5 Ways to Make the Most of Staying at Home

By Marina Krivonossova on March 23, 2020

With all the new restrictions on going to school, work, and parties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are stuck sitting at home, slowly losing our minds. My sister texted me the other day telling me how awful it is to miss out on the second half of her junior year, while I have had to postpone starting a position with a new job that doesn’t allow me to work remotely. But, sitting here on my couch and texting my sister about the struggles caused by the virus that leaves us isolated and trapped indoors got me thinking — why don’t we put our time to good use?

Many people love to talk about the things they’d do if they just had a little more time. The possibilities they would have if they didn’t have to go to school or work for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Well, guess what? The bright side of this situation is we finally have the time to do all the things we couldn’t fit into our previously busy schedules. Here’s a list of five things you can start doing to maintain productivity at home.

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1. Are you trying to get in shape? Several companies like Planet Fitness and FitOn are granting free access to an assortment of workout programs you can engage in from the comfort of your own home. Many of them require little to no gym equipment, prior workout experience, or commitment. You can test out routines that work for you and bring yourself closer to achieving your fitness goals, all without leaving your house.

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2. Do you enjoy experimenting with new recipes? Many cafes and restaurants are closing to the public to contain the spread of COVID-19, and you’re most likely relying on home-cooked meals more than ever. Why stick to your boring routines by making the same meal every single week? Why not broaden your horizons and try something new? Websites like AllRecipes and Epicurious provide users with access to crazy amounts of recipes that teach you how to grill, bake, and saute all the foods that are of interest to you. If you look at your pantry and realize you’re not feeling particularly prepared to indulge in a five-star meal at home, you’ll love websites like SuperCook. This website/phone app allows you to input the ingredients you already have at home and generates recipes for you based on what you’ve already got at your disposal.

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3. Are you in the market for a job? Now that you’re home with your computer, you can finally spend some time creating and editing the perfect resume for job applications. Once you’ve got that sorted, it’s time to begin the job search! Turn to LinkedIn or Indeed for job opportunities near you. Sites like this allow you to filter opportunities based on location, salary, job requirements, and much more. Since you’re bound to have more time to work on your job applications, you can focus on creating the ideal, personalized cover letter for each position of your choice.

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4. Do you feel you get too busy for friends and family during the typical school year? It’s time to take advantage of technology to catch up with all the important people in your life. Technology is an integral part of every college student’s existence, yet we often somehow still fail to make the time for genuine communication. We text and we Snapchat, yet we don’t know how our grandma is doing or how our best friend at home is holding up. That’s why with the help of Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts, you can organize face-to-face conversations with the people you care about most. As convenient as sending messages may be, it will never replace the emotion and meaning of seeing a loved one face-to-face.

5. Are you worried about falling behind on your education? So much learning today happens outside the classroom, that there is absolutely no reason for you to miss out on learning simply because your classes have been interrupted. Not only are many colleges working on moving to remote teaching, but there are plenty of free learning opportunities available online. Top universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Berkley, and many others offer video lectures posted online. You can also gain some insight into topics that yo haven’t learned about through your classes. Are you a computer science major with a passion for art of the Italian Renaissance? Are you an English major obsessed with economics theory? The amazing website Open Culture will open doors for you, regardless of what field you seek learning opportunities in.

These are just a few ways to keep you busy while you’re stuck indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic or in any other situation. Focus on bettering yourself through workouts, education, and virtual social interaction. Do you have other helpful tips to avoid losing your mind while trapped indoors? Post them below!

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