As COVID-19 social distancing and self quarantining continue, some of us may be going stir crazy not being able to go and do the things we’re used to doing. Now is the time to relax and really focus on those things you never got the chance to do during “normal” time. But when you’ve been cooped up for weeks, and still can’t hit the malls or movie theaters, how can you spend your time? The options are endless!
COVID-19 has flipped our lives upside-down with a global movement to #StayAtHome and help reduce the spread of the virus by minimising as much human contact as possible. You may already be weeks into your social distancing stint, or perhaps you’re just starting your time in self-quarantine – whatever your situation, you’re probably already feeling a wave of cabin-fever (excuse the expression).
To help you on your quarantine journey, we’ve put together a list of awesome things to do and fun activities to keep you and your family busy. From binge-watching series on Netflix to tidying up your home, DIY, playing games, reading books!! There’s plenty of fun things to do at home during this Coronavirus quarantine.
Stay safe. Stay sane. Don’t touch your face. Hand sanitise! See, easy :)
Also, maybe this could be a good time for you to finally take up that hobby or catch up on some of those chores you put off for too long. Check out a few ways we’ve put together for you to keep busy while social distancing;
Connect virtually with friends and family
We use virtual meeting apps for work all the time! Why not use these platforms - Zoom, Skype, Facetime, etc - to host virtual parties or just catch up with your mom and other loved ones? This is a great way to see how everyone you love is doing. Catch a laugh with friends, share old pictures with family or see how big your nieces and nephews are getting.
Get creative with your kids. Learn to draw. DIY
Catch up on your kids drawing skills or show them a thing or two about your talented skills :). Mo Willems, the author of the Pigeon and Elephant and Piggy children’s books hosts a daily lunch doodle - all of his classes are available on Youtube. If Mo isn’t doing it for you, there are other tons of drawing videos on Youtube that you can check out!
Another cool one is, Disney animator Michael Woodside, also hosts daily drawing classes where he teaches kids and grownups how to draw Disney characters. What better way to revisit Disney memories than to master the art of your favourite Disney Character, right? To find out which character he’s drawing on the day, visit his Twitter page early in the day and log into Youtube for the live class.
Perhaps drawing isn’t your thing and you’ve got a whole stack of clothes you’ve been meaning to give away, a pile of recyclables you haven’t gotten around to recycling and all that jazz. Well, then maybe this is a good time to learn how you can DIY all those materials to add a great ornament to your home :).
There are many activities for you and your kids to do during this time at home, be it online or offline. What a great way to spend more time with them!
Board games and card games (Fun and games?)
Turn off the Switch, XBox, PS4, iPads and dig out all those board games that have been chilling, gathering dust since the day after you bought them. That card trick you’ve been avoiding your son to show you, that playhouse your daughter actually turned into MTV Cribs’ best dollhouse! That tree house your husband never got to finish, actually reading the rules to those long and intense board games so that no one is cheating. This is the best time to get them all right :)
See if you can beat your family at Trivial Pursuit, or how about an epic game of Monopoly or Risk. The list is endless!!!
Avoid letting boredom get the best of you. These are some good old fashioned family fun games to keep you busy and reconnected with your loved ones.
If you’re riding quarantine time solo, that’s okay. There are plenty of things for you to do too! Puzzles, crosswords or video games. Play virtual games with friends and family. Trying to stay fit? A lot of fitness apps are giving free subscriptions during this time so this is the best time to subscribe to that workout app you’ve been avoiding because of payments.
TIP TIP: You can join online gaming communities and even play with your friends too – the virtual gaming world is your oyster!
(Quarantine?) Netflix and chill
A simple and easy way to spend your time. Want to find out why everyone’s talking about Tiger King, but you haven’t sat down to watch “Money heist?" Now is your chance. There’s a bunch of shows that are perfect for binge-watching while you’re still home.
Maybe you’ll want to start new shows like “The Witcher” or catch up on those classic “Friends” episodes. You could also clear out the family room and camp indoors with blankets, popcorn and scary movies.
Travelling is the main thing that we can only dream about right now! Sadly, it is not possible for the time being, so all that remains is to keep dreaming and making new plans for the future. So, take yourself on an adventure via a great movie night with the best travel movies and documentaries available. On Netflix there are quite a few travel-related movies and documentaries to be found.
Here are some of TSL’s favourites:
Fresh Prince of Bel Air
I am not okay with this
All studio Ghibli movies
Read a book
Not a busy body? Psychology Today suggests reading five books you have always wanted to read but never had the time. Reading a book is a great way to get away without straining your eyes on the tele or your laptop. Now is the time to use your imagination and allow yourself to go to someplace different.
Here are some of TSL’s favourite reads at the moment:
Milk and Honey
Girl on the train
Eat, Pray, Love
The night circus
All God’s children need travelling shoes
Gather together in my name
The book thief
The green mile
Name of the wind
The entire Harry Potter collection
The secret audio book
Listen to podcasts
Find your favourite topic and listen to a podcast on it. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before there are ways to go about it and you can find easy steps online and hone into the things you would be interested into much easier
Here’s what TSL is listening to:
The armchair expert
The Papaya Podcast
The Goop podcast
The BossBabe podcast
Drum and bass podcasts
Cook or learn to cook ;)
The one thing that seems to be trending with a lot of people the most during this time is EATING. Psychology Today recommends that you check and see what you have in your pantry and whip up a new meal, or make it a competition. We have Master Quarantine Chefs sharing mouth-watering recipes all over the internet. The likes of “Chopped” or “Iron Chef America”. Tasty, Jamies recipes,Yummly recipes + Shopping list are a few apps that can help. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts has a list of others so do go and check that out. If you are counting the calories during lockdown, get on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube for a healthy meal prep from our amazing not-so-secret chefs and the pros! You could go on a health kick and learn how to cook new recipes with ingredients you may not be using already. This is an important time to fight back all bacteria and up your fruit and veg game to keep your immune system pumping and healthy. Perfect your grandma’s bolognese recipe. You may not be a cooking whizz, but there’s a little thing called YouTube that might come in handy. Now that we’re all done hoarding the essentials, there’s no excuse as to why you can’t conjure up the best dishes on the table.
Finally, you have the time to fire up a meal in the slow cooker for 5 hours or to try out tricky recipes! And if you’re missing travelling? Set a theme for your daily meals, dress to the occasion and explore those scrumptious global recipes. Yum! This is another fun way to get the kids involved, while they also learn about the world and help you prepare those delicious meals from across the world.
Online streaming concerts
Had to give up tickets to your favourite music concert? Best music festival of the year? Fear not! Although this pandemic has had to postpone all concerts till we flatten the curve,artists such as John Legend, Pink, and many more have found ways to keep us their fans entertained from afar! Tell me you’ve never wanted to cancel a concert because you have to think of an outfit and the best shoes to last the night? Well, now you don’t have to go through all that :)
NPR Music is also compiling a list of live audio and video streams from around the world, categorized by date and genre, with links out to streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Some will require registration or a subscription, but most will be free, often with digital tip jars and opportunities to directly support artists by buying music and merchandise.
Learn a new language
Download Duolingo, or a similar app, and teach yourself a foreign language. I always give up because there is not much time and language grammar that’s harder than English, bites! But now, there’s plenty of time to master the frustration and. Get, It. Right! In case your travel plans were messed with as a result of this pandemic, consider this your chance to learn their language! :)
Meditate/ Take time to reflect
Let’s face it, during these unsettling times, even the most laid-back of people are a little on edge. So why not soothe those stresses with some meditation, mindfulness, and even anxiety-melting sleep stories to get some good sleep. Our fave apps are Calm and Headspace. This is a great way to get in touch with yourself and your space.
Try lying down with your eyes closed, palms up, while focusing on your breathing. Alternatively, spend 20 minutes sitting cross legged and repeat a soothing word/ mantra to yourself to channel good energy.
Taking time off to reflect and meditate helps us put a lot of things in our lives into perspective. Things such as what you have accomplished in the last year? What goals are you setting for yourself in the next year? Realigning your priorities when life gets back to normal. Making a list of things which you are grateful for is always a good place to start. This always helps to remind ourselves how lucky and fortunate we are.
In a world full of busy schedules, rushing in between meetings, deadlines to meet, self-love is one thing that always seems to take the backburner when it comes to a list of priorities. We suggest you take the time to really treat yourself and lavish yourself back to health during this time. A good place to start is to create your very own home-based spa. The kitchen is the best place to whip up a good face mask, hair mask and exfoliator. Get rid of stubborn hair, steam, open those pours, moisturise, oh my! Just feel good and look even better.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep!! Get lots of it. Rest! We cannot stress this enough. Too many of us are living our lives like we’re the main characters in an episode of “The Walking Dead”. Sleep deprivation is a common threat to living a healthy life. It’s the cause of numerous cases of depression, anxiety and plain dysfunction at home, at work and in our social lives. Whether you are able to sleep in the evening or in the afternoon. Go for it! If you struggle to sleep, there are many ways to aid your inability to have a good rest. You can check out apps online that you can download that have various ways to get you to sleep better.
Help people in need/Donate
We forget that some people are less fortunate and it would certainly make someone’s day with the tiny effort you make. Consider donating money to food banks to help families struggling to get meals and health care during the lockdown.
Help local businesses - support local
Buy gift cards from your favourite local businesses to help keep them in business while we quarantine. Give online reviews to all the local spots you love so much. Retail therapy doesn’t have to mean a day spent trawling your fave boutiques. You can easily update your shoe’drobe or your home online as well.
Push your career: free online courses
Let’s get back to some more serious business. Maybe this is the perfect time to revive your career! Learn something new or add extra knowledge. This valuable extra time allows us to get up to speed with topics we were always curious and passionate about. Addison, UDACITY and Cousera offer free online courses in South Africa. These channels are ready to let you dive into a plethora of new knowledge that awaits!
Secure the bag!! The time is now! Interests are low! Work on your financial planning, yes, it sounds melodramatic and morbid but let’s face it, this is a task many of us avoid because we never have the time or just simply never want to come face-to-face with our current financial state. Now we do. No more excuses. Up your financial literacy. Pay up your credit debts. Up your credit score. Thank goodness for Essential Services that are banks that are still operating during this time. Call your financial institution and find out how you can work on your credit with the money you have right now and how you can better plan for times like these. Stop procrastinating. Do your income taxes. Update your will. Don’t have one? Write one now. Protect your assets. Find out what your liabilities are.
Have a space in your home where all of the tupperware goes? Organize it and actually find those lids!! (Hahaha) containers. Rearrange your sock drawer and find those missing socks!! Also, rearrange your furniture to make it seem like your home is a totally different space. Now that you’re sitting at home more than usual, you might find yourself getting tired of your room arrangement quickly. Time to turn it all around! Organize your spice rack. Better yet, go through this process with your junk drawer and supply shelves.
Finally get around to fixing that broken door knob and loose tile or cleaning scuffed up walls. Throw out all that very old makeup and products. (Tip: most liquid products have a small symbol on them noting expirations, usually six months to a year. This includes sunscreen!) We are all guilty of hoarding items over the years and never getting around to really sort all of the stuff out. Don’t forget to have fun being creative by refreshing your surroundings!
Try out at-home aerobics, yoga videos, Zumba, intense training circuit videos that have so generously been flooding our internet since the outbreak. As if motivating ourselves to actually use our gym memberships wasn’t enough, now we are confined to our living spaces and staying in shape may not seem like the easiest thing to do. If you are struggling to motivate yourself, fear not as there are also plenty of apps and other online resources and channels providing you with all you need to do your favourite exercises at home. Consider downloading a fitness app with curated workout playlists (pssst I have personally been doing this and I feel great). You don’t need all that gym equipment to stay fit. I saw a video of a guy using the couch with his wife on it as his squat with weights training. That’s an idea!
Stretch and work on your flexibility. It's possible to get the splits back, right? The web’s buzzing with inspirational fitness blogs and trainer videos full of fit peeps who can show you the battle ropes – from full-blown workouts with fitness gurus like Kayla Itsines and Nike Training Club, to calming Yin Yoga with virtual instructors. Take part in the 30-day yoga challenge online or subscribe to an affordable fitness app with home workout options, video tutorials and meal plans to guide you through your fitness journey. No excuses!
However you decide to spend your free time during this lockdown, always remember to be safe and to be grateful for everything that you have during this difficult period.