Stuck at home with lots of time to panic over the Corona Virus Outbreak? As difficult as this situation is for the whole world, having this uninvited guest showing up into our lives is extremely stressful. In times of stress it’s important to take a deep breath, remain positive, not let fear get in the way by focusing on Practical and Productive Things to do while we are staying at home.
Nothing comes to mind? Let me help you by providing you with plenty of ideas and options to choose from, where there’s something for everyone!
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 Learn a new language online
- 2 Already fluent in one or more languages? What about finding a language exchange partner online?
- 3 Learn a new skill
- 4 Take advantage of the free online Ivy League Courses
- 5 Finally get the chance to say you attended Yale
- 6 Train to become a Virtual Assistant
- 7 Masterclasses
- 8 Work out with Celebrity Actor Chris Hemsworth (AKA Thor) for 6 weeks for free
- 9 Take the 21 day free meditation created by Deepak Choprak and Oprah
- 10 Take a class with Chef Nonna
- 11 Download the app houseparty
- 12 Write letters or Postcards
- 13 Self care and Pampering
- 14 Learn salsa, how to mix cocktails and cooking demos with Discover Puerto Rico
- 15 Always dreamed of seeing the northern lights? Now you can see them from your couch!
- 16 Tour a National Park from your couch
- 17 Make extra cash by teaching English online
- 18 Learn new DIY handcrafts
- 19 Knitting
- 20 Yoga on the go
- 21 Meditation
- 22 Make your work space more comfortable, or create one…
- 23 Stay looking Fab by trying new make-up or hair tutorials for when you’re on the go
- 24 Read some books
- 25 Listen to podcasts and/or audiobooks
- 26 Find some good movies to watch
- 27 Read travel blogs and itineraries to create your travel bucket lists or plan your future travels after Covid 19 goes away
- 28 Videos games, Virtual reality, or Board games, oh my!
- 29 Enjoy some culture from the comfort of your home
- 30 Write a book
- 31 Create that YouTube channel you’ve always wanted
- 32 If you already have a blog, create more content; if you don’t, consider starting one
- 33 If you love to cook, try some new recipes
- 34 Taco Night
- 35 Creating your own Cocktails or Mocktails
- 36 Baking as Therapy?
- 37 Spring Cleaning
- 38 Clean your closet and consider Donating/Swapping some of the items
- 39 Retaking online courses you have purchased in the past, or try something new
- 40 Organize your travel photos and videos
- 41 Support smaller local businesses (including restaurants)
- 42 Hit your local park for a breather
- 43 Be a little more neighborly to the elderly
- 44 Catching up with friends and family; check in on them
- 45 Virtual date with your best friends (bffs)
- 46 Plan a date night at home with your significant other
- 47 Binge-watch a series, documentary or movies about or filmed in a specific country or area you are interested in visiting
- 48 Learn to play a new musical instrument
- 49 Start a vegetable garden
- 50 Create a vision board
- 51 Work on that new project you never seem to find time for
Learn a new language online
There are so many resources online to assist with learning a new language. You can easily use free apps as Duolingo, or sign up for Babbel. Why waste your time at home when you could either be learning a new language or practicing one that you are in the progress of learning.
Or, rather than having the goal of learning the language fluently, just get a jump on preparing for your trip post Corona Virus, by learning basic essential phrases for a country that you are planning to visit.
Already fluent in one or more languages? What about finding a language exchange partner online?
In places like Italki, you can find language exchange partners or, if not, hire a 1-on-1 online teacher. There are other free websites too, such as: Conversation Exchange, Easy Language Exchange, Speaky and more. What a great way to meet someone new with possible common interests.
Learn a new skill
One of my favorite things to do, especially when I am home or when, like in this case, work is slowing down (hey, I am talking to you travel industry!), I really enjoy going to such websites as Lynda or Udemy, in order to learn a new skill.
Anything that can help me to improve my business, get more clients and keep me working remotely, I’m in! Go and take your pick. You might even want to consider looking into more online opportunities. Think about stuff you’ve wanted to try but haven’t had the time and go for it!
Take advantage of the free online Ivy League Courses
Check out classes from places such as, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Never stop learning: There are topics on Marketing, Introduction to Classical Music, to several poetry classes, The Science of Well-Being, to Shakeaspare, Psychology, you name it! Take a peek here.
Finally get the chance to say you attended Yale
Yale is offering a free online course (I registered), The Science of Well being, that teaches how to be happier in life. You can take it for free but if you really would like to get a certificate of completion, you just need to pay $50 to get it once you complete the course. Not a bad deal!
Train to become a Virtual Assistant
Nowadays, many people look for virtual assistants for regular admin tasks, writing, social media management and more. Maybe this is a great chance to pursue your dream of working remotely, or at least earn a little extra money so that you can escape home and travel once the ban is lifted.
One website that I truly love, where you can take masterclasses from the best in the world, is masterclass.com
You can pay a small monthly fee to take an unlimited number of classes from professionals such as Anna Wintour, Gordon Ramsay, Martin Scorsese, Natalie Portman, RuPaul and many more.
You can also find masterclasses online or there are some Facebook groups for specific masterclass interests that you can join.
You might also like: Different ways to earn money while on the go!
Work out with Celebrity Actor Chris Hemsworth (AKA Thor) for 6 weeks for free
I am not sure about you, but I know many ladies (including myself) who are always crushing over Chris Hemsworth. He is definitely eye candy. Now you have the chance to sign up on his website Centr.com for 6 weeks, free of charge, to be able to use his workout at home app.
This app has everything from nutrition, meditation, and exercises. It is the perfect place to not only get fit, but to also keep sane, healthy and manage any stress related to the current situation we’re all experiencing around the world. Sign up here!
Take the 21 day free meditation created by Deepak Choprak and Oprah
While Deepak and Oprah generally offer a free 21 day meditation, this one is extra special since it is about Finding Hope in Uncertain Times. I am a big believer in the power of the mind, and meditation is super powerful. It can help you with stress, anxiety and much more. I totally recommend that you join me and try it.
Take a class with Chef Nonna
This is like learning how to make handmade pasta with family. This amazing grandmother offers pasta cooking classes. Book yours here.
Download the app houseparty
Download the app called “houseparty” and play it with your friends and family during this period of social distancing. It’s a great way to connect and have fun virtually!
It’s essentially a video chat with games like heads up, trivia, chips n guac (like cards against humanity but pg) and pictionary. It is a boredom buster which is fun playing with the people we care about!
Write letters or Postcards
As cheesy as this sounds, handwritten letters and postcards mean the world to someone who’s on the receiving end of it. In the middle of this crisis, why not go old school and send a thoughtful note like this to someone important in your life.
Self care and Pampering
Why not take some time for yourself? Self care is key in times of crisis! This can include anything from a bubble bath, a face mask, hair moisturizing treatment or just taking the time to do something you love – what ever makes you feel pampered and empowered!
Personally, I enjoy making my own body scrub, consisting of honey, oats, brown sugar and almond oil. I even use it on my face. I totally love how my skin feels afterwards.
Learn salsa, how to mix cocktails and cooking demos with Discover Puerto Rico
Discover Puerto Rico has a weekend initiative where virtually or on social media, they offer salsa dancing, authentic cooking and how to mix cocktails without having to leave your house. Wepa! Learn more here.
Always dreamed of seeing the northern lights? Now you can see them from your couch!
You can live stream the Northern Lights, thanks to the set up of Explore.org which has the live cam located at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba, Canada and is situated directly underneath the aurora oval—one of the best places on earth to watch the aurora borealis. Tune in during the darkest hours of the night, which are generally from 10pm–4am EST. Enjoy!
BTW, Check out this post so you can plan your own visit to see the Northern Lights in Iceland!
Tour a National Park from your couch
Google Earth launched this amazing initiative where you can have virtual tours of 31 of the world’s most incredible national parks. A way to do a little traveling without leaving your home.
Make extra cash by teaching English online
There are different options, such as VIPKid or PalFish, which allow you to teach remotely and earn money. Go to their websites and see the requirements. NOTE: You will need to arrange an interview and complete a certification. I know several people that do this on the side and it is going quite well for them.
Learn new DIY handcrafts
DIY handcrafts can be super fun and also distracting. Let your creativity come to life and enjoy yourself. There are plenty of tutorials online, from blogs to Youtube videos for almost any type of creative outlet you can think of.
Since I always have travel on the brain at most times, you can always learn to knit and then knit your own travel blanket or scarf. It feels so awesome to be able to create and then wear your own things. Why not make something for a loved one too while you’re at it?! You can also consider donating your blankets to hospitals, hospices or nursing homes…how altruistic of you!
Yoga on the go
If you are looking for something that keeps your body healthy and in shape, while at the same time feeling relaxed and peaceful, yoga is an amazing activity for the mind, body and soul! If you already, practice yoga, you can still deepen your practice while at home.
Order a yoga mat, blocks, elastic bands and sign up for something like My Yoga Works. I have a yearly membership and I love it because it includes all kinds of yoga, plus meditation, to do at home or on the go.
Elaborating on the prior thought, meditation is an amazing way to love yourself, practice self care and relax your mind, body and soul. There are many amazing courses online for beginners, also tutorials on Youtube. There are also some cool free meditation aps like Insight timer, Headspace and more.
Make your work space more comfortable, or create one…
If your job sent you to work from home, or you are a digital nomad like myself, make your home or new temporary base more comfortable by creating a work space. I believe that the less cluttered it is, the more creative and productive you will be. Try it and find out for yourself.
Stay looking Fab by trying new make-up or hair tutorials for when you’re on the go
There are so many amazing tutorials that show you how to do quick hair styles, make-up looks, and even how to blow dry your own hair, all while on the go. I personally have found this to be a great thing to know as a traveler. It helps you to remain looking fabulous, especially when needs must, like when you cannot find a good stylist or make-up artist, when traveling.
Read some books
There’s nothing like a good book when you are relaxing at home.
If you are spending extended time at home, order some good books online for any genre that excites you, maybe even some travel books to feed your wanderlust, or motivational ones – any distraction at the moment will be a welcomed one.
Note: If you have a kindle e-reader, you can sign up here for kindle unlimited and you get to try your first month for free. If you don’t you can easily order one here and it will get delivered to your home.
Listen to podcasts and/or audiobooks
If you are not as much into reading, consider finding a good podcast to listen to or another great option are audiobooks. It takes the pressure off of reading, and you can still enjoy a good book or a talk on entertaining subject matter.
Find some good movies to watch
There are so many good travel movies, which help you to escape to a wonderful place or inspire you to visit somewhere else in the future. This is the time to watch them or re-watch them. Of course, you can really watch any classic or movie genre you love.
Read travel blogs and itineraries to create your travel bucket lists or plan your future travels after Covid 19 goes away
While this is not a good time to travel, you can still think about traveling in the future. Do some research, read travel blogs, *cough* like Dreams in Heels (shamefully plugging my own), to start planning your future itineraries.
You can even save the posts on a Pinterest bucket list board for you to revisit once you ready to make plans. I am a living example that once you get bit by the travel bug, it is hard to stop thinking about the next adventure.
Videos games, Virtual reality, or Board games, oh my!
Whatever kind of games you prefer, regardless if they are virtual or the actual board ones, it is always fun to have things like this at home that keep you entertained. It is also a great activity for couples or the entire family! Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that result in the best memories, even just playing card games, board games or online video games – it’s all about the fun, fun, fun. Enjoy!
Enjoy some culture from the comfort of your home
Believe it or not, there are many museums that offer virtual tours of their galleries. Great way to enjoy beautiful works of art while sitting comfortably at home!
According to Fast Company, Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.
In addition, the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC will be live streaming their operas.
Enjoy all of this amazing culture while you can!
Write a book
Is it your lifelong dream to write a book? Fiction, non fiction, a memoir, whatever the case is, this is a great time to start brainstorming, writing an outline, and just get started! You can even consider taking an online course on how to publish your first book. Set up a corner, put on some music and start writing. Just don’t overthink it; it can always be edited later on, once you’ve gotten started.
Create that YouTube channel you’ve always wanted
Always wanted to have a YouTube channel? Then, there is no time like the present to create one! YouTube is one of the best creative outlets around. Many people are online and clamoring for more and more videos to watch.
Pick a niche and start recording your own videos at home. Or, if you already have videos, take the time to learn more about how to edit content. So many good online videos can teach you how to do simple editing. It’s your chance to share your point of view with the world!
If you already have a blog, create more content; if you don’t, consider starting one
If you have a blog, do not lose your motivation. Endeavor to find new angles and write away. Remember that things take time to rank and, even if it is a travel-related blog, traffic will pick up – people will eventually begin to travel again after all of this is over.
If you do not have a blog, and have always wanted one, this is a great time to start researching, narrow down your niche, find a name for your blog, verify that the domain is available + social media handles, buy it, open an account on a blogging platform of your choice (I personally prefer to use WordPress), and get started!
There are so many resources online on how to start a blog that you can’t go wrong. Just be sure to lead with your passion and you’ll always love doing it!
If you love to cook, try some new recipes
What a perfect time to try out some new recipes and to eat healthy at home. If you truly love being in the kitchen, this is definitely a great form of therapy and something practical to do. Remember, sharing is caring, so feel free to make a little extra and share it with friends, family and/or neighbors.
Not sure about you, but taco night always cheers me up! You can do it with whomever you are quarantined with for fun, or just organize a zoom video call where you can be sharing the night with others… everyone can share their own creations. Consider making margaritas, virgin or otherwise, too! Then, you share virtual time with your friends and family!
Creating your own Cocktails or Mocktails
Speaking of Margaritas, pick whatever is your poison and play around with creating your own recipes, or simply refine those found online. Who knows, maybe after quarantine, the bartender skills might come in handy!
Check out these mocktail recipes!
Baking as Therapy?
Baking is very different from cooking. I know people who love to bake, but hate cooking overall. Whatever makes you happier, it is your choice. But baking can also be a great family and/or couple activity. Consider creating healthy alternatives to common snacks, that way you keep your energy up and avoid the sugar crash in the end.
New York City is famous for small spaces which generally need to also be multifunctional. Why not start Spring Cleaning a little early? Don’t we all have to do it eventually? If you are free at home, you have all the time in the world to get into an ultra cleaning mode, or even start those household chores or renovations that you’ve been putting off doing for some time now. There’s no time like the present!
Clean your closet and consider Donating/Swapping some of the items
For me, the bigger part of Spring cleaning, and a total separate monster job, is cleaning out my closet. Go totally Marie Kondo on it! As you remove items you no longer want, put things aside to donate and/or swap.
And the best result is that you can make space for new things. It may seem like a vicious circle, but no worries. Consider it a reward for all of the hard work and sacrifice of parting with some beloved items.
Retaking online courses you have purchased in the past, or try something new
I have so many courses that I’ve purchased in the past, that I never finished. Sometimes it’s easier to start over rather than trying to pick up where you left off. Whatever it is, this is a good time to go back, and revisit anything you purchased in the past or start with something new. Keeping your mind active is a great way to relax it from the media coverage overload regarding Covid 19.
Organize your travel photos and videos
If you travel a lot, even if you are not a blogger, you probably have a lot of photos and/or videos as a result. Download google photos, back up your phone and create more space on your device for the future. Or use something like Dropbox to back it all up. You can also them into different folders (destinations, dates, etc.). It will make it easier for you to find your travel photos and maybe even share them.
Support smaller local businesses (including restaurants)
Some local businesses, including restaurants, are suffering as much as anyone during this crisis. Take a break from cooking to order food and help your own community. Instead of hitting up huge department stores, or buying everything online, visit the neighborhood shops.
Hit your local park for a breather
As much as we should stay home, I think it’s better to explore local places. Consider taking a walk or run around your neighborhood park. Being closer to nature is usually relaxing and helps keeping things in perspective. You are not under house arrest.
Be a little more neighborly to the elderly
If you can somehow help out the elderly living in your building or neighborhood, I’m sure they’d appreciate it. Maybe they need help to get the groceries or even to order them online (since they may not be as tech savvy as the rest of us). Keeping an eye on our community is important especially in times of crisis.
Catching up with friends and family; check in on them
Call your friends and family. Maybe plan to do a video call, skype, conference call or whatever works best for everyone. It is good for you to still keep those personal connections and relationships with others.
It is also important to check on your loved ones. Mental health is important and, under the pressure of this crisis, people stress more, or are concern about losing their jobs, getting sick or other personal issues. Checking in shows how much you care!
Virtual date with your best friends (bffs)
I tend to do this a lot, not only when I am home, but also when I am away. It feels so good to interact with my close friends, to see them, and to even have wine confessions, ha-ha! My best friend and I are wine enthusiasts and, since we both live away from each other, sometimes we make a date to have wine over Skype or Google hangout. Cheers!
Plan a date night at home with your significant other
If you have a boyfriend, partner, or husband, plan a date night at home and spend some quality time together. Worries shared are halved!
Binge-watch a series, documentary or movies about or filmed in a specific country or area you are interested in visiting
I enjoy learning more about a country’s culture before visiting, so I enjoy watching documentaries and series. It gets me more excited about visiting and I am more prepared for what I may want to do and/or see during my visit.
Learn to play a new musical instrument
If you are into music, why not begin by learning how to play an instrument. You can even find courses online. For example, my friend purchased a keyboard for a reasonable price (less than $100) and is now learning by using online tutorials. Can’t wait until she’s ready to hold her first concert!
Note: Fender is offering free online guitar lessons for 3 months.
Start a vegetable garden
My mom and best friend both have vegetable gardens, and I see that it is a great hobby for people (and also a way to eat healthier). Why not research and start one in your own balcony, backyard, rooftop, etc.
Create a vision board
I usuallyy do a Vision Board every year and there’s nothing like it to help you think about what you envision for yourself in this coming year. It’s a great way to set goals, decide on your interests, and get your creative juices flowing. You can even create one digitally if that’s your preference.
Work on that new project you never seem to find time for
Whatever this project is, maybe it’s a book, updating a blog post, updating your resume (CV), applying for new jobs, starting your own business, this is the time to just go for it! Life is too short to give up on that something you’ve always wanted to accomplish.
Overall, we hope that all of these ideas and tips help to make your stay at home more comfortable, practical, entertaining and productive. Don’t let the panic get the best of you. Always work on becoming a better and stronger person by practicing self care and doing activities which can help you, whether just as a momentary distraction or for building future skills to success for moving forward in your career or life in general. Enjoy!
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