The birth of a new and highly infectious virus that has spread across the world, shutting down cities and forcing people into their homes – it sounds like the plot of a Hollywood movie, but unfortunately it is the new reality we find ourselves in today.
Because of COVID-19, most people find themselves at home, either because workplaces have shut down, for social distancing, or for self-quarantine with no idea of what things to do during pandemic.
When frightening events force us to deviate from our routine, it can be disorienting and anxiety-inducing. But it’s even worse to feel as if we’ve been locked into our own homes. Here are some recommendations from Avaana to make it easier on yourself and to help you use your time constructively as you learn a number of things to do during lockdown.
Focus on your health and immunity
While staying at home is the best way to keep yourself safe, it can take a toll on your health in a few different ways. Many of us have sedentary jobs, but we do at least get some exercise during the day – whether on the commute, climbing up and down stairs or walking about in office. When you’re housebound, you’re missing out on even this minimal amount of exercise.
Plan an exercise regimen that you can do at home. If possible, go for walks or runs in the early morning or late evening, when there are fewer people around.
You don’t have to miss the gym if you know how to do a workout at home. Youtube has thousands of videos guiding you through workout routines, gentle (or rigorous – your choice!) yoga sessions that you can do at home. If you want to mix it up, try a fun video for Zumba or bellydancing instead. Make sure you get in at least an hour of exercise every day.
Physiotherapist and friend of Avaana, Kennedy Lay, recently posted a workout regime on his LinkedIn feed.
If you’re going to be at home, use the time to focus on your family’s health. Try out recipes that boost your immunity. Find creative ways to add more superfoods to your diet, either through salads or juices.
One of the most important things to do during pandemic for your health is to get some sunlight. Not getting enough exposure to the sun can cause a deficiency of Vitamin D which can lower your immunity.
Develop a new habit
All of us have one habit that we’ve been meaning to adopt, but have never gotten around to. One of the things to do during lockdown is to pick a habit and start on it.
Begin by breaking it down into easily achievable tasks. If you want to drink more water, set a reminder on your phone so that you’re drinking one glass every hour. If you want to add more fruit to your diet, slice up a big bowl of fruit every morning and snack on that during the day. If you want to meditate or exercise more, it is one of the ideal things to do during pandemic.
When you’re at home, it’s easier to plan your schedule, meals and life. Make use of this time to form new habits, and plan how you’ll be able to extend it into your daily routine when you go back to work.
Spend time on hobbies or learn new skills
All of us have beloved hobbies that we’ve put on the back burner because we’re just too busy. Dig up that old paint set, dust off that piano score sheet, and set aside some time to try your hand at it again.
You need to find ways to keep yourself mentally active and creatively satisfied and an activity that you once loved is one of the most therapeutic things to do during a pandemic.
If you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill, learn a new language, or take a course but haven’t found the time for it – now is that time. With social distancing becoming a norm, we all have more time on our hands. There’s an online course for almost anything you want to learn these days – many of which are free – and you can now set aside an hour or two every day to learn something new.
Re-establish bonds with loved ones
Although you’re locked in at home, there are many ways enrich the relationships you have. When your life is ruled by the 9-5 work day, there’s very little time to go out of your way to connect with people. This is a great time to write letters, make video calls, chat with old friends, check in on ageing relatives and spend time with the kids or your partner.
If you live with your partner or spouse, social distancing is the perfect excuse for some nesting. Cook favourite recipes together. Plan your next holiday. Dress up for a candlelit dinner at home. Do a home remodelling or DIY project together. Planning to start a family? Now’s the time to try – when you’re not tired from work and trying to fit into each other’s schedules. Catch up on each other’s lives – not just on how their day was, but how they’ve been feeling, are they happy, what would they like to do with their lives – all the bigger questions that need time to unwrap!
Social distancing can be very hard on kids because they don’t understand why their routine has been upset. If you have children at home, plan some fun things to do during pandemic so you can enjoy time together. While a movie night with popcorn is a simple way to keep everyone entertained, try something away from the screens – a game night, a dinner that everyone helps to cook, or a family exercise schedule. Download a short skit that the kids can stay busy designing costumes for, painting and creating a set and of course learning lines and putting on a show. Of course, make sure you set aside time for school work and learning.
Don’t forget your pets! If you have a pet at home, you already know that feeling of guilt when you’ve come home late or not spent time with them on the weekend. But you also know what they love doing with you. Whether it’s quiet cuddle time, a rambunctious play hour or a long grooming session, this is a great way to spend quality time together and one of the best things to do during lockdown for your pet and yourself.
Change your perspective on home quarantine
Being forced to stay in your home, away from people, away from your life and office – it can be very upsetting. Even if work-from-home keeps you busy, yu can expect to have more time on your hands when there is no commute and no social events. Many of us will spend hours fretting about being cooped up with nothing to do. But that’s just one way to look at it.
The other way to look at it is to be grateful. This time for social distancing is a luxury that only some can afford to enjoy. In our regular lives, we rarely get to spend time in our comfort zones for extended amounts of time, with no social or career responsibilities to distract us. Spend this precious time alone with yourself and you will discover a near endless list of things to do during pandemic.
Stay away from the news
Of all the things to do during lockdown, one of the things you must not do is doom-scrolling or keep checking the news. Consider the following tips to make it easier to stay away from the news channels:
- Limit media consumption to a maximum of two times a day or try checking in on alternate days.
- Stick to trusted and dependable sources of news and don’t rely on getting news from social media.
- If you find yourself checking the news over and over, remind yourself that you’re just bored and turn your attention to a new activity.
Listen to music
Music has the remarkable ability to lift your mood, no matter how you are feeling. One of the best things to do during lockdown is to carefully curate a set of playlists for all your favorite songs.
If you start to enjoy the activity, consider making different playlists for different kinds of moods and vibes. Choose Spotify or a music streaming platform that you’re comfortable with and start working on playlists for yoga, playlists for Sunday cooking time, playslists to enjoy during hobby time, and anything else you can think of.
You could make the activity a lot more fun by getting your friends and loved ones in on the act and making a group playlist.
Deep-clean and declutter
We all have tasks at home that we’ve been putting off – sorting out your tax and financial paperwork, decluttering the garage, revamping your kitchen – and now is the time to check those tasks off your list.
Now that we’re spending more time at home, making it more pleasing to live in is one of the most important things to do during pandemic. Living in a clean and organized environment can do wonders for your mental and emotional health, and it can be a fun project too.
Do not attempt to redo your entire living space within the span of a day. Dedicate a small amount of time every day and tackle one area of your house at a time. Using your time to clean your house may seem like one of the most boring things to do during lockdown but cleaning also gives you immense satisfaction.
Read or watch something light
When you’re making a list of all the things to do during pandemic, you don’t have to spend all your time on self-improvement or productive tasks. Set aside time to have fun too.
You might like to re-watch all those old TV shows or movies that you love. Try reading old favourites from your bookshelf or download some new ebooks.
Learn a new language
This might be one of the more challenging things to do during pandemic but it also equally rewarding. You do not have to become an expert in German or Spanish but learning the basics can help you out in more ways than one.
A new language opens you up to new possibilities as you learn different cultures and new ways of thinking. A multi-lingual brain is much sharper than one which knows only a single language. Besides, you can put these skills to good use by connecting with people from different cultures through Zoom calls or online language-learning communities.
Catch up on reading
Reading has always been considered one of the best hobbies to develop. If you’re not already a reader, one of the best things to do during pandemic is to develop the habit.
There is a book out there for every kind of reader. If you like fiction, try reading horror stories, romance novels, graphic novels, or catch up on the classics. If you prefer non-fiction, look for how-tos, autobiographies of famous people that you look up to, or travel books.
If you enjoy setting goals and accomplishing them, you can develop the habit by starting a reading challenge. Come up with a reading target for the month or year and monitor it to ensure you stay on track. Try to get your family and friends in on the challenge to make it more enjoyable and competitive.
Alternatively, you could begin an online book club to mix reading with socializing. Choose different books, decide upon a reading window and discuss the book over video calls. You could even consider listening to audiobooks if reading is not really your thing.
Take virtual tours
COVID-19 might have put a damper on your travel plans but that is no reason for you to not visit some of the top museums and wonders of the world. Virtual tours have emerged as one of the most fun things to do during pandemic and a number of virtual tours have popped up for those who miss travel.
You could consider visiting the best museums the world has to offer without making your way through throngs of people to get a good view. You could even satisfy your wanderlust by enjoying stunning views of the best landmarks in the world, all from the comforts of your home.
Binge on documentaries
If we’re being honest, then it is quite likely that we’ll be spending time in front of the television. Watching TV is probably one of the most popular things to do during pandemic and you may as well put that time to good use.
Try watching documentaries and learning more about the world around you. Look for documentaries in your area of interest, whether it is pizzas you’re interested in or music or quantum physics.
Spend some time in the garden
Taking care of plants and spending time getting your hands muddy is one of the most therapeutic things to do during lockdown. If you have a garden, it’s a great time to try growing new herbs, working out a new composting system or designing a garden that flowers year-round.
If you don’t have a garden, set up a small green space in your home or balcony. All you need is a sunny space that gets plenty of light. If you can’t go out to buy plants and pots, do some research on Youtube to learn how to grow vegetables and herbs from kitchen scraps.
Take some downtime
All of us will have days when we feel overwhelmed by the pandemic. There is nothing wrong in feeling like curling up in bed or being a couch potato for a while.
Lie in bed and enjoy some comfort food and a good movie. Spend the day catching up with friends on Zoom calls. Plan a self-care and spa day for yourself. Do whatever it takes to feel better and avoid putting pressure on yourself to be productive today. If you don’t feel like doing anything, then taking a day off will be one of the best things to do during lockdown.
Our biggest tip to you is to make sure you get your information from reliable sources, and not from Whatsapp, Twitter, or other forms of social media. We recommend the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Australia Government’s Department of Health website. Use your social distancing time well to do things you enjoy and to spend time with those you love. Stay home, stay safe and be well.