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20 Things to Do While Social Distancing (that Aren’t Watching TV)

Even a week ago, I hadn’t heard of the term “social distancing.” Defined as, “a set of non-pharmaceutical infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of contagious disease,” it’s now fairly commonplace vernacular amongst many groups across much of the globe.

Put plainly, here in the United States, current Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations suggest maintaining a distance of at least six feet between you and other people, as well as minimizing contact with other people. This strategy saved thousands of lives during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, as well as the flu pandemic in Mexico City in 2009, and we’re hoping it saves thousands of lives again.

One quick, related note – and I am by no means an expert, just somebody who has read about this at length – but every expert I’ve seen has shared that they still recommend going outdoors for fresh air and exercise. Just minimize your close contact with other people as much as possible.

That being said, the truth is that most of us are community-focused individuals. We love socializing with friends and family, host book clubs and church small groups, and we thrive in groups rather than isolation. Introverts and extroverts alike benefit from time alone and time in community, but bring forced to fit entirely within one or the other can make anybody go a little stir crazy.

Whether you’ve been self-quarantining (new word alert) for months, days, or hours, here are 20 awesome ways you can spend some of your QT social distancing time.

20 Fun Things to Do at Home

  1. At Home Workouts – No need to even leave your house to fit in a good sweat. Here are two workouts that I’ve been enjoying right now! Extra bonus points if you just blast music and have a massive dance party by yourself. 😉
  2. Journal Your Heart Out – No matter what your emotions, especially a couple of days into increased isolation, several of your emotions may very likely be subconscious – meaning that they made not be readily available for you or anyone else close to you to recognize. Journal to help get some of those emotions out before you go back into the world after this is all over. Click here for some inspiration on journaling methods to let those emotions all out instead of letting them fester.
  3. Learn to Paint – If you’re a creative painting genius, get to the canvas and let your creativity fly! But, if you’re like me and need a little guidance, try out this paint by number for adults that you can have shipped directly to your house.
  4. Read Those Books You’ve Been Storing for Years – I can’t be the only one that’s been accidentally storing up on good reads for years. Now’s the time to crack open those covers and get to reading! Though if you do want some recommendations of good reads to check out, then we’ve got you covered.
  5. Create a DIY At-Home Spa – Even at home, our minds can get very restless. While luxury spas don’t typically fit the social distancing “rules,” making a DIY version is actually pretty easy! Simply head to the most relaxing room in your home, put on a cushy robe, light a few candles, turn on some music that helps you zone out, and chill. Bonus points if you put spoons in your freezer and place them on your eyes for a few minutes. It sounds weird, but trust me… it feels wonderful.
  6. Complete a 1,000 Piece Puzzle – I have two 1,000 piece puzzles sitting around that I’ve been considering completing for years, but now I finally have nothing but time to fill many of my evenings and that time could be well-spent using my brain with a little creative puzzling. If you don’t already have a puzzle handy, this relaxing scene is one of my current favorites.
  7. Plan FaceTime / Wine Dates – Where ever I live, one of my favorite ways to stay in touch is to set up lots of FaceTime / wine dates. In this time, we quite literally sit on FaceTime and enjoy a glass of wine in conversation. Depending on your different time zones, you can make them water or tea dates, too.
  8. Spring Clean Your Home – Every day I’ve been cooped up inside, I’ve been cleaning a different part of my home. At this very moment, I have two loads of laundry in to clean my sheets and towels and I just vacuumed, mopped, and disinfected my door handles. If you need a little help setting your spring cleaning strategy, check out this post where Natalie highlights the best method to try according to your zodiac.
  9. Go on a Hike – Okay, fine – this one isn’t at home, but social distancing means that these are unique times we’re living in at the moment, which requires a little flexibility. Whether you’re in the city, enjoy the mountains, or anywhere in between, there is likely a hike near you. Check Google maps to find out what might be close by, toss your boots on, and go get some fresh air! Here are a couple of tips to help you prepare if you’re brand new to hiking.
  10. Learn Which Mind / Body Therapies Work for You – There are several different forms of mind / body therapy techniques, but what works for each person specifically is almost entirely unique. Check out this list of various techniques and try a few out. If one or a few of them help to calm your mind and overall nervous system, try to keep it within your everyday, even as we slowly move out of this social distancing phase of life.
  11. Figure Out Your Finances – I know, it’s not all fun and games, but getting a handle on your finances will help to make sure you’re set up for success in the future. A lot of variables are up in the air right now about where our economies are going to go and what’s going to happen once all of this is over. If you’re just getting started, here are a few easy ways that you can be more confident with your money.
  12. Volunteer with Be My Eyes Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-sighted people with sighted volunteers across the globe via a live call on the app. Those with no or low sight call on the app and a sighted volunteer would help them do anything from read the expiration date on a carton of milk, to read a pregnancy test. Depending on call volume, it may take a few days to get your first call, but as long as you haven’t completely closed out the app, your phone will ring whenever your assistance is needed.
  13. Write a Letter – Thankfully USPS is still open and we can easily get stamps when we do our necessary grocery runs. Writing a letter can still be a simple practice and it has the ability to entirely brighten someone’s day. Imagine not speaking with someone all day because you’re hunkered down at home, but receiving a kind letter from someone. Even if it’s simply to remind someone that you’re thinking about them, that has the potential to create an instant smile!
  14. Make Your Home More Holistic – Most homes have the ability to be more holistic with even a few simple changes. Adding aromatherapy to various rooms, minimizing your clutter, or (heck, let’s just go crazy) making your home entirely feng shui, check out this post to get some ideas.
  15. Rescue a Pet – Speaking from experience, I can tell you that rescuing a dog is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Luxembourg is my little bestie and always offers a little companionship, especially when I need it most. Many shelters are overwhelmed right now and are offering huge discounts – that typically happens in this post-holiday timeframe, but it’s even more exacerbated by what’s going on in the world right now. Consider helping out by fostering or adopting! (FYI that, at present, dogs and cats are not known to be carriers of Coronavirus.)
  16. Complete an A-Z Photo Challenge – Go around your home and take pictures of one thing that corresponds to every letter of the alphabet.  To make the challenge extra special, each member of your family can take their own set of photos and you all can see where you took pictures of the same thing, and where you varied. This challenge is a fun way to get up and get moving, allows the whole family to work together, and will help train your photographer’s eye to see opportunities for great photographs around every corner.
  17. Plan an Indoor Picnic – Lay out a fun blanket, as many pillows as you can find, move any house plants you have to surround you, prep fun drinks in a pitcher or thermos, and set out some delicious food. The perfect way to connect with family, or heck – fun to set out for yourself, too! (Please note, I don’t recommend this if you followed suggestion 15. Though it could be interesting…) If you’d like a few more fun indoor picnic ideas, click here.
  18. Take a Nap – Almost anyone who knows me knows that I loooooove to sleep. Stress can dramatically impact our quality and quantity of sleep, so if you need to… take a nap. I’m a big fan of “power naps” of around 20 minutes, which means that you will be waking up before you get to the deep stages of your sleep cycle, otherwise try to plan in 1.5 hour increments, which means that you’ll get through a full REM cycle. (If you want to be super fancy about it, the average person takes 14 minutes to fall asleep, so feel free to add that in, too.)
  19. Plant Seedlings – Watching something you planted grow is rewarding, educational, and a simple reminder that greatness grows with patience and consistency. If you have a yard, consider planting a seedling that will grow over time. If you are living in a rental or don’t have a yard, a little in-home spice grow kit has done the trick for me.
  20. Cook a Meal from Scratch – There are meal kit companies galore, and most of the companies are still shipping at this point. HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, Dinnerly, Sun Basket, and several others. Order a home meal kit and cook together for a fun experience!

Use this Time for Long-Term Growth

Ultimately, it’s my belief that we all have the opportunity to come out of this time as more kind, grounded, intentional beings. Imagine a world where we all used this time to grow as individuals – whether finally taking the time to conquer past demons, growing in connection with our families, or simply growing to love ourselves more. Let’s do what we can to be the best version of ourselves possible.

Create a great life!

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