Spending more time indoors means expanding your horizons when it comes to home-based activities. As you adapt to social distancing, you'll find more time on your hands as your regular social schedule is on hold for the time being.
Even though you're living outside your comfort zone, it's a good time to embrace new hobbies or activities that are entertaining or make you feel productive.
Besides reading and streaming, you'll probably want to keep your hands -- and mind -- occupied. Take the extra time to work on projects around the home, or begin writing that bestseller you've been story-mapping for years.
Wondering what to do once you wrap up work, daily chores, or home instruction with the kids? Our team put together this list of your best options for at-home entertainment.
Avid reader? Us too. We recommend rediscovering reading during this time at home. Here are some ideas to consider:
1. Dive into a series
Dive into a new series of books to be carried through a saga with characters you love (or loathe). Engaging with a new world and motley crew of characters might give you a bit of your social fix, especially when there's a bit of excitement, drama, or misadventure involved.
2. Try audiobooks
If you've never tried listening to audiobooks before, now's the time. It's a relaxing way to take in literature or to enjoy ambient sound while you work from home. Talented narrators breathe life into stories.
Stay busy and invest yourself in hands-on activities that are engaging enough to keep you from staring at the clock. Here are some of our favorite pastimes:
1. Get into gardening
Start seeding and get to planting. With starter kits and online tutorials, it's never been easier to build your first garden. Plant flowers now for summertime blossoming or get an indoor herb garden going to punch up your home-cooked recipes.
National Novel Writing Month is actually November, but by all means, begin writing your manuscript now. Discover your writing process and enthrall yourself with world-building and character development.
If you'd like a daily dose of introspection, begin journaling. Write freely to decompress and self-reflect, or utilize journal prompts if you'd like a little direction to kickstart your writing.
3. Craft away
Crafting fosters creativity, and at the end of some projects, you're left with usable art or personalized gifts. Jewelry-making, crocheting, leatherworking, and woodworking are as hands-on as it gets, all of which are excellent alternatives to digital distractions.
Board games, video games, and puzzles all keep your hands busy, and if you play them with family members or roommates, you'll get much-need social stimulation. Puzzles are fun ongoing projects, and board games add a bit of excitement to your household. Many video games are available for digital download, so you can pick up new titles without leaving your home.
Stay fit through technology
Thanks to technology and an impressive market of home exercise equipment, it's easy to stay fit when you're stuck indoors. We're staying active and getting endorphins with these online resources:
Hop onto YouTube to find videos for all your fitness needs, whether it's HIIT training, core workouts, or stretching -- just to name a few. You can even find lifehack videos that help you repurpose everyday household items into fitness equipment.
This week, a tremendous wave of fitness instructors began offering virtual classes through the meeting app, Zoom. Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and boot camps are among the most popular. Simply download the app and join a class, and before you know it, you're breaking a sweat.
Fitness challenge apps are fun to incorporate into training, and can help you maintain a daily commitment to being active. Squat and planking challenges remain popular, and there are plenty of challenges that utilize equipment like weights or exercise balls.
You can even have a few challenges going at a time to give yourself a well-rounded workout. Since they can be completed rather quickly, with some taking less than five minutes, it's easy to work them into your new daily routine.
If you'd like to feel productive during downtime, involve yourself in stimulating tasks with long-term benefits. Dedicate yourself to learning something new or tackling those home improvement projects you've been putting off for months (or years).
1. Take online courses
Did you know that some online courses and certifications can be completed in a few hours? There's a wide variety of virtual learning resources, including Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, edX, and Coursera -- just to name a few.
Many of these platforms offer free content to build your skills, and have paid options for extended access. So, if ever you wanted to learn the basics of Photoshop or brush up on art history, totally go for it.
2. Start home improvement projects
Roll up your sleeves and break out the toolbox. There are plenty of small projects you can work on around the home, even if it's only installing new curtain rods, changing light bulbs, or mounting your TV. You can also catch up on organization projects for closets, pantries, garages, and the kids' playrooms.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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