We get it. We are bored too. But there are plenty of things you can do at home. It is important to fill your days with as many different activities as possible rather than just going from work to your favourite show. Changing it up will give you the energy to continue through this tough time.
1. Sleep in.
Now that there’s no commute, you should be enjoying a lot more sleep. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up on missed sleep over the years. The quality of your sleep at night has a direct effect on the way your body functions the following day. The recommended 7-9 hours of sleep should be an integral part of your overall wellbeing.
2. Learn how to code.
You can learn how to code online for free. Visit a free code-learning website like Codecademy, Free Code Camp, Codewars, HackerRank, and CodeFights. Try out one of their many lessons and challenges every day so you can become a pro coder. This is one of the most sought after skills in the job market today.
3. Learn to play a new instrument.
Pick up the guitar you’ve had lying around or order yourself a keyboard online. Speaking as someone, who plays two instruments, there is nothing more fulfilling that learning a new song. At the moment Fender is offering 3 months of online classes for free.
4. Bring million dollar art works to your living room.
What would the Mona Lisa look like in your living room? Use the Google Arts & Culture's Art Projector to bring life-size artwork to your fingertips.
I mean if you aren’t already doing this, then seriously, pick up a wooden spoon and learn a recipe or two. This is your time to trial and error your way around the kitchen.
6. Learn a new language.
Whether you choose to learn it in form of watching a news show, or by downloading an app, you can easily use this time to practice day in and day out. Download an app to help you. Useful languages these days are English, Mandarin, Hindi and Spanish.
7. Spring clean your home.
Especially with the current situation right now, having a clean home is key to good health. Binge watch Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix to get inspired to clean.
If you want to get through this pandemic in one piece, try a daily meditation. It is proven to do wonders for your mental health and can help you get through this with a positive attitude. By making meditation a part of your daily routine, you will train yourself to press the reset button, wipe away the stress of the day and strengthen your inner peace.
9. Play online games with your friends.
There are plenty of online multiplayer games you can invite people to take part in. Choose a friend who you think feels particularly down or affected by this pandemic and schedule a time and date to play together. I love “Draw something” and “Skribble”.
10. Help someone by gifting a meal.
This year Make My Meal, the UAE's largest online tiffin service has also teamed up with the UAE Food Bank to create their 'Gift a Meal' initiative. For Dh49 you can ensure that someone has meals for 7 days.
11. Check out the 360 degree features on the Google Art & Culture App
Encounter a Jurassic giant, explore a Space Shuttle or join a classical music concert in Beijing's Forbidden City.
12. Work out.
Just because gyms are closed doesn’t mean you have to miss your workout. Staying home means more eating and less moving for many of us, but you have to stay motivated. Workout with your friends on video or follow a YouTube class to burn those calories.
13. Order a special meal to your home.
These days delivery deals are everywhere. Treat yourself to a nice lunch or dinner. If you want to go really fancy, Il Borro, LPM and Indochine are now offering delivery.
14. Video chat with your friends.
Being able to use video apps has been a saving grace for many UAE residents who can now talk to their friends and family members for free over video and audio.
15. Keep the kids busy with arts and crafts.
Create a project for your kids that they can work on every day. Paint a picture or bead sets to make some jewelry. Another tip is to use potato cut outs to dip in paint and stamp.
16. Listen to an audiobook.
Audible has made hundreds of titles available for free. Perfect for family listening or if you just want to feel like you have someoe else at home with you telling you a compelling story.
17. Do a social distancing brunch.
McGettigan’s in JLT is now delivering Friday brunch to your door. The Irish pub are hosting a “live brunch” every Friday, where people at home can order a two course meal that comes with mixed beverage mixers and some inflatable toys too. To go with the brunch, log onto their Facebook and Instagram lives to watch their resident band performing.
18. Take part in a photography exhibition.
Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah is hosting a photography competition called “The Place I Call Home”. The competition invites participants to re-evaluate the meaning of home, both near and far, through their own photographs and submit them via Instagram on a specifically created website. The competition will be open for entries until the closing of the exhibition on 31 May 2020.
19. Take a virtual tour of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.
There are over 150 tours and they are offered in seven languages, including Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, Russian, German and Hindi revealing the captivating stories behind the exhibits. The unique and universal narrative follows the curators’ tour of the museum.
20. Bake something.
Why are we baking so much during self-isolation, you might ask? Are we stress eating? Or is it more the feeling of control that we desire? That’s probably it. Baking is the new stress reliever and there’s nothing quite like measuring flour, sugar and butter. Then mixing together all the ingredients to get that final perfectly baked goodie.
21. Clean up your diet and build immunity.
By far the biggest contributors to chronic illnesses is bad nutrition, which includes lots of sugar, unnatural ingredients, canned processed foods and white flour just to name a few of the top culprits. Make a new list of fresh groceries and start feeding your body the good stuff.
22. If you love to sing, join a virtual choir
Self-isolation shouldn’t stop you from singing along with a group of like-minded people. Tonnes of choirs have gone online since the pandemic and would love others to join their ensembles.
23. Tie die your clothes.
A big thanks to the influencers for this one. All over Instagram, all I see are influencers wearing tie dye outfits. Like who knew that fashion trends can emerge when all we do is sit around at home? I made my own bleach tie dye sweater and it was a fun, but short, activity that actually made me feel pretty happy and accomplished to have ‘designed’ my own sweater.
24. Make a puzzle.
I have to say, I totally got caught up with obsessing over puzzles. And no lie, I never even bought a single one before COVID-19. Now I have a strong urge to buy a 1000 piece puzzle and use it as a productive activity to keep me busy.
25. Jump on the Dalgona coffee trend.
This frothy DIY coffee drink is a cheap and cheerful viral trend that everyone these days seems to be whipping up at home. The light as air drink is known as Dalgona coffee. The latest Instagram food trend is meant to be made at home and shared online. All you need is coffee powder, sugar and water.
26. Watch ‘Quarantine routine’ vlogs on YouTube.
“A lot of you have been asking me about my Quarantine Routine. So here it is.” Scroll through YouTube and you’ll notice that influencers have started posting a lot more of how they are spending time at home. Watch it to laugh at them, or to get ideas, but it’s a pretty fun way to pass the time.
27. Make a Tik Tok video.
I admit that I fell for the trend. It feels weird, because I am born in 1990 and I am like one of the oldest people on the platform. But yeah, it’s a lot of fun and the dances cheer you up like crazy.
28. Read ‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah.
If there is one book I can recommend it’s this one. It is a compelling, and inspiring story that was also comic enough to leave me laughing out loud alone. The coming-of-age story of Trevor Noah is set during the time of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Trust me with this one.
29. Try out a new recipe box.
Jones the Grocer have launched a new range of Home Cooking Recipe Boxes that let you recreate their famous menu dishes in a fun way with the whole family. Each recipe box contains chef-selected produce and artisan retail ingredients with quantities measured for each recipe.
30. Play golf in your living room
If you are a golf enthusiast, then this will be an easy one. Use your clubs and your golf balls. Feel free to putt on the carpet in the hallway with a glass cup. There’s nothing wrong with going as basic as that.
31. Plan a video catch up with a long distance relative.
Pick someone who wouldn’t even expect to hear from you. Someone who haven’t spoken to in forever. It will cheer them up for sure. Chat with them about how their life is going and the interesting ways that they keep busy. Simply seeing someone over video, their facial expressions over video chat really changes what quarantining alone feels like. Even though you can’t physically hang out, it comes very close.
32. Use Google Streetview to explore the world.
Go further by discovering collections and using Street View for a walkthrough tour of some of the top museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, U.S.A,, the British Museum, U.K, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, Japan and more.
33. Turn your hallway into a bowling alley
Bowling balls and pins aren’t exactly available just anywhere. You can use water bottles as your pins and a heavy round object as the bowling ball. This might require some creativity and digging to find exactly what you need. Pro-bowling alleys will have 10 pins, so try and recreate it as close as you can.
34. Make a customized playlist.
There is nothing more fun than making a customized playlist with songs that remind you of a certain person and sending it to them. Put together some cheerful music into a playlist, name it after them and share the link.
35. Organise a virtual dinner party.
Sit down to dinner with all your friends. Everyone has to take a stab at cooking the same recipe and sit down and eat together. It’s a nice chance for you to feel like you are at a restaurant. Talk about the different things you are doing to fill your days.
36. Take a free course.
At the moment, thousands of online courses have been made available for free. My personal favourite is Coursera, the world’s largest online learning platform. I recently signed up for and am watching lectures for a Yale University Psychology course called the “Science of Well Being.” A course that is designed to increase your happiness and build more productive habits. Something we ALL need right about now.
37. Have a movie night with your besties.
Use Netflix Party. It’s a Google Chrome extension that you need to download that will give you a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. You guys can chat on a bar next to the screen and discuss things that are happening in the movie. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows. So if someone needs to use the bathroom, the video pauses for everyone, so you can stay in sync and have a movie night together without actually being together.
38. Play online Pictionary.
The online version is called Skribbl. It’s a free multiplayer drawing and guessing game. The faster you guess the word, the higher your score point will be.
39. Declutter your home.
To effectively declutter your home, it is best to take stock of all the items that are taking up space or causing a mess while also re-evaluating the contents of your storage space. Decide what you can get rid of, what can be recycled or upcycled, what needs to be kept, and how items could be kept in a tidier fashion.
40. "Build" a cinema in your home.
Whether you are a parent who needs to keep kids busy, or you're bored and living alone, this fun "Movie Theatre" project can change the feeling of your living room or backyard. Just made sure you add the right snacks to the movie ‘going’ experience.
41. Watch one or two 'Pandemic' themed movies.
At this point in time, more and more people are watching pandemic themed movies. It does in some way alleviate stress we feel from our current real life situation. We've put together a list of 25 pandemic themed films that you can stream at home. To.... calm your nerves. Or to make you more anxious perhaps.
42. Turn your dining table into a Ping-Pong table.
You will need a few investments for this, but they are relatively affordable, since you won’t be buying an entire table. Get yourself two ping pong rackets and a ball. If you guy can buy the net as well that would be perfect otherwise, create your own out of clear plastic cling wrap and two pencils. Set it up on your dining table and start challenging members of your family to games.
43. Take an online cooking class.
Look through thousands of YouTube videos, which can give you great lessons on how to make just anything in your home. Some Dubai restaurants have even launched online cooking classes that they stream over their social media.
44. Watch theatre shows from your home.
Even though you are stuck at home, you can still experience the spirit and excitement of live theatre and enjoy the best seats in the house by streaming performances online. Sometimes TV shows and movies just don’t cut it. Famed composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is offering free broadcasts of his greatest musicals. A different Lloyd Webber musical will stream every Friday on The Shows Must Go On!, a new YouTube channel devoted to this project.
45. Listen to ‘The Liar’s Daughter’ for free.
Seventeen-year-old Piper was raised in a cult. She just doesn't know it. She does however know that father is a "Prophet". Infallible. The chosen one. She would do anything for Father. That's why she takes care of all her little sisters. That's why she runs end-of-the-world drills. That's why she never asks questions. Because Father knows best. Until the day he doesn't. Until the day the government raids the compound and separates Piper from her siblings, from mother, from the aunts, from all of father's followers - even from the boy she loves.
46. Watch cult horror movie classic, The Shining.
In this Stanley Kubrick's 1980-made movie, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) gets a job in hotel, which closes down during winter, and Torrance and his family are the only occupants present in the hotel, which also happens to be haunted by the ghost of Mr. Grady, the former custodian of the hotel who murdered his wife and his two daughters.
47. Start a virtual book club.
Six weeks into this self-isolation business and many have hit their Netflix capacity. The idea of a book club might sound a little bit “boring” for those who do not appreciate the wonder that is reading, but knowing that you and all your friends are reading the same book together is fun. Then discussing it together gives you something else to talk about rather than the usual “I’m so bored,” talks.
48. Virtual happy hour with friends.
If reading and cooking isn’t your thing, why not enjoy some beverages with your friends after “work”. It’s just like you’re meeting at a local Dubai lounge or restaurant, but it’s in your living room wearing some seriously comfy clothes.
49. Take a virtual tour of Dubai’s museums.
Halfway through the month of March, Dubai announced the closures of all their museums and cultural sites. If you are curious to explore a few of them, they have made virtual 360 tours available. From the comfort of your own home, you can now walk around Dubai’s most popular sites including the Deira Fish Market and even Dubai’s Al Serkal Avenue. Perfect if you want to keep the kids busy.
50. Do a group crossword puzzle.
If you get the same newspaper delivered to your house as your friend or you all decide to order crosswords at home, then tackle them together every morning. Whether it’s over the phone or sharing your results once you are done.
51. Do a deep oil treatment for your hair.
Why not try the thing that Arabs call a “hammam oil”, a traditional ritual from the Middle East for hair treatment. Doing a deep oil treatment once a week to treat hair problems like damaged hair, dry hair, and frizzy hair. After you wash your hair, apply your oil of choice, then wrap your hair in a hot towel and rinse after 10-15 minutes.
52. Livestream the northern lights.
Since you can’t actually travel at this time, don’t miss out on some of the world's most beautiful natural wonders. Check out Explore.com and live-stream the Northern Lights straight onto your laptop or TV. Their live camera is at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba, Canada, directly underneath the aurora oval. With the arctic dark most of the day and the skies clear, now’s the perfect time to tune in.
53. Host or participate in a virtual pub quiz
Just like a regular pub quiz, but online over a video chat. A group of people gather to try and answer questions posed by the quiz master. Answer questions by writing them down, and don’t cheat by googling the answer.
54. Look at an aquarium under water
Need to recharge? Reconnect with animals maybe? Take a break and take a look at this underwater live cam. Discover the dreamlike patterns of angelfishes, wrasses, tangs and butterflyfishes over the live camera situated at the Shed Aquarium in Chicago.
55. Cut your own hair at home.
Since we shouldn’t really be going to barbers or hair salons at the moment, maybe you can give yourself a trim, buzz or some bangs if you are feeling brave. Check out tutorials online and try a new look. Plus if you mess up, at least you won’t be seeing people for a while.
56. Turn to Harry Potter
Harry Potter is here to save the day. Wizarding World mastermind JK Rowling has unveiled a website, Harry Potter at Home, in an effort to provide a mystical escape from current events in the muggle world. “We’re casting a Banishing Charm on boredom!” the site writes on its welcome page.
57. Clear out your closet and give some stuff to charity
Now that you’ve got plenty of time to sort through your stuff, don’t forget about people who need and depend on donations to get clothed. Bag up the stuff you don’t need and distribute it in bins that are located across the city.
58. Download adult colouring books
There’s nothing more relaxing than colouring. Kids love it, so why shouldn’t adults have fun with it as well? Download some work sheets online and get colouring.
59. Stream through thought provoking documentaries on Netflix.
Nothing like documentaries to get you through quarantine. Some of our favourites include Dark Tourist, Tiger King and Unacknowledged.
60. Finish any unfinished projects.
Now is the time to complete anything that is missing from your list of to do’s at home. Whether it’s to finally hang up those picture frames, or painting your walls. Just get it done.
61. Improve your brain/memory
Play online memory games that will help you strengthen your mind while there isn’t much stimulation elsewhere.
62. Tour America’s national parks
How lucky are we to live through a pandemic during the age of the internet? Thanks to Google Earth, you can now take virtual tours of the 31 greatest national parks.
63. Explore the local art scene.
Check out the Google Arts & Culture's platform, which allows you to look at online exhibitions from famous art houses in the UAE including the Barjeel Art Foundation, the Atassi Foundation for Art & Culture and the National Archives of the UAE. You can also use the Explore feature to discover other cultural institutions near you, wherever you are.
64. Wander The Netherlands’ most spectacular tulip garden.
Get an eyeful of these colourful flowers in one of the most popular gardens in the world. At this point in time, the tulips are blooming at their best. Check it out online over a series of videos straight from the Keukenhof Flower Exhibit.
65. Use Google’s Art Camera and zoom in on famous art pieces
Get drawn into super high resolution imagery that brings you closer to minute details in artwork and use the in-painting Tour to guide you through a piece of art by zooming in and out of its details, with insightful commentary.
66. Watch all the Shakespeare plays
‘The Show Must Go Online’ is a digital project led by classical actor and director Robert Myle, where Professional actors and experienced amateurs are encourages to take part to do a weekly reading, and the public can follow along on YouTube. They’re going through all his plays from A to Z.
67. Go on a family adventure.
Use the Google Arts & Culture app and have some family fun. Let a penguin guide you through museums or explore themes such as art, animals, science and space, history, music, books and movies or global cultures.
68. Making fizzy bath bombs from scratch.
Easier than you think and much cheaper to make from home. These help you relax in the bathtub and it’s a nice project to do at home.
69. Take a free online photography course.
Nikon is offering free photography courses online that you can now watch to perfect your skills.
70. Watch Saturday Night Live Social distancing
The show goes on their Instagram account and countless celebrities make appearances. The cast films their skits from the safety of their homes or over video conferencing apps. The quality is still great and it’s as funny as always.
71. Binge listen to a podcast about true crime
Nothing is as addicting as true crime podcast episodes, whether it’s Serial or My Favourite Murder or Last Podcast on the Left. There are plenty of things to listen to while stuck at home. My Favourite Murder would be the top choice for me.
72. Write in a journal.
Might sound a bit antiquated, but if you include journaling in your daily routine, then you might be surprised how well it opens your mind and gives you a boost in your self-reflection and encourages positivity.
73. Redecorate your home.
Obviously we don’t want to encourage spending on more furniture, but it’s a great chance to move tuff around and give your home an easy make over that will make it feel new.
74. Put together a care package for delivery workers.
Most delivery guys in the UAE live away from their families for several months at a time and don’t have access to many things that we take for granted. Create several small (shoebox sized) care packages for them. Fill the care package with fresh toiletries including a bar of soap, hand sanitiser if you can spare some, a pair of new socks, phone credit recharge cards, a sealed off packet of dates from the supermarket, a packet of instant noodles and a bottle of water.
75. Wash all of your make up brushes
If you are a woman who loves make up, definitely consider doing this. There’s a lot of product build up on your brushes and a fresh wash can get them ready to be used for when we can leave our house again.
76. Clean all of your white shoes
I personally have put this activity off for years, but now is the best time to clean your sneakers, especially your white ones. Google how to wash different types of sneakers and shoes and get started. You’ll have fresh kicks by the end of self-isolation.
77. Have a Harry Potter marathon
I like to do this every few years and I usually arrange it with friends. We go through the Harry Potter series from movie 1 to 7. It’s so nice escaping into the wizarding world and that’s a good 16 hours that you can pass by watching these films. Try not to do them all in one day though. That would be exhausting and probably unhealthy.
78. Make lists of all your favourites
It’s important to figure out who you are and what you like, so why not make multiple lists of all your favourite things. Whether it’s foods, movies, people or exercises. This is a great opportunity to have some real you-time and understand what you like and how it makes you different.
79. Delete photos off your phone.
My phone is constantly reminding me that it can’t back up because of the thousands of photos I have in it. I recently downloaded an app that deletes all my doubled pictures, to clear some space in my phone. It makes everything lighter and fasted.
80. Follow a yoga class.
One of the things that has kept me going during these self-isolation days is yoga. Because it’s not a high intensity sport, I’ve been able to do it every day. Not only does it tone your body and make you feel stronger, there is something to calming and grounding about it. My favourite is a nice and sweaty vinyasa flow.
81. Watch a TED talk.
In case you don't know: TED, stands for “technology, entertainment, design” and it’s a company that posts lectures online from many interesting experts and thought leaders on a wide variety of topics. Whether you want to know how to kill it at work, or learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. It inspires you to be better.
Imagine you added stretching to your daily routine every day since this pandemic started. You would be the most flexible version of yourself.
83. Take a bath.
If you are lucky enough to have an apartment with a bathtub, go ahead and clean that bathtub thoroughly then fill it with warm water and body wash. It completely eases the tension in your body and makes you feel like you’re on a mini spa-cation.
84. Get into creative writing
We will make it into the history books you know? Maybe you’re the next famous author, who will talk about a dystopian world in which coronavirus won and killed all of humanity. They turn your manuscript into a movie and you become a great and celebrated author. Or just write some poetry or a song if you are musically inclined.
85. Watch a classic film that was made before you were born
Why not look at how people lived before you existed? Take a glimpse into a bygone culture.
86. Play some good old fashioned board games
Sometimes we need to step back from the tech and enjoy a little bit of basic fun. Play some board games with your family to change things up a bit.
87. Create your ultimate bucket list.
Now is a time as any to put together a list of everything you want to do before you die. I mean, it might make you miss the outside world, but we will get there soon!
88. Learn about fashion, art and culture education
Learn about the intersection between art, culture and fashion and discover the stories behind what we wear, or discover Kenya’s Masai fashion or discover iconic styles of the twentieth century by using the Google Arts & Culture platform.
89. Feng Shui your home.
Who knows, it might allow positive energy to flow throughout your living space.
90. Try some strength training
Workouts are well-known boredom busters and they keep you strong. Strength training burns fat and strengthens your bones, something we desperately need with a lack of vitamin D and lack of movement.
91. Try making origami animals
It’s the fine Japanese art of paper folding. Why not try it out and add another random, yet cool skill (and conversation starter) under your belt?
92. Google yourself.
Sounds really egotistical for sure, but it shows you what comes up when other people search you. This might be the time to take down a few pictures or update your social media accounts.
93. Update your resume.
Even if you aren’t planning to leave your job, now that you have a lot of spare time, you can work on that resume and make it stand out from the rest.
94. Rank things
Most people love giving their opinions on things. If you are relaly bored, go to Ranker.com and share your thoughts by ranking literally, just about anything.
95. Email someone you admire
If you’ve been around your industry for a while, why not reach out to someone you kind of know, but maybe don’t know well enough. Whether it’s an author, speaker, CEO of a company. Just send them a lovely email. It’s nice to show influential people that their work is making a difference to your life.
96. Start a blog
Even if you think that bloggers are lame, you might find yourself part of them one day. Start your own website and get cracking on writing about things that you love, whether it’s travel, fashion or food.
97. Declutter your social media
We all follow or are followed by people that we don’t really want in our lives. Get on your socials and get rid of people that you honestly don’t want all up in your business.
98. Make popsicles at home
Literally grab any fruits from your fridge blend them up with yoghurt or water and make healthy popsicles at home.
99. Plant a kitchen herb garden
Get yourself a few jars, dirt and seeds. Taking care of these plants every day will give you something to look forward to and you can then eat your very own organic herbs.
100. Talk to siri or google
Talk to your operating system and ask them to give you fun facts, or the low down on the news of the day.
101.Play PUBG with your friends.
A lot of my friends are obsessed with this game. They’ve played together almost every night during self-isolation. It’s basically sort of a “Hunger games” type game/universe. In the game, up to one hundred players parachute onto an island to look for weapons and equipment to kill others while avoiding getting killed themselves. There are “safe areas” in the game but they keep on decreasing in size as time goes by, directing surviving players into tighter areas to force them to encounter.