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If you're stuck at home use these tips and activities to help you recreate routine, get your work done AND take time for yourself.

Mar 18, 2020

7 Fun Things To Do When You’re Stuck At Home

Vermont girl, nutrition and CrossFit coach, dog mom, fiancé and chocolate lover. I share simple, actionable insights to help you cultivate confidence in your health so you have more time to focus on the things you love.​

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So many of us are stuck at home right now.

And, whenever I read tips about what NOT to do when writing a blog post, there is one thing that always catches my eye and makes me cringe.

Everyone says not to make posts SUPER specific to a certain time so that it is relatable and timely no matter WHEN someone goes back to read it.

BUT, you know me… I’m all about breaking blogging rules and doing what feels authentic to me and healthythankyoumoreplease.

When I first started this whole thing, my goal was to make it REAL and it would be REAL fake of me to pretend that this whole COVID-19 thing wasn’t taking over all of our lives right now.

Outside of taking over a bunch of your time (as you wait in line for chicken or toilet paper…what is with that, anyway?) it has ALSO probably blasted your Facebook homepage…and your Instagram feed.

There are tons of tips and tricks flying around out there about working from home, self-care and how to bring a bit of peace and calm into this time of stress and uncertainty.

It has been amazing to watch the health and wellness community come together to support one another (and everyone else!).

I’ve seen so many people sharing strategies since we’re all in the same boat – stuck at home wanting to stay on track with our goals. I’m 100% about it.

I am also 100% about giving you some ideas that may lighten the mood a little bit. And, I still think this can continue to be relevant even after this passes.

There will continue to be times when you’re cooped up, stuck at home, stressed and need to find a little joy in your everyday life.

I’m here to remind you that you have power in each moment to take care of yourself, others and the environment around you.

1. Work Smart

Hey, some of us find work fun;) And, working from home can definitely be a FUN adjustment if you use a few quick tips and tricks from someone who basically lives #socialdistancing every day anyway.

Plus, when you are strategic with your work from home strategy, you’ll have more time to dedicate to other things!

Clock In & Out

Make sure that you have set work times so you can sit down and focus when you’ve scheduled your “work hours”.

This forces you to really make the most of the time you’re working. It also allows you to unplug when it is time to “clock out”.

Separate Work & Play

Create a “workspace” for yourself. If you have a home office already, great!

If you don’t, pick a place in your house (NOT THE KITCHEN!) where you can sit down and mimic your routine work environment as much as possible.

Pro tip: try not to work from the couch (where you like to Netflix and chill) or from bed (where you wind down and rest) because your brain will start to associate those places with “work”. This means it will be tougher to relax and unwind when you want and need to!

Keep Your Routine

Wake up around the same time you would for a “normal” workday. Hop in the shower, make your bed and PUT ON REAL PEOPLE CLOTHES. Sure, maybe you wear that comfy college sweatshirt and/or some leggings. Definitely take advantage of the comfy life. But, if you’re bumming around in dirty sweatpants all day your mood and productivity will also start to hang low.

Limit Distractions

Put your phone on silent (better yet, put it in a different room), keep the TV off and if you need a little background noise, put on some instrumental music.

The fewer distractions you have, the more work you’ll get done in a shorter period of time. Then, you can have MORE time for the other fun things on this list;)

Take Breaks

Sitting down and knocking out chunks of work is huge. And, that is possible when you’re giving your mind a break and taking some time to do some other things that fill your cup.

You may feel like “you don’t have time” but here is the secret…

When you carve out time FOR YOU (see suggestions 2-7!), you come back to your work with more fire, vigor, and motivation.

So, you get MORE done, MORE quickly and you have MORE fun doing it. Win, win, win, right?

On that note…here are some other fun things you can do with your time on your brain breaks or once you’re done with work for the day!

2. Move Your Body

I personally find that boredom + stress + being cooped up in the house all day = the perfect storm of circumstances to leave me feeling LESS than my best.

Enter: MOVEMENT.

Even if your gym is closed, you can still get in a great sweat sesh at home, no equipment needed. Use these travel workouts for some inspiration, check out Pinterest or see if your local gym is providing any at-home resources for members.

If you can, getting outside for a long walk in the sun will also help to boost your mood and is a great way to give your brain a break between work stints!

My favorite option? Harry Potter Movie workouts, obviously.

3. Clear Out Your Closet

I am the QUEEN of “full closet and nothing to wear” so this is on the TOP of my weekend to-do list and I could not be more excited.

I’m gonna go all Marie Kondo up in here, pull out EVERY piece of clothing and decide if it stays or if it goes (cue, The Clash).

This is going to go beyond just “do I wear this” and “does this fit me”. I really want to get rid of ALL of the clothes that I don’t feel good in. Clothes allow us to literally build ourselves up with confidence and there are definitely pieces in my closet that do the opposite.

You know the pieces I’m talking about – the ones that you put on and regret wearing the second you’re out of the house.

Or, the ones you bought on the store cause they were so cute on the hanger but they just don’t fit your body type or your style.

I am ALL about wearing things that make me FEEL good these days and I’m also just super sick of SQUEEZING hangers into my closet.

And, when I am stuck at home, getting my Marie Kondo on and start chucking stuff, it is ANYONE’S GAME. I’m sure I’ll end up keeping the momentum going and getting rid of tons of other stuff in the house that I don’t use or need anymore.

When things are feeling uncertain and out of your control, making your environment clean, calm and uncluttered goes a VERY long way.

4. Learn Something New

If you’re stuck at home, you’ve likely been given the gift of time.

More time with your family, more time with yourself and more time to get after a hobby or interest that has been on the back burner for you or find a brand new one!

I call these my “2 more hours in the day” hobbies… as in, this is totally what I would do with my extra time if the phrase was “26/7” not “24/7”.

Here are some things you could try:

  • DIY house projects
  • Drawing/calligraphy
  • Learn a new card/board game
  • Learn how to cook (see #7!)
  • Learn about finances/budgeting
  • At-Home Yoga
  • Dance
  • Start learning a new language
  • Photography
  • Read a great book
  • Write letters

5. Utilize Technology

If you’re “forced” to stay inside or if you’re just stuck at home sick there are so many ways to stay connected to the people you love!

You could…

  • Schedule a Zoom or Facetime call with friends
  • Call your siblings or parents
  • Send a quick message or email to someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with

Feeling disconnected is a sure way to find yourself feeling more down. Using the amazing technology right at your fingertips can help boost your mood.

6. At-Home Spa Day

Although self-care doesn’t have to look fancy, it can if you want it to.

During times of stress, taking care of your body and letting it really relax will go a long way.

Take that bath you never had time for, put on a face mask, paint your nails, maybe even swap massages with a partner!

If you really want to do it right, you could even schedule these things into your day!

Relax and watch a movie, nap, light some candles, take time to read a trashy magazine or the novel that has been sitting on your bedside table for months.

Really go all-out to create a full, relaxing experience.

7. Get Creative in the Kitchen

This could mean one of two things:

  1. Pick a totally new recipe that you want to try! Then, collect ingredients and budget the time to actually follow it fully.
  2. Get creative with what you already have.

Utilize recipes from some of my favorite places like Skinnytaste and The Girl On Bloor and the Working Against Gravity Blog to find something that catches your eye (and your tastebuds).

Then, if you’re working with limited ingredients, check out the cheat sheets in this post to make swaps as necessary!

Now What?

Focus on what you can control. Grab a journal or open a note in your phone and write down the things you have DIRECT control over.

Then, when you find yourself worrying about things NOT on this list, bring your attention back to those controllables.

When you do this, you’re much more likely to find calm and peace in your day.

No matter why you’re stuck at home, there are still things you can do to keep your routine as solid as possible. From here, make sure you’re allowing yourself some time to take care of your mind and body!

Pick one of these things to try this week and let me know how it goes!

  1. Carol Austin says:

    Thanks Ali for these great suggestions! Way to take a tough situation and find some blessings inside of it. Here’s a couple more I’ve found useful in recent days:
    1) Turn off the news. It’s hard not to listen but filling your head non-stop all day with this stuff takes over your psyche and leaves no room for the good stuff.

    2) Meditate. What better time than now to redouble our efforts on meditating 1, 5, 10 minutes a day. It really does help to keep us centered and grateful.

    Keep ’em coming Ali! HT More Please!

    xoxo

    • Ali Carey says:

      I love those! It is so important to stay informed while making sure we’re taking a step back to give our minds and bodies time to focus on other (happier!) things. What kind of meditation practice do you have?!

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