Now that we’ve all come to accept the fact that this is our new normal, it’s time to shift gears and optimize our extended time at home in productive ways. Sure, the first few months included new skills, like bread-baking for many, but getting back those hours that were once lost to commutes and engagements means no more excuses. Make the most of this opportunity to pursue your passions, do things you enjoy, and maybe even learn a thing or two.
1. Participate in an Initiative Close to Your Heart
There’s a lot of chaos going on around us but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it from the comfort of our homes. It is beautiful how people have been brought together to make a change and help others. Whether you decide to start a new initiative, help fundraise locally, or volunteer at an organization, every bit of help will go a long way to improving someone else’s life.
Here are a few organizations to get you thinking:
UNICEF: An international organization focused on improving children’s lives.
FEEDING AMERICA: A hunger-relief organization focused on bringing food to those in need.
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: An independent, global movement providing medical aid where it’s needed most.
2. Find the Workout Program for You
We know it’s tempting to lounge around and reach for all the snacks just steps away, but it’s never been more important to be mindful of your health and make better choices with how you spend your day.
If you often struggle to jumpstart your own fitness journey, there’s plenty of online programs that fit your lifestyle and schedule. It’s the perfect time to try a new workout in the privacy of your home and figure out which among them you’d want to incorporate. It’s never too late to jump on the #quarantoned bandwagon.
3. Expand Your Culinary Skills
Not being able to dine out whenever you want can definitely intensify cravings. Although there are many businesses offering delivery, there’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal. A lot of people have turned into home chefs due to the quarantine. You’d be surprised at how easy (or hard) it is to replicate your favorite restaurant dish.
4. Don’t Stop There — Try Baking Too
Don’t underestimate the difficulty of baking. Cooking is more forgiving in terms of ingredients and heat. But baking is a science that involves measurements and precision — and a lot of trial and error. Nonetheless, learning how to bake your own bread or dessert is definitely worth putting in the time for.
5. Brew Your Own Coffee
Getting a cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop was probably part of your daily routine. Learning to make your own cup of coffee at home will not only save you money, but it might also just might surprise you how much better it tastes than store-bought.
Here are some brewing methods you can try:
6. Learn a New Language
The last time you learned a new language was probably in high school. Whether it’s to increase your edge in your career or just so that you can fluently order food in a foreign country, now is the perfect opportunity to pick things back up.
You can check out these websites for online language courses:
Rosetta Stone: They offer a total of 28 language courses. Rates are currently at $7.99/month.
Duolingo: This user-friendly app offers 36 languages. Courses are free but you may want to invest in the $6.99/month fee to enjoy additional perks and an ad-free experience.
7. Learn to Play a New Instrument
Music is proven to help de-stress and improve mental health. Learning to play a musical instrument will let you flex a new muscle and earn you entertaining points (once you get there).
8. Take an Online Course
For those who want to remain productive during the pandemic, taking an online course is a great option!
Check out these 50 Online Courses you can take to fill up your spare time.
9. Pick up Journaling
With so many things happening around us right now, taking the time to unplug yourself from the online world and just being alone with your thoughts is a must. A global crisis is definitely something that will make you rethink what’s most important to you. It’s also a good way to release the stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic.
10. Turn Your Thumb Green
For those who miss nature, creating your own garden lets you be outside while trying something new. Start your own herb garden or be part of the growing indoor plant community. Watching leaves unfurl, thanks to your tender loving care, can be incredibly rewarding.
Unlock your creative potential. No matter what your painting level is, everyone is an artist in their own way. You can get starter kits with step-by-step instructions or even try your hand at following online tutorials.
12. Catch up on Your Reading
Put down your phone and grab a book. With a little extra time back, it’s the perfect opportunity to disconnect and get lost in pages.
Here are some reading lists to get you started:
13. DIY Home Improvements
Since we’re all spending more days and nights at home, why not use this time to improve things around the house. Learn how to DIY and get crafty. A good living environment is key to relaxation.
Writing not for you? Why not try vlogging and learning how to document things in a new medium instead? It’s a fun way to remember how you spent your days in quarantine and may even become an opportunity to monetize your content if you build a following.
It is not uncommon to feel anxious with everything that is happening around us. Meditation is a fantastic way to slow things down, manage stress, and become more present. Learn how to practice mindfulness here.