Having to stay at home for prolonged periods of time can be frustrating. It’s easy to feel irritable, bored or restless, especially if you’re not used to being inside for so long. In times like these, it’s important to be productive; getting things done, ticking off a to-do list, and expanding your range of interests, activities and knowledge will certainly help to relieve “cabin fever.”
Don’t worry, I’ve also factored in some quality time with Netflix – it’s all about balance.
Here are 10 ways you can expand your horizons while you’re stuck at home.
1. Find a new routine
First things first, make sure you’re in the right mindset. If your usual routine has been disrupted, it’s easy to feel scattered. Find a new routine and stick to it; try to get up at the same time each morning, do something active first thing, and take lunch outside if you can. Daily routines can really help us to stay focused.
2. Learn a new skill
You suddenly have all of this free time on your hands, so what better way to spend it than to do something you’ve always wanted to do, but never quite found the time for? Enrol in a new online course, subscribe to a yoga channel, or finally start learning a new language. If you’re stuck at home with others, you can practice together.
3. Watch movies or TV shows in a new language
This is especially useful if you’re currently learning a new language and want to expand your vocabulary. There are lots of foreign language films available on Netflix, many of which are beautifully shot in far-flung locations. If you’re learning Spanish, “Roma” is a must-see!
Whether it’s over WhatsApp, Skype, or a good old-fashioned phone call, it’s never been easier to connect with friends and family all over the world. Get in touch with old pals and see how they’re doing. Now might also be a good time to create or update your LinkedIn profile and get networking with school friends or old colleagues. Either way, make sure you stay connected.
5. Discover a new part of the world, in your slippers
Travel writing is glorious, it has the ability to pick you up and transport you to another time and place, for as long as you wish. Simply pick up an inspiring travel book or novel set in a country you’ve never been to and get lost in its pages.
6. Cook up a storm
One of the best things about being at home? Unlimited access to the kitchen. If you can get out to a grocery store, why not pick a cuisine, do a little research online or in a cookbook, and try out some new exotic recipes. You’ll probably learn a new skill too!
7. Exercise your green fingers
If you have access to outside space, try your hand at some gardening and turn it into a little outdoor haven. If you don’t have a garden, have a go at growing an avocado tree. Nothing is more satisfying than planting a seed and seeing it grow – careful though, it’s addictive.
8. Plan your next adventure
You might not be able to travel right now, but you can certainly plan a trip. Jump online and do some research about a country or city, and note down any interesting things to do and see. If a different language is spoken there, consider learning a few key phrases in advance. When the time is right, all you’ll need to do is book.
9. Switch off
The online world can be overwhelming at times, so consider reducing your screen time or switching off altogether for a while. Taking a break from digital news and social media can work wonders for our mental health. If you can, leave your phone at home, go outside and get some fresh air. You’ll feel relaxed, relieved and refreshed in no time, which leads me to my final point.
While it’s good to keep busy when you’re stuck at home, how often do you get a chance to fully relax? When you slow down and take a step back from your usual busy life you may find that you discover a creative talent or interest you never knew you had.