13 Things You Can't Do in Lockdown That You Used to Take for Granted

You didn't realize how much you appreciated your work commute or fitness classes until they were gone.

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Before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. with a vengeance, it probably seemed impossible that anything could get between the majority of people and their daily activities for an extended period of time. Prior to this, maybe you had grown complacent with your life and started taking the little things for granted. But this crisis has likely put everything in perspective. Staying home to prevent the spread, you've had time to think about all the mundane things you never knew you would miss. Although it will be a while before you can return to many of these activities again, maybe you'll cherish them a little bit more when you do. And to see other ways in which lockdown has changed behavior, check out 7 Daily Habits People Have Ditched During Quarantine.

1
Commuting to work

Woman listening to music on her commute to work
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Remember that commute you used to complain about? It actually sounds pretty good right now, doesn't it? Whether you took a train, bus, or your own car, your commute probably allowed you a bit of time to be alone with your thoughts (or with a playlist or podcast) before facing the day. If you're working from home, you've lost that buffer between the time you wake up and the time you start on your to-do list—plus the exercise you got from walking to your stop or taking the stairs to your office.

2
Large celebrations

Large family gathering to celebrate a birthday
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If you haven't already begun to miss celebrating with groups of friends and family, it'll start to sink in with graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, and hot weather right around the corner. In the past, you may not have been super excited about attending barbecues at your in-laws' house, but now that the option is not there, you may find yourself yearning for a get-together. For some ways to salvage her special day, check out these 13 Quarantine Mother's Day Ideas That Are So Creative.

3
Getting drinks at a bar

Women getting drinks at a bar together
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You may have been known to complain about loud, crowded, sticky-floored bars with eternal bathroom lines, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. Folks are getting creative with cocktails during quarantine. Still, nothing compares to having a bartender whip something up for you—even if it takes too long to get their attention.

4
Little office perks

Group of friends in office getting coffee
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Sure some perks come with working from home, such as round-the-clock sweatpants and home-cooked meals whenever you want them. But offices also have their own benefits. Free coffee, the occasional snack set out for sharing in the kitchen, lunch breaks with friends, and conversations with coworkers that help break up the day are just some of the features that your home office doesn't offer. To learn about how your workplace has changed forever, check out 5 Things You'll Never See in Your Office Again After Coronavirus.

5
Going for a stress-free walk

Friends going for a walk
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Do you remember the last time you went on a walk without a mask or an ounce of anxiety? It's probably been weeks since you've taken a leisurely stroll with nothing between you and the air, maybe popping into shops, grabbing a coffee to go, and and not feeling the need to cross the street every time you see another person on the sidewalk. It was a luxury! To remind yourself of the positives of even a socially distant trip outside of the house, check out these 25 Amazing Health Benefits of Walking.

6
Going on a date

Couple on a dinner date
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Between getting ready, trekking to the meetup spot, and trying to make conversation that isn't awkward, dating may have felt like a hassle once upon a time. But you're probably missing it now. Whether you're single or have been married for years, a date night offers an escape from the routine of daily life. And neither virtual dating events nor candlelit dinners in your home can really take the place of going out on the town. Still, you do have options—check out A Relationship Expert Explains How to Date While Social Distancing to find out what they are.

7
Getting beauty treatments

Woman getting her hair shampooed before hair cut
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With nail salons, hairdressers, waxers, spas, and other beauty businesses not operating in most parts of the country, quarantine has likely brought you closer to your natural state. Without the option to make an appointment, you may have started giving yourself manicures, shaping your own eyebrows, or even having your significant other cut your hair. It's a necessary stopgap, but let's face it: the results are (mostly) far from professional.

8
Dining out at restaurants

Friends eating out at a restaurant together
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Right now, you're longing for the day when you'll again hear someone with a notepad say, "Can I get you started with some drinks?"

There's something special about sitting down at a table in a restaurant with a group of friends or family that cannot be replicated at home. It's easy to take dining out for granted if you do it often, but the next time you get to share a meal at your favorite restaurant, you'll fully appreciate that ritual.

9
Getting together with friends

Group of friends hanging out
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Before the coronavirus pandemic, you probably never thought twice about hanging out with 10 or 15 friends at a time. Dinner parties and get-togethers were just a part of your regular weekend plans. Now that you've been relegated to only seeing the people you are quarantined with, you've got to be craving interaction with more than a couple humans at once. For some realities that will lift your spirits, read up on 5 Uplifting Coronavirus Facts to Bring Optimism Back into Your Life.

10
Hugging

Women hugging each other
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Even if you wouldn't necessarily have called yourself "a hugger," you're probably missing the ability to show physical affection whenever you want. Social distancing has seriously curtailed the art of hugging, but when it's finally safe to give your loved ones a squeeze, you won't be taking it for granted anymore.

11
People watching

Groups of people sitting outside
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Chances are, you didn't realize how much you enjoyed watching other people go about their day until you couldn't do it anymore. With fewer people on the streets and limited safe places to sit outside, it's hard to do much observing these days. Until you can safely enjoy people watching in parks or on public transportation again, reality TV will have to do.

12
Watching and playing sports

Woman cheering at baseball game
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This year, there was a huge gap where March Madness should have been. And as spring rolls around, baseball fans are getting antsy wondering whether there'll be a 2020 season or not—and if that season will have spectators. Professional sports fans and recreational sports players are missing the excitement and team spirit that comes with competition. Never again will you overlook the gift that is sitting down to watch a double-header.

13
Going to the gym and fitness classes

People in work out class
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If you've knocked over something expensive while trying to complete an online class in your living room, you can say with certainty that at-home workouts are not the same as visiting your gym or favorite studio. There's a reason people pay good money for memberships and exercise classes. And right now, you're probably regretting all the days that you didn't feel like putting on your gear and heading out to break a sweet. To make do with the space you have, check out 23 Easy At-Home Workouts You Can Do During Quarantine.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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