If anyone had told me at the beginning of the year that we would all be self-isolating to this extent by March, I would have spilled my coffee because of laughing hard. And probably shrugged that off with a sarcastic comment. My then brain wouldn’t have been able to imagine the whole world under lockdown because it frankly seemed surreal and unthinkable. But that’s the reality of what happens when a contagious disease puts the world on hold.
I can bet on a thousand bucks that quarantine was not on your bucket list. Not mine either. But considering how the world works right now, not being on quarantine would be a mistake of being both stupid and selfish. So, take full advantage of this shot you are given while you are at it. Come to think of it, isn’t this all we wanted? Time. Time to relax, time to do all chores at home, time to pamper your body, time to do everything on your to-do list. Of course, not the way we wanted.
But this is the time you can turn your life around by building habits that can bring effective changes in your life. Some of your quarantine confined at home would be productive and fruitful while others’ quarantine would be an endless cycle of anxiety and angst, which is inevitable and completely normal. Nobody is mentally prepared for a dead halt in this fast-paced life. Nevertheless, anyone can change their state of mind by distracting the mind with productive activities. Get your lazy self up and going to do some quality work!
Home Quarantine Hacks
Are you bored of not having anything to do? There is an entire song [When Will My Life Begin] about things to do while self-isolation in the movie Tangled. The list is neverending! The good news of this uninterrupted time is that now you have all the time in the world to do everything you thought of not doing because of the lack of time. To kill the time you have in your hands, get productive while keeping yourself entertained. You can use these home quarantine hacks to distract your agitated mind and busy yourself before the uneasiness kills your mood.
Turn Self-Isolation To Self-Reflection
When was the last time you sat with your own thoughts? When was the last time you pondered on the roots of your thoughts and actions? We spend too much time on social media reading others’ thoughts and opinions, don’t we? Reading others’ thoughts and feelings will make us mimic them instead of growing from within. A plagiarised self is a prison for the soul. Let this time be the time to reflect and know yourself in the raw state. For that, try these home quarantine hacks below.
- Do a massive to-do list to help you track down the time and everyday activities. Set goals you want to achieve by the time you come out of quarantine or your goals of the year 2020.
- Read and reflect. Be intellectually curious to know more. Read books, ebooks, guides, blogs, newsletters, reports, journals, magazine articles, biographies of successful minds, etc that will help you reflect.
- Start writing journals to help your mind to relax by slowing down your running thoughts. Writing always helps your mind. Even when you get angry at your partner, parents, siblings, friends, or kids, go write a note to yourself and vent, instead of lashing out.
- Listen to podcasts on any topics you are interested in.
- Watch documentaries such as Planet Earth to learn more -history, earth, animals, human health, successful people, mindfulness.
- Learn about mental and emotional health and how to take care of it.
- Join virtual clubs and social media groups to get psychological assistance and self-awareness.
- Watch inspiring and self-improvement TED talks, interviews and take notes.
- Do online social works, if you are interested.
- Build these productive habits because it takes 21 days to form a habit. You have enough time to build one.
- Take little naps to give yourself a break.
Discover Your Inner Artistic Muscle
Did you know that Marry Shelley wrote Frankenstein during a lockdown? She used the time she had for herself and created something extraordinary that showed her sheer brilliance. If quarantine is not the time to pull out your inner artistic self, I don’t know what is. This is the perfect time to discover the artist in you and make use of it. Besides, our life is online now. There is nothing you won’t get online. You can try anything online and discover yourself online! Try these listed below to strike an artist chord inside you.
- Paint whatever that comes to your head. Or you can take references from Google and paint one like that. Make mistakes, use the wrong colors, paint outside the line; you don’t need to get anything perfect either. Areeba Siddique(1) creates stunning art you can get inspired from. You can even paint the walls of your home in a creative way!
- You can use different apps and websites to paint virtually and create digital art. There are apps to create digital illustrations.
- Draw your self-portrait by standing in front of the mirror. Draw an image of landscape or plants(2) or a puppy or any sort that you like. Or trace the image and draw which doesn’t take much effort.
- Try bottle art on transparent glass bottles.
- Do the art of bullet journaling with a few color pens, washi tapes, and pictures or pages from books and magazines.
- Create a photo album with printed pictures, decorate it in your taste and add a small caption to each memory. Or create a photo wall with pictures of your family, friends, quotes, etc with fairy lights snaking around them. This will give your home a whole new feel.
- Create your own art space with all of your art supplies, quotes that inspire and move you, your dreams and places, and just anything you want. Maybe add a few planters with little cactus to give life to the art space.
- If there is any musical instrument under your bed, dusting and rusting away, take it out and play it.
- Tap your muse and create art with your words. Write poems, stories, short stories, or anything that comes to your mind. Don’t forget that this is for you, not for social media. You can write anything!
- Write letters to your friends and family members to post after the quarantine. Who writes letters now! You can always bring the art of letters back.
- Make creative cards and write meaningful messages. You can write letters as a birthday present or anniversary gift. Pile them up to give them to your friends and family when the time comes up.
- Learn calligraphy from YouTube.
- Learn how to make origami.
- Recreate different DIY crafts from Pinterest.
- Try stitching scarves or embroidery with different colors of threads.
Put Your Green Pants On
Communing with nature is another way to calm your mind and body. You must have seen many people on social media putting their green pants and taking a walk in their backyards. Keep in mind the listed below to reconnect with your green life with limited space.
- Grow your own garden with beautiful plants and flowers because gardening is one of the most de-stressing activities.
- Plant a tree, new saplings, and seeds and grow your green friends.
- Clean and tend your garden and backyard.
- Set up your balcony with plants in colored planters. You can paint your planters with vibrant colors or any paints you have at home.
- Learn how to make a terrarium in easy steps from YouTube.
- Set up your own vegetable garden on your terrace or garden.
- Take a walk or run in the park near you where there are fewer people. Keep your distance from people.
- Take a few moments to watch sunrise and sunset every day.
Cultivate The Deep And Heavy Work
It may seem hard to get up from the bed every morning and anyone would love to stay in. But in order to have a productive quarantine, you need to get up and get going! Make a small checklist every day by breaking tasks into smaller pieces. Try to complete the list before bed. Make some time to sit and do nothing because it is important that you take small breaks. There are many heavy tasks you need to take care of and here’s the list you should assess.
- Talk to your financial planner to lay out a budget to save some money. COVID-19 has buzzed the market and it’s no surprise many of you are concerned about your money. Knowing where it goes will make you feel prepared.
- Pay your bills if they are due.
- Learn about your health insurance in detail and clear your doubts. If you haven’t got the insurance yet, apply after going through the details.
- Donate to different organizations to help others get through this battle financially. Donate to health workers, neighbors and relatives what they lack such as face masks, sanitizers, etc(3).
- Exercise and get fit. It is important to take care of your physical health during a pandemic. Create a playlist and do a family workout session at least four times a week. This will help you steam off the stress too. There are many apps you can install from Google Play or App Store to get an online trainer [8Fit, Seven, Sworkit]. Many trainers are going live on social media to motivate and help others to do the workout with them. LA Thoma(4) goes live on Instagram twice a week to exercise along with her followers.
- Take a breather and meditate to bring down your stress level. Learn some yoga postures and take a few deep breaths. Do the yoga postures after waking up.
- If you are working from home, do your work on time without procrastinating. Get cozy somewhere with sunrays to do your work. Sunlight will lift your mood. Move your body from time to time instead of sitting in one position for a long time.
- If you are a student, do your assignments or seminars. You can always binge watch TV shows after you are done.
- Help around the house and give them a hand.
Take The Huge Guns Out To Light
There is always some work that often takes a backseat with the excuse of “limited hours”. Too bad, you can’t use that excuse anymore. Everyone has at least one such chore that never gets done. With quarantine, you can effortlessly finish those that you have been meaning to get around forever.
- Read that thick book you have been wanting to read for a long time. You can read now without any distractions.
- Build your personal website, a video blogging channel, write blog posts or update the existing website.
- If you are thinking of starting a business(5) or are already running a startup, check these apps to get things done easily: Preview App, Monday, Calendly.
- Start writing a novel or finish the book you were working on. You have enough time to complete it.
- There are many online classes for free for technical classes, business courses, academic courses, and many more that can get you certified. Learn to code, a new language, investing, new profitable skills, how to cook, etc(6). Check out these apps or websites for free online courses: Duolingo, Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera.
- Declutter your laptop and mobile phone by deleting the junk files, unwanted images and videos, and clearing caches.
- Deep clean your house; every nook and cranny. Everything from blinds and window sills to mirrors and ceiling fan blades. Clear out the kitchen and refrigerator. A spring clean is necessary, especially with coronavirus.
- While cleaning, you can redecorate your house by replacing any furniture or adding any piece of art of craft you created.
- Declutter your closet by clearing the closet. Put everything into two piles. Put away the ones you don’t wear anymore to donate or trash. Organize the other pile neatly back to the closet.
- Cleanse your face and hair deeply with face masks and hair masks.
- Take a relaxing bubble bath after exfoliating your dry skin(7).
- Dye your hair.
- Learn many cooking recipes, especially your favorite ones and easy ones, and tape them on your refrigerator. Find healthy recipes too.
Have Some Fun To Feel Lighter
You don’t always have to follow some strict routine to be productive. At times, letting go of all the worries about unfinished works and entertaining yourself with some fun is also being productive. This quarantine is basically for Netflix and Chill! in your bed or couch with a huge bowl of popcorn. Now here’s a list of fun activities you can do to keep yourself and others at home entertained.
- Do puzzles, board games and card games that can make your brain work. Or play some games that are purely for fun i.e., truth or dare. You can play games online too.
- Do an indoor treasure hunt with your family members and give the winner a unique price.
- Interview each other to know more about them deeply. You can always Google the questions to ask.
- One creative and fun game is to play a movie and mute the audio. Let the members of your family create dialogues for the movie. You have no idea how much you will laugh.
- Create a playlist of your favorite songs and dance it out! Or join an online dance class.
- Do a family karaoke.
- Video call your friends and family to get in touch with them. Support and love are what everyone needs when social distancing.
- If you are a Mom, spend time with your kids and set up different fun activities and games for them.
- Make a list of places you want to go after quarantine; museum, concerts, events, and so on.
- Read those novels you read for leisure. And perhaps join a book club.
- Watch YouTube vlogs of your interest and catch up on your favorite vloggers’ channels you were missing out.
- Watch movies and TV shows of all genres online. Everything is at the tip of your finger. There are movies and shows of every kind from something light and funny to dark and strong that reaches down to your soul.
Marvel series [23 movies], Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Where’d You Go Bernadette, The Vow, About Time, Black Swan, Hacksaw Ridge, Inception, and the list would go on if I don’t stop. If you haven’t watched these movies already, what are you waiting for?!
I strongly recommend these TV shows:
- Friends – if you want to get a stomach ache from laughing hard.
- Grey’s Anatomy – if you want some drama to cry over. After 16 seasons of Grey’s, I feel like I am totally ready to scrub in and do open-heart surgery.
- Sherlock Holmes – if you want to laugh over some mind-blowing detective stories.
- Breaking Bad – if you want your mind blown with amazement.
- Money Heist – if you want some thrill to keep you on the edge of your chair.
- Grace and Frankie – if you want some time to live on the beach house without men.
- Killing Eve – if you want some Lady James Bond action.
- Try the many social media #quarantinechallenges to fill your time and challenge your friends to do the same.
- Take pictures and videos of your family, even when they are thinking and not doing anything, and make a film of every video by the end of quarantine.
You have a lot of things to do to have a productive quarantine apparently. I hope these home quarantine hacks have helped you clear your head and urged you to use and try some of the aforementioned hacks. Adopt these hacks because it is easy to lose track of time amid a lockdown. You have too much time now, use it wisely.
- Areeba Siddique. @ohareeba. stunning art you can get inspired from. [online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/ohareeba/
- PlantaeByZia. @plantae.by.zia. Draw an image of landscape or plants. [online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/plantae.by.zia/
- Forbes Media LLC. (2020). How To Stay Productive Under Quarantine. [Online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephanieburns/2020/03/25/how-to-stay-productive-under-quarantine/#c00524f6a801
- Dr. LA Thoma Gustin. @lathoma3. Workout. [Online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/lathoma3/?hl=en
- Menlo Media S.L. (2020). 10 cool productivity tools for startups to explore during the quarantine. [Online] Available at: https://www.eu-startups.com/2020/03/10-cool-productivity-tools-for-startups-to-explore-during-quarantine/
- Security Bank Corporation. (2020). How To Be Productive At Home During Quarantine. [Online] Available at: https://www.securitybank.com/blog/productive-things-to-do-during-quarantine/
- Words of Women. (2020). 9 Beautiful Things You Could Be Doing With Your Time. [Online] Available at: https://wordsofwomen.com/8-beautiful-things-you-could-be-doing-with-your-time/