Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - As the Pandemic drags on and on, social isolation is quickly becoming the new way of life. But this 'new normal' - working, learning, and playing at home - is not normal at all. It's a huge life change for everyone but, for retirees and those who live alone, there's a risk of getting stuck on auto-pilot.
The same routine day in and day out can lead to boredom at best, or at worst, leave you worn out, drained and unfulfilled. So, if you find yourself cooking the same dinners each night and watching the same Netflix shows over and over, it's time for a change.
Trying new things can make you happier, so here's a list of seize-the-day, fun things to do at home that can save you from lackluster days of not knowing what to do with yourself and keep you happy, healthy and entertained.
There are lots of community efforts to support right now, and though we can't necessarily provide relief or comfort with our physical presence, we can certainly contribute what we can to help those in need.
Work Your Way Through a Cookbook
If you're someone who collects cookbooks but only ever really makes one of the recipes or you've never actually even made a recipe from them and simply use them as coffee table decor, this is the perfect opportunity to dive in. It'll make cooking (and eating) so much more enjoyable. Plan out themed dinners to spice it up even more!
Bake a Batch of Cookies
There's something so soothing to the heart and stomach about homemade chocolate chip, peanut butter, or oatmeal cookies — or any kind you love. Whip up a dozen or two, and while they are baking, enjoy the aroma and anticipation of eating a few with a big glass of cold milk. Click HERE for recipes.
Channel Your Inner Bartender
Instead of sticking to the same old drink recipes, challenge yourself with some trickier (and more exciting) cocktail recipes. Everyone will thank you - even if "everyone" actually just means you and your cat.
Flex Your Green Thumb
If you're able to safely spend time in your yard, now's a good time to dive into gardening. But even if you don't have a garden or a backyard at all, you can get in on the fun with a small herb garden for kitchen. Or just order an indoor plant online.
Do Some DIY Projects
There are, no doubt, plenty of things around your house that could use some sprucing up. Whether you've been meaning to reorganize the pantry, paint a door frame, or install floating shelves, these minor home updates will improve the environment, and thus your mood (plus, they'll keep you busy). HERE are some DIY ideas to get you started.
Master New Makeup Looks
Just because you're not going out lately doesn't mean you can't have fun trying out some new makeup looks. Look on the bright side: You'll have plenty of time to master them before their public debut.
Try a New Craft
Rummage through your art supplies and try to make something new, like a dream catcher, wind chime, or watercolor painting. Need ideas? Check out these cool and popular crafts.
Create a Scrapbook
Remember those old family photos tucked away in shoe boxes in the closet? Take them out and create a scrapbook that's worthy of being displayed. You'll get some good laughs sharing old memories and creating new ones.
Print Out Photos and Frame Them
Your smartphone is likely loaded with photos you've taken over the years that just sit there and are rarely viewed. Choose some of your favorites, print them out, and find some beautiful frames to display them around your house.
Write a Letter
Remember letters? A letter is a timeless form of correspondence showing you took the time to handwrite your thoughts and feelings. Grab a pen and some stationery (or just notebook paper if you don't have stationery), and write and send a letter to someone you care about. What a surprise it will be for this person to receive a thoughtful letter in the mail.
Read a Book
We're talking "old-fashioned" reading. A physical book. One that you hold in your hands and doesn't involve a screen. Find some of the mental health benefits of reading HERE, if you need convincing.
Research a New Topic
Been curious about a specific period in history, a public figure, some strange conspiracy theory, or really anything at all? Now's the time to educate yourself.
Play Some Brain Games
Train your brain and sharpen your mind. Work on crossword puzzles, a Rubik's cube, or a word game.
Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
Yes, there are ways to entertain yourself that don't involve staring at a screen. Like a good old-fashioned jigsaw puzzle. One of the top ones on Amazon is this 1,000-piece puzzle, which people say is high-quality (i.e. the pieces are cut to fit together flawlessly) and produces a stunning European panorama when it's all finished.
Staying home is not all bad once you start realizing all the fulfilling and productive things you can do there. The benefits of learning something new or creating something beautiful will not only break up the monotony but can also lead to a healthier and more satisfied life.
Sources: Live Bold and Bloom • House Beautiful