We all have things we swear we’re going to get around to doing — as soon as we have time, that is.
Remember that shelf you bought from IKEA three months ago? You know, the one you said you were going to put up in the living room as soon as you had the time? Well, chances are, you have the time now.
As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, for many of us, normal daily life has come to a grinding halt. Those of us fortunate enough to be working from home have largely found ourselves in self-isolation with an excess of free hours in the day.
That’s not to say that the restrictions on daily life in self-isolation aren’t stressful and disorienting. Instead of dedicating all of this new-found time towards being productive, you may just find yourself spinning your wheels, or with your phone glued to your hand. Shifting your attention towards that list of to-dos can be challenging in these times, to say the least.
But mustering the energy to check off one of those boxes, pick up an old project, or explore a new hobby can also be a welcome distraction and genuinely rewarding.
In desperate need of some inspo? We’re here to help you make the most of the solitude.
Catch up on content
Sometimes keeping up with the amount of content out there can seem like an impossible feat. Consider this an opportunity to play catch-up and get in on the cultural zeitgeist. Want your friends to finally get off your back for never having read Harry Potter? Now is the time.
Are your TV subscriptions feeling stale? Spice things up with Disney+ Roulette (trademark pending) by closing your eyes and committing to watching whatever you land on. You could end up finding a real gem that you’d never considered (or, just having a good laugh at the random selection).
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Pick up some skills
Pick up new skills or hone in on ones you already have; explore topics you know nothing about but have always found intriguing. Whether it’s learning to speak Spanish, getting into photography, cooking a new recipe — or maybe you’ve just always wanted to understand how tsunamis work — there are no wrong answers.
From Duolingo to MasterClass — not to mention the endless abyss of YouTube tutorials on just about every topic — there are endless resources for you to take advantage of, all from the comfort of your home, where pants are optional.
Move more and move differently
Your usual gym routine has probably been disrupted, which can make sinking further into the couch seem very tempting. But getting that daily dose of physical activity is as crucial as ever to expend nervous energy and get that influx of feel-good endorphins going.
Many local fitness studios have adapted their business models for the online world to provide us with the benefits of a good workout virtually. Discover new forms of movement or create an exercise routine that works for you.
Don’t have the tools at home you need for your workout? Get crafty. Shift furniture to make space, use those pantry cans as weights, throw on some tunes and have a kitchen dance party.
Okay, yes, we’re aware this is might not be the sexiest piece of advice but, if you haven’t already, just get those 2019 taxes out of the way. While doing your taxes probably ranks low in terms of fun, it ranks high in terms of satisfaction.
If you’re numerically skilled, you could even earn some extra cash on the side by offering to file tax returns for those in your circle of friends or family who might be struggling to get around to it.
Feed your creativity
It can often feel like we’re constantly being encouraged to maximize our productivity but, in truth, being idle can lead to the most creative and innovative ideas. After all, wasn’t Isaac Newton taking a snack break under a tree when he discovered the forces of gravity from a falling apple? The likelihood of self-isolation inspiring a scientific breakthrough might be slim, but approaching your time indoors with this philosophy can be equally constructive.
In our usual busy everyday lives, we seldom have moments to peer out the window and let our thoughts wander. So, crack out your journal or an adult colouring book and see where your thoughts take you. Maybe you’ll have a creative breakthrough, or maybe you’ll just get some much-needed stress relief.
If you’re going to be spending all this time at home, might as well optimize your space, right? Do some spring cleaning or declutter your space Marie Kondo–style. Set up or freshen up your home office so you feel good spending your working hours in a designated spot.
Get creative with your space with some DIY inspiration on Pinterest; suddenly, those empty wine bottles are beautiful candleholders. Or, simply move your furniture around and voilà! It will feel like a whole new space to discover. Plus, if there’s any heavy lifting involved, it totally doubles as a workout.
Whether you’re looking to come out of self-isolation with washboard abs, a new language under your belt, or are just trying to maintain some semblance of sanity within the chaos, there are things we can all do to make our daily lives more fun, fulfilling, or therapeutic.
We’re all in this together, so let’s try to make the most of it.