How to Keep Yourself Occupied During a COVID-19 Quarantine (Official Guide)
Looking for things to do during quarantine to stay sane and have fun at the same time? With millions of Americans looking to travel this holiday season and record numbers of COVID-19 cases, establishing a safe and healthy self-quarantine plan is essential. And your mental health is just as important as the physical. So instead of watching reruns of The Office on Netflix, here are 40 fun things to do during quarantine, from quarantine date ideas to new skill development.
Wondering What go Do During Quarantine? Change Your Mindset
The day-to-day isolation brought on by coronavirus is challenging for everyone's mental and physical wellbeing. But instead of waiting for the vaccine, try to think of COVID-19 times as a unique time you've been given to better yourself and have fun. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What projects have I never found the time to work on?
- Is there a skill that I want to develop, either for fun or for work?
- If you're looking for new work, what tools could you add to your tool kit to make yourself an even more appealing hire today and post-coronavirus?
- What habits and attitudes do I want to bring with me when the world opens up again?
The Definitive Guide of Things to Do During Quarantine
Though you may be stuck inside, all you need for successful and fun quarantine is an internet connection and some free time (Just as Taylor Swift who has released two albums during the pandemic). Here are some of our favorite activities while keeping our loved ones safe.
For your convenience, we’ve included the approximate cost and time of these self-isolation activities. Overwhelmed by free time? These activities are ranked from easiest to hardest.
11 Career-Related Things to Do During Quarantine
- Learn from the best via TED Talks
- Revise your resume and LinkedIn
- Write something--and publish it
- Take an online course (free options available) on:
- Graphic design via Photoshop or Canva
- Business management
- Creative or professional writing
- Public speaking
- Build a website on Wordpress, Shopify or Squarespace
Easiest Thing to Do During Quarantine: Get Inspired by TED Talks
- Time Commitment: 5-15 minutes
- Cost: Free
Want to better yourself but not sure where to start? It turns out that your favorite procrastination tool (YouTube) is actually a great educational resource. One of our favorite places to get inspired by today’s though leaders is TED talks: concise, compelling, and info-packed talks given by leaders ranging from Brené Brown to Bill Gates.
Where to Start:
- Tim Ferriss: “Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals.” Feeling lost or afraid to take the next step? Ferriss outlines a bullet-proof way to get a handle on what you want to do -- and the fears, real and imaginary, that stand in your way.
- Susan Cain: “The Power of Introverts.” Not everyone is an extrovert--and that is a good thing for businesses and communities alike. Here’s why introverts rock.
- Amy Cuddy: “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are.” Yes, how you present yourself matters to the world. But it also affects how we perceive ourselves.
- Pamela Meyer: “How to Spot a Liar.” A great tool for success in the workplace, whether you’re a manager or an employee.
Things to Do in Quarantine That You’ve Been Procrastinating: Revise Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
- Time Commitment: 1 hour
- Cost: free
No one likes to do it, but nothing affects your potential to find a new job or network like an updated LinkedIn profile. Let's face it: many of us have put off updating our digital presence because a) writing about yourself is hard b) LinkedIn is way less fun than Instagram. But now that you’re stuck in self-quarantine, here are a few easy steps for upgrading your digital presence, free of charge.
Update your LinkedIn photo. It should look like you but also be professional (avoid selfies and photos with other people). Here’s how to get started:
- Take a shower and put on your favorite sweater or blazer (you can even stay in sweatpants)
- Find a simple background and a well-lit area
- Set an iPhone timer and take several pictures (Pro Tip: avoid flash).
Add Details to your Headline and Summary. One of our many career-focused things to do in quarantine is beef up your LinkedIn profile--especially if you’re looking for work.
It turns out, your headline doesn’t just have to have your job title. Your summary is a great space to introduce yourself--make sure you’re using it. It’s a good idea to tell a story, rather than just cramming it full of buzzwords (innovative, actionable, ideation come to mind).
Add links and other media. Want to build out your side hustle during quarantine? Demonstrate your writing skills? Showcase your achievements? Add media and links so people can get to know your work better. You want to make it as easy as possible to explore your profile.
Publish Your Writing on a Free Platform
- Time Commitment: 2-4 hours
- Cost: Free
Everyone knows something about something. Tackled an issue with a challenging coworker? Mastered the beginnings of a new skill during quarantine? Have an opinion that you want to share about politics, science, or culture? It turns out, you can publish an article for free on a variety of platforms--including Medium and LinkedIn.
Pro Tip: Do some research and make it easy to read--but don’t be too hard on yourself. Sharing your writing becomes easier over time.
Taking a Class Is One of the Best Things to Do During Quarantine
- Time Commitment: Anywhere from 3 hours to a several month bootcamp
- Cost: Free options available
Ever wanted to learn something new but never found the time? Looking to develop new skills for your remote work job? Now is your chance. Thanks to tons of online learning platforms, there are free and affordable ways to learn the basics of coding, finance, computer science, leadership, languages, psychology and so much more.
Want to go the extra mile? There are lots of programs that come with certifications. You can get a full undergraduate degree online, receive a certificate or audit something for free. Here are a few of our favorite platforms for getting started:
- Coursera: Whether you want a computer science degree or to brush up on your Spanish, Coursera has options for you.
- Codecademy: A great resource for anyone who wants to learn to code for free
- edX: Want to take a class from a name-brand university? They have thousands of options.
- General Assembly: A pioneer in coding bootcamps, marketing know-know and web development in general.
What to Do During Quarantine? Build a Website
- Time Commitment: Approximately 10 hours
- Cost: Can be $4 a month plus initial cost of purchasing a domain. Price varies based on platform, plane, theme, plugins, and domain.
Building a website can be work and creative -- and there are so many ways to do it. Looking for cheap things to do during quarantine? Start a free Wordpress blog. If you’re looking to sell something online, check out Shopify. Interested in showcasing a visual portfolio (and keeping it simple)? Look to Squarespace.
Cost for setting up a website can vary a lot. For starters, you can buy a domain from anywhere from $5 to $100,000 (see GoDaddy, Google Domains, and Namecheap). Beyond that, platforms vary in price (Wordpress can be free or cost up to $45 a month, depending on your plan). Some platforms offer free themes, others cost anywhere between $30 and $180.
There are ways to keep it very cheap--and amp up capabilities later if you want to generate serious traffic.
Fun Things to Do During Quarantine
All work and no play is zero fun -- even when you’re in isolation or under a stay at home order (Yes: you can have fun while stuck in a room by yourself). With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite ways to keep the mind occupied during a self-quarantine, all while keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
Start Reading During Self-Quarantine
- Time Commitment: ~ 5 hours to finish a good book
- Cost: $5-$20
Let’s face it: There’s only so much TV you can watch before you get bored. So instead of watching your favorite show (again), why not pick up a book that you’ve been wanting to read? There are lots of other publications that you can check out too if you want to keep up with the world and need a break from COVID-19 exclusive news.
Here are a few of our recommendations based on genre to get you started.
- FANTASY: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett, The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
- SCIENCE FICTION: Dune by Frank Herbert, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, 1984 by George Orwell
- SELF DISCOVERY: Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino, Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, 10% Happier by Dan Harris, The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay, The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
- INVESTMENT: A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel, The Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett, Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charlie Munger
- YOUNG ADULT: Uglies by Scott Westerfield, Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Learn to Cook Your Favorite Dishes
- Time Commitment: 30+ minutes
- Cost: $20+
It is critical that we support local businesses, such as restaurants during the pandemic. But it’s also important to stay socially distanced -- especially if you’re quarantining prior or after traveling. In fact, many states have coronavirus travel restrictions mandate self-isolation before arrival.
With that in mind, cooking can be one of the best things to do during quarantine. It’ll also be fun to host your friends when the pandemic is over and surprise them with a new dish.
Instead of channeling Martha Stewart, start with the basics. Here are a few free resources to get cooking at home.
- Bon Appétit’s easy weeknight recipes, from vegetarian chickpea bowls to chicken meatballs. Many of these are great for kids, too.
- Recipes that take 30 minutes or fewer, courtesy of Country Living Magazine.
- Easy yet healthful recipes, thanks to Delish.
- These Bon Appétit recipes with 5 or fewer ingredients.
- Cookies, courtesy of Martha Stewart.
- Epicurious’ fun gluten free recipes that everyone will love.
- Slightly more ambitious vegetarian fair thanks to the Food Network.
Looking for new things to do during quarantine? Order some groceries and master a new dish. Pro Tip: Get a great bottle of wine to go with it.
Looking for Social Things to Do During Quarantine? Host a Game Night
- Time Commitment: 1 hour
- Cost: Free
Group Zoom calls can be tough with more than 3 people. Want to connect with your friends but eager to avoid the awkwardness of video? Try playing a digital game like Dominion or Settlers of Catan. Before you roll your eyes or dismiss digital games as nerdy, try one with your friends and a glass of wine.
Think of Having the Time to Do Things During Quarantine as a Privilege
Yes, staying home, isolated from your community is tough. But, like all things, there is a silver lining. Try a mental reset: Think of this time as a precious moment to get to know yourself and do things that you've always wanted to do -- or have been putting off. The world will never be the same post-coronavirus, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing.
Disclaimer: The above information is not medical nor legal advice. If you are concerned about your mental or physical wellbeing speak with a doctor. The content on this website is written entirely for informational purposes.