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With most of us spending our time indoors for the foreseeable future, a lot of people are getting bored – quickly. Although staying inside is a great way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 (#flattenthecurve), we’d be lying if we said we weren’t going a little stir crazy.

So, what is there to do while you’re stuck indoors? Turns out, a lot. Here are 14 things you can do to help make your quarantine more productive and interesting.

Exercise

Contrary to the excuses you’ve told yourself, you don’t need a gym or equipment to work out. If you need weights, cans of food can be used, and if you don’t have a yoga mat, that’s what towels and blankets are for. Being inside means you’ll likely not be moving around much, so try to schedule at least 20 minutes a day where you get active. 

Next time you watch a TV show, get up and do some squats during the commercials or try doing side lunges when you’re folding laundry.  Dancing is also a great way to move your body, and you can involve your family too. Looking for a more structured workout? Many fitness and meditation studios have pivoted to offering free online videos on Instagram Live to connect with their local community. Check out some of the studios in Toronto offering free classes, here. Plus, there’s always Youtube for an endless list of fitness resources.

Video chat your loved ones

Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t be social, virtually! While you can text and call your loved ones, or use Facetime and Whatsapp for video calls, tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom are better for more formalized hangouts. It’s likely you’re missing the people closest to you, so setting up a video call is a great way to feel like you’re actually hanging out with them.

Want to take up your video chat a notch? An app called House Party is taking the quarantine world by storm right now. You can video chat with a group of up to 8 people, while playing interactive games like Heads Up, Act it out and Trivia.

Get work done

Depending on your job, it’s likely you’re working from home right now. Now is the time to practice self-discipline and motivation by using your time as productively as possible. Without any office distractions, you’ll be surprised just how much work you can get done. Check out our recent post for 6 tips to staying productive while working from home.

Learn a new language

Hello, Hola, Salut, Guten Tag.
With Duolingo, a free app, you can learn a new language through daily bite-sized lessons. If you’ve ever wanted to learn Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, etc., now is truly the time!

Take a virtual class

If you follow us on Twitter, you’ve probably seen us tweet about the fact that there are 450 Ivy League courses you can take online for free right now. Learn everything and anything from the Introduction to Classical music, to The Science of Well-Being.

You, the next time someone questions your intelligence:

Make art

There’s a reason adult coloring is so popular. Colouring, like most arts and crafts, induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind.  So whether it’s painting, knitting, sewing, or something else – use this time to get super creative. It’s likely you can find all the supplies you’d need online (make sure to wipe down any packages you receive) to help you get craftsy at home. Arts and crafts are a great way to keep kids busy during the day too.

Proud of what you created? Share the art you’re making with friends and other people online since you never know what might inspire them and make their day better.

Cook more

There has never been a better time to beef up your cooking skills, as many health officials are recommending that you eat and cook at home right now to protect your health. Don’t know how to cook well? Youtube has free tutorials to cook just about everything under the sun, not to mention the endless online recipe sites.

Make the most of your groceries by using a website like SuperCook where you can enter the ingredients you have, to get suggested recipes using those ingredients. If you have children at home, baking is a great way to keep them busy AND end up with yummy desserts.

Create content

Ever been interested in blogging? Yearning to become TikTok famous? Use the time you’d usually spend commuting and going out for dinner, to start creating content instead. Recording videos and uploading to Youtube or finally starting that podcast you’ve been thinking about, is a great way for you to beef up your personal brand. Plus, people are hungry to consume content right now while they’re stuck inside!

Pamper yourself

Baths, DIY face masks, hair masks… treat yourself to the works. Use this time for a little R&R by turning your bathroom into your own mini spa. 

Across the board, we can probably all agree that with the increase in handwashing, our skin right now is in need of real moisturizing. To replenish your skin, you can keep using your go-to lotion, or DIY it using some at-home staples like olive or coconut oil, or honey. For some serious moisturization, the team at Freedom Apothecary suggests applying a little bit of olive oil to hands and feet, then covering them with gloves and socks for 15-20 minutes every day.

Read more

Whether you’re reading physical books, digital books, or just a bunch of online articles, reading is a great way to occupy yourself and keep your mind sharp. 

Audible recently announced that they’re making hundreds of their audiobooks, free. The free collection is primarily aimed at children and families and includes popular titles like Aladdin, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and many more. If you’re interested, they have a free trial available.

Whether it’s re-reading one of your childhood favourite books or buying something new for your Kindle, reading is a great use of your time.

Support local restaurants

With the food industry taking a huge hit, now is the time to order from that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try or that restaurant it’s been impossible to get a reservation for. Most restaurants are still open for pick up and delivery, enabling you to support local businesses like your favourite restaurants.

If you’re using Uber Eats or any other food delivery app, make sure to tip generously. Plus, don’t forget that with your Paytm Points, you can get an Uber Eat’s e-gift card for less.

Meditate and reflect

Feeling overwhelmed with everything going on in the world right now? Try meditation. Put on some calm music, sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes and just focus on your breathing. If you think you could use a little help, use an app like Calm or Headspace (both have free trials) for guided meditations, sleep exercises and more.

A simple way to practice gratitude during this time is to write down 3 things you are grateful for every morning before you start your day. Use this time to check-in with yourself and journal, reflecting on your future goals, career aspirations, mental and physical health.

Organize and optimize your space

What better use of time then to do to a little spring cleaning? Organize your kitchen, clear out your garage, and involve the entire family for help.

The easiest place to get started is with your wardrobe. Try on all your clothes and determine whether they “spark joy” á la Marie Kondo.

Host a Netflix Party

We’re sure everyone is getting good use of their Netflix accounts right now. Why not step it up and invite your friends? Netflix Party is a free Google Chrome extension that synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows and movies. You’re going to be watching Netflix anyway, you may as well share the experience with your friends.

Not sure what to watch? Check out this list of 2019’s most-watched Netflix shows and movies.

We’d love to hear what you’re up to while you spend your time indoors practicing physical distancing. Tweet us at @paytmcanada.

For more information on physical distancing, click here.

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