51 Ways to Keep Yourself Sane During Quarantine
As everyone adjusts to the new and weird reality of staying home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, finding ways to enjoy the sit-in and make productive use of our time is essential to moving forward and maintaining mental health. Although this situation is not ideal, there are some silver linings- it allows us to step away from the otherwise busy pace of life and reconnect with family, our homes, and ourselves. We at The RGroup have put our heads together and brainstormed some ways to make the best of this situation.
Engage with your community (at a safe distance)
Take a hike
Whether it’s walking around the block or a lake, or venturing out to the many trails around Wawassee, Winona, and all throughout Indiana, leaving the house for some fresh air and exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Before loading up your Amazon shopping cart, check to see if any local stores are taking online orders. Shop closures can be a devastating setback for small businesses, so supporting local bookstores, boutiques and shops is more important than ever!
Just like other small businesses, restaurants are heavily affected by closures and slowed business. Check websites, social media pages, or call in to see who is open and ready to prepare a delicious to-go meal. Or rather than buying coffee at the grocery store, check your local coffee shops. And don’t forget to tip!
Thank the employees
Anyone working right now is risking their health. In these stressful times, a little kindness goes a long way and it’s needed more than ever.
Stay Intellectually Engaged
Read a book
Grab that book you’ve been meaning to read, order a new one from a local bookseller, or revisit an old favorite!
Listen to a book
Audible is offering a selection of free audiobooks for as long as schools are out. Many of the options are for kids, but there are some classic titles that everyone can recognize and enjoy.
Keep a quarantine journal
Not only is writing a great way to process thoughts and feelings, but future generations will be intrigued to know what their own families did and thought during this historic event.
Play a brain game
There are countless apps and websites like this one that provide games and challenges to keep your brain sharp.
Research a topic that interests you
Have you always had a fascination with ships, or a passion for birds? Now is a time to indulge in some learning! It’s amazing what an hour of research can reveal. Some academic databases like JSTOR and these sites are free to access during quarantine.
Tour a virtual museum
Iconic museums such as Rome’s Vatican, New York’s Gugenhiem, and London’s Natural History Museum have provided virtual tours. You can see a list of online openings here.
Take an online course
Many online education platforms, such as Rosetta Stone, Yale and Masterclass are offering free online courses that cover everything from mixology to the philosophy of human nature during quarantine. Parade magazine has compiled a great list of online courses.
From creative writing prompts to decorating the pages themselves, not all journals have to start with “Dear diary.” Journal Buddies provides prompts for both adults and children.
Write a poem or a song
No one has to hear it.
Take up an instrument
Fender is offering a free three-month trial to new users on Fender Play. This platform includes online lessons and tabs for all levels of players.
Sew something (especially facemasks)
As facemasks become scarce, but more necessary than ever, people have been sewing their own! It’s super easy, even if you’re not an experienced sewer. Wear them yourself or donate them to hospitals. Huffpost explains why it’s a good idea and how to do it.
Use old books, magazines, newspapers, and photos to make something totally original. Use the internet to help find inspiration.
Search pinterest for ideas, finger paint, or paint portraits of family members and reveal them to each other. Sometimes a little mess is worth the fun.
Enjoy family time
We can’t think of a better time to dust off some favorite board games or start a big puzzle!
Build a fort
An epic pillow and blanket fortress can transform your surroundings.
There are many at-home science projects that can be done using common household items. It’s a way to have fun and learn!
Make art projects
Dive into your old pinterest boards and find a craft the whole family can enjoy. Or browse the internet and find other suggestions, like this list from GH.
Do a scavenger hunt
Hide treasures throughout the house and see who can collect the most!
Loud music and a good attitude can make even the most mundane chores seem bearable. Use this time to teach kids how to clean things well, and use the current pandemic to explain why it’s important.
Have a dance party
Dust off your old moves and learn new ones from the kids (floss and orange justice are a few that come to mind).
Go on a virtual adventure
National Parks are providing virtual adventures; check ‘em out here.
Livestream zoos and aquariums
The San Diego Zoo has live animal cams as well as educational content to interest and engage young ones. Monterey Bay Aquarium also has awesome content and live feeds (our favorite is the jelly cam).
When your kids have a lot of extra energy, GoNoodle has a ton of short videos that help them get their ya-yas out. It even has some relaxation and meditation videos made for children.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
This YouTube series has tons of themed yoga exercises designed to engage kids, including Trolls, Moana, and Pokemon yoga.
Write a letter
Whether it’s a letter to grandma or a penpal from school, the joy of sending and receiving letters can never be replaced by facetime.
Play dress up
Dig into the depth of your closets and pick outfits for each other, then have a fashion show (it’s up to you whether they’ll be cute or silly).
Give each other mani-pedis, do each other’s hair, put on make-up, and have a photoshoot!
Teach your pet a new trick
Impress your friends for when they come back over using tricks from Doggie Buddy.
Have fun with Tik Tok!
This video sharing platform can make time go quick (even though the videos are only 15 seconds long)! Browse the silly videos that others have made or make your own to share with friends, family and strangers.
Cleaning and maintenance
All those frequently-touched surfaces could carry dangerous germs, so be sure to clean them on a regular basis and work it into your daily routine.
What better time to deep clean your home so that you can feel fresh and organized when life goes back to normal? Take it day-by-day if you need, focusing on one room or task at a time and doing it well before starting the next one.
Sort through your clothes
When quaretnine is over, you could donate the clothes for those who can’t afford new ones, sell them at consignment shops to make a little money yourself, or even sell them online through places like Depop.
Channel the spirit of Marie Kondo
If you have trouble sorting through and letting some things go, watch “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The organizing consultant shows a gentle yet effective way to sort through clutter. Her go-to question- “Does it spark joy?”
Clean Your Car
From sweeping the floors to scrubbing the doors, a little TLC might do your vehicle some good.
Paint your house
You’ve got time to do it and hardware stores are open!
Draw a bath
Add some bubble and essential oils, light some candles, and give yourself some time to relax.
Put on a facemask (the skincare kind)
Pull out some facemasks you had laying around or make your own.
Sometimes meditation can be easier said than done, but there are many apps and YouTube channels that provide guided meditations for many different purposes, like sleeping, gratitude, stress relief and more.
It’s amazing what stretching and deep breathing can do for your mind and body. There are many YouTube channels with yoga exercises, and Karma Tribe Yoga is one of the many studios that have switched to online classes.
Indulge in a treat
Buy your favorite bottle of wine, some chocolate, or cook your favorite meal. You deserve it.
Back-up your devices
It’s one of those things that can easily slip the mind, but it’s so important.
Clean up some storage space
Go through your old photos, take a trip down memory lane, and get rid of the old photos.
Make a scrapbook with Shutterfly
Take the best of the photos you’ve revisited, send them to Shutterfly, and have them made into a beautiful scrapbook.
Call or facetime friends and family
Even though social distancing is extremely important right now, that doesn’t mean we should be cut off from the ones we love. Instagram and Facebook have options for facetiming, and sites like Zoom can include multiple callers at once.
Play games together
Thanks to the internet, we don’t have to be in the same room (or even the same country) to play games together. Check out this list of online games you can play with friends.
Put the devices away and connect with those around you
While technology can be a great way to stay connected, there is definitely such a thing as too much screen time. Try turning devices off for a while and reconnecting with your surroundings, and the people there with you.
We hope these suggestions help you enjoy your time at home and keep yourself and your family occupied. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to be shut up in your house as long as you do what’s best for you! This will all pass.