What’s shakin’, bacon? How are you holding up? While several of my friends have already started complaining about being bored at home, I’ve begun to realize that quarantining and staying home doesn’t feel that different from when I’d come home from college any other day… guess you could say I didn’t have much of a life before COVID-19 and this social distancing thing has just highlighted that fact, ha! Regardless, I’ve never been the type of person who bores easily. I always have a million things to do or things I could choose to do (continue learning an instrument, read, write short stories, blog, play chess, etc.). But I realize not everyone is as eager to reorganize their bedroom or practice calligraphy as I am. So given that, I decided to round up a few ideas to keep you busy during this time—some are basic, some are outlandish, but hopefully you find that some of them are unique (and actually appealing). Without further ado…
Write letters to your friends (and design your own postcards). Come on… some of you had to guess I would include this on my list. I’m always talking about writing letters! Guess I’m trying to save a dying art, ya feel? Anyway, with the lack of physical interaction and the turn to all things online and Zoom-related, it’s nice to take a step back to write an old-fashioned, heartfelt letter to a friend and send it the snail way (Thank you to our mail and delivery people who continue to work!). Remember that we’re all trying to stay inside at this time and are facing the same situation—loneliness, boredom, etc. Writing to your grandparents, college friends, and little cousins who are out of school could make a world of difference in someone’s otherwise bland day.
And my favorite idea? To draw your own postcard of your city or a favorite place from your town! I drew postcards for my boyfriend while he was studying abroad and it was always so much fun—a reminder for the drawer of their favorite haunts in town and a fun surprise for the receiver. And let’s not forget… drawing your own postcard can eat up a lot of the time you might otherwise be doing nothing!
Take an online tour of a famous landmark. From the Louvre to Easter Island to the jelly fish exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this People article contains links to all the best virtual tours on the web. You can travel the world without ever leaving your bed (or changing out of your favorite cozy pajamas)!
Master the at-home manicure/pedicure. I outlined alllll my best tips for nailing your next DIY manicure (see what I did there?) in this blog post from last spring. With all this free time, there’s no reason not to go crazy with your nails—experiment, try unexpected color combos, dabble in nail art. If it fails miserably and you end up looking like Lourde a la the 2014 Grammy’s, nobody will have to see your mistake! I think I’m going to try to paint a different kind of succulent on each nail. Ambitious, I know (especially when I have to switch to my left hand).
Finish an online jigsaw puzzle. I love jigsaw puzzles, yet strangely enough, I don’t own one. Enter: Jigsaw Explorer. This magical little website is a puzzle-lover’s dream. Not only do you get to pick from a wide selection of photos, but you also get to choose how many pieces the puzzle has (you know, so you get to decide on if the puzzle will take a day or several months of hair-tearing-out). Also, if the puzzle just gets too difficult, you can select to only see the edge pieces. Totally cheating, but a nice feature nonetheless.
Try out a new makeup look. Or hairstyle. Or both. I used to think winged eyeliner wouldn’t work with my eye shape, but after a few tries, I’ve convinced myself otherwise. Yesterday I started with the intention of doing a thin, modest winged eye, but as the mistakes grew in number the wings grew in length… and thickness. You know how it is. After a bit, I had full-on Ariana Grande eyes—very bold and elongated. And the great part of doing your makeup when you have nowhere to go? Similar to the nails, it doesn’t matter if you mess up! And if you end up killing it (I like to think I did with this eyeliner), then you get to spend the day feeling glamorous and pretty. Who doesn’t want that, even at home?! It’s a win-win situation.
COLOR! There’s nothing I love more, or miss more from my childhood, than coloring. It’s just so relaxing and satisfying to the soul. My favorite thing to color is mandalas, and they’re especially fun when they come from a specified art therapy coloring book (what certifies some mandalas as therapy and others as not is beyond me). You can purchase a great and inexpensive mandala coloring book option from Amazon. And if you hate having a book full of beautiful colorings just going to waste, like me, then cut a few out to send them to your friends with your snail mail! Might be a better option for those of you thinking, “I sure as heck can’t draw my own postcard!”
Write a letter to your future self (via email). This website is pretty awesome as it allows you to write yourself an email and have it sent to you at some specified date in the future. No, it doesn’t cost money (at least not for the first few letters), but it does require sacrificing your email address. Naturally, I can only assume this will result in some unwanted messages at some point in the future, but it’s a small price to pay for such a cool concept! I haven’t written mine yet but it’ll probably be something sappy and deep about following dreams or some crap like that. We shall see!
Reminisce through your old yearbooks, photo albums, etc. How often do we get the chance to just take a step back and reflect on the past? Not very often, let me tell you! Since I was six years old, my mother has made me a Shutterfly photobook for every birthday that documents activities and events from the prior year. I used to look at them at 2 in the morning in middle school when lady cramps would keep me up all night. But now? I haven’t looked through the books in years. I always love taking a moment to see how much I’ve grown as a person and feel grateful for all the wonderful memories I have. But beware: if doing this activity will just make you upset given the current situation, maybe save this for once social distancing becomes part of the distant past!
Make a scrapbook. On a similar note, after all the spring cleaning and reorganizing that you’ve done (oh? You haven’t cleaned yet? Yah, me neither…), you will have likely found lots of photos, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia from over the years. I know my bedroom is full of that kind of random crap! Rather than throwing it out, find a nice place to put it in a scrapbook, photo album, or even in a regular notebook with a few pieces of tape. Then you can add it to your stack of items to reminisce in the future!
Throw yourself a beach staycay in the backyard. Okay, this is definitely my most extravagant idea, but it’s also the one to which I am most looking forward. Once the weather warms up a bit, I plan on laying my favorite beach towel in the grass of our backyard, making a fruity mocktail beverage in a fancy glass with a mini umbrella, playing island music, and rocking my favorite swimsuit while lounging in the sun. Ridiculous and crazy? Absolutely. But a blast? I can only imagine!
So what did you think of these ideas, do you plan on doing any of them in the next couple of days? What fun ideas do you have to pass the quaran-time? And how have you already been staying busy? I’d love to know in the comments!
I hope you all are holding up and taking a chance to soak up some of the little bits of joy available in each day. Stay tuned on Monday for my next installment of the Binge Worthy Fashion series, and have a great weekend!
Miles of smiles,