It’s a whole new world. In a matter of weeks, the whole world has had their daily lives upended. With all the negative news, I thought I’d like to contribute some positivity. So whether you’re self-isolating or in quarantine, here are 28 positive ideas for a stay at home life.
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Thanks for helping me spread positivity in this time of uncertainty! And if you’d like to suggest some more activities of things to do at home during this crisis- I’d love to add them to my list!
28 Ideas for a Stay at Home Life
1. Do Themed Movie Nights
All the Back to the Future movies? Why not? Pick a day for a movie night and make it a family event. Pop some popcorn and decide on a theme. Post-apocalyptic thrillers may be your speed, or maybe you want to go with the Disney classics. Pollyanna anyone? Make it a Haley Mills marathon.
2. Do Taste Tests to Find your Favorite Recipes
If you’ve ever wanted to claim a recipe as the best ____ you’ve ever tasted then now is the time to experiment. Comfort food in a time of crisis really does help us feel like everything is going to be okay. Plus, who in your quarantine circle wouldn’t want to help you decide if German Chocolate or the Better then Sex Cake is really THE BEST homemade cake. Or let the British Bake-Off inspire you to finally try that macarons recipe you’ve been curious about. Life while self-isolating could be pretty sweet!
3. Make a Stay at Home Life Playlist
Mixed tapes are maybe a thing of the past, but who doesn’t remember them fondly? My favorites were given to me by guys who were trying to impress while simultaneously saying in songs what they couldn’t in words. So why not try it with a playlist and then share it. Or pick some dance hits and set an alarm to remind you to take a dance break with your kids every once in a while.
4. Start a Morning Routine
How many of us intend to start the day with a journal and a coffee but end up grabbing the coffee to go as you run out the door? Many experts say that taking time each morning to meditate/journal, write down something your grateful for, do some movement, and plan your day can make a huge difference in the rest of your day. Like total transformation in how you perceive your life and thus how you relate to it. The Miracle Morning is a good place to start.
5. Plan and/or Plant a Garden
Depending on where you live this may or may not be practical. Focusing on growing things, even just a window garden helps to ground us (pun intended). And it gives hope because you’re working towards a future harvest. It’s hope. If you have kids reading the Secret Garden by Frances Hodges Burnett will help them see the magic in having their own little plot of dirt.
6. Illustrate Your Life
Some of the ideas on this list tend toward art and creativity. I love drawing books and have a list of some of my favorites in my post about How-to Draw Books Adults Love. But even if your style is more stick figure then a pen and ink watercolor it’s still fun to put into a picture your day-to-day life. Plus, there’s some evidence that this can really change how you see your life and put everything you do in a more positive light. Positive=Good right now.
7. Practice Self-Care
A nap in the sunshine? Even if you’re working from home taking the opportunity to see the flexibility and potential in your schedule will make a huge difference. Go for a walk, use your lunch hour to take a soak in the tub, take your laptop outside, or do whatever else comes to mind. Just asking yourself the question, “what can I do today that would show self-care” can make a huge difference in how you feel and relate to others. And it may help you keep your anxiety in check and not causing tension with those who are sheltering with you.
8. Make an At-Home Coffee Bar
This is something I did last year and is currently trending on Pinterest. So I can say that not only have I tried it and love it, but others are discovering it too. It’s just fun. I have a corner of my kitchen that has all my coffees, my grinder, and my coffee maker. We have the ninja coffee machine with a frother, but I haven’t used the frothing part yet. I’m totally going to try making my own specialty drinks in the next couple of weeks. If a stop at the local coffee shop is part of your weekly routine, making your own at-home alternative will help. And if coffee isn’t your thing, a tea or hot cocoa bar is fun too!
9. Keep a Gratitude Journal
It’s just science. Mindset has a huge influence on how you live your life. Taking the time each morning and evening to list three things you’re grateful for creates a feeling of abundance instead of scarcity. I walked into a friend’s house last fall to see her family had taken this idea and put it on post-it notes. The one on the refrigerator that said “I’m thankful my wife cooks for me” totally cracked me up. I had to wonder if that one wasn’t a reminder to be grateful for leftovers. What are you grateful for?
10. Do a Ginormous Puzzle
Pro at the 1,ooo piece puzzle? Go for the 5,000 piece mega puzzle. Since you’re all at home, having a card table set up with a puzzle-in-process is a fun way to engage all ages. And it gives a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to beat.
11. Read a Killer Book Series
Killer meaning awesome. But if murder mysteries are your bag then finding a really good, really long, multi-book plot arch is a ton of fun. Books can be a coping mechanism. They let your escape into a world of adventure, romance, and fantasy. When your reality is limited in where you can go having the opportunity to explore the world with a book- well, it can make all the difference.
12. Dominate at Board Games
To this day I will NOT play Monopoly. My brother totally ruined it for me with his 6 hour long games. I never had a chance at winning but he’d offer to give me just enough to keep me playing. But my son has a summer book club that’s really a board game club in disguise. His favorites include Killer Bunnies, Exploding Kittens, and I think the latest is Throw Throw Burrito. For those NOT in the know, that’s a card game mixed with dodge ball where you literally throw a rubber burrito during gameplay. Yup. It’s a thing.
13. Try Visible Mending
If you’re not familiar with visible mending it’s simple sewing on clothing, a decorative way to mend. Taking a plain old/ plain old pair of jeans and adding some sashiko or patterned stitching is something I love to do. Last fall when I was headed to France on a river cruise with my mom I bought a pair of jeans with holes in it. Then I packed some embroidery floss so I could add the patterns I saw during the trip. Now, whenever I wear them I remember stitching in my cabin after a day of sightseeing in Provence. You don’t have to make your clothing a souvenir to make it interesting, but adding a handmade element to your clothing is one of those little things that can make you feel awesome every day. And if you’re tempted to spend your whole day in pajamas this might give you a reason to put on some clothes.
14. Take an Online Class or Course
So I *may* have a little obsession with online classes. Skillshare is my absolute favorite place to go for video courses on digital drawing, videography, photography, and graphic design. Two of my favorite teachers are Liz Koehler Brown and Jennifer Nichols. Their Procreate tutorials are amazing and I love watching at my own pace. This often means over my lunch or while I’m folding clothes.
15. Teach your Dog New Tricks
If your puppy never graduated beyond “sit” or “stay” then it may be time to break out the training treats and gain some new tricks. It’ll keep you both occupied.
16. Go for Walks, Runs, or Explore Your Local Trails on Bikes
Just because we’re self-isolating does NOT mean we have to stay inside. Committing to a daily walk, or bike ride can help combat the feeling of isolation and might make all the difference in your perspective. Just remember to keep your distance from anyone you may meet.
17. Do a Workout a Day
One workout, every day. That may be a walk or an online yoga video. Or it may mean dusting off those exercise DVD’s you got but never really used. Beachbody on Demand has CIZE, which is my favorite combo of dance and fitness.
18. Rip Your College C.D. Collection
My husband has been working on this one for months now. Having your favorite albums on your phone means you can rock out to your favorite artists wherever you are. Music can trigger emotions and is one of the most powerful ways to transport us back to a period of time. Depeche Mode will always bring back my time in the Studio Arts building in college. What music is part of your life’s soundtrack? Add it to a playlist.
19. Start a Fitness Challenge
Couch to 5k? Now is the time to commit to a fitness challenge. It gives us something positive to focus on and may boost your immune system as well. If you’ve ever thought about doing a 90-day fitness challenge or competing in a half marathon this time at home may be the best opportunity you’ll have to really go for it.
20. Memorize or Write Poetry
There once was a girl from Nantucket… the Charge of the Light Brigade, or selected works by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Whatever your literary choices, memorizing poetry is one of those things we don’t do much anymore as a culture but can really enrich our life experiences. Memorizing anything is good for your brain health as well. My son recently memorized the closing monologue in the movie Psycho as well as the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody and Weird Al’s Greatest Hits. Why? I have no clue. But he claims the Psycho monologue came up in Science Class and he thought it was awesome he could quote it. Writing your own poetry? Totally cool. Do that.
21. Do Repairs Around the House
So the sink hasn’t drained properly for the last several months. You know it should get fixed but it’s frankly not at the top of your to-do list. Not when you have to take the kids to baseball every night of the week and every weekend is stacked with activities and events. Taking some time now to cross off some of the tasks that have been nagging at you could make you feel like you really accomplished something.
22. Binge on a Documentary Series… or Your Favorite Drama
I’d like to think I’d work my way through a Ken Burns documentary series if I ever had the chance, but really I’m the only person I know who hasn’t seen Downton Abbey. Personally, I’d really recommend the Mandalorian if you haven’t seen it. My personal go-to for binge-watching is Procreate courses on Skillshare. I know- total art geek.
23. Start a New Online Bible Study
There is so much online these days, that there are a lot of options for online Bible Studies. From Proverbs 31 First Five App, to the bigger and more in-depth studies that Lifeway offers, there is sure to be one that works with your day. Priscilla Shirer’s Breathe may be especially poignant given our current situation. Cultivating our spiritual life makes us stronger and more resilient as we deal with life’s challenges.
24. Declutter the House
You’re home. You might as well make it as nice as possible. Taking a little bit of time each day to clear or clean up the spaces in your home makes being there a lot more comfortable. Cleaning up my art room last week makes working in it this week a lot more fun.
25. Find a New Hobby or Master an Old One
It’s called being “multi-passionate” or being a “renaissance woman”. Indulging your curiosity, trying new things, and rocking the search bar on YouTube is finally being applauded. It helps us be more creative, to make connections others might not, and to make ourselves more unique. No more do we hear the once oft-repeated phrase “a jack of all trades is master of none.” Viva la difference!
26. Make a Vision Board
The world has called a time-out. We’ve pushed pause on our normal day-to-day life. Take the opportunity to step back and really look at where you are and where you’d like to be. Making purposeful decisions for how you live your life comes from knowing who you are, what you love, and how you can serve others. It means taking the opportunity to recognize your dreams. Simon Sinek’s Start with Why and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren are both good resources. An artist friend of mine has a great post on how to create a vision board journal, if you’d like a place to start.
27. Go for a Sunday Drive… Any Day of the Week
For those who didn’t grow up with them, the Sunday Drive is a tradition where everyone in your family piles into the car and just drives. You don’t need a destination. My brother and I would take turns calling out left or right whenever my Dad stopped at a corner and asked for our opinion. Sometimes we’d end up at a State Park, but often the car magically ended up at our local ice cream restaurant. That may be off the table right now, but encouraging a sense of direction and purpose can turn a simple afternoon into an adventure. Just bring along the ice cream in a cooler.
AND #28 of my 28 Ideas for a Stay at Home Life is…Create. Every. Day.
Each day that we’re home and healthy is a gift. You can create the type of day you want to live. Choosing to do something creative each and every day is one of the absolute best ways to create a sense of possibility, hope, growth, and positivity. It doesn’t matter what you decide to create. Just create.
More Ideas You’ve Added-
- Write a Letter and Send it Snail Mail
- Make a List of Art Techniques and Work Your Way Through Them
- Start a Novel (or Finish It)
- Do Yard Work
- Go Minimal
- Do a Drive-Thru Food Drive
- Try a Meal Kit Delivery Service
- Do a 10-day Detox
- Visit Museums Through Virtual Tours
- Call a Friend
- Go Birdwatching
- Konmarie a Closet
- Game with Friends online
- Spend Quality Time with the Kids
- Do some Alternative Learning at Home
- Download Line Art of Your Favorite Works of Art to Color
- Zoom with friends
- Visit a National Park Virtually
- Donate Books to a Neighborhood Book Box.
- Donate Clothing to a Shelter
I’d love to add your ideas to this list! Leave ’em in the comments below or message me on social media. And if you found these 28 ideas for a Stay at Home Life helpful I’d love to have you share it! The square image above is perfect for posting on Instagram!