When the pandemic began many of us found ourselves “at home” to a degree we probably never imagined. While most introverts are in their element at home, the extroverts struggled. No matter which group you align with, though, we should all give some serious thought to making the most of our time at home, whatever the reason.
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Note: I wrote this post at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. I’ve made a few minor updates and am sharing it again. Whenever we find ourselves with extra time on our hands at home, these suggestions can make that time more pleasant.
I watched a humorous video about the 5 stages of quarantine. There was a lot of Netflix binging, snacking and pointless messing about. While that sort of thing is fine for a couple of snow days, longer periods at home call for more intentional activities. While most people have resumed their pre-pandemic lives, that’s not always possible for those of us in high-risk categories. And there are other reasons we might find ourselves spending a lot of time at home – severe weather, illnesses, etc.
As a self-proclaimed homebody/hermit I feel qualified to share some ideas for making the most of our time at home. Here are some ideas:
15 Ways to Avoid Boredom
Whether you sing, play an instrument or listen to the radio, music is an excellent way to occupy some time. It is also a mood elevator. We enjoy album listening nights at our house. We have a stereo and a lot of vinyl records to work our way through.
One of my favorite things to do is make playlists on Spotify. My son, our resident music expert, offered to make personalized playlists for his friends. It’s giving him something to do and making his friends feel loved.
This is a great time to read those books you keep meaning to read but never get around to because you spend too much time on social media. I’m talking about myself, here. If you run out of books at home (something I find hard to imagine, considering my book buying habits) there are lots of online options. This might be a great time for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited.
I used to bake most of our family’s bread but haven’t done so in a long time. Those empty bread shelves are the incentive I need. I’m also going to be baking muffins (I promised my mom some), cakes and cookies. We will need to increase our exercise – ha!
If you enjoy cooking take it up a notch and try some gourmet recipes you may not usually have time for. I just watched Julia Child’s very first episode of The French Chef the other night in which she made Boeuf Bourguignon. It’s not a difficult recipe but it rather time consuming because one stage involved three hours in the oven.
Get creative with the ingredients you have on hand and you just might find yourself creating something fabulous.
Pull out those old board games and rediscover some old fashioned fun. Or use technology to have a game night with friends or family in other locations. We’ve played Cards Against Humanity with our daughter and son-in-law via FaceTime several times in the past few years.
There’s always solitaire, too.
Start a jigsaw puzzle. Or consider things like crossword puzzles, word searches, Trivia Crack, or Sudoku.
What is something you’ve been meaning to do for ages but never seem to have time for? Do you have years worth of photos to organize? Some craft project you bought supplies for but never finished? If you’re curious about your family history this is the perfect time to dive into Ancestry.com.
Move furniture and vacuum up those dust bunnies, wash windows, clean the oven, flip your mattress, wash walls or wax floors. While these tasks may not be as fun as a FaceTime game night, there is a lot of satisfaction in getting some neglected chores done.
Declutter and Organize
Along the same lines as deep cleaning, you can also take on some decluttering and organizing projects. Clean out your closets, drawers, or kitchen cabinets. Take everything out of your pantry, create an inventory list and then organize the contents. If you have kids, help them organize their rooms.
Consider decluttering and organizing your digital world. Go through your computer files, delete unused apps on your phone, tackle your email inbox.
Letter writing has become a lost art in this technology-driven world but who doesn’t love to receive a handwritten note? Pull out that old stationary buried in a desk drawer and write a short note of encouragement to a friend or relative.
Call Friends and Family
Pick up the phone and call someone. I’m a self-avowed phone-a-phobe who much prefers a text or email. However, there are times when hearing someone’s voice is important.
Watch Classic Films
Do you have favorite classic films you haven’t seen in ages? Or what about those films everyone else has seen except you? I’ve never seen Titanic, for instance. I’m not 100% certain a disaster film is a great idea right now but on the other hand, maybe it will offer perspective.
On nice, clear nights you can be certain I’ll be doing one of my favorite things – stargazing. If you have a place to do so, lean back and look up. There is something about contemplating the heavens that I find soothing.
Institute Daily Teatime
Routines and rituals are important, especially when life is in a state of turmoil. Why not institute a daily teatime? Or if tea isn’t your thing, you can do coffee, hot cocoa, or a smoothie. Or maybe we need a “Happy Hour” – ha! Whatever your preference, make it a special time to pause and enjoy a treat.
Hygge it Up
Make your home as cozy as possible. Light candles, play soothing music in the background, have special snacks and treats available, etc. I saw that some people put their Christmas lights back up when the pandemic began and I think that was a wonderful idea. Or just put up some string lights indoors. We have several that we keep up year round in various rooms and I make a point of turning them on in the evenings.
What are your favorite things to do during extended periods of time at home to avoid boredom?
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