Instead of feeling trapped or getting cabin fever, I am excited to finally have a chance and excuse to do all the things I've been wanting to do, but always postpone because I never have enough t
I realize not everyone shares the same joy I do for being at home, but home life is quickly becoming a new reality for many people. I wanted to share some ideas for activities that could help people ease their loneliness, fear, and boredom to make dealing with the COVID-19 virus a little bit less difficult.
1. Get work done without office distractions.
This probably won’t make a big difference if you already work with a remote distributed team like I do, but I know some people (including myself) can be more productive when working from home. It just takes some discipline to keep yourself on task, but this should be a great opportunity for introverts and self-motivated people.
2. Exercise and stretch.
You don’t need the gym to do exercise. Squats and ab workouts can be done without any equipment almost anywhere. Cans of food can become weights if you don’t have workout equipment. Endless exercises can be done with yoga mats, but if you don’t have one you could lay down some towels or blankets. It’s so important to keep exercising to keep your immune system strong, especially if you’re not leaving the house to stretch your legs.
3. Have a dance party at home.
Dancing is a great way to exercise, and all you need is some music to dance. You can always dance by yourself, but some of my friends have been using social platforms and even Zoom video conferencing software to have remote dance parties on the weekend while they’re stuck at home. I’ve personally been rocking out to Migos, Cardi B, and Lil Yachty.
4. Write and create online video content.
Getting your thoughts into paper is a great way to deal with your emotions, but it can also be a nice productive distraction. But if writing is not your thing, you can work on creating digital content. Recording videos and uploading them on platforms like Youtube or starting that podcast you’ve been meaning to do is a great way for you to beef up your personal brand. And people will be hungry to consume your content to distract themselves while they’re stuck inside.
5. Make art.
A few months ago I started getting serious about making art again. I’ve been doing collages with old magazines and even conference marketing materials. I’ve been “berazzling” (my version of bedazzling, named after my rap persona, Razzlekhan) old clothes, shoes, and bags with fabric markers, fabric paint, and colorful metal studs. You can buy all these materials on Amazon, and sanitize them before you bring them inside your house. But if you have a pen (or pencil) and paper, you can draw. Not to mention just about any digital device today has software for you to doodle your heart out. Art is a great way to keep our spirits uplifted; be sure to share the art you’re making with friends and other people online, as you never know what might inspire them and make their day better.
6. Catch up with loved ones over video calls.
I think one of the nicest things that has come from this pandemic is the reminder to reach out to people we care about. In the last few weeks I have spoken with and done video calls with countless loved ones. While you can always do FaceTime with your iPhone, Whatsap now even offers video chat between multiple people. I also enjoy doing Zoom video conference events for more formalized hangouts.
7. Learn how to cook better.
There has never been a better time to beef up your cooking skills, as many health officials are recommending that you eat and cook at home right now to protect your health. Don’t know how to cook well? Youtube has free tutorials to cook just about everything under the sun, not to mention the endless online recipe sites.
8. Turn your bathroom into a DIY spa.
Ever since my mom and I went to this spa at a resort in Maui I’ve been trying to replicate it at home to help me unwind at night. I love bathhouses more than anyone, but they aren’t happening again anytime soon. All you need are some nice face masks, lotion or body oil, body scrubs, and nice bath salts and you’re 80% of the way to creating a five star spa experience.
9. Play games with friends and family.
I’m not a big gamer, but I do love puzzles and board games. At this point, almost all board games have a digital version that you can play on your phone or computer. I’m about to start a remote version of Settlers of Catan with my parents and cousins, but there’s something out there for everyone. It can be a nice excuse to catch up with friends, but also a way to meet new people online. You could also play board games at home with your family or roommates—just be careful about sharing germs!
10. Learn something new.
Much of my childhood I felt very trapped in the middle of nowhere, but I used my boredom as an opportunity to soak up knowledge like a sponge. By the time I finished high school, I was already almost business proficient in Japanese, and was beyond a beginner in Arabic. This is a great time to learn a new language, how to code, or anything else you’ve been putting off. There are so many free resources online that can teach you new skills—from Youtube tutorials to blogs, not to mention online courses. Don’t waste this time to improve your skills and knowledge.
Whether you’re reading physical books, digital books, or just online articles, reading is a great way to occupy yourself and keep your mind sharp.
12. Meditate and reflect.
Life has been going by so fast, but sometimes we need to pause and reflect. Take this as an opportunity to do so and appreciate all the positives while also thinking about strategies and plans for the future.
13. Make new friends online.
Pretty soon many people are going to be hanging out at home too. I’ve already cancelled many in-person meetings and business trips for the next few months, and many people will too if they haven’t already. If I can build a robust network of industry experts and millionaire and billionaire CEOs with nothing more than cold email, you too can use the internet to expand your network without leaving your house.
14. Organize and optimize the space you have.
Optimizing your personal space has so many benefits—from making you more efficient to reducing back pain. A few months ago, I got an “art cart” that I keep full of supplies that makes it easy for me to set up and take down my creative projects within just a few minutes. When I’m not using it, I keep it in the corner of my home office, and I just wheel it out to the living room or wherever I want to do my project. It probably isn’t the best time to do charity donations right now, since that might spread disease, but at least you can make piles of what you want to get rid of. That way you’re less likely to feel cramped or claustrophobic at home.
15. Watch stuff online.
I saved this one until last, since I know many of you are already binging on Netflix. Sometimes we do need to watch a show or movie and just chill, especially if we’re sick and need rest. I would really encourage people to try watching some independent films, which can broaden our horizons and give new perspectives.
Have other tips or ideas of your own to help fight boredom during this difficult time? I’d love to hear in the comments.