Stuck at home, now what?
During a lockdown we are basically stuck at home. With the majority of shops having to close down as well we want to take a look at ten fun and useful things we can do while being stuck at home.
And let’s look at the bright side – this is a great opportunity to save some money and challenge consumerism mentality. It’s good practice for the challenges we face ahead, with adjusting to the climate crisis.
10 things you can do if you are stuck at home
Making Homemade Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies
Some of the most desired products since the virus outbreak started have been cleaning and sanitation supplies. Unfortunately, most cleaning products are ironically packed with toxic chemicals and have a negative effect both on the environment and people’s health.
Taking this into account as well as the high demand, why not spend the time at home making our own healthier alternatives? Eco-friendly cleaning supplies are not so hard to make and the process is actually quite fun. Taking some time to master the skill can be a great long-term investment and a cost-efficient substitute (plus handmade soaps are great gifts).
Reuse old clothes – DIY experimentation time
We all know it can be hard to resist buying the great new shirt/dress or cute accessory we accidentally spotted in the shopping centre. Even if know we don’t need something once it takes a spot in our brain the battle is lost.
Now is a great time to go through our wardrobe and find clothing we can no longer use. It might be damaged, something that doesn’t fit us anymore, or something we bought without paying attention to the quality of the materials used.
Get creative and convert the unusable clothes and garments into something different – old socks can be turned into awesome toys for kids and pets, coffee cup cosies, or boot cuffs; old shirts and dresses into tote bags, patchworks sets, etc. Get the DIY energy going and let the creativity take over.
Here is an inspirational list of over 50 ideas in case you need a kickstart.
Clean up, give away, donate
The previous tip is great for damaged old clothing or something you can no longer efficiently use. However, clothes that are still well-preserved but you are just bored with or have outgrown can make someone else happy instead. Consider giving clothes you are no longer interested into friends or family members you know will appreciate them and wear them with pride.
The same goes for other types of belongings – books, decorations, old CDs and vinyl, shoes, accessories, etc. If none of your friends come up to your mind as the new owners of your former treasures there are organizations like Humana and The Red Cross who would highly appreciate your donation.
This activity will clean up some space in your room and put things that have only been collecting dust in good use.
Read the books you never had time for
Having to stay at home means the long desired time for catching up with the endless list of books we have put in a to-be-read pile is finally here. It is a great opportunity to explore your bookshelf and keep your brain active with your favorite type of writing. Or why not try out a genre you typically avoid?
Physical bookstores are unfortunately closed but online ones are fully active and many of them are offering free e-book and pdf downloads to keep readers entertained. What is more, many of them including the well-stocked Book Depository have large discount on online orders and offer free delivery or instant digital download. You can support writers and keep your mind working full speed with the large selection of books available – reading offers a great escape from real life in case you are fed up with the quarantine.
PS – need a suggestion for start – Under The Dome by Steven King really fits the current situation.
Being locked inside leaves us with a lot of time alone with our thoughts and emotions. It can be hard to process and sometimes overwhelming but as with anything else, those negatives can be turned into positives.
Now is the perfect time to start journaling and putting your thoughts, emotions, and ideas into writing. It doesn’t have to be anything serious or highly structured – jotting down your contemplations and takeaways from each day can be a great exercise for understanding yourself better and putting your focus in the right direction. Jill Conyers has a nice summary of the benefits of journaling and fun ideas to help you start the process.
While we are on the topic of writing – journaling is not the only pastime to explore. Writing short stories or taking a shot at poems amongst other formats is also a worthwhile activity.
Listen to complete albums in their eternity
Apart from books, one of the best companions you can turn to during this isolation period is music. The world of music is so vast, diverse, and fascinating it is impossible not to find an album you can connect with.
Many musicians use their art to create conceptual pieces in the forms of records that only make sense played in the specific order they were arranged in.
Nowadays we are so used to different playlists and listening to music “on the go” we can miss out on a great experience. Taking the time to enjoy an album without being distracted by your commute, cleaning routine, or workout session can be a completely different thing. Focus on the music and immerse yourself in an artist’s world for some time to see what you can get out of it.
With so many genres and artists creating mind-blowing music, there is a lot to explore.
Here are 25 timeless classics to start with.
Plant and pets spa
Pets are valuable parts of our lives and they deserve all the attention we can give them. With our busy modern lifestyle, it can be a challenge to give the necessary time to our precious friends.
Your pets are certainly ecstatic that you are home with them so make it even better by playing, giving them extra care, and spending dedicated time with them.
The same goes for plants – they also need to feel love and affection. Make some houseplant spa and clean dry leaves, repot plants that need more space, and rearrange them so they get optimal conditions to thrive. This can take your mind off stressful thoughts and freshen up your house space so why not take the time for it? Here are some good ideas of how you can make this happen.
Travel without going anywhere
We are stuck at home and many of us have our plans for spending some time off travelling to new destinations or revisiting old favourites suspended.
This, however, does not mean we cannot explore the world. The digital age and rise of perfectly executed documentaries about each and every place on Earth give us a great opportunity to travel and explore without leaving our homes.
Explore wildlife in your backyard
It might not be the best time to go on extensive expeditions and long-term adventures (it will soon be possible again, don’t worry) but this doesn’t mean you cannot keep exploring.
If you have a garden or a backyard it would be a great idea to spend some time around nature and enjoy sunlight and fresh air. Taking care of your garden is not suspended and you can spice things up by doing some exploration and observation of the surrounding flora and fauna in the yard.
Want to make things even more exciting and learn in the process? Register for inaturalist (part of National Geographic Society), take photos of your discoveries, upload them and enter discussions with other enthusiasts. This will keep you busy and learning for a while.
Experiment with new recipes
With many retail and takeaway food chains getting temporarily closed we have the perfect opportunity to level-up our cooking skills.
Cooking at home is a fun activity and a healthier alternative to takeaway food. You can choose your own ingredients and explore thousands of tasty recipes available online. Choose the level of difficulty and master a new dish to impress friends and family later. Why not test out new ingredients you haven’t approached before? You never know what you might find out about your taste and cooking skills.
In case you need some starting ideas, Tasty has really easy and delicious dinner suggestions with easily available products.
one more thing…
While being stuck at home and deprived of the ability to explore the oversaturated shopping districts it is a good time to reflect on the consumerism nature of the modern world.
We tend to purchase way more than we need, overstock ourselves (we just proved that in a matter of hours), and create unnecessary demand for products that are being overproduced. This is, in reality, another serious crisis we need to address and solve – it is damaging our planet and leading us to certain destruction step by step.
Not having the ability to hoard shops for a while is prerequisite to understanding how much we actually need to survive and live well and how much we overdo it during normal circumstances. Having less does not mean we are compromising on our comfort or happiness it just means we are being mindful towards our home – planet Earth and we are not destroying resources that we will need in the future.
It is time to realise that and change our approach before the effects of our behaviour become completely irreversible.
Read more about international volunteering
Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. A great way to save money and an opportunity to tune into life instead of shopping. Find 10 tips here.
Celebrating unity in diversity on Africa Day on 25 May, we present som interesting facts about the African continent. 54 independent states and sadly, one colony, share the amazing African continent.
Many countries are taking measures against the COVID-19 outbreak by announcing lockdown and quarantine. So how can you utilize your time at home?
The outbreak of COVID-19 is a world crisis. While it is important to take the right measures we also need to remember the other threats of our world.
India has one of the oldest and most diverse cultures in the world. Here are 6 of the most colorful festivals celebrated each year.
When we are not happy with our current situation change becomes a necessity. Fighting the initial fear and discomfort of it leads to growth and progress.
Guinea-Bissau is a small country, however, there are a lot of interesting (but sadly not well-known) facts about its history, nature, development, and culture. Here we have seven intriguing ones prepared.
College or university can be a challenge as it doesn’t always meet your high expectations. There are some valid reasons to drop our if you don’t feel it is right for you.
Living in a small village in Malawi for six months is an amazing experience. Experienced volunteers share some good advice on 10 things that you will be glad to have in your backpack.
Are you researching how to go about volunteering abroad in a responsible & ethical way? In this post we share some resources that we think could be useful for you – at least we hope so!
“Take your time. Prepare yourself. The longer, the better. Be realistic about your skills and use them wisely. And finally: Work with people. Solve problems shoulder to shoulder.”
Taking a year out for some reason or another might be very beneficial for you. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of it, while you try to figure out what to do with your life.