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25 Productive Things to Do When You’re Stuck Inside

Being at home isn’t boring…as long as you have a plan.

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Trapped at home with nothing to do

You're stuck inside, and you're starting to get a little antsy. You already watched all the movies that had been on your must-see list and scrubbed your house from top to bottom with the household products that kill coronavirus. And if you have children, you've been attempting to entertain and educate them...while desperately trying to keep them from breaking anything and everything that you ever treasured. Now that our new reality has settled in, it's time to figure out how to get through the days and weeks ahead. We've got some ideas.

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Get in shape

All those fancy, pricey workout apps are being incredibly generous at the moment, and most are offering a month or two free to get us through these trying times so that we can keep stay fit and (relatively) sane. You could try everything from indoor cycling (yes, this would involve purchasing a bike) to doing a strength class or even just meditating. We adore the Peloton app, but the Beachbody and Physique 57 apps are great, too. To use in conjunction with one of the many offerings out there or to do your own thing, a set of hand weights from Target will come in handy. And if you want to switch things up, try these dance-inspired workouts that don't even feel like exercise.

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Adopt a dog

If there was ever a time to add a little chaos into your life, this is it. But seriously, you have plenty of hours to train and bond with a new dog, as well as get everything settled before you have to return to your office. Plus, this will give you a much-needed excuse to get out of the house while maintaining a six-foot distance from another person. (And in case you were wondering, dogs don't seem to carry the coronavirus.) You'll also be doing some real good, since shelters always become extra stressed in times of crisis but dogs still need care. If you're not quite ready to commit, you can always foster a dog in need.

Of course, there are a few things you'll need before bringing home your new BFF, including the right dog bed. Try this comfy striped option from Petco. Or choose from one of these dog beds for every type of dog.

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Binge-watch a show (or all the shows)

You haven't had wide-open days like this in...well, forever. Now's the time to plant yourself on the couch with some popcorn and hot chocolate and take an entire day to binge-watch a show, maybe one based on a best-selling book. Bonus: HBO Now, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix are all offering free trials. Not sure what to watch? We recommend Westworld, Mad Men, Survivors, and Call the Midwife. Get comfy with the right pair of leggings, like this high-rise All in Motion pair from Target.

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Visit a museum from the comfort of your couch

Our favorite museums have opened their doors (virtually, obviously), so we can take a stroll to the most amazing places without ever leaving the house. Even if your trip to Paris was canceled, you can take a virtual tour of the Louvre's Egyptian antiquities, the Galerie d'Apollon, and more. Or "Gogh" to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Here are some other museums open online 24/7 right now. If you have kids, delve deeper into art with a book like Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars.

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Go back to school

There's no time like the present, and currently, tons of colleges that have opened their "doors" and are offering free online classes. According to Business Insider, you can study at top-tier schools like Princeton, Yale, and Harvard via Coursera and edX. Audit the classes for free, or for an additional $40 to $160, you will receive a certificate that you can pop onto your resume when you're done. Stock up on some good, old-fashioned #2 pencils when doing this, because writing—not typing—will make you smarter.

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See a concert

Grab some vino and settle in for an evening of John Legend, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jewel, and more. Plenty of great musicians are offering free music while we're stuck at home, and this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of concerts that we couldn't afford, didn't have time to see, or weren't fast enough on Ticketmaster to score a seat. For example, Rufus Wainwright is posting daily concerts on his Facebook page, John Legend is doing Instagram Live videos, Lizzo popped a track onto Instagram, and Miranda posted a never-before-heard song from Hamilton that had been cut from the production. Just Google your favorite artist, and chances are, they're contributing on some form of social media.

If your whole household isn't on board with your listening choices, opt for a good set of headphones. These Beats by Dr. Dre headphones will do the trick—and make the concert even better.

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Go on a virtual ride

Sure, Disney parks may have closed their doors, but that doesn't mean you have to get off the rides. Tons of people have popped their ride experiences onto YouTube, so you can go on the Frozen ride, Slinky Dog Dash, Space Mountain, and more. Think of it this way: This is one of the few times you won't have to wait on long lines at Disney. Simply search for your favorite rides on YouTube, and you'll be transported there in a virtual instant. Or, "go" to your local water park or amusement park. You can even try the scariest rides in the world from your armchair. Who's brave now? Grab a Mickey Mouse T-shirt for your little one to really get in the zone. For a trip down memory lane, check out the discontinued Disney rides we wish would come back.

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Call a loved one

Catch up with a long-distance friend or family member with a phone call or Skype session. Your loved one will be touched that you thought to call, and the gab session will boost your spirits, especially if you're feeling lonely. Try playing a game with them over the phone; FaceTime makes this super easy to do. One of our faves is Scrabble. After all, how can you go wrong with a classic? Here are another 24 little ways to be a true friend.

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Write a letter

As meaningful as a phone call or an "I miss you" email is, a handwritten letter is an even more special surprise. Grab some pretty stationery, take your time crafting a thoughtful note about how much that person means to you, and slip it into the mailbox to make someone's day. If it's been a while since you've done more than jotting down a grocery list, try this one-minute trick that will instantly improve your handwriting.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest