As Australia moves to self-isolation measures due to the coronavirus epidemic, we’re in the midst of a strange new reality. Going outside is now only permitted for essential errands like groceries, exercise or work, and gathering in groups of more than two is a fineable offence. Which means for most of us, staying indoors all day, every day is the new norm. But if you’re not an introvert or homebody, you might be struggling to pass the time outside of Zoom meetings and walking to the fridge for yet another snack.
Here are some indoor activities to pass the next time you find yourself sick of binge-watching Netflix. (And if you get through this list and all else fails, you can always start making TikToks).
Make Art & Get Crafty
Awaken your inner Picasso by creating art, whether that’s in the form of painting, sketching, or drawing. This is a fun, creative and inexpensive way to stay busy indoors — it can be as simple as scribbling away with a pen. Activities like colouring in have also been proven to reduce stress and increase mindfulness.
Craft is another creative way to keep you occupied whilst also creating something beautiful (hopefully!). This could be papercrafts like scrapbooking or origami, textiles such as sewing, knitting, crocheting or embroidery, or even pottery! You are limited only by your imagination.
So go on, get some snacks, chuck on a Bob Ross tutorial and host your very own paint and sip!
Work on a Side Hustle
There has never been a better time to work your on a side hustle, or work your way through your long-term to do list. Now is your chance to finally do all those things you’ve been ‘too busy’ for.
Start working on that podcast, blog, Youtube channel, novel, or e-commerce company that you’ve been wanting to do but have placed on the backburner!
If you don’t have something of your own or don’t know where to start, you can always upskill yourself through online tutorials and webinars.
Puzzles & Games
If you’ve got any board games laying around the house, now is the time to dust them off and have a round of Scrabble, Monopoly, chess or Uno. Ditto for jigsaw puzzles, which as Scomo has said, are essential items.
The man has a point — you may have relegated these games to the attic since adulthood, but once you’ve spent an afternoon passing Go and collecting $200, you’ll see why they’re timeless for a reason!
Brain training puzzles like Sudoku and crosswords are also great for keeping your mind busy.
This may be an obvious one, but now is the perfect time to cosy up with a book. You might have a reading list to get through (and if you don’t, there’s plenty of recommended reading, new releases and best seller lists online), or you can start by picking up that book you never quite finished.
Audiobooks are also fantastic for listening to if you don’t want to commit to sitting down with a book. You can find free audiobooks here.
Reading doesn’t have to be limited to just books either — further your knowledge by researching and reading into that thing you’ve always been curious about. If there’s ever been a time to fall down an Internet rabbit hole about conspiracy theories, astrology or true crime — it’s now.
Not just a tasty way to pass the time (the best part about cooking is eating, duh), cooking is also a skill for life that can mean the difference between living off two-minute noodles and being able to whip up a full-on feast.
Buzzfeed’s Tasty has great video recipes if you’re a visual learner, and you can also find tonnes of easy-to-follow recipes here.
You don’t have to focus on learning complicated recipes either — you could bake, make a staple item you’ve previously only bought ready-made before (such as bread or mayonnaise) or learn a kitchen skill like how to poach eggs.
Last but not least, it’s also a good time to be taking care of yourself. During this uncertain period, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and anxious, and not being able to get out of the house and see friends can lead to loneliness, depression and a sense of despair.
It’s crucial to take time for yourself to do the things that make you feel at your best, both physically and mentally. Beyond the usual ‘do a facemask, take a bath’, self care includes making sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise, and switching off from social media when you need to, and prioritising activities that make you happy.
It’s also important to maintain some sort of routine, so that you don’t end up either working constantly, or drowning in a slump of Netflix. Try going to bed and waking up at consistent times throughout the week if you can.
Whether it’s through mood tracker apps or journalling, take the time to really check in with yourself and your feelings. Schedule regular video calls with your loved ones to stay socially connected, and know that it’s okay to feel a rollercoaster of emotions as you adjust to this new (temporary) way of life.