So, at this point we’ve all been at home for a while—the novelty has worn off, Zoom happy hours are getting old, and most likely, you’re going a little stir crazy. When there’s only so much Netflix-binging you can do, what the heck else are you supposed to do to pass the time? With the status of quarantine, stay-at-home orders, and the pandemic in general changing daily, there is one thing that we’ve been granted, and that’s time.
Of course, we’d all rather be spending our summers at concerts, on rooftop bars, or traveling the world, but we can’t. So, when we look back on this time, what is it we will have wished we’d gotten done? Our lives have gotten significantly less busy with only the commute to work being shortened, not counting everything else we don’t spend time doing any more. Everyone’s got a to-do list full of chores and must-dos or a someday-someday-maybe list full of wishes. It’s time to dust them off and start checking off boxes. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you beat the boredom at home while still staying safe. With all this extra time on our hands, we might as well have put it to good use—Netflix isn’t going anywhere.
1. Make a bucket list of recipes
Buy a new cookbook, study the Food Network for a few hours, and surf the internet to make yourself a “bucket list of recipes.” Trying to step outside of your cooking comfort zone will help to make eating this summer more exciting. Check out this list of recipes you should try once in your life.
2. Write letters to elders
At retirement homes right now, there are really no guests allowed. The majority of us probably know someone living in a retirement home to write to, but if you don’t, finding a local retirement home to send thoughtful notes to any of the residents there is bound to put a smile on someone’s face. This article explains how to find an assisted living facility, but it also could be as simple as a Google of “assisted living facilities near me.” Contacting a place near you, or wherever you want, by phone is a good place to start.
3. Learn a new language
Brushing up on your rusty language skills from high school or college would be very beneficial. Why let four years of a language class go to waste, especially when being bilingual is so valuable? Try one of these online courses listed in this article to get yourself started. There are classes ranging from a few hundred dollars to completely free.
4. Get crafty
Learning a new artistic skill would be a great way to pass the time. Try your hand at calligraphy, knitting or embroidery. Who knows, if you take to it well, you could be the next Etsy sensation. You could even take it as far as doing some DIY home improvements.
5. Play board games and do puzzles
Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, or a classic hand of cards. Bring back the competition of collecting $200 for passing go or the satisfaction of finally finishing the puzzle picture.
There are few things better than a fresh pack of colored pencils. Find your favorite adult (or child’s) coloring book at the drug store and get to it. This article explains why coloring can be soothing to people. If you aren’t ready to take on an entire coloring book, The Everygirl has printable coloring pages ready for you to get your feet wet.
7. ’80s Movie Marathon
I don’t know about you, but Jake Ryan will always be the OG heartthrob. Spend some time with him, and all of your other favorite ’80s era crushes. Check out this list of the best ’80s movies currently streaming on Netflix.
8. DIY Nails
If you’re an avid nail girl like me, you might be missing the salons. With this gel nail kit from Amazon, you can do your nails from home no problem. Or what about this dip one? You’ll be a master in no time, and you’ll be saving a bunch of money!
9. Clean out your closet
Take the time to go through your closet. Haven’t worn it in six months? Donate. Full of holes? Toss. Wear constantly? Keep. You get the gist—make room for some new pieces by getting rid of the stuff you’re over. Need more guidance? Check out this article.
10. Organize your photos on your phone’s camera roll
Take time to ditch old screenshots or sort through ex-relationship pictures—a photo cleanse if you will. Not only will you be organizing your camera roll, but it’ll be fun to walk down memory lane and see some party pictures from years ago with all your friends.
11. Back up your computer’s hard drive and organize your files
With all the spare time, it’s a good idea to get ahead of the game and not lose everything in a tragic computer crash. Once you’re done backing everything up, take the time to sort and organize everything you’ve got saved. Folders, folders, and more folders!
12. Brainstorm holiday gift ideas
Get ahead of the season by starting your gift list now. Keeping a running tab of ideas in your Notes app for all the special people in your life will keep you from feeling overwhelmed come December. If you want to be a little financially responsible, you could even start buying some of the gifts and stowing them away until the time comes. This way you won’t be hit with massive credit card bills from buying all your presents in one fell swoop!
13. Clean out your email inbox
I don’t know about you, but nothing gives me more anxiety than the red number in the corner of my Mail app. Go through and cleanse yourself of unnecessary emails. Bonus points if while you’re doing it, you unsubscribe to email lists you don’t want or need to be on.
14. Organize your junk drawer
We’ve all got it. That one drawer that’s a hodgepodge of random things, change, and our keys. Get a drawer organizer and go to town. Your keys can still go there, but maybe you don’t need the 75 empty scotch tape rolls around anymore.
15. Clean out your refrigerator
Now, I’m not talking just tossing expired food, which you definitely should do. I’m talking full clean—take out the drawers, wash them down, and get busy with some bleach wipes on the inside. Your sparkling fridge will be as fresh as the fridge keeps your food.