How many times have you complained about your busy schedule? In an alarming turn of events due to the coronavirus, much of the world suddenly has a lot of free time, but the catch is social distancing: no one is supposed to leave the house in hopes of protecting everyone's health. With events cancelled, school and work moving online, and a general advisory to avoid gathering with others whenever possible, we've found ourselves in a dilemma on how to spend time at home. If you look at the setback in a different light, the forced "retreat" of social distancing can be an opportunity to heal your mind and body, read, enjoy some online shopping, learn something new, or try out some online fitness classes.
Below, find ten things to do while you're social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as well as Instagram accounts to follow for inspiration.
Care For Your Beauty Routine
Without a need to leave the house, now is the time to let your skin breathe. Forget makeup and go all-in on a social distancing skincare routine. Masks, tonics, creams, and exfoliators are all great to include in your daily pampering, and if you take a hot bath and close your eyes, it just may feel like you've taken a trip to the spa. Follow the tips of beauty influencers on Instagram, who will guide you step by step with targeted advice (a few of the biggest are @nikkietutorials, @hudabeauty, and @jackieaina), or get some unique advice from Gwyneth Paltrow via @goop.
Shopping has never been more comfortable than during social distancing: it's now actually encouraged to browse your favorite products from the sofa, sipping herbal tea with a purifying mask on your face. Spring is around the corner and summer is coming, so it's finally time to build a wardrobe out of your favorite trends from September fashion week. While you pass the time shopping at home, you'll also be preparing for eventually returning to the office, meeting up with friends for drinks or dinner, or enjoying fresh air at the park once the coronavirus pandemic finally settles down. To get you started, we've been curating lists of our favorite white sneakers, fashion jewelry, and more.
Work Out at Home
The gyms may be closed, but you can still keep up your training regime at home. Turn on the music and give free rein to your imagination by dancing (perhaps learn to pole dance like @fkatwigs), jumping around, and just enjoying the comfort that absolutely no one is watching. If you're looking for some more structure, follow accounts like @kayla_itsines and @joja to train in company, or join Naomi Campbell (@naomi) for her daily workouts at 12 pm EST. There are also a range of home exercise programs to try out while social distancing, and many popular workout studios have begun offering regular livestreams during this time.
Learn Something New
If you're currently in school, organize a study group over video chat. Many universities and other institutions have turned to Zoom for remote learning, but you can also explore all the platform's features in a more casual setting with friends, making for a study session that's also a fun hangout. Even if you're not a student, you can use this time to learn something new, like a language you've been dying to improve. Break out Duolingo and begin rebuilding your streak, or try another app like Babbel or HelloTalk to switch up your experience as this social distancing period drags on.
Read a Book
Take advantage of your free time to feed your mind with a good book. Accessing new reading materials has never been easier than in the internet age, so digitally download the latest thriller or memoir. If you want to enjoy a good story while you take a bath, you can also download an audiobook or listen to podcasts on platforms including Storytel, Spotify, and Amazon. Maybe now is the time to finally read the book behind one of your favorite movies.
Cook Something New
The kitchen is a place to express your creativity, even if you wouldn't call yourself a chef. While we do recommend supporting your local small businesses by ordering delivery from them while you still can, chances are you'll be cooking lots more recipes than usual, both sweet and savory. Social distancing is the time to try out the recipes you've been seeing all over social media, including Instagram accounts like @alisoneroman, @vegetarianventures for vegan recipes, @halfbakedharvest, and @joythebaker for baked goods.
How many times have you looked at that worn-down old sweater at the back of your closet, only to not wear it *again*? While you're staying at home, you might want to finally do some decluttering to save space as well as the time you waste looking for everything. A popular guide is the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, as well as the corresponding Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If you're looking for more inspiration, visit the Instagram profiles of decluttering gurus like @styledandorganized and @ditchtheclutter for quick tips.
Cleaning and accomplishing small chores can help with exercising and clearing the mind. It will make your family happy if you're social distancing alongside them, but even if you're alone, your house or apartment will surely thank you. Chances are, you have walls to plaster, paintings to hang, small things to fix, leaky taps...how many things can you do at home to make it more pleasant, welcoming, and functional? Very often, even changing around your furniture can give your home environment the change in energy you've been craving.
Stream Your Quarantine Away
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Hulu, and YouTube can all be your allies, as they'll remain as active as ever while your favorite game shows and much-anticipated films go on hiatus. From popular Netflix series like I Am Not Okay With This and Next in Fashion to Amazing Stories, produced by Steven Spielberg, on Apple TV+, as well as a range of other options on platforms like Hulu and Disney Plus, now is the time to start binge-watching all the latest hits. Check out what's streaming this month, then break out the popcorn for the best night of social distancing ever.
Learn a Musical Instrument or Play a Board Game
Board games allow you to stay with company without leaving home and a common remedy to fight boredom. Get together with your family, roommates, or your partner and enjoy some healthy competition while staying healthy. Alternatively, if you're alone or want to make some art with whoever you're social distancing with, you can learn to play a new musical instrument. Everyone likes music, and knowing how to play an instrument is not only a pleasure, but also an additional opportunity for bragging rights whenever we do return to social gatherings. If you don't have a ukulele or harmonica on hand, have fun playing with water glasses or reminisce on the Cup Song.