I’m sure most of us would rather be doing anything than being stuck at home (or maybe not? Maybe you’re loving being a homebody?), but regardless, spending large amounts of time indoors and solo requires a certain level of creativity to keep things interesting.
Challenge accepted, though, because I’m determined to make this time fun, productive, and worth it. You too? Let’s dive into some of the best things to do at home that are healthy, engaging, and worthwhile:
15. Try New Recipes
I used to think I cooked a lot, but I’m realizing now that never in my life have I eaten so much at home. Cooking is a pain for many people, but it can be very therapeutic and even relaxing once you simplify it.
Batch cook: I find that soups and pasta sauces do pretty well batch cooked. I tend to make two times the recommended recipe then freeze it for easier eating later.
Cut time out: I’m a big fan of the Instant Pot. I am often able to batch cook all day with mine and then I’m set for two weeks with the food I’ve pre-made. It saves hours by pressure cooking food, and it tastes as though it’s been slow cooked. The Recipe Rebel has many Instant Pot recipes to inspire you.
Minimalist Baker has a huge variety of mostly healthy and vegan recipes that require few ingredients. I love the gluten-free lasagna.
14. Zone out on Relaxing Things to Watch
Never have I been so clear on my need to watch things that do not remind me of a life I can’t have.
I’ve been focusing on finding things to watch during my leisure time that either teach me something, or entertain me by making being stuck at home seem perfectly normal. I have a list of ten very satisfying and relaxing things to watch here from aquarium close-ups (trust me) to a woman who makes impossibly intricate flowers out of cashew buttercream.
13. Shop Small and Local
Not everyone feels comfortable spending money right now, but I know there are plenty who do, and for whom retail therapy right now feels good. If that’s you, consider shopping small and local, supporting the small businesses and artists you love. The Targets and Amazons of the world are doing just fine, but the small jeweler you love, or the Etsy artist? They might not be doing as well.
12. Learn a New Skill
There’s almost no end to what you can learn on YouTube. From art to food to dancing and movement, here are a few free resources I’ve found:
- Learn calligraphy with whatever you have on you.
- Learn dance choreography: Some of these are really hard, but you’ve got time, right?
- Decorate cakes even if it’s not your birthday.
- Learn how to do your hair: I learned how to French braid from her 10 years ago!
- Learn how to do your makeup if you’re into that kind of thing.
- Learn the art of organization – I know I need it!
- Green up your diet with easy-to-follow tips.
- Learn how to paint because why the hell not?
I touched on this a bit in the previous point. Learning new choreography, even if, or especially if, you have no real dance experience, is a great way to make use of down time.
I’ve never tried hip-hop dancing before but have always admired the quick paced and energetic feel of it, so I figured why not try to learn now? It’s free, I can do it from home on YouTube, and I don’t have to be in a class where I feel out of my league. I have watched the same video about 50 times now trying to learn, and it’s incredibly humbling, but also satisfying. I used to feel this way about pole fitness when I could still go to classes.
If that’s not your thing, just dancing each day to music you love in the comfort of your own home, moved in whatever direction you choose, can be meditative. It releases endorphins, helps us stay healthy, and is loads of fun! Dance silly, dance ugly, dance like nobody is watching… because, well, nobody is watching.
You can join me daily for meditation, dance, and breathwork here.
10. Get Healthy and Toned
Just because we can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean we can’t stay in shape! There are so many workout channels out there on YouTube. Piggybacking off of the dance suggestion, find a workout that you enjoy, and that doesn’t feel like work to you.
I love the way Cassey Ho of Blogilates cheers me through the workouts and I’m a fan of POPSUGAR Fitness‘ variety as well. When I am feeling lazy, I like Bailey Brown‘s workouts because I can usually talk myself into something that’s only 8 minutes or so long. Then once I start, I can usually keep going.
9. Learn a New Language
On the list of things we could never find time for: Learn a new language. We can’t travel right now, and frankly, thinking about it makes me yearn for a life I can’t have right now, but part of the joy of traveling is connecting with people from other cultures.
What better way than to commit to learning a new language and finding a language exchange partner (someone who wants to learn English in exchange for conversing with you in your chosen language) via a Google or Facebook group search? People are more available now the world over than they’ve ever been.
8. Make Art (Just for the Sake of it)
I used to paint, draw, color, and write all day as a kid. I’d read books and let my imagination run wild. Once I grew up, I stopped feeling I had time for these things. Any moment not spent on working or studying felt wasted.
I know I’m not alone, though, and for many, making a living overtook the fun things we did as a kid. If you’re ‘f-un’employed like me right now, why not put the time that used to be taken up by work hours into something creative, with no goal? It actually calms me and makes me more effective in my work endeavors.
7. Commit to Your Projects
Even though I joke I’m funemployed right now, fact is I’m still working. It’s just like back in the beginning of my blogging career when I was basically working for free, hoping it would work out. I didn’t anticipate returning to those days and often wondered how I had so much tenacity for no pay in the beginning.
But here I am again! And amazingly, I’m having fun again too. I’m not worried about if or when it will pay me because I just want to do things I enjoy. Today that’s writing, tomorrow it’s making more rainbow moon phase leggings for Wanderbabe clothing. The next day, who knows?
6. Meditate and Learn to Love Being Alone
Alone time, without anyone else reflecting back at you or sharing their thoughts or opinions of you or your situation, is actually quite rare. Some of us are getting the first dose of it in our lives, and it’s wonderful!
You will undoubtedly come up against some shadows, and that’s also a good thing. I wrote an entire post dedicated to being alone, sourced from 8 years as a solo traveler, much of it spent in remote, isolated places.
You can also join my free, 7-day meditation challenge here.
5. Pursue What’s Easy and Appealing
How beautiful it is to just do whatever we want to in the moment, without any ‘should’s’ or feelings of unworthiness, to just pursue our bliss. Lately, I’ve been giving myself permission to dance outside in the backyard on a whim, lie in the dirt and look up at the trees (Who cares if I’m dirty? I’m not going anywhere!), or spend an hour learning something new that I will probably never make a dime with – and you know what? It feels really good. I think we all need this in our lives.
4. Breathe in Fresh Air and Go Outside!
I feel like signals have been very mixed on whether visiting natural areas or hiking trails is cool right now, but at the very least I have been enjoying the hell out of my backyard. I’ve never appreciated Reno the way it deserved before, and now I’m loving being in a small city with so many green spaces.
Present times really make you rethink where you live, huh? I’d be having a rough time in my old apartment, with no views of the street or people, right about now.
If you can’t go outside due to regulations, then do open the window and let fresh air in. We really do need fresh air daily.
3. Emotional Freedom Technique
Tapping on body meridians, EFT helps you get to the root of a problem with love and kindness. I thought it looked pretty silly the first time I saw it, and now I swear by it. You can read more here and see me demonstrate in the video below.
2. Attend Free Music Festivals
So far, I’ve found two free music festivals streaming on YouTube that, apart from the group energy and actually good sound systems, remind me of my raving days.
While I don’t have the bass, it is fun to tune in at the same time as my girlfriends and watch the DJs live streaming their sets from their houses. You can find out about upcoming EDM options here.
1. Get Free Library Books
Dude, I have one word for you: OverDrive. When I found out about this app 2 years ago, I was elated and also borderline offended that nobody had informed me prior to then. Now I listen to and read free library books all the time! I can’t find every book on there, and in that case I do buy it, but I’ve read and listened to way more books than I otherwise would have this way.
I was able to sign up for a library card digitally, and you may find the same is possible for you and your local library, too!