40 Things to Get You Through the Boredom of the Coronavirus Lockdown

Have you found yourself in “lockdown” so that you are forced to stay at home? As the COVID-19 infection rates escalate, and more restrictions are placed on people regarding movement and socialization, some people may be getting a bit of cabin fever.

Here are some practical ways to deal with the monotony, for you, your partner, and the kids.

1. Zentangle or small artwork a day

Get your creative on and do one small square a day.  By the end of the quarantine/self-isolation, you will have a compilation of artwork to display.  Keep it to a theme — color, object, topic to give it more depth. Learn more about Zentangle here.

2. Learn a new language

There are so many mobile apps out there to help you learn the basics of a language.  Even better, many are free.  But, a language is no use if you don’t get to use it.  If you want to practice with a native speaker, jump on one of the many platforms such as Amazing Talker that offer conversational language from beginners to advanced.  You can also try Youtube. There are some great learning tips from polyglots such as Lydia Machova.  You can even pick up some free online videos to help you learn a new language.

Years ago, when the ability to interface live with other people via video was a brand new technology, a friend of mine made his living by teaching foreign students who were learning English how to speak every day English. He would read newspaper and magazine articles and they would discuss, he taught them slang terms and even how to cuss properly. I thought it was a great job to have. I assume that there must be some form of this around still today.

3. Read a book

Seriously, get those books out that have been piling up beside your bed, or being thrown into the bookcase for your next vacation. Now is the time. Get a book club together with your friends or family and discuss the book on a live chat. Read novels, read business books, read some biographies. Read something you’d never normally read.

It used to be my practice, before they shut our libraries down, to go to the magazine section of my local library and read and page through magazines totally out of my wheelhouse. Magazines like MAD (which I loved as a kid) or magazines about the steel industry or medicine. Anything that I wouldn’t normally pick up and check out.

4. Virtual museums

There are numerous links to connect you to virtual tours of some of the most famous museums in the world.  Try this one or google virtual tours + famous museums.

5. Learn a new skill for your online business

That’s right.  Use this time to get that online business up and running.  Get onto Udemy, Khan Academy, or any similar learning platform and get cracking.  You can learn coding, marketing, copywriting, FB ads, excel.  You name it; they have a course for it.  And they are often free or at an excellent price.

6. Declutter your closet

It’s your chance to get all those clothes sorted. Clothes that don’t fit……gone. Clothes that need mending……sorted. Color coded…….done. Get it cleaned and looking stylish for when you get to emerge out into the world again. Just like a butterfly.

7. Declutter everything (or just one room) in your house

Get all the junk you haven’t been using or keep saying you are going to use and never do. Pile it in a room, figure out whether you can sell it, give it away, or trash it, then……………..

How about that junk drawer in your kitchen? Is it time to purge it of sauce packets and other stuff?

We just cleaned out our garage. What a relief! And how nice to have all that extra space. We donated as much as we could and tossed the rest.

8. Earn some cash

Sell your stuff through eBay or FaceBook. I just read of a woman who was selling clothes she never wears to help her make ends meet. She gets a less-cluttered closet, some cash, and someone else gets something new to wear.

9. Make greeting cards and send them to your friends

(I love this idea!) You still have to connect with people; you just have to figure out new ways of doing it.  Make some greeting cards (with the artwork that you have been doing) and send them to your friends. Everyone loves to get mail especially now!

10. Write some letters or emails

For the same reason as above. They don’t have to be extensive. Just catch up. Tell them a story. Let them know what you admire about them. No time for a letter, write a postcard. You can buy cards and such at the post office which is still open.

11. Organize a virtual happy hour

Get online via Zoom, Skype, or FB group messenger and have happy hour drinks with your friends or work buddies.  It can help you get through your ‘new way of working’ workday. It’s just like a real happy hour. Something to look forward to at the end of the day. Just cheaper because you aren’t paying inflated prices at trendy bars. No booze on hand? Drink some water or tea.

12. Schedule in meditation time

It will be fabulous for your mental health as well as your ability to cope with the pressures of isolation and anxiety. And you have been saying you need to do it, but you just didn’t have time. Now you have the time. Even if it’s for just three or five minutes. And don’t worry about doing it “wrong.” There is no “right” way to do meditation. Do it the way that works for you.

13. Do a daily practice of stretching or yoga

Get your body not only moving through exercise but make time to rest and rejuvenate. It’s essential, even when you’re not pushing your body to the limit physically.

14. Record a meditation for your kids.

Children pick up on the panic that is happening in the media and what is being discussed around them. Write your own script or get one like this from online. (It’s a pretty good one for adults, too.) Record the meditation and play if for the kids as they fall to sleep. They will love listening to your voice as they fall asleep.

15. Humor

Compile a list of links to the funniest YouTube videos you have seen.  If you have a YouTube channel, put them up there and send out the link to your friends.  Otherwise, just send the individual links to your friends and family by message or email. They will love you for it. Laughter is so good for the soul. Here’s a great video perfect for all of us in lockdown or under stay-in-place orders.

16. Digital declutter

Been meaning to clean up your email or the junk on your phone or computer? Go through your phone and computer and rearrange the files. Clean out all the junk that you don’t need. It’s time to get it organized and free up some space. Delete or unsubscribe from emails you no longer want to read. Try to get your inbox to zero, then keep up with it daily.

17. Declutter and backup your phone photos

Edit your photos, make them look awesome. Then upload them to a cloud drive like Shutterfly, so they are easy to access. It frees up untold space on your phone or computer. And when you’re ready to send out greeting cards or make memory books, you’ll be ready to go.

18. Treat all your leather goods to some love

No-one ever has time to look after their quality shoes or handbags. Now you have time. If you have some beeswax or leather conditioner, give your leather shoes, belts, and bags a thorough clean. They will last longer and look divine. We have a leather couch and it needs some conditioning from time to time so look out for any leather furniture you have, too.

19. Spend time in the garden

If you have a garden, get out there. Plant some herbs or flowers. You can even repurpose your celery, bok choy and lettuce roots to grow. True, look it up online. If planting something isn’t within your reach, give your indoor plants some TLC. Dust their leaves, prune, and water.

I love grow boxes for vegetable gardening. Nothing could be easier and your plants will produce a lot more. I believe things are going to change dramatically for all of us when this pandemic is finally over. Nothing is going to be the same and we may find that growing our own gardens is going to be a lifesaver.

20. Learn Calligraphy or Lettering

It will make the next birthday cards you send out to your friends’ ROCK! Here’s a great beginners kit to get you started.

21. Neuroplasticity exercises

No-one is disadvantaged by spending 30 minutes a day developing their neuroplasticity. Check out the apps and YouTube channels that show you how.

22. Jigsaw Puzzle

Go back to your childhood. Wipe the dining room table clean and get out the jigsaw puzzle and make it a family and friends project. Every time someone passes it, they must attempt to get a piece of the puzzle.

For years, I kept a jigsaw puzzle going at all times. You can find some good ones here.

23. Organize a virtual game night

Set up Skype or Zoom or Facetime, choose a favorite game that everyone has and play together. It’ll be a little tricky but that adds to the fun. You’ll hve to move all the game pieces for every player to keep up on your end. Make it even more fun with some cocktails and some food.  These are the nights that everyone ends up talking about for years because they had so much fun.

24. Spend 10 minutes doing that thing you have been putting off.

Taxes, mending t-shirts, fixing the squeak in that ceiling fan, or filing all the paperwork sitting on your desk. Once you start, you end up finishing it. Once completed, you’ll feel so much better.

25. Coloring/needlework/mandala

It’s in the mindfulness of the project. Zoning out and focusing your mind on one thing. It’s not pseudoscience. It’s often used as a technique to take cancer patients’ minds off constant nausea they feel while going through chemotherapy. Hang a picture on a wall and add a little color every time you pass it.

26. Give yourself a pedicure or manicure

Give yourself a manicure or pedicure. Spend time massaging your feet and hands. You might even be able to convince someone else to do the foot massage for you. That would be gold! I personally love to just have someone scratch my back.

27. Get some DIY hair treatment action

Get out the coconut oil, avocado, or henna wax, and give your hair a beautiful treatment. (Yes, you guys, too.) There are so many recipes online that you can make at home. Try this site for more info.

28. Gratitude jar

Cut up strips of paper and place them in the kitchen next to an empty jar. Every morning, write down something you are grateful for and put it in the jar.  Have your family do the same. When anyone is feeling down, read the contents of the jar. When this is all over, read the contents to remind yourself you made it through.

29. Buy a present for someone

Go online and get something small for a friend or family member. Nothing extravagant, small will do.  It could even be some toilet paper!  Get it sent straight to their address. No explanation needed. Imagine how good it will make them feel when they get a surprise gift.

30. Dance it out

Get your Beyoncé on. Close the curtains and make it happen. Have an online dance-off with your friends if you are game.

31. Vlog

Start your YouTube channel and vlog about your experience and send it out to the world. Or vlog about that unique skill you have. Teach the world. You might not know it, but there are people out there who want to learn how to play the spoons. What is your talent?

32. Work on your plank time or successive push-ups

No explanation needed.

But, you can also start with just one. Just one pushup each day until you can do more.

33. Start a movie club with your friends.

Agree on the movie, then meet up via Zoom or Skype to discuss. Maybe have a few glasses of wine to get the conversation flowing.

34. Learn sign language

Then you will know if the person signing beside the politician on TV is doing it right!!

35. Create your own quarantini

Share it with your friends online. Everyone can attempt to make a different one every week.

36. Rearrange your space

A change is often as good as a holiday. It doesn’t have to be a significant change. Move some furniture around. Change the pillows and throw. Change your duvet. Freshen up your space.

37. Journal the experience

Sometimes you just have to deal with the feelings, recognize them, accept them, and move on.  Journal what you want to do in the future. Write about how you want to know yourself going forward. After you have got it all out, change your thinking to focus on hope and expansion.

38. Research sleep hacks

Everyone needs to sleep better. It is your perfect chance to implement the hacks. You are more likely to be able to establish a consistent sleep routine that won’t be disturbed by going out during the week.

39. Make a travel bucket list

Think about all the places you want to visit in the world. If anything, we have learned that life is too short to sit around and do nothing all day.

40. There is always Netflix

Need I say more?