Ways to Keep Busy at Home

After more than a month of total quarantine, it can prove difficult to find new hobbies or activities at home. We all have a lot more time spent inside and working online than we did before the pandemic, which makes it more important than ever to find ways to engage with friends and family from a distance and new forms of entertainment during the coming weeks and potentially months. Here are some ideas of how to stave off boredom during lockdown.

  1. 1. Write letters to friends and family.

    white paper with letters "love letters"

    Quarantine proves difficult for everyone, but feeling so isolated is especially challenging for those that live alone. Writing a letter with some life updates and words of encouragement to a friend or family member is an easy way to help with loneliness. If you want to reach out to the broader community or particularly enjoy writing letters, reach out to a senior care home in your area and send letters to some residents. It’s an easy way to pass the time, and it makes a difference in the lives of those who are especially isolated.

  2. 2. Set new fitness goals.

    Summer Girl Hawaii Yoga Hiking Exercise View

    Many fitness programs are now offering free online workouts, whether via their website or social media. Creating new workout goals is a long-term plan to stay busy, and there are plenty of workouts that are easy to do inside, such as yoga or dance classes. Running outside in a non-busy area is also an easy way to add some cardio; you can start with shorter distances and gradually increase them throughout the weeks ahead.

  3. 3. Learn to bake or cook new recipes.

    Jason Briscoe

    Grocery shopping for the entire week requires some meal planning, so it’s a particularly great time to find new recipes to try. I wrote an article last week with some baking ideas; Notre Dame provides a subscription to the New York Times that also includes the cooking section, which contains many great recipes. Some of my favorites from the New York Times so far have been Buffalo Cauliflower, which I use to make tacos, and this Juicy Orange Cake.

  4. 4. Find a remote internship, sign up for more classes or learn a new language.

    Many summer plans and jobs have been cancelled or postponed; however, some programs and companies are offering remote internships from home. Now is a great time to make plans for the summer if yours were abruptly canceled. Even an unpaid internship can add something to your résumé and help to pass the time after spring semester classes conclude. I decided to work for a campaign for Congress. Campaigns are always looking for more volunteers, and electing capable and responsible government officials is especially important in crises as we have seen throughout the past months. Alternatively, sign up for more classes online through Notre Dame or another program as a way to continue staying occupied in the months ahead. If you want to improve your language skills, apps such as Duolingo offer free and simple lessons to either improve upon current knowledge of a language or learn a completely new one.

  5. 5. Watch a show or movie with friends via Netflix Party.

    Netflix symbol on TV with a hand holding a remote

    Netflix Party is a Google Chrome browser extension that enables users to watch Netflix with others online. It offers a chat function to talk with other members of the group as you watch, but you could also FaceTime or Zoom with friends at the same time.

These are just a few ideas to help pass the time and find new ways to connect with friends and family during quarantine. We all have a lot more time to find new things to do and ways to engage with one another as being physically apart complicates our day to day lives. Hopefully some of these ideas offer some inspiration or a different way to stay busy in these coming weeks.