1. Catch up…
– With friends
– With family
– With your low priority work or projects
I use the apps Marco Polo and Fabriq to stay up to date and in touch with all my friends and family regularly.
2. Learn to paint
A buddy of mine recently told me about Paint By Numbers, which are kits having a board on which light markings to indicate areas to paint, and each area has a number and a corresponding numbered paint to use. The kits come with little compartmentalized boxes where the numbered color pigments are stored. It’s genius!
Here is a link to the most popular kits on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Arts-Crafts-Sewing-Adults-Paint-Number-Kits/zgbs/arts-crafts/7756212011
3. Learn a new language
Babbel, Rosetta Stone or Duolingo are the 3 most popular platforms for teaching new languages, and they all have apps you can practice with daily!
4. Learn to cook
While most of us are too busy to learn the good ole past time of cooking, now is a little different. For those of you working from home or on temporary leave from work, this is a great way to gain some kitchen competency, host a date night, have a family dinner, or just save some money from eating out.
Daily journaling can increase your self-awareness and empathy, which are two invaluable character traits. Journaling is easy, but most people overthink it. Just commit to spending 5-30 minutes each day with a pen and journal in your hand. Write about your day, your feelings, and your thoughts. Who knows… you might finally get to know yourself.
6. Read a book
I could write a separate blog entirely on the benefits of reading, but I think we all know how beneficial it can be. My biggest tip is to start with something you know you will like, whether or not it’s fiction, non-fiction. Both have a ton of benefits on your brain and quality of life and are far more productive than scrolling on social media or binge-watching Netflix. Start with 5 pages a day if this is brand new to you.
7. At-home workouts
This might be the easiest one! All you have to do is get on social media for 7 seconds and you will see someone (me included) posting ideas for at home workouts. With all the content out there, there’s no excuse not to get 3+ workouts in a week!
Here is a 21-day guide on bodyweight only workouts I wrote: https://www.superfitfoods.co/21-free-bodyweight-workouts-to-finish-april-strong/
8. Make walking a habit
I have a dog, so I take a handful of walks (or bike rides) every day, and I love it. There are so many benefits to walking. It’s crazy how something so simple can be so beneficial! The last one is my favorite:
– Burn calories
– Strengthen your heart
– Lower blood sugar
– Improved mood or mental health
– Low impact cardio
– Great ideas come when you think and move at the same time
Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein were known to take long walks and you see what they did.
9. Play games
Like Monopoly, Scrabble, Twister, Catan, Connect 4, Sorry… the list is endless! And I’m sure there are a ton I don’t know about, but this is a great time to do some of the things you never have time for, so pull out those games from the closet upstairs and have some fun.
10. Make a blog page and start writing (or a podcast)
This is much like the habit of journaling, just with a little more intention. If you feel like you have ideas, advice or just any way of adding value to an audience (which I’m sure you do even if you are scared to admit it), then you should definitely go for this!
There are so many resources out there. Since there are literally so many, my recommendation is to simply Google:
– how to start a blog for free
– how to start a podcast for free
And have fun with it! Don’t take it too seriously at first. Writing is much like any other exercise; you gain strength with the more reps and sets.
11. Build something cool
Like a lego set (even if you’re an adult), or pallet art, or Ikea furniture. I built a home gym so far. I will let you get creative with this one.
12. Facetime your friends or family
Especially the ones you know you need to catch up with. With my friends who live all over the country now, we schedule weekly or monthly Facetime calls. But if you aren’t as structured as me, now is your time to take advantage of your free time and connect with people you haven’t talked to in a while. Life is too short not to use the advancements in technology to tell the people that matter that you love em.
13. Do a puzzle
I haven’t done a puzzle in possibly 20 years, but I can’t remember an instance where I’ve ever had a bad time doing them. When I was little, that’s all we’d do with my grandparents on the weekends (if we weren’t gardening with Nona or making cookies from scratch)
Especially if you’re at home with friends, family or your spouse – this is a great way to step away from stressful emails or binge-watching Netflix and use your mind on something else.
14. “Spring Cleaning”
My house has never been so clean. You don’t have to make a day out of this either, like usual. I basically end up cleaning as I go each day, and now my place is spotless. You can go through old clothes, and give away ones you don’t wear anymore. And do the same with your pantry. Not only does cleaning make you feel better, but now more than ever, food and clothes pantries can use your help.
15. Watch all the Harry Potter movies
Okay, I had to throw this in there. I’m a big fan so I watch them every year, but if you haven’t gotten on the wagon yet, now’s your time.
16. Set or adjust your 2020 goals
If you’re like me and you set goals for the whole year and review them often, you probably recognize that due to the pandemic, some might change. Now is the time to make adjustments and plan accordingly.
If you aren’t that type – then I highly suggest adding this habit to your life and there has never been a better time.
17. Start a side hustle (or new career)
There are countless opportunities out there for a side hustle or new career, despite the current circumstances. It all depends on your interest, education, competencies, etc – but I wrote a separate blog on this topic that you can check out here: https://jaredgraybeal.com/2020/04/entrepreneurial-ways-to-make-money-during-hard-time-right-now-that-anyone-can-do/
18. Meditate / Pray (more)
This was actually an addition from Brendan, who works with me at Superfit Foods, and I thought it was great (and surprised I didn’t think of it!):
“A lot of people have more free time than they know what to do with so they’re trying to fill it with as much activity as possible to make time go by faster. But sometimes it’s helpful to do the exact opposite, and focus on your breathing and just meditate for a while! People would be surprised how much they’d get out of it.”