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Six Ways To Make The Most Of Time At Home

Amber Gibson

Contributor

We all wish we could be travelling right now, but the sooner we can beat this together, the sooner we can get back to our lives of wanderlust. In the meantime, here are some ideas to stay productive and sane at home.

Read

In these difficult and unpredictable times, getting lost in a good book is a great way to escape. Whether it's a nostalgic old book (re-read the Harry Potter series from an adult perspective) or a story set in a faraway land that you hope to visit one day, reading can be a great way to travel through your imagination. If it's a social connection you're craving, start a digital book club among friends and loved ones. If you can't meet in person, you can still meet online. Decide on a book to read each week and come together via video chat for a lively discussion of themes, characters and emotions. Kindle Unlimited and Audible both have free 30 day trials.

Practise Yoga

With gyms and fitness studios closed, you're left to devise a workout on your own at home. There's no better time to try yoga for the first time, in the privacy of your own home with no feelings of self-consciousness. All you need is a mat or even a clean carpeted area will suffice. If you already practice yoga, this is a chance to deepen your practice. Many yoga teachers offer live stream classes and sites like Alo Moves, Glo and My Yoga Works offer free trials to yoga, meditation and Pilates classes. Perhaps dedicate time to working on difficult new poses like the handstand or bird of paradise. When it's time to return to the studio, you won't have missed a beat. The meditative and spiritual aspects of yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety too.

Learn to cook

Restaurant closures in many parts of the world have been devastating for small business owners and it's so important to support your favourite local eateries by ordering takeout or delivery from those still offering these alternatives to dining in. This is also a great time to try a new recipe and add new dishes to your repertoire. Maybe try cooking a traditional dish from a different country – another way to travel in spirit from home. Or purchase an off-cut of meat – beef tendon or pig ears – which are less expensive and more plentiful in grocery stores these days. Not having enough time is the biggest reason people say they don't cook, and that's no longer an excuse. Just remember to shop for groceries using safe social distancing.

Clean

Spring is officially here, so some spring cleaning is in order. Our current situation really puts life in a new perspective and forces you to re-evaluate what is most important. A cluttered home only exacerbates feelings of uncertainty, so now's the time to organise your closet, deep clean your home room by room and get rid of any belongings that, as Marie Kondo said, don't spark joy. Perhaps you'll find items to donate that at this time could be helpful to those in need.

Create Art

Art can be a therapeutic way to express yourself, and bring some beauty into what's currently a dark world. Whether it's drawing, painting, or maybe learning to embroider or knit, the options are endless. Instructions for a wide variety of art projects can be readily found online. Get creative with whatever art supplies you might have on hand – maybe you make a colourful mandala from a walk you picked up when walking the dog in the woods.

Learn a new language

We've most likely all had to cancel work and leisure trips due to Coronavirus, and while that's certainly a small price compared to those whose loved ones are critically ill, it's ok to feel sad about life being disrupted and weddings, parties and vacations being cancelled. Rather than feel sorry for yourself though, put the energy into learning a new skill. Coursera and edx have a multitude of free online courses across diverse subjects, but if travel is on your mind consider learning a new language in preparation of future travels when this pandemic is over. Either enlist a friend to teach you or utilise an online resource like Duolingo or Babbel. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, and by working towards a goal you'll distract yourself from the panic mentality and foster a more optimistic mindset. Plus, you'll be ready to impress the locals when you do take that next flight.

Volunteer Remotely

Every community is different, with unique needs, but if your work hours have been cut or you find yourself with too much time on your hands, think about how you might be able to offer valuable services to those who need them most while staying safely at home. Can you help unemployed hourly service workers apply for unemployment? Help draft press releases for small businesses forced to close or alter operations without a PR agency? Create a website to serve as a resource for community members? Or maybe run errands in the outside world for neighbours in at-risk demographics if you are young and healthy. We are all in this together and only by helping one another will our communities survive this and be stronger than ever.

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