Regardless of the length of your quarantine, everyone's spending more time at home than usual right now.
It's tempting to feel bored and stagnant when stuck inside, but being idle only worsens your mental state.
Instead of wasting the day away, keep your hands and minds busy with these seven creative and effective ideas.
1. Cook a New Dish
For some people, cooking is a hobby or even an art form. For others, cooking is a necessary evil.
Regardless of what you think about it, cooking is an important life skill, especially when trips to a store or a restaurant are becoming few and far between.
There's no better time than now to roll up your sleeves and learn how to make even one meal completely on your own.
Start small with a simple dish, maybe comfort food. Play with a recipe and customize it to fit your taste buds.
If you prefer baking, then, by all means, make something for your sweet tooth. Don't just bake cookies, though; use cookie cutters or chocolate chips of every flavor.
Bake your cake, and eat it too.
2. Try Journaling
All you need is a notebook, something to write with, and a little imagination.
Writing out one's feelings to better understand them can be therapeutic, especially now.
If you don't know where to start, think of it as a diary entry. Better yet, get even more creative and pen your thoughts in poetic form. After poetry, make yourself the protagonist in a short story.
Of course, for daily issues, journaling might be most productive in the form of lists. Everyone needs to hold on to a routine or two right now, and making lists is a good way to use up any notebooks you've been hoarding.
Make a basic to-do list for the day's goals, but don't hesitate to create more fun lists to keep your spirits high. Write a list of shows you want to binge on or books you want to read during the quarantine.
Maybe even start a list of new skills you want to master before your next visit with friends or family.
3. Write a Letter
Now more than ever, we're staying connected with people via video calls and text messages, or phone calls.
While this communication certainly has its perks, the immediacy of it all might leave one feeling drained or hollow when the conversation's over. However, the old-fashioned physical writing method and receiving letters still have a sense of romance and nostalgia.
If journaling your feelings in a notebook aren't for you, write to someone else and completely make their day.
Hand-written letters can be the most heart-warming mementos. Write to a loved one or make a new penpal, and improve your penmanship in the process.
4. Start a Scrapbook
With so many plans being canceled or postponed lately, it's easy to miss the fun and activities pre-pandemic.
However, you don't really have to sit at home doing nothing. Instead of making new memories, consider honoring and organizing old ones.
Bring out the scissors and colorful paper and relive days forgotten with physical photographs.
If you don't have many to spare, borrow some from a photo album or update it completely.
Making a scrapbook is the perfect way to look back on good times and create a personal keepsake item that you can return to whenever you need to reminisce.
5. Design a Vision Board
Making a vision board is basically one step above scrapbooking. However, unlike its predecessor, a vision board looks to the future.
Vision boards are also uniquely special because they help visualize the dreams and goals we often imagine.
If you're feeling a little stagnant in life, especially if stuck in quarantine, consider designing a vision board. Customize the theme to be your general goals, or specify it to your family or career.
You might even decide to make a vision board representing everything you want to do and everywhere you want to go after quarantine.
Regardless of what you choose, making a vision board can be a fun investment for your future.
Instead of just old photos and stickers, cut up a magazine filled with images of what you desire or aspire to become. Consider them artistic inspiration to help you envision and achieve your dreams a little more clearly.
6. Paint Anything
If painting a normal picture doesn't seem exciting or productive enough, look beyond the canvas. Maybe your walls, either inside or out, need a fresh coat of paint. Maybe a bookshelf or desk would look even better in a completely different color. The possibilities are endless, as are the positive effects.
A lot of homes need these kinds of touch-ups anyway every several years, so why not get an early start?
If quarantine makes you need a change of scenery, start with what surrounds you on a regular basis. Besides just looking nice, changing or even repainting a color can completely brighten up one's mood.
7. Redecorate Your Space
Once the paint dries, think about what else you could use freshening up in your room or home. Once again, customize it to fit your needs and preferences.
For instance, some people swear by the Chinese practice of Feng Shui for improving one's energy and overall harmony. With the world in its current state, cleansing the energy and air around us might be the most productive idea on this list.
Start by rearranging the smaller furniture and follow the flow. Maybe shift everything to the opposite side.
You don't need an interior design degree to hang new pictures or give your place an entirely different look.
New space, new you!