It’s no secret that at least 4 billion people worldwide are currently confined to their homes in hopes of “flattening the curve” with the Coronavirus pandemic and I can assure you, after a month of being indoors for 95% of the day, people are getting antsy, bored and miserable. I mean, how could you not?
Vacations? Ha! Cancelled. Sporting events? No dice. Cancelled. Concerts? Sorry, those are cancelled too. Dates out for a drink? Forget it. Cancelled. Gathering with family and friends? Yup, you guessed it…cancelled. 2020? Might as well cancel that too because so far, it’s been a complete shitshow.
So many people right now are asking themselves, “How can I stay busy, productive and engaged throughout the days while sitting around?” Well, first off, don’t feel pressure to always be on. It’s totally okay to feel off some days and don’t feel bad if you take a day just to veg out and chill. Constantly having a case of FOMO (fear of missing out – don’t worry, I only found out what the term meant a few months ago) is such a stress enhancer and you shouldn’t be adding extra stress to yourself during these less than ideal times.
I’ve been asked by my friends and some followers on Instagram how I’m staying busy, what do I do during the day to pass time and it varies for everyone of course depending on your living situations, hobbies and interest and the amount of downtime you have. People with children obviously have different priorities and expectations than people without children.
If you have some free time by yourself, or with your spouse and kids, here is a list of how to stay busy during quarantine, or self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Create A Journal
Writing down your thoughts, ideas, or brainstorming in a journal can be cathartic to a lot of people. You’re living through a time that will go down in history right now, albeit it being absolute SHIT. Each day, write down a few notes on how you’re feeling, write a to do list and actually cross things off, or simply keep a quarantine journal writing down your feelings, hopes and what you want to accomplish once you’re able to hit the ground running afterwards.
With gyms around the world closed now and people sitting around eating out of boredom more than ever, take this opportunity to stay active. You don’t need fancy gym equipment to keep fit and have fun (anyone remember Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod?) just your body weight can provide you with a good workout that will get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. I am used to going to the gym at least 4 days a week (Mon-Thurs) and usually never skip a day except if I have a headache, or I’m just not feeling it, which is totally okay too. Don’t push yourself. Just getting up to go for a walk outside for at least 30 minutes a day can have lasting effects, not only on your physical health, but mental well being as well. If you don’t know where to start, hop on YouTube and search for body weight home workouts and you will come across a TON of videos ranging from beginner to advanced. Staying sedentary is the worst thing for your body. Get up and get moving!
Learn A New Skill Or Language
Sitting around the house all day doing nothing may feel relaxing at first, but after the first week, or two…you may start to get stir-crazy. Why not use your downtime to learn a new skill, such as cooking, knitting, painting or writing. For kids, go online and order them some cursive writing notebooks (a lost art, if you ask me), colouring books, or some board games for family nights. For all my fellow travel lovers out there, why not pick up a new language while you’re stuck at home? Now is the perfect time. I use the free app Duolingo and you can choose from loads of languages ranging from French and Spanish, to Japanese to German. I’ve been using the app on my phone to teach myself Czech for over a year now. It’s perfect for beginners and can help you learn some basic words and phrases for when you travel in the future.
Declutter & Reorganize Your Space
In my opinion, a cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. Tidying up your workspace, or your home can vastly improve your mood and productivity. Turn a workspace in any room into a more inviting area by opening a window, having natural light, add some flowers and a few little jars of snacks to brighten your mood. A little goes a long way and creating an inviting and clean space is the first step to lifting your spirits. Take this quarantine time and reorganize your closet, or a junk drawer of doom that we all know everyone has in their houses. Now’s the perfect time and you know you have the time to do it.
Limit Your News Intake
We all know that big and scary headlines sell newspapers and create more views for television stations and what do views equal? Big money. If you read, or watch the news online, do yourself a favour and diversify your media sources. Most television news stations loop their stories, meaning they play the same stories with the same headlines for hours and hours on end. Looped news stories can cause major anxiety and in some people, which may cause depression. Ignorance isn’t always bliss, folks. Knowledge is power and the more you stay in the know, the better. Mainstream media DOES NOT stray away from the major agenda and will basically report what they are TOLD to report. Keep that in mind the next time you are watching the news.
Work From Home If Possible
If you have the ability to work from home during the quarantine and haven’t lost your job due to lock downs…great! You are already considered one of the lucky and privileged ones to keep busy with work. There are many essential service workers who do not have this option right now and are working around the clock to make sure you and others have food, hydro, garbage collection and healthcare.
Pinterest Your Heart Out
I’m a Pinterest addict. There is so much to look at, so many ideas and sometimes I just go down the rabbit hole while scrolling, especially while planning a trip. If you’re looking to do a DIY for your house, how to make a scrapbook of your favourite trip, activity ideas for the kids, getting some home decor inspo, or simply looking for a new recipe to try, Pinterest will not let you down. You may not have trouble finding things to look at, but you will have trouble narrowing it down to trying one thing at a time. If you don’t have an account, sign up and let the Pinterest addiction begin!
Watch Travel Inspired Movies & TV Shows
Even though I’m not travelling right now, doesn’t mean I don’t love watching travel related TV shows and movies. It’s a great way to give me a sense of escape in just a little way. Watching travel YouTube videos is another one of my guilty pleasures. Here are a few of my favourite travel related programs and movies that you can find on Netflix and Amazon and yes, a lot of them are motorcycle related. 😉
- Motorcycle Diaries
- The Darjeeling Limited
- Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
- In Bruges
- Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father
- Street Food
- Anthony Bourdain anything!
- Food, Booze & Tattoos
- Ride With Norman Reedus
- Easy Rider
- Catch Me If You Can
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Look Back At Old Travel Photos
Looking back at old travel photos is a great way to take a walk down memory lane and put a smile on your face. The next time you’re feeling down, try taking a peek at your old travel snaps to relive those late nights with a group of friends at a seedy European bar, or that epic solo trip you took across Southeast Asia. I am a huge fan of keeping physical photo albums, so that I can sit on my couch and flip through my memories. There’s something special and nostalgic about holding a photo album and looking at photos rather than looking at them on a screen.
Print & Frame Your Old Travel Photos
While you’re looking at old travel snaps, why not comb through your favourites and have them framed and printed to hang up in your home to showcase your keen eye for details and incredible journeys around the world. I like to use Shutterfly to do all of my printing. They have great rates, offer discounts and are fairly quick with shipping. Oh, and the quality is fantastic!
Plan Your Next Epic Adventure In Detail
A lot of us, myself included, had trips cancelled due to COVID-19 coming into town and stomping all over vacation plans. Well, after your flight has been changed and accommodations moved around to suit new dates, why not take the extra time to plan your trip in detail. Do some research about a restaurant you want to hit up, a speakeasy bar you’ve been itching to try, or how about planning a day trip out of a city to a lesser known town, or village? Now is the time to plan, since we all have a few spare moments kicking around. If you didn’t have a trip cancelled because of COVID-19, why not conjure up a dream itinerary for the first place you want to travel to once all the restrictions are over with? I have even bought travel books for countries I haven’t even planned to see yet. 😉 Ever want to climb a mountain in Austria? Celebrate Holi in India? See the Taj Mahal? Drink amazing German beer while IN Germany? Sail in the Adriatic? Visit incredible cathedrals? Ride an ATV in a foreign country? Well, why not plan it and then once everything is over, book it and make those travel dreams a realty!
Read more: How To Create The Perfect Travel Itinerary
How are you guys coping with quarantine and isolation? What are you guys doing to stay busy? Let me know in the comments below! xo