10 Apr What to do with all your Quarantime
Staying at home in your PJs starts to lose its charm a bit as you remember the days spent socialising with friends, going out on the weekend, and even just having the freedom to go anywhere that isn’t the grocery store (a now barren landscape). We’ve suddenly found ourselves with more time on our hands, but less to do, and so the boredom’s started to set in. But more time can actually mean more opportunity – it’s definitely something we can take advantage of, if we have ideas of what we can do with it. And you know what? I think I have just the thing….
Here are 11 ways to spice up that quarantime.
#1 Start a mini-garden
Why not grow some flowers to liven up that windowsill! Grab some herb plants to make yourself a handy kitchen garden, or try growing an avocado from that avocado pit you were about to throw out (it’s a thing!). Gardening is a fun hobby that you can do regularly to produce what are often beautiful (and sometimes edible) results – and hey, we’re making the world greener, too!
#2 Finally catch up on (or rewatch!) those iconic movies and TV shows
“Never tell me the odds.” “You get killed, walk it off.” No? How about “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good”? Not doing it for you? Maybe you often find yourself trying to keep track of different superheroes in your friends’ conversations (there’s Marvel and DC?), or you’ve always been secretly confused about who the Hun are and why we need to defeat them. No more, my friend. Finally, you have the time to watch the quintessential, meme-making, record-breaking iconic movies and TV shows of our time – or, if you’re already pop-culturally educated, to binge watch your favourites again. Why not make it a movie marathon with friends? After all, there are some wonderful screensharing programs available online! Pro tip: Netflix Party is great, but TwoSeven is where it’s at (if you haven’t heard of it, Google it right after you read the rest of this article).
#3 Read those books you’ve been waiting to read and make a Reading Zen-Zone
You know those books you bought that one time, and then proceeded never to read? Yeah, might be a good time to actually take them off the shelf and, you know, read them. But if reading isn’t your thing, audiobooks are a great alternative as well. Set up a Reading Zen-Zone with everything you like – maybe a pillow haven, a window and close proximity to the fridge – and lose yourself in another world.
#4 Take advantage of the unique quarantine entertainment
In light of social isolation restrictions, many organisations have made substantial efforts to keep providing entertainment to the people. Here is a list of some amazing new developments that have come out of quarantine, and other oldies (but goodies) that have been around for a while. Search these all up on the internet to find out more details:
- Virtual tours of museums including The Louvre Museum (Paris)
- Metropolitan Opera, streaming free nightly
- Live-stream classical music performances from all over the world
- Late-night comedy streaming
- Movies that are skipping the cinemas and coming straight to pay-per-view, like Dolittle
- Podcasts (e.g. the world’s first true crime classical music podcast, brain teasers)
#5 Blog, Vlog or Write about your life
“4 Feet and 11 Inches Apart – My Life in Social Isolation (storytime)”… too dramatic? Well, whatever you decide to go with, why not start a quarantine blog, vlog or diary? Not only will it be interesting to look back on in the future, but it gives you an opportunity to actually reflect on your day, and maybe even come up with new things to do tomorrow. It’s also the perfect excuse to finally fulfil that dream you’ve had of becoming a fully-fledged YouTuber. “Remember to like, share and subscribe. Don’t forget to hit the bell icon so you get notified when I post” – I can’t be the only one who’s wanted to say that, right?
Between the toilet paper, the grocery shop arena and the unprecedented rules and regulations of this time, there could not be a better time to refine that raw meme-making talent. Creative, long-lasting and something that brings a smile to another person’s face – what more could you want?
#7 Unleash that creativity and learn a new skill
If you’ve always wanted to enter the rap scene, why not give it a go now? Or maybe you’ve been wanting to follow a Bob Ross tutorial. Now is the ideal time to unleash your inner Da Vinci. It can be a great outlet for many emotions, and you might even discover a new passion! This extra time is also a fantastic opportunity to learn a new skill, and between all the websites and YouTube videos available online, it seems like you can learn almost anything. Here are some ideas:
- Tutorials and tips on how to write a novel or short story
- Learn to write calligraphy, draw or paint (a great activity if you have kids or younger siblings; look up Mo Willems and Michael Woodside)
- Learn a new dance style or learn how to moonwalk
- Learn to make candles
- Learn basic HTML coding and/or Java Script
- Learn a language or sign language
- Learn something different like origami, beatboxing, rapping or juggling
#8 Revamp your living space
Here are some things you can do to refresh your living space and wardrobe:
- Try on all your clothes:
- Throw out any old clothes
- Come up with new outfit combinations
- Redecorate your room and/or living space
- Rearrange the furniture to create a different look
#9 Online shop for gifts in advance
Mother’s Day is coming up next month, Father’s Day in September, Christmas in December and birthdays all through the year. Why not use this extra time to do some stress-free online browsing for gift ideas? Damn, that’s advanced.
#10 Take your cooking and baking to the next level
I’m going to say it straight up – 2 minute noodles do not count as cooking, and apples are not dinner. But don’t worry – this quarantine season, you can bump up your game. Recreate something you love to eat or try something new and challenging. To minimise trips to the grocery store, write a list of everything you want to make and buy all the ingredients in one go. If you’re more practical and just want to use up what’s already in your pantry, download an app like SuperCook, where you can search recipes by ingredients. And who knows, by the time we return to face-to-face learning, you may well be your PBL’s MVP. Here are a few favourite apps and YouTube channels:
- Tasty – both a YouTube channel and an app, this has hundreds of amazing recipes, from 3-ingredient recipe collections and quick nutritious meals, to fancy desserts and tasty snacks. I would 300% recommend the whipped coffee – it’s amazing, and you only need water, coffee, sugar and milk to make it.
- Budget Bytes – this website has “delicious recipes designed for small budgets” and has the cost of each ingredient written in each recipe as well.
- Bigger Bolder Baking by Gemma Stafford – one of the highlights of this website / YouTube channel is the myriad of mug recipes on offer, from mug brownies to cinnamon rolls and even lasagne!
#11 Take every opportunity to do things with family and friends using online platforms
It’s hard not being able to meet up with loved ones in person, but it’s so important to maintain that social contact. Not only will you enjoy each other’s company, but by talking to others, it can help put your worries into perspective. Often you find that many other people have the same concerns and struggles as you do, and it can help you feel less alone and more supported. So, what you can you do?
- Use video calls to ‘have dinner’ with your family or catch up with a friend over coffee
- Challenge your friends and family to a BAKE OFF! Try baking the same recipe (which might end up being especially amusing if you keep a video call going as you bake) and compare the results at the end to determine the winner
- Do a virtual house party with your friends
- Play Mafia via a group video chat (where the moderator would have to personally message each individual)