100 Ways to Stay Sane and Busy While Stuck at Home
Being stuck at home might seem fun for the first couple of days, but eventually, things can start to feel pretty repetitive. It’s a bit like the movie groundhog day, just going through the same old things over and over again.
To maintain your sanity, keeping a routine is important (more on that below), but it’s also important to switch things up a bit. Try new things, find new ways to relax, etc. And that’s what we’re going to be helping out with today!
It may seem like there’s a limited number of things to do while stuck at home, but in reality, there’s a LOT you can do. Below, we’ve come up with 100 ideas to help you stay sane, busy, and grounded!
Starter Tips for Staying Sane Stuck at Home
Before we get into the activities and things you can do to stay sane while stuck at home, let’s look at a few essentials. These are things you should be doing no matter what!
1. Maintain a Routine
This may be the most important tip on this list. Maintaining a routine while you’re stuck at home will keep your days feeling normal and flowing properly.
To create a routine that works for you, first off, stick to your usual habits. Wake up and go to bed at your normal times, brush your teeth, make your bed, get dressed (Wearing PJs all day will be tempting!), make breakfast, you get the deal.
If you want to be a bit adventurous, you can try adding some new things to your daily routine too. Being stuck at home is the perfect time to do that.
2. Stay Hydrated
I know you already know to drink water and stay hydrated, but there’s a reason I’m mentioning this here. It can be easy to forget to drink water when you’re stuck at home not moving around much.
So, just like if you were exercising or going about normal daily routines outside the house, keep a water bottle around and try to drink about 8 glasses a day. If you need more tips, read our post on how to drink more water.
You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel both mentally and physically when you start meeting those daily water needs!
3. Don’t Expect Perfection
Even with all the tips on this list, there will be days that just feel blah. You’re stuck at home. It’s going to happen. Don’t get down on yourself if you have a less than stellar day or sit around doing pretty much nothing, that’s okay!!
You’re going to miss your friends, your family, your normal activities, and things won’t be perfect. Take each day as it comes and do your best.
Relax and Unwind
Now it’s time for the fun stuff! These are the things that will keep you grounded and sane, even if you’re stuck at home with kids. There are a lot of ideas too so you’ll have no problem adding variety to your schedule.
4. Read a Book
Reading is one of my favorite ways to occupy my mind when stuck at home. Some books just have that power to take you to an entirely new world.
To get the entire family involved, try starting a family book club. Or have everyone practice their presentation and speaking skills by reading in front of the family. There are a lot of fun ways to go about this! You could even take this time to teach your child how to read if they haven’t learned yet.
(PS: Moms, check out these awesome clean romance novels.)
5. Write Your Own Story
If you’re getting tired of reading, why not take some time to write your own story? Even if you’re not an exceptional writer, you can still have a lot of fun with this. And who knows, you might end up writing the next Harry Potter!
You could also try writing a screenplay, poems, or something else. Anything works! Just let the creative juices flow 🙂
Meditating is something you may have never tried before (it can seem a bit intimidating at first) but it’s an amazing habit to get into. Essentially, it’s all about clearing your mind, observing your thoughts, and setting positive intentions for the day.
Try to take 5-10 minutes in the morning to sit and do this. Even if you feel dumb doing it, keep at it! There are apps you can download to walk you through it, and videos on the internet too.
Over time, you’ll find yourself being much more present and clear-minded throughout the day. If you’re still not convinced, just look at these 12 science-based benefits of meditation.
Speaking of meditation, some find digging through dirt to be a very meditative process. If that’s you, keep on enjoying your garden!
If you’re not sure whether that’s you or not, give gardening a shot! This is a great time to learn and a productive way to spend your time. You can even start with a simple indoor herb garden if you want to test your green thumb.
8. Listen to Music
Sometimes a bit of music is all you need! You can get free streaming on SiriusXM right now up until May 15 if you need a good source of tunes.
9. Take a Daily Walk
This is another really important one. Walking is a good form of exercise, gives you a dose of fresh air, and lets you get some sun too!
10. Have a Bath
Another awesome way to unwind 🙂 A nice warm bath can be combined with some of the other ideas on this list like reading or listening to music.
11. Enjoy the Sun
If you take a walk you’ve already got this covered but you can also get outside in the backyard to enjoy a bit of sun! If you’re really stuck inside, hang out by a window with a bit of sun coming in.
12. Stream Movies
I probably don’t even need to tell you about this idea! Have a family movie night and check out new releases on your favorite platform.
13. Watch Youtube
Youtube is another fantastic place for free entertainment. There are videos on virtually every topic under the sun! You can find documentaries, comedies, life hacks, educational videos, and more. Just search up what you’re interested in and browse away.
14. Listen to a Ted Talk
Speaking of educational videos, if learning new things and gaining knowledge is your idea of relaxing, Ted Talks are great for that. Not only will you learn something new, but you’ll also hear interesting stories from people around the world.
15. Play Video Games
Ok, you’re probably used to your kids doing all the gaming, but why not get involved? If you’re stuck at home, this can be a fun way to bond and connect with your kids!
16. Build a Lego City With Your Kids
Another fun way to get active with the kids is with one of the best toys on earth: Lego! Host a building competition, build a city together, see who can build the tallest tower, get creative!
When was the last time you sat down and just colored something? If it’s been a while, you may have forgotten how relaxing this can be!
Best of all, you can find a ton of free printable coloring pages online. For example, Crayola has some good ones! This is another activity you can get the entire family involved in.
18. Do Some Crafting
Crafting is an awesome family activity and a great way to unwind. Best of all, a lot of crafts can be done by simply finding supplies you already have at home! Check out our DIY crafts for families for ideas.
Coloring can be fun but if you’re a bit artsier why not do a bit of drawing? Grab a pencil and paper and let the inspiration flow!
If you’re not sure what to draw, check out these easy drawing ideas. Something in there is sure to spark an idea in your mind.
20. Play a Board Game
Board games are another awesome family activity that can help you unwind. Check out these fun family games for ideas.
21. Play Card Games
If you don’t have any board games at home but you have a deck of cards, well, that’s really all you need. Check out these 12 classic card games for some ideas on what to play.
22. Write in a Journal
Whether you’re writing a summary of your day, how you feel, a fun creative story, or something else, journaling can be an awesome stress reliever. It’s a nice memory to be able to look back on as well.
23. Browse Pinterest
There are a lot of fun things to discover on Pinterest! Try to find some new recipe ideas, craft projects, or other activities to keep you occupied. Feel free to check out our Fabulessly Frugal Pinterest for a ton of awesome ideas 🙂
24. Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are really gaining popularity recently and for good reason. They’re all free to listen to, and there’s a huge variety of them out there! You can find comedy shows, educational shows, story-tellers, and more…AND you can listen to them while doing something else (like making dinner or folding laundry).
25. Do a Puzzle
Puzzles are another simple activity that will keep your mind focused and sharp. They’re always fun to do as a family too! Go here to find affordable Puzzles on Amazon.
26. Find Cool Things on Google Maps
Have you ever browsed Google Maps to look at old houses you used to live in or areas you’ve dreamt of visiting? If you’re stuck at home, this is a fun way to virtually explore outside 😉
27. Research a Dream Vacation
Speaking of locations you’ve dreamt of visiting, why not use your time stuck at home to plan a dream vacation for when you’re NOT stuck at home? Research places you want to eat, sights you want to see, and hotels you want to stay.
Come up with a budget and costs to really make it realistic too. That way you can start saving for it right away!
28. Do a Backyard Campout
If you’re stuck at home but still have a backyard to enjoy, why not do a little bit of backyard camping? Make a dutch oven spaghetti (or another camping recipe), and have some campfire eclairs for dessert!
Be sure to tell some campfire stories as well, or keep the kids entertained with these fun camping activities.
29. Have Fun With Alexa
If you have an Alexa device, you may be unaware of just all the features it has to offer. There are a lot of cool and funny ways to use it! Try asking it different things and see what the outcome is.
For ideas, check out this post on 30 different ways to use Alexa.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Just as important as relaxing is exercise. It’s a lot harder to work up a sweat without being able to go to the gym, but it’s not impossible. Get moving in a fun new way with these ideas:
30. Go for a Bike Ride
When’s the last time you went for a bike ride around the neighborhood? As long as you’re following social distancing rules, this is the perfect time to go out for a pedal!
31. Do Some Yoga
Yoga is another great form of exercise, and it’s also a good way to unwind and relax. If you’ve never done it before, check out some tutorials on Youtube (Cosmic Kids Yoga is a good one for families), or download a yoga app – there are tons!
32. Find Free Online Exercise Classes
There are a ton of gyms and fitness studios now offering free online exercise classes during this time. Find some here.
33. Do a Home Workout
Even if you don’t have any exercise equipment at home, you can still do a workout! Bodyweight exercises are a great way to stay in shape. Check out these 50 exercises to get started with.
34. Stretch it Out
Stretching may not exactly be exercise, but it’s something you should do after each exercise. It’s also really good to do in the morning to wake up your muscles and get the blood flowing. Check out these 10 morning stretches to get started.
Dancing around most likely won’t fulfill all of your fitness needs, but it’s a fun way to get moving! You can get the entire family involved too. All in all, it’s a good way to occupy your mind and break a little bit of a sweat.
36. Try Tai Chi
Tai chi is a bit like yoga and meditation. It’s great for your mind and body, and it’s a very low impact workout. Doing it consistently can help increase flexibility, balance, and even muscle strength.
To get started, look for beginner tai chi exercises on Youtube or Google.
Find a New Hobby or Learn a New Skill
Have something that you’ve been wanting to learn or try but never had the time to actually do it? Now’s that time!
37. Learn to Sew
Sewing is such a useful skill. If you’ve read our blog, you know we post a lot of different DIY ideas that require sewing skills, like some of these modern DIY fanny packs or these awesome DIY purse organizers.
If you want to be able to make things like that, repair old clothing, and more, learn some basic sewing techniques!
Want to come out of being stuck at home with homemade gifts for all your family and friends? Learn how to knit! You can make scarves, sweaters, hats, socks, and whatever else.
39. Start Coding
Love computers and technology but never had a chance to see what happens behind the scenes? Learn about coding and one day you might be able to make your own games, websites, apps, or really anything you dream up!
This isn’t an easy skill to master, but it’s easy to get started with! Try a place like Codecademy for free lessons.
40. Learn an Instrument
Have a guitar or some other instrument that’s been sitting at home for a while, waiting for the opportunity to learn how to play it? Pick it up, look up some Youtube beginner tutorials, and start making music!
41. Explore a New Language
Apps like Duolingo can help you start learning a new language for free! If you’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, French, or something else, get started now and make it a habit to do a half-hour to an hour of learning every day.
42. Learn to Juggle
Juggling is one of those skills that you can bust out randomly and impress your friends with, and it’s not hard to learn! Plus, all you need are three balls to start practicing. Check out this video for tips.
43. Practice Some New Dance Moves
Have you ever wanted to learn how to moonwalk or do one of the trendy new dances that seem to be popping up all the time now? Well, look up some dance tutorials online and get practicing! All you need is some floor space and a desire to dance (as we said above, this is also a great workout).
44. Try Some Pen Tricks
Pen tricks? Sounds weird, right? There are actually a lot of cool things you can do with pens though – specifically by spinning them around your fingers. Check out this video to see what I mean.
45. Hone Your Photography Skills
Whether you have a fancy DSLR camera or just your phone, there are always new things you can learn to make your photos look better. Practice by taking pictures of things (and family members) around the house!
If you’ve never been able to whistle, take some time to learn. Or, learn different whistling techniques like whistling with your fingers. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll become a champion whistler (it’s a real thing) 😉
47. Suitcase Packing Perfection
There are two types of suitcase packers:
- The “sit on your suitcase and have a friend zip it up” packer; and
- The strategic packer
If you want to learn how to be #2 and have a SUPER neat and organized suitcase, check out this video. It’s amazing the difference a few tips and techniques can make!
48. Increase Your Typing Speed
Fast typing is a pretty valuable skill to have these days! There are a lot of fun ways to practice this as well, for example, TypeRacer allows you to race other people around the world – all with your keyboard! They have typing practice as well.
49. Speed Reading
Believe it or not, there are ways to double or triple your reading speed pretty quickly and easily! If you love reading and want to be able to finish books more quickly, check out this video for some tips.
50. Learn New Cooking Techniques
Do you know how to properly use a chef’s knife or how to cut an onion without crying? Whatever it may be, there are a lot of different cooking techniques you can learn to become better in the kitchen! I like to check out Gordon Ramsay’s Youtube channel every once in a while for tips and tutorials.
51. Try Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a really cool type of art and all it takes to get started is a pen! For a quick intro, check out this guide to modern calligraphy.
52. Learn Photoshop
If you’ve ever used Photoshop before, you know there are a TON of different features in it. It’s honestly overwhelming at times! Learning how to use each of those features effectively can allow you to edit photos really professionally.
53. Become a Chess Master
Chess has been around for centuries, and it’s still a very popular game to this day. See if it’s something you enjoy and start practicing! You can find chess drills here.
54. Take a Masterclass
Online masterclasses aren’t free, but they’re pretty valuable for what you get. With a single pass, you get access to 80+ classes (with an avg. of 20 lessons each) from professionals in all sorts of different categories. Learn more here.
55. Take an Online Course
Speaking of online classes, another great place to find very affordable courses is on places like Udemy or Skillshare. If there’s something you want to learn, head over to those sites and make a search!
Keeping up with friends and family is extremely important while you’re stuck at home! Here are some ways you can make it fun:
56. Spend Quality Time With Your Family
If you’re all stuck at home, take advantage! It most likely won’t last for long.
Here’s a fun idea: interview someone in your family. It doesn’t have to be serious, just ask them some questions and have fun with it.
57. Phone a Friend or Family Member
For those friends and family members that you can’t see, give them a call! They’ll appreciate it and you’ll have someone to catch up with.
58. Do a Video Chat
Even better, set up a video chat with someone, or a group of people! This can be a really fun way to socialize in times when social distancing is the norm.
59. Send a Letter
If you want to take it old school, find someone to send a letter to and get writing!
60. Find a Penpal
Head over to Global Pen Friends to find a penpal from somewhere around the world!
61. Host a Virtual Dinner Party
This is another fun way to connect with friends who you can’t see in person right now. Get a live stream going with a program like Zoom, and do a virtual dinner party!
62. Join a Livestream Concert
Due to the quarantine, a lot of bands and singers have been doing live stream concerts and dance parties. Find some upcoming ones here.
63. Play Online Games
Whether it’s a simple online chess game or something else, online gaming is a great way to stay social from home. Combined with a phone call or online chat service you can have a blast!
64. Have an Online Movie Night
Netflix Party allows you to watch Netflix WITH your friends, and it’s pretty great. You can chat together and simply enjoy your favorite shows or movies.
There are a lot of things you can do to stay productive right now! Here are some ideas:
65. Meal Prep
If you’re stocking up on groceries right now and you want to make sure nothing goes to waste, doing some meal prep is a great idea. Planning your meals further in advance is a good idea as well.
Here are some resources to help with this:
- Prepear Review: Best Free Meal Planning App I’ve Ever Used!!
- Top 5 Reasons You Need Freezer Meal Cooking in Your Life
- 15 Meal Planning Tips to Save Money and Time
- 24 Hacks for Your Next Freezer Meal Making Session!
66. Write a Bucket List
Do you have a bucket list? If you don’t, why not make one?
67. Create a Time Capsule
Since these are such unprecedented times, it’s the perfect opportunity to make a time capsule for your future self. Put in a written note, a video, some special mementos, and anything else you can think of, and then hide it away for 5, 10, or 20+ years.
68. Cook Something New
If you have a bit of extra time and your kids are around, why not cook something new and teach them a bit while you’re at it? The recipes don’t have to be complicated either! Check out these 90+ recipes to make from your pantry.
69. Try a Weekend Project
70. Paint a Room
This is another one of those projects that’s easy to put off, but now you finally have the time to do it. If you’ve wanted to paint a room in your house for ages, get it done!
71. Do Some Home Repairs
Have you had something around the house that’s been needing repairing? Take the time now to get it done so you can finally knock it off your to-do list.
72. Perfect Your Homeschooling
One of the biggest challenges that has come about for parents during the quarantine is homeschooling. If you need some help, check out our ultimate homeschooling guide to relieve some stress.
73. Sharpen Your Kitchen Knives
When’s the last time you sharpened your kitchen knives? It’s a small project but it will help extend the lifespan of your knives so you’ll be glad you did it!
74. Teach Your Dog New Tricks
If you have a dog (or any animal that can learn tricks), try teaching it something new!
75. Make a Vision Board
A vision board is sort of a way for you to visualize your goals for the future. Think of the places you might want to visit, your career goals, and special purchases you’d like to make, and put it on the board!
This isn’t the most exciting category on the list, but being stuck at home creates the perfect opportunity for a bit of cleaning. Get it done now so you don’t have to worry about it later!
76. Spring Cleaning
We’ve got two great resources to help you out with this:
- First, a simple spring cleaning checklist – This is a room-by-room checklist that will help you be as efficient as possible while cleaning. It has a list of tasks for each room and all you need to do is go down it one by one.
- Next, a guide on making spring cleaning a family event – If everyone is stuck at home, the least they can do is lend a hand! This guide will give you tips to make that happen.
77. Clean Your Windows
You’re stuck indoors but at least with some clean windows you can sort of enjoy the outside 😉 Here’s an absolutely fantastic homemade glass cleaner you can easily make to help get your windows clear as day.
78. Organize Your House
After you’re done fully cleaning up, take a second look around each room and use our home organization tips to get more organized.
79. Clean Your Front Load Washer
Is your washer emitting a funky smell recently? Don’t let it sit for too long! Check out our guide on cleaning a front load washer for tips and tricks. We get really thorough and show you how to clean your washer inside and out.
80. Purge Your Closet
Another spot that we can sometimes forget about while cleaning is the closet. It’s not easy getting rid of clothes that we might wear one day.
But that’s the thing: a lot of the time clothes will sit and go unworn for ages! Why not give those clothes to someone who will use them, and free up space in your closet for clothes you really love?
You might even be able to make a bit of extra money off of your closet cleanup if you sell some of the clothes you don’t wear anymore. Use our closet cleanout guide for tips on making this process as smooth as possible.
81. Clean That Junk Drawer
Don’t pretend you don’t have a junk drawer in your house! If you really don’t, I’m impressed, but I know most households eventually have one of these, whether it’s intentional or not. One drawer just ends up being the collection spot of all sorts of random stuff.
For tips on how to clean it up, read our post on how to organize your junk drawer quickly and easily.
82. Clean Your Car
Finished with the house? May as well clean your car too! Check out these 10 car cleaning hacks to make the entire process even easier and more thorough.
83. Clean Your Email Inbox
This one probably only applies if you’re REALLY bored, but this can actually be a fun process. Get your emails organized, create labels and filters to automatically sort things in the future, and strive for that coveted inbox zero!
84. Organize Your Apps
Similarly to your email inbox, why not take some time to look through all the apps on your phone and clean things up? I bet you’ll find a lot of apps you haven’t touched in ages! Deleting them can free up space for more useful apps, photos, music, and more.
PS: If you don’t already have it, download the Fabulessly Frugal app! This is one that you’ll definitely want to have 🙂 It has deals, alerts, price comparisons, and more handy features to help you save money.
85. Organize Your Photos
Staying on the subject of phones, photos are another area that can get unorganized and messy. They can take up a lot of space too! Take some time to transfer your photos onto your computer, sort them into folders, and make backups.
86. Make Homemade Laundry Soap
Check out this awesome homemade laundry soap recipe – it’s frugal, it works great, and it’s made with common ingredients.
87. Do Some Stain Removal
Have you had a stubborn stain sitting lingering somewhere for ages now? Whether it’s a piece of clothing, your carpet, or somewhere else, there are easy homemade solutions that work! Check out this homemade stain remover and this DIY carpet stain remover.
88. Clean Your Makeup Brushes
Ok, when’s the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? It may seem super tedious or unnecessary but trust me, it’s worth taking the time to do it!
Check out our tutorial on how to clean makeup brushes so you can get it done quick and easy (and frugally).
Make Some Extra Money
Want to come out of this crisis with a new side hustle and some extra cash? Check out these opportunities:
89. Survey Sites
These won’t make you a ton of money, but they’re easy and entertaining. If you’re bored, they’re the way to go. Plus, you may even get to influence some future products or even some of your favorite brands!
For more information, learn how to make money filling out surveys.
90. Side Hustles for English Speakers
If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you can speak English! And just being able to do that opens you up to quite a few different side hustle opportunities. Check out these work from home jobs for English speakers for some ideas.
91. Crafts You Can Make and Sell
This might not be the best time to sell crafts online, but people are still buying! And, this is a great time to hone your crafting skills. Check out these best selling craft ideas for inspiration! We also have a list of DIY bracelets you could try making and selling.
92. Perfect Your Resume
When is the last time you updated your resume? If it’s a task you’ve been putting off, do it now! Even if you’re not currently searching for a job, it can be useful to have it ready to go just in case.
93. Start a Blog
If you’ve ever thought of starting a blog, now is the time! This is something that can be potentially life-changing too. We even have a really in-depth beginners guide to help you get started:
94. Browse FlexJobs
FlexJobs is a remote job search site, so there’s a huge variety of opportunities on here. They have part-time and full-time gigs as well so it’s suitable no matter what you’re looking for! To learn more, read our post on how FlexJobs can help you find a remote side job.
95. Drive for Door Dash
If you’re really in need of extra income, Door Dash is an option. With everyone being stuck at home, the demand for delivery is high too. Learn more: How to make money with Door Dash.
Along with making money, right now is a great time to find ways to save extra money too. This can relieve a lot of stress and anxiety if you’re budget is a bit tight.
96. Negotiate Your Bills
Bill negotiation isn’t exactly a fun task or something that will help you relax and stay sane, but the savings can be really nice. We also have some tips on how to lower your monthly bills to keep things easy and even potentially automatic.
97. Create a Budget
While you’re stuck at home why not take this time to really go through your finances and put together a rock-solid budget? Here are some guides to get you started:
- How to Make a Budget With 7 Bank Accounts
- How to Make a Simple Budget Easily in 5 Steps!
- You Need a Budget Review + 60 Day FREE YNAB Trial!
- The NON-cash Budget System
98. Find Amazon Savings
If you’re shopping anywhere right now, there’s a good chance it’s Amazon. And I don’t blame you! It’s super convenient. Get more bang for your buck and read these 17 easy ways to save money on Amazon.
99. Start Using Paribus
Paribus is a neat service that allows you to easily save money online. It’s awesome for peace of mind. As you shop online, it will monitor your purchases and watch for price drops. If it finds a saving opportunity, it will work to get you your money back!
Learn more by reading our Paribus review.
100. Save Money on Groceries
Groceries are a HUGE area of spending right now, and they’re essential so it’s not always easy to cut back. There are ways though! Check out these posts:
- How to Save Money at the Grocery Store Without Coupons
- Top 5 Grocery Rebate Apps (Save $100s on Groceries)
WHEW! I hope you found some helpful ideas on this massive list. Remember that his situation will be over eventually, so hold in there and stay safe!
Have any other ideas to share? Please comment them below! Let’s make this an even bigger resource together.
Posts to Check Out Next:
- Top 10 Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety Quickly
- 10 Simple Healthy Living Tips for Everyday Living
- How to Survive Financially During a Crisis (6 Tips)
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