It’s not often we’re told to stay home, away from others. To many people, this is a piece of cake while some may feel a little lost, wondering what to do during a long day (or days) at home.  And if you have kids at your house, this is an even greater challenge.

So if you find yourself scratching your head like I am, wondering how you’ll make it through this without binge watching everything on Netflix and eating all the desserts (speaking to myself, y’all), here’s a list of some simple (and affordable) ideas to help you not just kill time but reconnect, grow, and have fun! And whatever your age, whether you have kids or no kids, these ideas work for everyone.

Bake

This may be a pretty obvious one but baking is therapy and eating what you baked….well, even better!

Take a walk

Get outside! Vitamin D is great for the immune system and fresh air is just wonderful.

Read

I love reading but somehow it falls to the wayside with life with kids and all the other things. There’s no better time than now to just sit and read those books that have been sitting on your self.

Take a nap

Need I say more? My bed has never looked more wonderful, especially on these rainy days. Grab your favorite blanket and snuggle up. Take a nap after lunch? Why not?

Write letters/emails

Receiving mail is such a joyful feeling. There’s something so surprisingly sweet about getting something from someone you weren’t expecting.  Take the extra time to show thought, intentionality, and kindness through this simple but grand gesture.

Have a movie night

This is the perfect time to pop the popcorn, turn out the lights, and pick a movie your whole family would love.

Color and craft

Coloring and crafting is not just for kids. Dig out the glue, markers, and colored pencils and get to work.  There’s something therapeutic about focusing on such a simple task like coloring, and it can really cause any worries to melt.

Take a bath

Nothing says relaxation and slowing down like a warm tub of water full of bubbles. Grab your favorite book/magazine and your favorite drink and soak up the suds.

Journal

I think it’s safe to say we will forever remember this period in history, and journaling is an even more personal way to document what happened and how you felt. I also like the idea of making a gratitude journal too.  It’s easy to focus on the hard and the difficult because it seems to be all over the news and social media, but there is so much good around us.  Take the time to find the joy and shift your focus to writing down the positive things.

Call a friend/family member

Have those really good conversations we just don’t seem to find the time for normally. And especially consider those who may be living alone and need some conversation and community right now.

Workout

Sorry not sorry. This will boost your mood and your health. Do what works for you and your level, but several companies are doing 60 – 90 day free On Demand trials, including Peloton, which offers a variety of classes without the need for a bike.

Take a virtual tour of museums, explore Disney World, go on a safari, and watch Broadway shows

There are so many ways to experience your favorite places from the comfort of your own home and for free!  Yes, it doesn’t take the place of actually being there, but it is definitely a great substitute when you can’t get there.  Click on the names below for the links to all of these great resources.

MuseumsDisney  / Safari / Broadway 

Build something

Get out your Legos, Lincoln Logs, cardboard boxes, puzzles, toothpicks, popsicle sticks or whatever you have around the house. Work together or build separately and have a fun competition.

Make a blanket fort or camp in your backyard

It’s time to make that serious fort using all of the blankets and chairs you have.  And if you’re feeling extra brave, put up a real tent and camp in your own backyard.  However you do it, grab flashlights and get ready to tell some spooky stories.

Cook your meals and eat sitting down

If cooking isn’t your thing, make this your time to learn. Or if you’re already a proficient home chef, why not learn a new skill or take on that challenging recipe? And since there are no rushed evenings with activities, sit down and eat your meals with your family.  Life around the table will create forever memories for your family.

Have a dance party or concert

Put on your favorite music, dim the lights, and just dance! And if you’re not a fan of dancing, just sit and take in your favorite tunes. And as an added bonus, some of the top artists are live-streaming concerts from their own home.  Click here for the link.

Learn a new skill

Thanks to YouTube, you can learn how to do pretty much anything. My husband learned how to be a woodworker on YouTube and a pretty darn good one (I’m partial but it’s true) so look up your favorite tutorial and get to work. (P.S. Shameless photos of my husband’s projects.)

 

Photos courtesy of Jonathan Orasanu.

Watch the stars/sky

Lay out some blankets and just take in the beauty. And if you can’t see the stars clearly, you can still admire the beauty of the sky.

Do that home project

You know the one you’ve been putting off? Or the one you’ve dreamt of doing but couldn’t find the time? Get creative and do what you can with the supplies you have or can safely get access to.

Purge/Clean/Organize

I know, not as fun, but there is something therapeutic about getting rid of things.  Get into that attic, go through that garage, or clean out that closet. Marie Kondo would be proud, but donation centers better get ready for what’s coming after our time at home.

And a last bonus one….Wash Your Hands.  It may be obvious, but let’s take the extra time to practice good hand-washing.  Scrub up with warm water, use plenty of friction, and sing Happy Birthday twice.  Make it a fun and teachable experience for the young ones who may not understand the importance of or even how to properly wash their hands, and a little reminder for us adults isn’t a bad thing either.

 

Amidst the challenges of this time, let’s use this opportunity for good.  This is a chance to connect, simplify life, and slow down. It’s an opportunity to strip down the distractions and the unnecessary and cling to what matters most. Our yards may be a little less manicured, our houses a little messier, and our attire a little more casual yet life still goes on. And once we are on the other side of this, I hope we give ourselves and each other a little more love and grace than before.

As much as I want things to go right back to the way they were, I am also not sure if I do want that.  When we return to our regular schedules, I hope we go back with different ears and eyes, a greater perspective and hearts of gratitude, no matter our circumstances.  We will inevitably all continue back with work, school, toilet paper-filled shelves, handshaking and hugs, sporting events, and concerts, but let’s not forget that simplicity and slowing down isn’t all bad. That instead of hoarding goods and filling our cabinets, we can think beyond ourselves and find ways to help others around us.  We’re in this together, as a community.  Kindess is contagious, and let’s allow that to spread like wildfire.

 

 

 

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