50 things to do while you’re stuck inside during quarantine

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As social distancing and shelter-in-place measures continue to be extended throughout the country and across the world, our boredom stemming from being cooped up at home is increasing too. Social distancing doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon (in order to hopefully decrease the number of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, cases that pop up), so in the meantime, here are some things you can do while you’re stuck inside during quarantine to keep your spirits up and keep you connected to others.

  1. Start a weekly or daily newsletter email to send to your family and/or friends. Express how you’re feeling and include your latest quarantine happenings, which could include some of the ideas listed below.
  2. Watch a movie you’ve been putting off seeing or have had on your list for a while (we’re looking at you, “The Irishman”).
  3. Have a PowerPoint party with your friends using Zoom. Each week, one person can pick any topic of their choice to give a presentation on and then present it through Zoom.
  4. Download TikTok, but go one step further: make a TikTok video! (You can keep your account private.)
  5. After you download TikTok, look up whipped coffee videos. Then, make your own.
  6. Attempt bullet journaling.
  7. Try recipes that you may have saved or even take it upon yourself to come up with your own.
  8. Play Jackbox or other online games with friends and family over Zoom.
  9. Bake a loaf of bread. (Everyone seems to be doing it.)
  10. Write a New York Times-inspired Tiny Love Story in less than 100 words. Shoot your shot and send it to the Times.
  11. Stretch.
  12. Redecorate your quarantine space. Order some posters, or make your own art or decorations for your room. Make your quarantine space feel cozy!
  13. Go for a walk or run—just stay at least 6 feet away from other outside-goers!
  14. If you’re really, really bored, get ahead on your readings or assignments for school. (The grind never stops.)
  15. Play Animal Crossing because that’s what the kids (and adults) seem to be talking about these days. If you don’t have a Nintendo Switch, you can watch other people play the game on Twitch. Or, if you’d still like to play a similar game but on your computer, check out Stardew Valley.
  16. Challenge yourself to get out of your pajamas or sweats and take an #OOTD (outfit of the day) photo. Choose different themes for your outfits each day! Some ideas: business casual, first date, summer, themed party of your choice, etc.
  17. Finally finish watching that Netflix show you never got around to finishing because you started bingeing it on a whim. Or, just subject yourself to some pure horror and start watching “Tiger King.”
  18. Buy a gift card to support your favorite local businesses.
  19. Make a list of places you want to visit once you’re finally no longer in quarantine.
  20. Download some fun photos to add as your virtual background on Zoom.
  21. Take care of your skin and do a face mask! Or, better yet, make your own.
  22. Practice your meme-making skills and submit your own memes to Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens on Facebook.
  23. Buy and download an audiobook or e-book you’ve been itching to read for a while. Or, if you want to support a local Berkeley business, head over to the Moe’s Books website and purchase a couple of new reads from there!
  24. Make a list of the things you’re grateful for. If you want to take it one step further and get really artsy, grab a jar and some strips of colored paper and write the things you’re grateful for on there, then fold the strips of paper into stars. You can have fun opening them back up and reliving what made you happy during quarantine after it’s all over.
  25. Check out a new podcast. Some good quarantine picks: “Switched on Pop” for music, “The Big Picture” for movies, “The Secret History of the Future” for history, “My Favorite Murder” for true crime, “Ringer Dish” for pop culture and Pardon My Take for sports. (Bonus: The Daily Californian also has podcasts of our own!)
  26. Do some spring cleaning and “Marie Kondo” your room.
  27. Fill out the 2020 census if you haven’t already!
  28. Cut or dye your hair yourself. Just don’t blame us for any negative results.
  29. Download Duolingo or another language-learning app.
  30. Take one of your favorite songs and re-write the lyrics about your quarantine experience thus far.
  31. Try out a hobby like knitting, painting, yoga or calligraphy.
  32. Keep a quarantine diary or journal and write anything you want each day. It could be about something that you did that day or a totally made-up story about what you wish you could be doing instead right now.
  33. Look through your contacts and text a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  34. On that note, text your ex, because why the heck not? We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, people. Again, please don’t blame us for any negative results.
  35. Try your hand at learning how to use the Adobe Creative Suite applications. UC Berkeley students get the package for free, so take advantage of it while you have the time.
  36. If you’re feeling sentimental, make a photo or video slideshow of this past school year. Not to plug TikTok again, but it does, in fact, make for a pretty great tool for this.
  37. Make a mini vlog of a day in your quarantine life.
  38. Do a live cooking or dancing video on Instagram because … well, why not?
  39. If you don’t want to go live on Instagram yourself, check out these celebrities’ Instagram live shows.
  40. Start a garden in your own home or backyard. Bonus: if you have leftover garlic or scallions lying around (and some healthy soil and a container), you can replant them and grow your own!
  41. Install the Netflix Party extension to watch Netflix with your friends even while you’re social distancing.
  42. Have your own “Chopped” competition with friends over Zoom. Agree on four ingredients that you all have at home as a part of your “baskets” and make your own dish. Show each other your results!
  43. Play Pictionary or charades over Zoom with friends.
  44. Start an online book club.
  45. Host a music-listening party over Zoom. Each person takes turns showing songs to the rest of the group. At the end, you can add them all together into a collaborative Spotify playlist!
  46. Exercise! Just because gyms are closed doesn’t mean working out is totally canceled. Look up your favorite workout spots to see if they’re offering free online classes (most of them are from Peloton to Orangetheory Fitness), or browse Instagram or YouTube for at-home yoga and HIIT workouts.
  47. Pick a person, historical event or anything else that comes to mind and go down a Wikipedia rabbit hole. See where you end up within the next hour.
  48. Follow the Love is Quarantine account on Instagram. It’s a dating experiment connecting quarantined singles from all walks of life to one another based on the premise of the dating pods from the Netflix show “Love is Blind.” And if you feel like putting yourself out there and trying something new while you’re quarantined, considering signing up to participate yourself.
  49. Keep up with updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  50. Consider donating to your local food bank or other movements and organizations aiding in relief surrounding the pandemic.

And most importantly, remember to check in with yourself and keep your spirits up! It’s easy to get lonely or bored, so reach out to other people around you. Let’s keep flattening that curve!

Contact Chloe Lelchuk at [email protected].