Schools, businesses and other entities have seemed to fully take to social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. But staying away from your neighbors and friends can quickly leave you wondering about other ways to occupy your time.
If you’re not sure what you can do, below is a list offering a few ideas about how you can spend your time while the community and world at large is under quarantine.
» RELATED: 9 kid-friendly activities while you're stuck at home
Being at home provides an ideal time to sort out the clutter in your life — and the timing couldn’t be better, since spring is essentially here.
“Make sure everything lives somewhere,” New York City-based professional organizer Sharon Lowenheim told WebMD. Typically, it’s best to store similar items together. Putting items in rooms where they’re usually used helps ensure they’ll get put away — and not start more clutter.
Cook an elegant meal
After you’ve refilled your pantry with staples, it can be tempting to make your usual go-to meals. But since you’ve cut out commute time by remaining at home, it may be worth it to whip up something more inspired.
Use a recipe as a guide, but don’t be afraid to put a twist on what you’re reading. You can even use your time to learn about the science behind the foods courtesy of Atlanta-area resident and Georgia native, Food Network star Alton Brown.
Engage in self-care
Just because you can’t go to the nail or hair salon doesn’t mean you can’t take care of those things on your own. YouTube is filled with tutorials on how you can get near-professional results on your own.
You can also take this time to relax in that bubble bath you may have skipped because you’d rather go straight to bed after a long commute. So, break out that bath set you got as a gift and get the suds going.
When it comes down to it, however, self-care is defined by the individual.
“Anything can be self-care and adding it to your everyday life can be easy once you have an idea of what you need and how it will work with your life,” Atlanta-based marriage and family therapist Samantha Heuwagen told NBCNews BETTER. “We’re all different and self-care is a reflection of who we are and what we need to process stress.”
Start a new fitness routine
You may not be able to hit the gym, but being stuck at home can be an ideal time to begin a new fitness routine or revamp your old one.
Try yoga or a beginners High Intensity Interval Training workout by visiting YouTube. You can also go for a brief walk in your neighborhood. While the MayoClinic advises that being physical for at least 30 minutes a day is ideal, it also notes “Any amount of activity is better than none at all.”
Exercise your brain, too
Don’t forget about your mind while you’re at home. You likely won’t be working the entire time that you’re remote, so why not use some spare time to engage in a crossword puzzle, Sudoku or another brain-based game on your phone, like Lumosity or Words with Friends. A bonus for the latter? You can still engage with friends at a distance.
While experts are split on the benefits of brain-training games, they can provide a way to keep you occupied. There’s also the option to take a virtual class, many of which are being offered amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pick up a new hobby
Some of the time spent at home could be devoted to a new hobby — or one you’ve been meaning to get around to doing.
Did you grab water colors and a canvas years ago with the intent of painting but never did? Now may be a good time to start. Do you still have an instrument you played in high school but haven’t done so in years? You could dust it off and get back in action.
“When people do things that make them feel good, like a hobby, it activates an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens that controls how we feel about life,” said Dr. S. Ausim Azizi, chairman of the department of neurology at Temple University’s School of Medicine in Philadelphia to the New York Times.
A go-to activity on any given day, there’s probably more time now than ever to binge watch your favorite show on Netflix, Hulu or Disney+. If you’re missing the sights and sounds of downtown Atlanta, here’s a list of titles filmed in and around the metro area to keep you entertained.
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