (that you didn't already use in the charcuterie board).
50. Indoor scavenger hunt.
51. Alternate reading the Harry Potter series with your kids and cap each one off with the movie.
52. Go viral in the good way by making a quarantine-themed TikTok.
53. Rearrange your sock drawer. Really.
54. Stop procrastinating and do your income taxes.
55. Make lists of all the museums, sporting events and concerts you want to visit when they finally reopen.
56. Get into comics with digital subscriptions on your tablet, like Marvel Unlimited.
57. Rearrange your furniture to make it seem like your home is a totally different space.
58. Practice shuffling playing cards like a Poker dealer.
59. Organize your spice rack alphabetically or get crazy and do it by cuisine.
60. Teach your dog to shake, or any other new trick. Hand sanitizer optional.
61. Memorize the periodic table. You never know when that will come in handy.
62. Order and put together some IKEA furniture. Time yourself.
63. Get a free trial of a streaming service and binge-watch as much as you can before it expires. (Hello, Tiger King!)
64. Apply for a new job. You have remote work experience now.
65. Learn a new style of dance via YouTube, from bellydancing to breaking.
66. Update or write your will and organize your affairs. Yes, it sounds melodramatic and morbid but let’s face it: This is a task many of us avoid because we never have the time. Now we do.
67. Bring out the Legos. Build your house inside of your house.
68. Watch the "Star Wars" movies in this and only this order: Rogue One-IV-V-II-III-Solo-VI-VII-VIII-IX.
68. Two words: Coronavirus beard! Grow it, moisturize it, comb it, love it.
69. Learn the words to "Tung Twista." Get them so ingrained in your brain that you can rap them as fast as Twista can. Impress everyone.
70. Been meaning to get some new glasses? Try on new frames virtually on sites like WarbyParker.com or Lenscrafters.ca.
71. Attempt things with your non-dominant hand, from writing to brushing your teeth. Prepare to be frustrated.
72. How many words per minute can you type? See if you can get speedier by taking a typing course.
73. Learn origami. Make cranes for your loved ones.
74. Stretch. Work on your flexibility. It's possible to get the splits back, right?
75. Try to speak in pig Latin. Or, "ig-pay, atin-Lay."
76. Talk to your plants. How are they doing? Make sure they are getting the amount of sunlight they should be. Check their soil. Water if necessary.
77. Deep condition your hair and put paraffin wax on your hands. Enjoy your soft hair and nails.
78. Consider donating money to food banks to help families struggling to get meals.
79. Write a song. If you want to make it about your time inside and put it to the tune of "My Sharona" and replace "Sharona" with "Corona," do what you have to do.
80. Study the art of beatboxing.
81. Try moving in super-slow motion. It's OK to laugh at regular speed.
82. You know how there are dozens of ways to wear a scarf, but you only wear it the one way? Learn the other ways.
83. Learn Old English words. Pepper them into your conversation. Wherefore not?
84. Try on a new shade of lipstick. See how long it takes your partner to notice it.
85. Get outside – take advantage of your backyard or balcony space and enjoy the outdoors whenever you can!
86. Watch the zoo keepers at the Toronto Zoo & learn about the animals (Live Feed on Facebook everyday at 1pm!)
87. Take a virtual tour of some of the most famous international museums including the Louvre or famous landmarks of the world like the Great Wall of China.
88. Start journaling! Write your feelings about the world or things that you are grateful for and keep you going during all the craziness.
89. Institutes “Formal Fridays”. Have your family dress in their best for dinner on Friday, even if there’s no where to go!
90. Learn how to make & edit videos for YouTube. If you get good, consider starting a Vlog or How-To channel about something you love.
91. Listen to podcasts. There are topics for everyone!
92. Bird watch – identify and learn about each type of bird you see
93. Use online portals to set up game night with friends. You can play card games online & have safe, social distance fun!
94. Spruce up your gardens! Use this time to prepare your gardens for the arrival of spring. Rake the yard and pull out the weeds and leaves.
95. Take deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
96. Sleep. Get lots of it.
Wash your hands, stay safe and we can get through this together!