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By Hanley Foundation Prevention Specialist Jennifer Gavrilko

With the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic, most of the world is now practicing self-isolation, or social distancing. With many people working from home, and children being home from school, we have an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of quality time at home. Staying at home doesn’t have to be solitary, lonely, or boring. With a little creative thinking and pre-planning, you’ll be happy to be spending more time at home with the people you love.

Here are 20 ideas to prevent boredom and stir craziness while you are self-isolating:

  1. Plant a garden. Rather than vegging out in front of TV, go outside every evening to tend to your garden. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor once your plants have fully matured.
  1. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air by going for a walk around your neighborhood
  1. Read a book. Maybe you have one that’s been sitting on a shelf for a while that you’ve been meaning to read. If not, there are so many books available in online formats, it should be easy to find one you’ve never read. Or re-read an old favorite.
  1. Start a journal or blog. Sure, it can be about the coronavirus, but it could also be about a specific interest or your day-to-day thoughts and activities.
  1. Do a puzzle. Puzzles are a great way for your family to connect and practice teamwork.
  1. Try a new recipe. Browse the internet to find a few new recipes you think your family or significant other might enjoy. Decide on one together and start cooking.
  1. Watch an online concert. Many artists are taking to social media to host free live concerts.
  1. Try an online yoga class. Yoga is an excellent way to stay fit and clear your mind.
  1. Treat yourself to a spa night. Decompress with a spa night. Paint your toenails, try a new face mask and draw a warm bubble bath. You’ll wake up feeling re-energized and refreshed the next morning.
  1. Create a scrapbook. Create a scrapbook that’s worthy of being displayed. You’ll get some good laughs sharing old memories and creating new ones.
  1. Learn to knit or crochet. Look up tutorials on YouTube, sit down on the living room sofa with a few skeins of yarn and try that new pattern you’ve been eyeing on Instagram.
  1. Download Duolingo, or a similar app, and teach yourself a foreign language.
  1. Try on all your clothes and determine whether they “spark joy” á la Marie Kondo. If they don’t, maybe create a bag to be donated to people in need.
  1. Make a list of things for which you are grateful. 
  1. Throw out all your too-old makeup and products. (Tip: most liquid products have a small symbol on them noting expirations, usually six months to a year. This includes sunscreen!)
  1. Finally get around to fixing that broken doorknob and loose tile or cleaning scuffed up walls.
  1. Take time to reflect. What have you accomplished in the last year? What goals are you setting for yourself in the next year?
  1. Catch up with an old friend. Use Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts to video chat with your long-distance friends.
  1. Coloring books: They’re not just for kids.
  1. Meditate. Try lying down with your eyes closed, palms up and while focusing on your breathing.