At this moment, you’re probably reading this blog post on your computer or on your phone, while you’re at home. This seems normal enough, but we all know that right now, nothing is normal.
With all the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding current affairs, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The world outside can seem scary and foreign.
But remember, you’re safe at home. And thankfully, we’re not alone in navigating this newfound way of life.
Thanks to the Internet and technological advances of the 21st century, we have a couple of options to manage ourselves.
You do suddenly have a lot of time on your hands, so what can you do to distract yourself?
We’ve compiled a list of 10 things you can do while you’re self-isolating at home. Some of them are obvious, but we’ve included recommendations and other things you may not have thought of.
P.S: Thank you to everyone who responded to our questions on Instagram which helped greatly in putting this list together!
1. Netflix/Amazon Prime/Crave/Disney Plus
You're probably binge-watching something already (really, what else is there to do?) but here are some of our recommendations from various streaming sites:
- Veep (Crave: American political comedy) - current personal fav
- On My Block (Netflix: teen comedy-drama series, which just premiered its 3rd season)
- Schitt’s Creek (Netflix: award-winning comedy series)
- Murdoch Mysteries (Netflix: Canadian detective mystery series with 12 seasons)
- The Office (Netflix: a classic, must-watch comedy series. Seriously, if you haven't already, just watch it.)
- Mulan (Disney Plus: a classic. Need I say more?)
- Blue Planet (Netflix: a documentary on everything in the oceans and beyond, family-appropriate!)
- Working Moms (Netflix: a comedy about moms who are navigating kids, work and romance)
- This Is Us (Netflix: Family drama series about 3 triplets - alert: major tear-jerker)
- Friends (Netflix: need I say more?)
- Brooklyn - 99 (Netflix: American police comedy series)
Pro-tip: the Google Chrome extension, Netflix Party, allows you to watch Netflix together with your friends. It syncs up video playback, and it's like you're having your very own virtual Netflix party!
2. Read a Book
- The Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson (young adult mystery trilogy with mind-bending twists and turns)
- The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James (mystery thriller with a touch of horror)
- Atomic Habits - by James Clear (SELF HELP) - personal fav
- Grit - by Angela Duckworth (SELF HELP)
- Outliers - by Malcolm Gladwell (SELF HELP)
- The Obstacle Is The Way - by Ryan Holiday (SELF HELP)
- The Prophet - by Khalil Gibran (collection of poetic essays)
- All The Light We Cannot See - by Anthony Doerr (Set in WW2, a story about a French girl and a German Boy, it won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
- The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck - by Mark Manson (SELF HELP)
- In Love With The World - by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (A renowned Buddhist's near-death experience and the lessons he learned from it
- Teenager Therapy (talks on the struggles of being a teenager)
- How I Built This (stories on some of the best-known companies)
- Freakonomics (discusses very interesting socioeconomic topics)
- Heavyweight (trying to find the solution to unresolved issues in life)
- Armchair Expert (on ''the messiness of being human'') - personal fav
- The Side Hustle (discusses topics on how to start a side hustle)
4. Meditation and Deep Breathing
Calm has released free guides on the following:
And my absolutely favorite...
365 days of free activities to help you on the Calm Calendar
You can also use our short guide on deep breathing
5. Clean and Organize
I think we've all been trying to be a bit more clean lately (here's your remind to go wash your hands!). But when's the last time you organized your closet? Or cleaned up your tupperware cupboard?
Take this time you have at home to take inventory of your belongings. Maybe there are some things you can donate or give to a friend. Or hey, maybe you find your favourite pair of jeans, the ones you thought you lost.
Whatever it is, there are various ways that cleaning can help your mental health. The least it'll do is distract you and bonus, you'll end up with a cleaner house/closet/cupboard!
6. Spend (virtual) time with family and friends
I know it can be difficult in times like these when you can't meet up with your loved ones. As humans, we need social connections to stay healthy.
Just cause you can't see your loved ones in person, doesn't mean you can't spend time with them. Remember, we live in 2020. Give your mom a call, FaceTime with your friends!
Don't forget that just you're physically self-isolating, doesn't mean you have to socially isolate yourself as well. We need each other to stay sane during this difficult time.
Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing.
7. Bake/Cook (or watch people bake/cook)
If you're comfortable enough in a kitchen, spend some time baking or cooking a new recipe.
I personally enjoy cooking, however, due to my schedule I get to do very little of it. So I am definitely using this downtime to cook, especially my childhood favorites!
If you prefer to just watch people bake/cook things, here are some suggestions for YouTube channels you can check out:
Bon Appétit - The Test Kitchen Youtube channel hosts a wild variety of fun personalities, from Claire Saffitz (who attempts to make gourmet versions of your favourite childhood snacks) to Brad Leone (whose unfiltered, wacky segment looks at different kinds of fermented foods).
I can guarantee you'll find a favourite chef here, and probably find a recipe you want to recreate yourself.
Binging with Babish - Host Andrew Rea takes you through his recreation of famous TV and film dishes, including the Krabby Patty.
Check out his channel for other recipes as well, giving you his tips and tricks, while not being afraid to show you bloopers along the way.
8. Virtual Tours
Now this is something I thought was super cool!
Unfortunately due to COVID-19, I had to cancel 3 different trips which was a real bummer.
Usually, in my downtime, I like to watch people's travel vlogs on youtube, because I don't have the attention span to follow through an entire movie or even a TV show after a long day of work.
Did you know that you can actually take ''virtual trips'' without actually leaving your home?
Check out these places:
1. The Louvre- virtual tours of a few exhibits
2. The San Diego Zoo - those koala's are adorable!
3. Vienna State Opera - broadcasting previous opera and ballet performances daily
4. Safari Live - this is definitely one of my favorite things to do of all time!
5. National Museum of Natural History - Virtual Tours
6. The Palace Of Versailles - very cool!
7. National Parks of USA - also highly recommend!
8. Moraine Lake, Banff, CA - Virtual Hike
9. NASA - free online tours - I never thought of adding this to one of the places I wanted to visit, but watching this has changed my mind!
9. Pamper Yourself
Take a warm bath, give yourself a manicure, do a face mask, step outside (safely) for some fresh air.
Whatever it is, if it's safe for you and others around you, do it! It's easy to feel helpless and restricted during times like these. Find something to do that will make you happy and help you relax.
10. Workout at Home
If you're a regular gym-goer, then the news of gyms being shut down is probably pretty tough for you.
But don't despair, because there are tons of free online workouts on YouTube. A lot of them don't require any equipment, and there are some with minimal equipment required, so you'll be able to find something that suits your needs.
Here's a quick list of channels I personally enjoy:
Remember - It's Ok to Feel Anxious. You're Not Alone.
I'll wrap up this post by repeating myself: you're not alone. It may feel like it, especially since the phrase "self-isolating" is literally telling you to be alone. But in reality, there are millions, if not billions, of people around the world in a similar position as you.
Which one of these 10 things will you start now?
Right now, the main thing we can do is take care of ourselves and our mental health and look out for one another. Check in with your neighbors, your elders, and your family & friends. Take care of each other....from a distance.
If you have a question or would like to hear more about a topic, leave a comment below or flip me an email. I would love to hear from you!
Until next time!