Clean out your car. We all know what life can do to your car. Receipts, napkins and half-empty water bottles are probably all littering your back seat. Now that you have a bit more time on your hands, you might as well take some time to give your car a makeover. Take out everything you don’t need and clear out any garbage. Organize your center console and vacuum the floor rugs. Take a cleaning wipe and clean off your steering wheel and gear shift. If it’s nice outside, grab some sponges and give your whole car a good wash while you’re at it. You never know when you’re going to want to go on a cross-country road trip after all this is over!
Donate clothes. You now have plenty of time to go through all of your summer AND winter clothes. We all know there’s some pieces of clothing we have, but haven’t worn in years. Some things are just so hard to part with. Take some time while social distancing to go through your closet and become Marie Kondo. Make a donation pile of clothes you don’t wear that you can take to Goodwill or another second-hand store. If you’re looking to make some money for your old clothes, check out local thrift stores in your area that give you store credit or cash for your gently used clothing. Or sign up for a website like Poshmark, where you can sell your gently-used clothes.
Go through that junk drawer you’ve been avoiding. While this may be the last thing you want to do. You’ll feel so much better once it’s done. Everyone has that one drawer that they’re afraid to open or just shove everything that doesn’t have a place into. Now’s the perfect time to go through it and get rid of the random receipts and knickknacks you’ve had since you were a kid. The best way to do this is to take one drawer at a time. If you have multiple junk drawers, don’t clean them all out at once or else you’ll have a floor covered in items you don’t know what to do with. Make sure you get rid of things you don’t need. Then have some kind of organizational system to file or store items you do need.
Reorganize your bedroom or apartment. Getting cabin fever from being stuck inside from so long? Reorganize the furniture in your bedroom—or your whole apartment!—and make your space feel fresh and new. Need something more to freshen up your space? Print out some photos or buy a few art prints to decorate your walls, splurge on a new rug or piece of furniture or grab some twinkle lights to make your space a bit more cozy.
Take care of yourself
Go for a walk. Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t go out and get some fresh air once in awhile! Take a walk around your neighborhood or even on a bike trail nearby. Just be sure to stay 6 feet apart from anyone else also enjoying the fresh air. If you do know you’ll encounter other people also walking on the trails, wear a mask! Taking a break from being indoors is definitely needed in times like these, so make sure you get outside at least a couple of times a week—even if it’s just in your backyard.
Practice yoga/meditation. While you may be used to going to a studio or gym for classes or your usual workout routine, practicing yoga at home is just as easy. If you have a membership to a yoga studio or other fitness class, they may have already sent you videos so you can do your workouts at home. If you’re new to yoga and meditation, there are some great resources online that you can use and simple poses that will help you feel less stressed and more calm. Check out Yoga with Adriene or Blogilates if you want someone to walk you through the basics.
Start running. Even if you’re not usually a runner, going out for a quick job can give you some piece of mind while otherwise staying at home. Whether you’ve been running for years or are just starting, it’s a great thing to do when you need a break from work or classes. Start off small and run around your block, then continuously add onto your route. Running is a great way to clear your mind and get out in nature, while still keeping your distance from others. Make sure to leave at least 6 feet between you and other runners.
Practice good self-care. Between your extra free time and the stressful experience of a global pandemic, there’s honestly no better time to start practicing some good self-care habits. Treat yourself to some new face masks, take a bubble bath, write in a journal, listen to your favorite music, make yourself your fanciest tea, meditate—whatever helps you relax and unwind, make sure to take some time for it every day and stay healthy during this time at home.
Try a new hobby.
Order books you’ve been meaning to read from Amazon. Got a lot of books on your must-read list? Now’s a great time to cross a few of them off your list. Most times there’s so much going on with classes and other commitments, you may not have time to sit down with a good book. Taking some time to lose yourself in a novel is great way to escape. Order a new book from Amazon you’ve been meaning to read or grab a childhood favorite from your shelf at home.
Try a new recipe. Now that we’re all at home, there’s plenty of time to become the chef you’ve always aspired to be. Turn your kitchen into your workshop and try all of the Tasty recipes you’ve saved over the years. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover your hidden talent! More of a top-ramen chef? Try baking first!
Learn a new language. With all this extra time on our hands and nowhere to travel, it’s a great time to start preparing for your next adventure! If there’s a language you always wish you had the time to learn, now is your chance. There are plenty of online language learning tools you can use, from Duolingo to Babbel and more. You can also buy a book online that will help you learns the ins and outs of any new language.
Start a journal. Writing (or drawing) in a journal can be a great way to destress and unwind. Use your journal to reflect on how you’ve been feeling or look up journal prompts online for ideas. Need to boost your spirits? Experts say that starting a gratitude journal and writing down a few things you’re grateful for each day can really lift your mood.
Connect with family and friends
Call your grandparents. You don’t want to risk giving any germs to your grandparents. The best thing to do is show them you love them from afar! Your grandparents might be feeling lonely, especially if the place where they live has restrictions about visitors. Make sure you check in with them and see how they’re doing. Although you may think you have it the hardest, your grandparents may be struggling with loneliness too. Give them a call or write them a letter to catch up.
Use NetflixParty with your friends. Created earlier this month, NetflixParty is a great way to watch something with a group of friends or your significant other. You just have to download an extension on your browser. Once you’re ready, you can open Netflix and start playing the show or movie you want to watch. The other person you’re virtually watching with can hit the NetflixParty button on their browser. Then you’ll both be watching your favorite show together. There’s also a chat box so that you can share all of your thoughts and opinions on Jessica in Love is Blind.
FaceTime your friends and long-distance relatives. It goes without saying, but this is the time to catch up with everyone via FaceTime. If you have family members that live across the country or the world, make sure you talk to them during this difficult time. You can use Facetime or Zoom to create a family catch-up session and hear about what they’re all doing to pass the time. Just because you’re separated for the time being, doesn’t mean you can’t see them!
Use Zoom for hangouts. If you haven’t already spent all day on Zoom between classes, work meetings and more, you can use the platform to create virtual hangouts for you and your friends. From game nights to roomie catch-ups or just random hangout sessions, sometimes it’s nice to just have your friends (virtually) nearby, even while you all stay at home.
Keep planning ahead
Keep up with the internship and job search. If you’ve been looking for a job, it may seem tough to keep doing that when you don’t have your on-campus career service resources. However, there are lots of ways you can still keep up with your job search. Make sure you stay in contact with your college’s career services office for updates and job openings. You can also look at sites like LinkedIn and Indeed. You’ll have tons of extra time to start your search. Make a list of things you are looking for and places you’d like to apply to.
Look for your dream apartment (virtually). Many college students were recently asked to leave their current housing accommodations on-campus and move back home for the rest of the semester. For some, this may not have been possible which means the apartment hunt is in full swing. Check out Facebook groups in your area for apartments and other accommodations at a range of prices and locations. You can also look at websites like Trulia and Zillow to get an idea of the surrounding area and transportation. If you fall in love with an apartment you can always ask for a virtual tour and most people are happy to do so!
Make a summer bucket list. It’s never too early to start thinking about summer. Although it may feel like the future is uncertain right now, staying positive and hopeful will help everyone get through this time. The summer is a great time to start doing things you’ve been holding off on and an even better time to explore nature. Add that new restaurant you want to try or mountain you want to hike. Do a little online shopping for travel gear you’ve been meaning to get or things you’ll need for the summer or next school year. It’s never too early to start planning and it’ll give you plenty of things to look forward to!
Print photos. Camera roll on your phone full of photos you’ve been meaning to do something with? You’re not alone. Now’s your chance to order photos and have them delivered right to your door! Parabo Press and Shutterfly both have a lot of deals that you can take advantage of. Whether you’re creating a photo wall or filling a scrapbook, this is definitely something that will have you reliving the fun times you’ve had in the past. It can also inspire you to create a list of things you want to do in the future.
Grab your paintbrushes and try a Pinterest project. If you’re someone who has an artsy side, you’ve definitely spent some considerable time on Pinterest saving projects that you’ll try one day. You may have been too busy to start something new in the past, but now is the perfect time to grab your paintbrushes or craft supplies and create a masterpiece! Not super crafty? Buy a coloring book or print some free coloring pages, break out your markers and just color. It’s a great stress-reliever.
Make a travel scrapbook with items from your last vacation. We all know the feeling of getting back from a vacation and then jumping right back into work or classes. Now that you have more time on your hands, grab your folder of vacation pictures, tickets, and mementos and make a travel scrapbook! Several craft stores are offering curbside pick up, so you can order your scrapbook materials online and pick them up while still social distancing.
Being inside all the time definitely has its downsides, but there are still plenty of ways that you can make the most of it! We hope you’re all staying safe and healthy while you stay at home.