The safety measures and regulation imposed by governments increase each day due to the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic. The general message is to stay at home and not help spread the virus. But what to do at home and how to spend your time at home during social isolation to not go completely crazy?
I am not the only one thinking about what to do at home and how to spend my time to not go completely crazy. Since I don’t have a job anymore, I spend my time writing on my blog and editing videos for my YouTube channel.
At the moment, travel blogs aren’t getting a lot of traffic (because everyone is staying at home), so I came up with a list of things you too can do while you’re isolated at home. Some countries call it isolation, while others call it “quarantine”. I will call it time spent at home.
As a general tip for maintaining your overall stamina, try not to let yourself go. Establish a daily routine (wake up, exercise, take a shower, have breakfast, etc.) and try to stick to it. From time to time, open a window to let some fresh air in.
Here’s re some things to do at home during the coronavirus quarantine or any other time you have to spend time indoors.
Clean your house
I will start with the least exciting idea I have (to get it out of the way). Start by cleaning your house. Viruses can survive on surfaces for hours and even days.
So, for the sake of your mental sanity and the wellbeing of everyone living in the house, disinfecting the most used areas and objects in your home might be worth the time.
I am not going to start talking about the coronavirus. Still, the general message we get is to keep our hands disinfected. That means to also clean the object we touch in our homes and, of course, our phones.
Learn a new skill and take an online course
I always plan to read more about digital marketing and blogging strategies but rarely did I have the time or energy.
Finally, I was forced to take a break from everything else. And now I can use all this free time to take the courses I want to develop and improve my digital marketing skills.
You can develop an entirely new skill or improve some of your more rusty ones. It can be anything (almost anything, as you have to stay indoor). Think about skills that can help you with your work, as well as soft skills. Most of the resources you need are available online, for free.
How can you start?
Make a list of the areas of your professional (and private) life that you want to improve and search for online courses that can help you with that.
There are many online academies which offer free or cheap online courses, that can teach you new skills.
No matter what you want to learn, chances are that it is available online and it is free. Open culture has an entire list of free courses.
Improve your soft skills
Soft skills can’t really be taught, but the willingness to listen to other people’s story and to challenge your train of thoughts when reacting to what others are doing or saying is a good start.
Maybe you want to learn to communicate better at work, or with your family. Or perhaps you need to improve your time management skill. While there are many free resources available online, one of my favourite resource for improving my soft skill is Ted Talks.
I am a huge fan of Ted Talk and a while ago I compiled a list of my favourite TED talks, that can help you change your perception over life.
Work on personal projects/hobbies
Do you remember those colouring book/ canvas/ cooking books you bought a while back, hoping that one day you will have enough free time to relax and enjoy yourself?! Well, that day is today.
Whatever you want to do, for sure there is someone teaching that exact thing on YouTube and can give you an idea on how to get started. But don’t get lost on YouTube, you are just researching for your project! (The point is to get your eyes off the screen of your devices)
Keep a journal
We are all living unexpected times, and not in a good way.
I live in Romania, and I grew up with stories on how the communist used to rule the country. Let’s just say I got a bit used to such ideas. But for the rest of the world, these are just stories.
And that’s why it might not be a bad idea to write down everything that’s happening.
Writing about my feelings is something I started doing some years ago, and it helped me to better understand why I feel the day I do and what can I do to feel better. Because the end goal of any problem is to feel better.
Keeping a journal might seem silly at first, but give it a couple of weeks, turn it into a habit and see how it will transform your life. I promise!
Exercise to keep your body fit
Being restricted to go outside can have terrible repercussions on our minds and body. From the start, the circumstances aren’t ideal for a healthy mind.
The good news is that we can guide our mind towards more happy thoughts. Physical exercise is one of the fastest ways to keep your mind sane and it also helps to keep our body fit. The body and mind are always connected.
It might feel challenging to find motivation, but once you finish exercising, you won’t regret it.
I try to do some exercise the first thing in the morning, before my mind figures out what I’m doing. By the time I finish it, I already feel energized and have nothing to complain. And it keeps me going till the next workout.
I do pilates in the morning and I recommend it to anyone, regardless of your fitness level. There are many cool classes on Youtube. The challenge is to find one that you like. (But don’t do the same one each day!)
Read a book
Books can open a world of endless possibilities.
Books can be your friend, can help you form new ideas, expand your vocabulary and teach you about things or places you’ve never got to experience by yourself.
If you a slow reader like myself, I recommend Audible. They offer bestsellers and podcasts. The first month is free, and your first book is free to purchase.
Last month I finished Becoming, by Michael Obama (and read by her), on Audible and I can tell you it was a delight!
If you want to read and not listen to someone else reading the book, then you can purchase it online. Most of the classic novels can be found free. Planetebook seems to have a generous offer, and 1984 is the headliner.
Plan your next holiday
We are not able to travel at the moment until the coronavirus crisis settles down. But we can daydream about our next holiday and research it. And why not start planning the trip?!
While most international transportation is unavailable at the moment, that doesn’t mean it will be like this forever.
You can start planning your European holiday, for 2020 or maybe for next year. Europe is going nowhere. I wrote some tips on how to travel cheap to Europe, and I included all the tips that I use when I travel on a budget. (But I think I might have to change the title for 2021).
Visit a museum virtually
The coronavirus crisis is affecting all areas of life, and big institution are offering some perks to make us all feel a bit better (and not get bored).
The most famous museums offer free virtual tours. This is probably the best thing ever!
Now, you have all the advantages of visiting a museum, without having to put up with the pain. All for free.
I have visited some of the most famous museums, but I haven’t seen them all. And from the ones I’ve seen, I have to tell you that you’re truly lucky to be able to visit them from the comfort of your home, free of charge.
If you have no idea what museum to start with, here’s my list of recommended museums:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Van Gogh Museum
The Vatican Museum
British Museum, London
MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art)
Natural History Museum, London
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Visit a place with Google Maps
And since I already talked about visiting galleries virtually, why not visit a new country using Google Maps? You might laugh, but I do this sometimes.
The feature is called Google Street View, and it shows you 360° panoramic images of the street. It’s a representation of our world, all stored on Google Maps.
Here’s the most famous building from Romania. You can go basically anywhere (almost). All you need to do is go to Google Maps and drag the little yellow human from the right bottom corner to the point on the map you want to see.
And if you got excited about this feature, then you have to try Google Earth.
It’s not as thrilling as walking on the street yourself, but it’s the next best thing you can do when we have to stay indoors.
I hope you got some ideas about how you can spend your time at home. And I hope you will get tired of binge-watching Netflix and use that time for something more useful.
If you do want to read my thoughts on the coronavirus topic, here’s what I already wrote about it: