9 Genius Ways to Mix Up Your Daily Routine During Quarantine
Shake things up with virtual classes, new recipes, and a little redecorating.
These days, most people are stuck inside their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic. And let's face it, there are only so many books you can read and TV shows you can watch before you begin to go a little stir-crazy. Whether you're working from home, homeschooling your children, or taking college courses online, your current day-to-day has probably started to feel a little bit monotonous. So if you're looking to mix up your quarantine routine, we've got you covered.
End your week with "formal Fridays."
For Andrew Taylor, founder of Net Lawman, hosting "formal Fridays" is how he plans to get out of the quarantine rut. When you are only spending time inside your home, it can be "difficult to get out of one's pajamas," he says. That's why he started the Friday ritual of getting dressed up. It's a "fun way" to motivate himself to make an effort with his appearance during a time when all the days are "blending together," he says. After all, you could always use a good excuse to dust off an old tux or fancy dress!
Engage in friendly competitions with family.
If you're quarantined with a group of people, you're in luck. Kenny Trinh, managing editor of Netbooknews, says he's started to host daily competitions with his family to shake things up. One family member will "pick a category or task to do," and the one that does it best wins a prize taken from the family's stash of snacks.
"We had an art competition yesterday and my youngest daughter beat all of us with her almost lifelike portrait of a tiger," Trinh says. "I personally believe this is one of the best things you can do while quarantined—you get to spend quality time with your family, and you get to do semi-productive things as well."
Try new recipes.
Eating the same things every day—especially things you've eaten your entire life—can be a source of comfort, but it can also make you feel like you're Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
"One of the ways you can get stuck in a rut is by eating the same meal day after day, or the same snacks week after week," says Nicole Starbuck, spiritual mentor and life coach. "Try something new, like that recipe you've been eyeing on Pinterest and make an adventure out of it."
Give gardening a go.
If you have yard space outside your home—even the smallest of spaces will do—there's no better time to try your hand at gardening. Many home stores, like Home Depot, are still open or you can buy tools from Amazon, says Katie Ziskind, LMFT, owner of Wisdom Within Counseling.
"Gardening can help balance your mental health because you can watch your tulips, fruit trees, and beautiful flowers grow year after year," she says. "This is a great time of year to plant perennials that can remind you how far you've come when they bloom next year at this time."
Take interesting virtual classes.
Even if you are already taking classes online for school, trying separate classes on the things that interest you personally is a great way to switch things up. You don't even have to take the same class every day or every week, says Risa Williams, LMFT, a psychotherapist and online life coach.
"There are so many right now to pick from—things like free dance classes, virtual paint lessons, and even free guitar lessons," she says. "This helps break up the time and it gives you something to look forward to every week. Lots of people are also hosting virtual happy hours, virtual movie nights."
Brew your own beer.
For Chad Brodsky, founder of City Brew Tours, quarantine means he's no longer able to "entertain, educate, and captivate people on the road" as the operator of a local brewery tour. But even a pandemic can't keep him from his passion. During this time, he and his team came up with a creative way to bring brewing to the people with The Live Homebrew Experience—a virtual event that has allowed him to bring the "craft beer experience right into people's homes," Brodsky says.
Rearrange your furniture.
It may seem like a simple task, but switching up the way your furniture is positioned every so often can help you feel like you have a brand new home—especially when you're spending so much time indoors. Ahmed Ali, outreach consultant at Indoor Champ, says he rearranged his living room while in quarantine, and it's already made him feel like he has a totally new space. The best part? It doesn't cost you a thing.
Find a virtual gym partner.
It can be hard to stay accountable to your normal workout routines or start new workout routines, or start new ones, while you're stuck in the house, unable to go to the gym. That's why Ali recommends picking a friend or family member to be your "virtual gym partner." Whether you're doing online yoga, taking a virtual workout class, or just freely working out on your own, having someone do it with you while on a video call is a good way to "keep yourself fit" and be social, he says.
Go on a virtual scavenger hunt.
If you're connecting with your friends and family online, try going on a virtual scavenger hunt, says Kelenne Tuitt, a board certified family medicine physician.
"[Make it] so you have to find certain items online, outside, and in your home," she recommends. "It can be in a riddle format, and you have to time stamp your photos or do a video of you with the item. Whomever collects all the items first wins a dinner date on the group that will be honored once the COVID-19 pandemic resolves."