**Let me preface this with stating the reminder that being able to stay home safely during this strange season is a blessing. Having a safe place to call home is nothing to take for granted, now or anytime. I am a nurse so I am still going to work right now, but being able to say I have a well-paying job is more than some can say right now. For that I am thankful. Please stay safe and abide by your state’s rules and regulations. Thank you to all the frontliners out there, from the people working at the grocery stores to the housekeeping staff at the hospitals to our pharmacists, EMTs, firefighters, and more!**
Admittedly I am much more of an introverted person than a social butterfly. That being said, my daily life has not changed incredibly much during this ‘Rona season. However, I do miss being able to see other people here and there and being able to roam around a store just for fun (and not necessity). Even I can tend to get a little stir-crazy if I don’t leave the house for awhile.
That being said, I have a mental list of things I enjoy doing while home alone. Here is that mental list turned into a real list:
- Read a book
If you know me, you know I love to read. So of course this would be top of the list. I find it difficult to read with distractions, and if I’m alone there’s far fewer of these. My favorite is finding a comfortable spot outside in the sun to read a good book. Even now while wea are supposed to be avoiding people, we can still find an isolated spot outdoors and get some fresh air.
- Play the piano
Or what ever type of musical instrument you might play. For me, it is the piano. My parents put me in lessons when I was nine years old and I try to keep my skills up by playing at least once a week. It’s one of those things that I rarely ever want to go do, but once I start I remember how relaxing and satisfying it is to fill a room music.
- Cook a new recipe, or a recipe I enjoy
Cooking actual recipes versus just throwing a bunch of ingredients in one big pan is something I am striving to do more of. When I’m alone, I’ll flip on a podcast, YouTube video, or movie and get cooking. My husband has been learning how to make sushi, and with the help of an Amazon sushi-making kit he is pretty good at it. I prefer to bake, and baking bread seems to be trending right now; here’s two of my favorite bread recipes:
- https://www.cravingsofalunatic.com/one-hour-bread-recipe/ –> easy hour bread. I like to add in some rosemary.
- https://www.mrsmidwest.com/post/bread-to-impress –> a deliciously simple sweet bread
Cleaning isn’t one of the more fun items on this list but it is very satisfying and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Same with cooking, I’ll throw on something to listen to and get caught up in a whirlwind of cleaning.
- Write letters to friends or family members
While this is an antiquated activity, I do enjoy taking the time to write a short message to mail to a friend or family member. Getting something in the mail that isn’t just an advertisement or a bill is such a nice surprise. I like to try and remind people that they matter to me and that I’m thankful they’re in my life. For over four years, my fiancé and I were in a distance relationship and we wrote to each other pretty consistently. I always looked forward to seeing his handwriting on a letter addressed to me, and I want other people to have that little moment of joy too.
Not everyone is into this, but I personally like having physical photos from events and placing them together on a page. With Shutterfly and other online photo websites, it’s easy to create a digital scrapbook that you can then print out. These turn out very nicely but I do love to sit down with my pictures and relive the memories as I arrange them on the pages. I like to make little books for my family members for Christmas or birthday presents. One of my latest projects is creating a travel album of all of the places (and a few major events) from the last few years.
Adult coloring books have been “in” for several years now and I’m not mad about that. Coloring is soothing and is something I’ll do while watching a movie. I am not good at just sitting and watching a movie so I’ll usually color or scrapbook during one.
Another activity I find extremely satisfying. Organizing a closet or cabinet or shelf.
- Exercise or go on a walk
Get moving. I’ll stretch or do abs or go to the gym or go on a walk. I almost always feel better afterwards.
- Learn something
Being a nurse, there’s always something I don’t know that I should be looking up more on an learning. Now do I always have the motivation to do this? No. But when I do, I feel that much more competent and smart.
For the last 1.5 years I’ve kept a “daily” journal of sorts. Now it’s not so much a daily journal but a few times a week. I’ll write anything in there- lists, things I’m thankful for, anything fun I did that day, any worries or concerns I have, my grocery lists. It’s where I’ll put my travel plans too, and then once I go to the place I’ll put ticket stubs and pieces of that place in my journal. I tend to not write much, or at all, on days I work, but when I have more leisure time I do enjoy it.
- Plan a trip, even if it’s theoretical
I like to plan out various trips to places when I am bored and have good internet access. I’ll pick a city, research activities to do or main attractions, and start loosely formulating a plan for what I would do if I traveled there. This comes in handy for last minute cheap flight purchases and more impulsive traveling. And even if I don’t go to that place for quite some time (or if I never visit that place), the idea of planning a trip motivates me to go to work and earn money to pay for said trip.
These are just some of the things that my introverted self enjoys doing (that are also semi-productive and aren’t just watching Netflix).
Some of my favorite YouTubers:
Mrs. Midwest: a Midwestern homemaking channel
Monica Church: millennial life things
Internet Shaquille: short, humorous cooking videos with actually good recipes
Kat Nesbitt: flight attendant-traveling vlogs
Allison Anderson: travel vlogs, lots of solo travel vlogs
You Betcha: a funny Midwestern dude doing Midwestern things
Alton Brown: cooking videos with a dry sense of humor
Elena Taber: tbh I just like the aesthetic of her videos + the idea of living in NYC. Would never do it myself.
Stuff You Should Know: random interesting knowledge presented in a humorous way
Science Vs: a 30-minute podcast that finds out what’s facts by using science
Crime Junkie: the co-host is annoying with her comments that add nothing to the show, but overall it’s interesting
Up First: a quick daily news podcast that is liberally-slanted
The Indicator from Planet Money
Hidden Brain: a podcast about the psychology behind many of our actions
Mind Pump: Raw FitnessTruth : there’s a lot of extra chatter in this but it’s informative about health and fitness related topics