We never know how the world will surprise us! And COVID-19 is a case in point. For all of us, plans and expectations have taken on an unexpected course. Without a doubt, these strange times are evoking a lot of thoughts and emotions. While we can’t do anything about that, we do have control over how we use our time. We’ve created this list of stay-at-home activities to try and make the best of it.
We at the TLR coworking family are convinced that if we choose to see it from that perspective, our time at home can be a gift. All of us have such busy lives that we rarely get to take great care of ourselves, indulge in favorite games, movies, music, or movement. We’ve also been finding that this is a perfect time to use mindfulness techniques, take care not just of our bodies, but also mental health.
So, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite stay-at-home activities. And, as a special treat, our coworking family member Florencia, who is from Brazil and is a psychotherapist, gave us her advice on staying healthy and happy even in such an unusual situation. You will find here stay-at-home mindfulness tips at the end of the article.
We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!
There are so many options! Just because we have to stay-at-home, we are definitely not spending all of our time on the couch or in front of the TV. After all, the more we use our bodies, the happier and more energized we feel. This is due to the release of endorphins in the body, which follows physical activity.
Some of our coworking members have been organizing online stay-at-home activities, such as dance classes, and CroffFit-inspired workout routines. Here is one that our very own Ben Kolp did, inspired by our friends from Round Training Center, with some of the members over video chat:
4 rounds of 6 exercises. Up to 1 minute per exercise, you choose the intensity (e.g. 30 seconds of exercise, 30 rest; 40 seconds of exercise, 20 rest; etc.), 2 minutes break between rounds:
1. Pull & Push
2. In and Out Squats
3. Hand Walkout
4. One-legged Deadlifts
5. Break Dancer
We all know how easy it is to overeat when you’re bored. But we’ve been trying to turn that around, by inspiring each other to create delicious, healthy meals.
In our online groups, a lot of the members have been sharing their mouth-watering creations:
In the mood for something fun and simple? We have you covered on that front as well! Here are Ben’s easy-peasy weekend daiquiris:
For 3 glasses you need: crushed ice (enough to fill up 3 glasses to a max of 3/4), 300-400 grams of strawberries, brown rum, sugar and limes. Put everything into a blender, add rum, sugar and limes according to taste – you can always blend, try and add more until you are there. Decorate strawberries (and choose non-plastic straws if you can).
P.S. My flat-mates and I tried Ben’s recipe, but added a touch of Bayley’s to make the cocktails even smoother and creamier.
If you are a gamer now is your time to thrive! You’d probably also have a much easier time convincing others to join in your favorite hobby since almost everyone is open to new stay-at-home activities right now.
Apart from favorite physical board games, such as Monopoly, Catan, Scrabble, Dixit, there are also endless options for playing online.
For instance, some of our coworking members got together for a game of PUBG.
We’ve also been hosting parties and events online, through Zoom. Some of these were initiated by our most proactive coworking members, like the amazing Amani Said, and other by the team. We’ve had so much fun and really appreciate everyone joining in!
With world-renown theatres and museums opening their doors to virtual visitors (for free!) you can now get more cultural events in your schedule than it would have ever been possible in our daily lives.
Some of the exhibitions in the Louvre, France’s cultural jewel, can now be viewed online.
Google Arts & Culture is a fantastic resource, where you can browse galleries and museums around the world. Some even include virtual walks, similar to StreetViewer!
For three years now, The MET has had an Open Access program, which includes several hundred thousand of the museum’s images online! The idea was to aid students and researchers but now that we are staying at home we can all benefit from this generous initiative
One of the world’s most reputable and spectacular venues, Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, has made some of its key performances available free of charge on their Youtube channel You can revel in fascinating ballet performances, such as “The Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker”.
Doing things with your hands can have a wonderful calming and therapeutic effect. Besides, at the end of the process, you get to have something new and beautiful that you’ve created yourself.
Even though COVID-19 is currently one of the most pressing issues we face, we are also trying to keep in mind that our actions can help relieve other concerns as well, such as global warming. So, we can combine the soothing effect of crafts with reducing waste, by creating upcycled crafts such as these.
A great resource for every craft imaginable, for both children and adults, is of course Pinterest.
If you are looking for more practical DIY activities, it’s our experience that there is always something to fix or improve around the house/apartment and never enough time to do it. Some of us, such as Ben and Gema are making use of the extra time at home now, to do things like paint their walls.
Education and Self-Improvement
Is there a skill you’ve always wanted to master or a topic you dream of being versed in? Well now’s the time to go for it! And with an abundance of free online resources, it’s easier than ever. Two of our favorite education and self-improvement stay-at-home resources are Coursera and Google Education.
FreeCodeCamp, which some of us have been using to learn basic programming, also has a great article on stay-at-home activities eager learners, in 13 fields. If you look for something more guided, the coding school SmartNinja is now offering coding courses live online courses too at a reduced fee.
Home with Kids
Trying to keep your kids and yourself entertained while staying at home is no easy feat. But we’ve got amazing TLR members, who are also parents. Caroline Tonnelier, who is an international recruitment specialist, has generously shared this amazing list with us:
- “In a Nutshell” – a channel with entertaining and accessible science videos for all ages
- BBC BiteSize has activities for every year group and every subject
- Create stores, games, and animations with Scratch
- Watch West End Production of “Wind in the Willows”
- The children’s book illustrator and author Mo Willems has a series of “learn to draw” classes for kids
- Math and spelling stay-at-home activities for kids
Cozying up with our pets and exploring urban wildlife
Spending time with animals, especially of the furry kind, can help us stress less and laugh more. So why not cuddle up with your cat or dog, while doing the rest of our stay-at-home activities? 🙂
If you don’t share your home with a pet but would like to be more aware of the natural world around you, you can try discovering what little animals come to your balconies and windows. Ben, for example, found this adorable little gecko on one of his windows.
We are so grateful to our coworking member and Brazilian psychotherapist Florencia Fandiño Rozenthal, who took time out of her very busy schedule to give us her advice on being mindful and staying mentally healthy while living through difficult times.
“We need to take a step back, not only in our homes but into ourselves, in order to reflect on our humanity to expand our resilience, self-knowledge, and faith (for the ones that believe). It’s very important to come together in acceptance and compassion.”
Our mental reality is what we create ourselves, but of course the energy of others influences us as well, explained Florencia. She advised us to take this time and consider our emotions, beliefs, self-knowledge, and spirituality.
From a psychological point of view, when we are aware of our emotions we “send a message” to our nervous system and our bodies are healthier, more resilient. As Florencia reminds us, this is not just her personal opinion – there is a lot of scientific data about the effects of stress – for example it increases our cortisol levels, which in turn causes increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.
“So connect with your feelings. Talk over the phone or video chat with the people you love, share your feelings with them. Take this opportunity to expand your community and develop new altruistic relationships.”
The stay-at-home activities Florencia recommends are meditation, taking a few minutes a day to be conscious of our breath, be aware of what our bodies feel. “Give your mind a break from negative news, and receive information no more than once or twice per day.” For people who want to try meditation but aren’t sure where to start, she recommends the app InsightTimer.
“Having this challenge can help us focus on the world we would like to live in. When this is behind us, we can engage with making steps and changes towards that idea.” And despite her busy schedule, Florencia explained that if anybody needs more practical tips from her, she will do her best to make herself available.
She also kindly shared with us the tips sent to her and her colleagues by one of their teachers at the Master of Mindfulness program at the University of Malaga. Here’s what that teacher, Arun Sukhani, had to share.
So what do you think about our list of things to do while at home? Which suggestions seem most appealing? Is there something you’d like to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!