If you are looking for ways to stay productive with more time at home, read on for 10 easy ways you can stay busy and feel good, too.
Reconnect with Friends
Now that everyone is home, there’s time to catch up with friends and family. Schedule video calls and enjoy staying social despite distance. Call the amateur chef in your friend group to compete in your own cooking competition, have a watch party for a movie, or even order a duplicate delivery of your next meal to feel closer while you talk. If you’re reducing screen time, handwrite a letter to family members in nursing homes, giving them something new during their long quarantine. While you have the stationary out, sending a letter to younger family members gives them an opportunity to practice writing and sending letters through the mail.
Clean Out the Pantry and Freezer
You’ve stocked up, but food doesn’t last forever. Check dates on all packaging and bring foods closer to their expiration date up to the front. Next mealtime, reach for these older staples and get creative with your meal, saving your latest purchases for another time. You can use these recipes for guidance. If you realize you already had a well-stocked kitchen once you return from the store, consider sharing with neighbors or donating.
Relearn Skills from Home Ec.
Now that you need to stay home as much as possible, it’s time to relearn those skills from your high school Home Ec. Reattach all those buttons you’ve collected on the corner on your chest of drawers. Practice your cooking and baking skills. Once you’re comfortable with simple meals, start challenging yourself to make your favorite foods but have never tried to make at home. With these basics down, perhaps you’ll want to take up a crafty hobby. When everyone ventures outside again, you may have a new quilting set or family sweaters. These skills are time-consuming, but they provide for you and can be a way to relax, so don’t be embarrassed to try taking up these classic skills.
Even if you aren’t an avid reader, there’s that book you’ve been meaning to read for years. Perhaps it’s a classic you want to say you know, or maybe it’s a favorite of a friend that you want to bond over. Whatever the reason, use this time to do the things you’ve meant to do. Grab a snack like this Maple Spiced Snack Bar and retreat to a quiet corner to enjoy. When you’re done, you can make a new list of eventual to-dos!
Thin Out the Closet
You have your usual wardrobe, which is the favorite 5 outfits, but mixed in the drawers and in the far reaches of the closet, you have your past wardrobe—the wardrobe you don’t want people to see. There’s a random cartoon shirt that says Miami MICE from the 80s, an oversized sweatshirt that definitely isn’t yours, and a get-up that was surely for Halloween one year. It’s time to Marie Kondo your life. Use your extra time to seriously decide what to keep and what to donate. Reminisce on good memories, laugh about your old style and get the added satisfaction of a tidier closet.
Develop a Short Home Exercise Routine
With gyms closed, your exercise is going to change. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to make time and find the energy to do your usual routine. Instead, try out simplified workouts that work for your current lifestyle. You can create a body-weight-only workout that you do in the corner of the bedroom, but your exercise doesn’t need to be intense right now. Wake up a half-hour early to do some simple yoga poses. Take an afternoon walk. You can even take an extra break to play with the dog! The point is to add more movement to your day so you can recover with a tasty smoothie.
Start a Garden
Have you ever been brought a box of home-grown vegetables or a bouquet from some just-bloomed flower beds and thought, I wish I had my life this together? Try it! Research some plants that will grow well in your area. While some seeds and bulbs may be hard to find right now, head outside and prep an area for a garden once you decide what to add. It will give you time outside and a purpose away from work and family.
Clean Up—One Task at a Time
Now that the house is full, it gets messier much quicker than normal. Block off time in your day to clean. Pick a task for the day and hand out who is working what rooms. Maybe today is clean the baseboards day and tomorrow is dusting day. (Some tasks may be done so quickly that you can throw a few extra at the kids!) Keep things light and don’t push yourself to do all the cleaning every single night. The goal is for it to be habitable, not ready for guests.
Take an Online Class
Take this time to learn something new. There are plenty of online classes that are free or at a reduced rate right now. You can learn how to make the perfect charcuterie board, get certifications in your field or even tackle some lessons from university professors. If you are helping kids with online learning, that counts, too! There’s a reason you blocked out fractions from your memories.
Discover Your Family
In the South, you probably know things about your family that would amaze anyone else. Yeah, Great Aunt Ethel made her husband Frank lose a hand, no biggie, but were either of them actually related to you? It’s an honest question when it seems like most people you know are somehow a cousin in one way or another. Use this time to research your family, what your surname means, and if Great Aunt Ethel passed on any anger issues to you. Perhaps while you’re home you should keep some cookies close–served with milk, of course.