Coronavirus: 10 Productive Things to Do While You're At Home
With millions of individuals all over the world practising self-isolation and social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, the reality of confinement has proven to be a challenge for many people.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining.
Staying at home might seem unproductive and boring, but you can take this opportunity to make the most of your new abundance of ‘me time’, and channel your focus into all the things you’ve put off because you didn’t have the time before.
Here are 10 things to do to help keep you happy and productive – and sane – while you’re spending more time at home.
1. Clear out your wardrobe – and everything else
Start your spring cleaning early! Dedicate some time and attention to sorting through your clothes, ditching items you haven’t worn in the last twelve months, and organising what’s left into sections so that they’re easier to browse through.
While you’re at it, clear the clutter in your home – and in your head – and collect any items you’ve been meaning to dispose of and finally get rid of them.
If you’re still feeling inspired, go the extra mile and deep-clean every room in your home. Get out the bleach and the cleansing wipes, and really get down to business.
What better time to do it than during a novel virus outbreak?
2. Try out a new recipe
If there’s a recipe you’ve been meaning to try but haven’t had the energy to put together between work and other responsibilities, there’s no time like the present.
When you’re at home, spending time in the kitchen can be incredibly therapeutic.
When you’re following a recipe, you’re putting your brain to work and focusing on what’s in front of you rather than thinking about any other worries and concerns you might have. This relieves stress and results in a great meal or snack when you’re through.
What could be better?
3. Earn a qualification
What’s great about today’s technology-driven world is that we have access to education and learning from virtually anywhere.
If you’ve been thinking about developing your career skills, consider taking the leap to do so while you have the added downtime.
You can study a wide range of prestigious professional qualifications online with us, in areas including:
- Human Resources
- Learning and Development
- Project Management
You’ll have the flexibility to study online at your own pace and shape your learning around your schedule – whatever that may look like right now.
4. Start a journal, blog, or bucket list
Writing for yourself can improve your mood, and help you prioritise problems, fears, and concerns. It also provides an opportunity for positive self-talk and helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety – helping you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.
During trying times like these, it’s important to self-reflect and find escape where you can. You might find that starting a journal or blogging about your current experience – or anything else – to be useful.
If you’re not a fan of either option, another fun thing to consider is writing a bucket list or two about where you’d like to travel to, for example, or what you’d like to do once things begin to shift back to ‘normal’ again.
We may not know when that will be yet, but it’s a great way to remain optimistic.
5. Learn a new instrument – or dust off your old one
If you’ve always been curious about learning how to play the piano, the guitar, or even the ukulele, you should consider setting aside some time to start now.
If you’re already well versed in an instrument, consider spending time developing your talent.
Music has a way of helping you through turbulent times, keeps you calm, and has even been proven to lower a person’s heart rate and blood pressure.
Learning to play an instrument also provides a sense of achievement and, perhaps most importantly in relation to the current pandemic, it can improve your patience and discipline – something everyone needs practise with right now.
Oh, and did we mention it’s fun?!
6. Get inspired to DIY
Make productive use of your time to tackle any ‘do-it-yourself’ projects you might have around the house. This could be painting your walls, rearranging a room, or maybe even upholstering old furniture. If you’re limited to going outside, you might as well make the most of your indoor living space.
DIY doesn’t have to stop at interior improvements either.
If you have kids at home who need a distraction, dive into an afternoon of arts and crafts to keep them engaged. Even if you don’t have kids, no one’s judging you on that well-manufactured macaroni necklace.
7. Learn a new language
While you may not master a new language in only a few weeks, you can use your time away from the public to give yourself a head start.
There are many applications out there, like Duolingo, which help you excel at learning a new language when you’re just starting out.
Keep in mind that the point of learning a language is to be able to utilise it as much as you can. So, try starting with the language that would be most useful to you when you’re back out in the ‘real world’.
8. Break out the board games and puzzles
If you’re in quarantine with company, then embrace some old school entertainment and bring out the board games for some light competition. Please remember, however, that much like going out in public right now, Monopoly should be chosen at your own risk.
If board games aren’t your thing and you’d prefer a solo activity, try putting together a difficult puzzle. It will likely take up lots of time, and the result – granted you like the picture on the front of the box – will be a satisfying one.
9. Connect with friends and family
Humans are social beings, and social distancing and self-isolation is challenging for many people.
Those who are socially vulnerable, like elderly people, are especially likely to struggle the most through this uncertain period.
While we can’t replace the value of face-to-face interaction, it’s still important to be creative and find ways to stay connected.
If you can’t physically be together, use phone calls, texts, and platforms like Skype to keep in touch with your loved ones while you’re in lockdown. Chances are, they’ll appreciate a friendly chat or text message, and you’ll find comfort in making sure everyone is okay.
So please, go ahead and call your gran – she’ll be happy to hear from you.
10. Practise self-care
With updates on the coronavirus changing daily – and rapidly – your highest priority should be to focus on your mental and physical health.
It’s stressful when you can’t control what’s going on around you, but you can take control of how you deal with it.
There’s an entire universe of online fitness classes to get you through self-isolation; however, if you’re not stuck in quarantine, get out for a walk or a run in the fresh air – while keeping your distance from others, of course.
Limit your time online
The internet and social media can be both a blessing and a curse. That’s why it’s important to give yourself prolonged breaks from your search bar and from media outlets that are constantly coming at you with new – and often negative – information.
Remember to unwind
Take time to relax and decompress whenever you can. Take a bath, re-watch your favourite movies, or read that book you’ve not yet started.
Think about what you’re grateful for
COVID-19 is impacting many of us in ways big and small, changing our lives as we know it for the foreseeable future. That’s why it’s always important to reflect on what you’re grateful for, as we don’t always know what will come next.
Pet your dog
If you’re not a dog person, pet your cat, or (lightly) tap on the glass of your goldfish bowl. Spending time with your pet will undoubtedly reduce stress and put a smile on your face during even the most trying times.
Finding creative ways to better yourself and your home environment means you’re taking the opportunity to learn and grow during this pandemic, which is perhaps the most important takeaway here.
It can be difficult stay productive during quarantine, but it’s still important to try.
So let’s try and do better to be better – and get better.
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