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Quarantine day number ??? As I write this, I am at exactly a month of self-isolation. When first envisioning our forthcoming free time, we thought:
Now I have the time to do all the things I have been putting off because of working so much!
While we went into self-isolation with the best of intentions, we may have failed to follow through with them. Whether your goal was to:
- Be more productive in personal pursuits but it’s hard when every day feels like a weekend. OR
- Let yourself relax but you (somehow) pulled work out of the blue. OR
- Simply remain sane during this time
I’ve made an ultimate list of everything you could do to intentional fill this free time in self-isolation, no matter your reasoning.
Table of Contents
1. Create / Edit Your Resume
If you don’t have resume, make sure to include:
- The name of each business
- When you started and ended employment
- A bulleted list of what tasks you did at your previous jobs that are most relevant to the next job(s) you would apply for
Resume Genius has tons of blog posts on all topics “resume and cover letters” if you need some more in-depth help.
If you already have a resume, update it. You probably don’t have your current job and all of its tasks outlined.
2. Re-Frame Your Business from Home
- Build / Edit your current website (I recommend WordPress)
- Do live videos on your Facebook pages and groups; stay relevant
- Do giveaways to keep interest in your business for when you open back up
- Update software that wasn’t working (it’s always hard to do that simultaneously while using them)
3. Learn to Skip the Commute (Permanently)
Many businesses were shut down if not deemed essential to promote self-isolation. Some businesses are “work as usual,” with no change other than the volume of clients and new standard operating procedures to somewhat comply with self-isolation. Then, there are those businesses that are still working, but from home… and are absolutely loving it.
If you are one of the latter, and you’re loving the flexibility and a “commute-worth” of extra sleep, make it permanent. Some people drive an hour both ways, every day. That could equate to two extra hours of free time, filled with exercise, meal prepping, or sending your kids off on the bus.
A really good book that teaches you how to make it permanent is “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss. It helps people who are trying to be entrepreneurs, as well as people who love their 9-5 but would like to do so from home. Which brings me to:
4. Read (At Least a Book)
Think of how many people set their New Years Resolution to be “read more!” Or “Read at least 5 / 10 / 20 books this year,” etc. What if you could knock out that resolution in 1 month?
Let’s say you picked up 5 books in a month, each at 250 pages each. You would only need to read 40 pages a day. Pretty achievable, right? This would still leave enough free time to join a virtual book club which could transition into an in-person club once self-isolation is a thing of the past.
5. Spring Clean
We transitioned from one season to the next seamlessly and we all know what comes with Spring… the cleaning.
- Organize the garage
- Clear your inbox of the 3,646 junk emails
- Find a better way to store the tupperware
- Clean out your accounts (See #14)
You’ve got this!
6. Be Thankful for the Health of Your Loved Ones
This past Thursday my Pop Pop got into a horrific car accident, spent 3 days at the hospital, and is now focusing on recoverying. Athough his issues weren’t COVID-related, I am still so thankful he is still with us today. His accident definitely put that into perspective for me.
Try to never take the health of our parents, grandparents, etc. for granted, especially during a global pandemic. The best thing we can do to preserve the health of our elders is to practice self-isolation. In short,
7. Stay Home
Just do it. If you have to go out, make sure to wear a face mask. Here is Stitch, demonstrating proper form:
Otherwise, stay in the luxury of your own home and adhere to the most compassionate act of self-isolation in this time. Not only will this help keep my Pops (and yours) safe, but it will get us back to hugging, dancing, and socializing sooner than later. But,
8. Go Outside
Absorb some Vitamin D, go for walk, play baseball with your son in the back yard. Self-isolation doesn’t mean we can’t leave the house. We have all the freedom to walk the dog, sit on the front porch with a cup of coffee, or even sun bathe on the roof, if you want to get crazy.
9. Stop Making Fun of Your B+BW’s Hand Sanitizer Collection
If there has ever been an obsession most girls indulge, it’s their collection of Bath and Body Works candles, hand sanitizers, and soaps.
Well, all judgement can now cease as you own the 2nd most sought after necessity (after TP) during these times. Congratulations. Use frequently. You’ve earned it.
10. Watch “The Office”
If you have never watched “The Office,” watch “The Office.” Self-Isolation was practically catered to help you binge this show. If you have watched “The Office” at least 8 times through and every night before you go to bed, watch “The Office.”
We all need a good laugh right now.
11. Be Unapologetically Friendly & Uplifting
Make someone’s day (from a distance, of course). We need to remind people that we still appreciate their existence even if we can’t exercise that appreciation physically. You can practice self-isolation and still say hi to a passerby-er with kindness in your eyes.
Kindness. That’s another thing we all need right now.
12. Love on Your Animals
How many of us have made the comment: “I work hard so I can be a stay-at-home dog mom someday.” Well, we get to have a taste of that lifestyle and let’s make sure not to take it for granted. Self-isolation… with a dog? What an amazing combo.
If anything, we definitely got to take a peek into what they deal with on a daily basis.
13. Get Ready (Even if You’re Not Going Out)
People who work from home will get ready as if they have to go into the office. It’s a trick to start the day off with intention. It’s kind of like when people make their beds even though they will just mess it up again that night. It doesn’t seem to make sense, but it makes a big difference on your daily productivity.
There’s just something about putting on a slap of mascara and a braid that can give you a sense of order (and I know we are all searching for a bit of that right now).
Plus, you have the golden opportunity to get better at harder hairstyles. You can put them in and test their longevity without having to wear it in public. It’s a win / win.
14. Consume Positive Media
This is really important & will prove beneficial more than just during self-isolation. By doing this, you will help fill your free time (post self-isolation too) with more uplifting content and people.
- Unfollow people / profiles that don’t serve you positively
- Follow people / profiles that motivate you to be better and reach your goals (I most recently followed @_thesixfigurechick_ and have gained a lot from the Q&A’s she frequently holds on her Instagram story)
- Watch John Krasinki’s new YouTube show SNG (Some Good News)
15. Drop Off Care Packages
Whether it’s food for their physcial needs or items for their mental needs, it is such a thoughtful surprise.
My friend Liz called me two weeks into quarantine to tell me she had left a few things on the lowest step of my porch. I asked:
She was already gone by time I retrieved the payload from the stoop. It was such a funny concept, to get given a gift in self-isolation, with no interaction with the giver, but these are the times we live in.
I excitedly opened her gifts to find a beautiful cactus journal, pens, a book she’s been wanting me to read, and little reflection activities. So thoughtful!
We are alive during one of the most historical times of our lives, there’s no way we don’t have something to write about. It doesn’t have to be written well, it just has to be something you would love to read back on.
Use your free time writing down what you are thankful for.
I personally downloaded Manifestation Babe’s “The Free 30 Day Manifestor’s Morning Journal” to keep me on track. I recommend it to anyone new to journaling or looking for some extra guidance right now. It’s wonderfully revealing.
17. Do Creative Activities With Your Kids
Kind of along the same lines as “Journal,” pull out some things for your kids to scrap with. The best thing my mom ever did was get me to start scrap journalling. Not only will it be a good bonding experience during self-isolation, but it will sharpen your kid’s love and ability to work creatively in the future.
18. Reach Out to Your Pregnant Friends, Engaged Friends, Student Friends, etc.
We all are missing something: social events, concerts, barbecues (man, I miss barbecues), but imagine:
- Not having family over to help you storm the stresses of being a soon-to-be, first-time momma?
- Having to cancel your wedding that you have been planning for 2+ years?
- Having to adapt to a whole new format of learning without any warning?
We are all “losing” something but barbecues can be rescheduled, baby bumps and “Senior Year” cannot.
19. Play Animal Crossing
A game focused on taking it one day at a time, what better goal for our circumstance. You fish, you socialize, you collect, you garden, you build, you take it easy. There’s a reason 1.88 million copies sold in 3 days. It is the ultimate free time filler.
I’m not going to lie, anyone else find it kind of mind blowing that Animal Crossing was supposed to come out in September and they moved the release date to March 20th (the exact day that all non-essential businesses were told to stay home)????
Questions are raised, but… still play the game if you’re looking for a mental release and your new 100+ hour obsession.
(Look how cute my character is)
20. Sign Up for a Online Course or Coaching
Now is the time for personal and business development. Whether it be a course that helps you increase your knowledge in a hobby or coaching calls that guide your next business venture, there is a plethora of opportunities on the web, now more than ever.
I personally spent some free time going through Gut To Glory’s Four Week Manifestation Course. To supplement the information, I also did the additional weekly coaching calls with Maria on Zoom. It has immensely helped me to continue growing during such a stagnant time in history. Implement a course or converse with a coach who does the same for you.
21. Learn a New Skill
To kind of go along with signing up for something of interest, you could also learn a new skill without putting out any money. YouTube has tons of tutorials on sewing, woodworking, cooking, etc. It’s all at our fingertips. If we keep our hands busy, I’m sure our minds will follow suit.
To take it a step further, start something: a new side hustle? A new paid hobby? or something that was hard to get off the ground while keeping your head above water with work? That’s exactly what I did.
22. Have A Pirates of the Caribbean Marathon
Or a Harry Potter Marathon. Or a Star Wars Marathon. Pop the corn, flip the lights, and don’t worry about when you go to bed. My family watched a Pirates of the Caribbean movie every night for a week while munching on home-cooked meals in the living room.
If you’re looking for some more movie marathon ideas, here’s a list of 11 Movie Marathons to Complete while Staying at Home. Enjoy.
23. Learn a Tik Tok Dance (Then Teach it to Your Dog)
Learning a dance on your own is fun, but add your super reluctant pup into the picture, and you got yourself a good time. I learned the “Savage” dance in my free time and without even posting my own rendition, I decided to add my Stitchy girl to the choreography. Dogs who dance? You can’t get more joy from anything else.
24. Make New “Date Nights”
If you’re lucky enough to be quarantined with your significant other, make sure you don’t take that for granted. My boyfriend and I have been taking time to make some nights at home feel like a mini date. My favorite so far was our “Sudoko & Coco” in bed.
We grow apart from people, more frequently due to lifestyle differences, location changes, and lack of free time. Despite this, we all have something in common now: a global pandemic and tons of free time. Although sad, use this time and circumstance to reconnect with old friends and family.
26. Continue Celebrating the Holidays
Even if you can’t keep the same traditions this year, you can still celebrate; maybe even make new traditions. So far we have had our first annual Easter Beer Hunt during, what I like to call, QuarentiEaster and we may not be too far off from Mother’s Day in Quarantine. So let’s find new ways to continue beloved celebrations while staying home and safe.
This may be the first time in a long time that true workaholics get to experience the amazing health benefits of a good night sleep.
Go the extra step and try to become an early riser, if you’re feeling spunky.
28. Meal Prep
This may seem like a weird one since we aren’t going to work and we can make something healthy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at our leisure. But let me ask you something: Are you making something healthy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at your leisure?
By meal prepping during self-isolation, you will:
- Combat eating mindlessly in front of your favorite Netflix show
- Create a super beneficial habit for when you do get back to the work week hustle
- Help counteract the fact that all gyms are closed until further notice
Which brings me to my next boredom buster:
29. Exercise / Go for a Walk
It’s hard to stay motivated in your free time without a gym full of fancy machines and encouraging personal trainers, but it can still be done.
I am a member of Edge Fitness and they have been true superheros during the “Stay At Home” order. They took full advantage of the advances in technology and social media features to provide both members AND non-members with daily live exercise videos. Different Edge personal trainers host 5 videos a day shot live from their homes that you can follow along on Instagram or Facebook. They post the schedule the night before so you have time to prepare your alarm clock if you want an 8:30 AM HIIT class (that one’s my favorite).
Exercise. Sweat. Get them endorphins going.
Below is an example of what their usual schedules will look like and where to find each class
30. Play Board Games
Given you have enough people to play your preferred games, this is a perfect way to have a memorable family night in. Put some snacks around the outskirts of your “game table,” turn on some tunes, and get competitive.
My family’s personal favorite right now is Dairy Queen. We have been calling in a midday order each Saturday during our movie marathons. During our most recent curbside pick up, my mom’s car broke down. We brought my truck to the scene, towed her to the shop on the corner, & continued Pirates of the Caribbean as scheduled. Thank you Dairy Queen for unknowingly orchestrating such a fun night.
32. Download my FREE Intention Guide
Now is a time for change. We have the free time, now we just need the desire. I put together this FREE Intention Guide with:
- An Initial “Day in the Life” Prompt
- 6 Intention Building Tips
- Action Plan Worksheet
- Guided Intention Entry
- 5 Pages of Printables
My main goal in creating my Intention Guide is to help you create change specific to your desires and motivators.
I want these 33 ideas to be a start of something bigger. Don’t get caught up in quantity of this list, pick a few and really hone in.
Before this quarantine I was going to the gym 5 days a week, now I fit in an Edge Fitness live Instagram video where I can before diving into working on my blog 10+ hours a day.
Don’t get overwhelmed, that’s what keeps us in bed stressing. Just pick where you want to place the majority of your energy and put it to action in your Intention Guide.
33. Remember It’s Spring
Enjoy your free time outdoors, having a bonfire, appreciating the blooming flowers, and listening to the birds chirping. We have been granted a limited pass to fully indulge in the abundant beauty around us, let’s use it.