Being stuck at home can be great for a little while, but it starts to get old quickly. Whether you’re practicing social distancing, taking a stay-cation, or getting over a virus, you’ll need a few different ideas for things to do if you’re stuck at home for a while. Luckily, a little bit of creativity goes a long way.
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There are a lot of things to cross off your bucket list without leaving your couch. Whether you’re an extrovert itching to get some social contact with your friends or you’re an adventure-seeker looking for the next thrill, try this list of things to do when you’re stuck at home.
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t take some time for self-improvement. A lot of educational resources and activities are free online, and this is the perfect time to throw yourself into something new.
1. Online courses
Even if you’re not in school, the learning doesn’t have to stop. A number of well-known and up-and-coming institutions offer online courses, and many of these are even free.
The most well known is Harvard University’s free online course catalog, which features lessons in game design, programming, opera, religion, and more. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a course for that.
2. Read something new
With so much extra time on your hands, why not pick up something from your to-be-read pile? We all have books we put off reading, whether it’s a famous classic or one of these life-changing books.
Don’t feel intimidated by bestsellers and cult classics. Read whatever makes you happy, even if it’s just a magazine. You don’t even have to visit a bookstore. Most modern books are available online through e-readers, and your library likely offers free digital downloads.
3. Visit a virtual museum
Did you know the largest, most well-known museums around the globe store information and photos of their collections online? These are entirely for free, and it’s a great way to feel like you’re getting out of your house even if you’re just lounging in your living room. With YouVisit, you can explore popular museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art through 3D tours.
4. Watch film classics
We all love a blockbuster hit, but what about the film classics that shaped the art we know today? Take some time to work your way through the Rotten Tomatoes list of the best-rated movies. While you’ve likely already seen a few, this is a great way to get some film inspiration.
Most of these classics are available for digital download or to stream on services you likely already use. Pop some popcorn, get some snacks, and make a movie marathon out of it.
5. Solve digital puzzles
Sometimes you just need to do something that stimulates your mind. With the news headlines not always offering anything positive, take your mind off the world’s chaos with a digital puzzle. There’s an endless supply of online crossword puzzles, word searches, and sudoku puzzles.
Fitness and Health
Staying inside is often hard on your health. If you’re usually one to hit the gym or a workout class, being stuck at home might feel like a challenge to your physical fitness. The good news is that there are a number of effective ways to work on your health and fitness at home, no matter your experience level.
6. Go for a walk
Most of the time, walking is still a perfectly acceptable activity if you’re at home. You can go for a walk in your neighborhood to get some fresh air and increase your step count. Map out a path in your local community and hit the road.
7. Take an online fitness class
There’s an entire world of online fitness classes just waiting to be discovered. Hint: these are actually so much better than in-person classes! There’s no commuting, no awkward locker rooms, and no fighting for the best view in class. Instead, you login digitally (or click play) and that’s it! It’s fitness on your own schedule.
There are a lot of great free apps that make it simple to find customized workouts like 8Fit or Freeletics. In addition, you can find thousands (or more) of workout videos for free on YouTube. These are from personal fitness trainers, proven programs, and skilled athletes.
8. Meal prep
It’s easy to fall into the trap of quick and unhealthy meals if you’re stuck at home. Finding the motivation to cook healthy foods isn’t always easy. However, since you have more time, why not prepare some healthy meals and snacks?
Having something healthy to quickly grab and go while at home makes all the difference. Look online for free healthy meal plans and start cooking. It’s a great way to pass the time!
9. Practice meditation
Even if you’ve never tried meditation before, now is a great time to start. Taking a little bit of time to decompress, practice breathing, and focus your mind does a world of good if you’re facing a lot of stress. Better yet, there are a lot of free meditation apps like Calm and Headspace to help you get the hang of it, no experience necessary.
10. Stretch regularly
When you’re stuck inside, stretching is a must. Your body doesn’t get as much movement as it might be used to, and this can affect your health and wellbeing. Following along with some simple stretches on a workout app or just getting up and moving your body does wonders for your mental and physical health.
While the cough might sing its siren song, you can balance your Netflix-binge sessions with some productivity. How often do you get uninterrupted free time at home? This probably isn’t a regular occurrence, so try these productive tasks to feel like you’re using this time for good.
11. Spring cleaning
If you’re like most people, you might not clean as regularly as you like. There’s absolutely no shame to this, but why not use this dedicated time at home to freshen things up? This is the time to blast your favorite music or a podcast and put in some elbow grease.
Consider parts of your home that aren’t cleaned as often as you’d like. Maybe you vacuum under your bed, scrub your bathtub, or deep clean your kitchen. Either way, you’ll feel very accomplished by the end of it.
We all have things we no longer need. If you’ve been holding onto one-too-many things in hope of the perfect day to declutter, now is the time. Go through your things to find what you’re ready to let go of once and for all. There’s never been a better moment to learn how to downsize.
13. Organize your documents
When was the last time you took a look through all your important documents? Things like your birth certificate, financial records, and medical forms generally only get referenced once or twice a year. Making sure all your records are organized and clearly labeled takes the stress out of needing these documents later down the line.
To get organized, go through everything to determine what documents you need to keep. From there, sort things by document type in a filing cabinet, labeled folder, or binder. To take things a step further, save copies of your documents digitally and share them with a trusted family member.
14. Start a journal
Journaling is a valuable way to express yourself, even if you’re not a writer. You don’t need any experience to get started. Just a journal (digital or physical) and some free time. Start with 5 to 10 minutes of writing per day. You can write to someone, yourself, or just comment on your day.
15. Check-in on relatives
Now is also a great time to check-in on your relatives and friends. If others are also stuck at home, they might be feeling isolated or like they’re losing touch with others. You never need an excuse to ask your loved ones how they’re doing. This is especially true for older and more vulnerable groups. Start with these questions to ask grandparents.
Hobbies and Fun
Last but not least, use this time to have some fun. In the age of digital streaming and social media, hobbies tend to take a backseat to other things. Now is the time to reclaim your time to make it all about fun.
16. Host a virtual party
Just because you can’t hang out with others in-person doesn’t mean you can’t connect! Hosting a virtual party on a social media or video platform is a great way to feel connected to those you love without leaving your house. Share discussion over a meal, host a dance party, or just check in with each other.
17. Learn how to paint
Painting is something a lot of people are interested in, but they don’t think they have the time. Invest in a basic paint set, turn on Bob Ross, and get to work. For added fun, pour yourself a glass of wine for an at-home wine and painting session.
18. Write a letter
The art of letter writing is quickly becoming lost in the age of digital media. Revive this classic hobby by handwriting letters to those you love. You can make it as elaborate as you like, including a care package or other extras for added excitement.
Watch calligraphy videos on YouTube to take your handwriting up a level. Even if it doesn’t go as planned, the recipient is sure to appreciate it.
19. Craft something
Crafting isn’t just for summer camp and elementary school. Crafting is fun for all ages, even if it feels a bit childish at times. Look online for some free and easy at-home crafts and start building. Who cares if your macaroni jewelry isn’t actually wearable? It’s fun!
20. Practice self care
Lean into this free time by allowing yourself all the self-care activities you could ever want or need. Face masks, bubble baths, and baking sessions are a must. If you want to sit back all night and watch bad TV, so be it. Being stuck at home is challenging, so don’t be afraid to be easy on yourself.
Make the Most of Your Time At Home
It’s not often that we have extended periods of time stuck at home. Whether you’re recovering from the flu or staying at home during an emergency, don’t let this time get away from you. As you can see from the list above, there are so many different ways to use this time to your advantage.
The next time you think “what should I do next?” consider these ideas. Whether you’re getting your body in shape or connecting with loved ones, you can do all of this (and more) from the comfort of home.