When Your Whole Life Gets Canceled, Here’s What to Do Instead
Stuck at home? Do these things to get through a quarantine healthier, happier, smarter, and even a few pounds lighter!
Call it quarantine math: With the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending no gatherings with more than 50 people for the next eight weeks plus the White House saying to keep groups under ten people for at least two weeks and minus the usual activities like work and gym, people are asking: How are we going to make it through with our sanity still intact? Even though we’re being advised to practice “social distancing” (staying at least a few feet away from people in public), there are ways we can make the best out of a tough situation. Learn how much coronavirus is costing the world—so far.
Scavenger hunt via text
You’re probably already texting with your loved ones so why not add some fun to the mix? Each day one person in the group chat sends out a request for a strange item—say, a prom picture or a four-leaf clover—and everyone has to find one in their home, snap a picture of it and send it to the group. You can up the fun by making a theme day allowing people to send in multiple pictures. How many things do you have in your house that remind you of an ex? Or that look like food but aren’t? Or have strange instructions on them?
Check off some home repair projects
Remember that stair that squeaks creepily in the middle of the night? The hole in the wall from when your toddler had a falling out with Thomas the Tank? The falling-down fence that has made the neighbors gossip about your mental health? Now is the perfect time to take on all these little household projects. If your handyman skills are a little rusty, brush up with some DIY tutorials. It’s not the most exciting option but adults still gotta adult! Just think about how good it will feel to have those things off your to-do list. It’s also a good time to check off the 16 things smart homeowners do once a year from your list.
Play an epic board game
Board games are standard stuck-at-home activities but this partial quarantine isn’t just one random snow day, it’s days or even weeks long, giving you plenty of time to play an entire game of Risk, Monopoly, Dungeons and Dragons, or even a really intense game of Scrabble. Spread out, take your time, and get really strategic. Who needs to actually use their kitchen table anyhow? Find out 15 of the top board games.
Learn a new language
Forced confinement is the perfect time to pick up a new language. Whether it’s through an app like DuoLingo or conversing with native speakers online via a service like Lingualia, you can practice everything from the basics to conversational fluency. ¡Que divertido! Start with these Spanish phrases everyone should know.
Organize your closet
Just because the outside world can feel like a dreary place doesn’t mean your home has to! One way to brighten it up is to start cleaning out and organizing your closet, pantry, fridge, desk, or other clutter hotspots. Plus, you can shop for organizers online which is surprisingly satisfying even if you have no intention of ever actually using them. Find out the 15 things you’re doing to your closet that professional organizers wouldn’t.
Have a spa day
Self-care is one of the first things to go in our busy, overscheduled lives but now that your schedule is wide open, your pores can be, too! Take a hot bath, apply a face mask, slather on some rich lotion, put on your tooth whitening strips, and prepare for the ultimate ladies’ and gentlemen’s night in. (Dudes can love skincare too!) These are the 12 must-have products you need for a spa day at home.
Binge watch a different show
Streaming TV shows and movies were made for long days at home. But we know you’ve seen every episode of Friends, Parks and Rec, and The Office at least 100 times. So take your viewing up a notch by watching an indie film, a documentary about a subject you know little about, or a show that’s totally out of your comfort zone. Or watch your old favorites; sometimes you need something that feels familiar inside when things get weird outside. These are 9 classic shows you didn’t know were on Netflix.
Carve a soap sculpture
Hand sanitizer may be scarce these days but there’s plenty of bar soap and chances are you have a few lying around your home. A simple paring knife is all it takes to create a beautiful sculpture. (This one is not for the kids or anyone with butter fingers.) Plus you can still use it to wash your hands when you’re done admiring it! Friendly reminder: Go wash your hands now, computer keyboards are germ factories!
Make a stop-motion video
Move over, Pixar! All you need to make a charming animated stop-motion short is your phone and some creativity. Apps like Stop Motion Studio (available for free on Apple and Android) let you turn your favorite story or song into a cute animation you can share with friends. Use Lego figures, Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, or even kitchen utensils to share your vision.