If your employer has allowed you to work from home or you are self-quarantining due to all the craziness right now, it would be easy to plop down in front of the TV and binge watch every show your friends have been posting about for a last 3 years. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all live hectic lives, and relaxing in your favorite chair with a tasty snack would be perfectly acceptable. Or, we could make the most of this time, doing things we’ve been putting off, or taking this opportunity to learn something new.
Here are some productive suggestions:
- Get your taxes done. They have to get done anyway, so why not now?
- Clean out. Room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer. Don’t forget the basement, garage, or any storage unit. Organizational expert Marie Kondo says to ask yourself, “Does what you’re holding spark Joy”. If not, give it someone who might enjoy it, throw it out if it’s broken and can’t be fixed, or donate it. Start small, even with just one drawer. You’ll feel lighter, I promise. Find your closest Goodwill for any donations you have.
- Stay cultured. I didn’t even know this existed, but how cool is this! The Metropolitan Opera is streaming previously recorded operas nightly. What a great way to experience the opera if you never have (for free!) or enjoy it because of social-distancing. Ditto for the Seattle Symphony. Keep checking back as more performances are supposed to be added.
- What? A VIRTUAL museum? My mind is blown. Take a tour of The Louvre, The National Museum Art, The Google Art Project and more.
- Start an indoor garden. Fun to do initially, and then you get to watch it grow and enjoy the fruits of your labor (no pun intended).
- I don’t know about you, but I have 2 plastic bins under my guest bed of physical photos dating back to college. What better time to go through them, have a laugh (all that big hair!), and create additional storage space by digitizing them.
- Try a new Recipe from Pinterest. Maybe you recently bought an air fryer. Personally, I’m a crockpot girl. This is a great way to fill my freezer now, so I won’t need to cook in the summer.
- Read. I have a stack of books that I was planning on reading on planes in the coming weeks. Since everything is cancelled, I still plan on reading them. I use the goodreads app. It lets me keep track of books I’ve read, books I want to read, read reviews of books my friends have read, and there’s even a reading challenge. My goal this year is 30 books. Up from 24 last year. Wish me luck.
- Learn a new language with the Duolingo app. I took Italian in college, and a couple years ago revisited it with Duolingo. It worked great! But since I don’t use it regularly, it’s all escaped me. Time to get back at it. There are 20 languages to choose from.
- If you’re going to watch TV, try something new. Maybe The History Channel, The Smithsonian Channel or personally, I like Animal Planet. “The Aquarium” is a behind the scenes look at the Georgia Aquarium. How can watching otters and penguins not make you smile. And don’t we all need that about now?
- Make use of your Amazon Prime membership by using amazon prime video. I have prime and honestly have never used the video portion. Shame on me for not taking advantage of something I’m already paying for. Don’t forget Netflix, Hulu, YouTubeTV, Disney + and all the other streaming services.
- Get creative! I like to hand make cards when I have the chance. I also have a 7’ white birch tree I use as a 3rd Christmas tree. (Yes, I have my “regular” tree in my living room, a tree at work, and this birch in my bedroom). A couple years ago during the Polar Vortex, I made Valentine ornaments for it. I just ordered some St. Patrick’s supplies from Michaels to make ornaments for it for next year. Goofy, maybe, but I love a good glue stick and printed papers.
- If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, poetry or start journaling, if not now, when? Find a cute journal that fits your personality on Etsy.
- Feeling a little stressed? Meditation and yoga can help with just an app on your phone.
- Coloring also reduces street. I do have a couple coloring books for when friends’ kids visit. Not that I’m opposed to coloring Elmo or Elsa, but I think I’ll be diving into an Indiana University one that was a Christmas gift.
- The Alzheimer’s Association says doing a jigsaw puzzle help your brain and is fun for the entire family.
- Learn to knit or another hobby you’ve been thinking about starting.
- Pamper yourself with an at home facial and pedicure
- Since we’ve all amped up on the hand washing, here are ways to relieve those cracked, dry hands
- Get outside! Fresh air and sunshine does the body and soul good. Just keep your distance from your neighbors.
- Last but not least, find a new favorite podcast on the iHeartRadio app. Ron Burgundy or Joe Rogan if you need a laugh, Business Wars, Math & Magic, WisconSINS, Crime Junkie, and thousands more!
Let’s use this time wisely to try something new. I’d love to hear how you’re keeping yourself busy.