Let’s face it: the world is freaking out about COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus disease. On one hand, we have plenty of people stockpiling all of the world’s toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bottled water and medical masks. On the other hand, we have people who refuse to believe there’s any danger in the disease going about their day willy-nilly, while unknowingly spreading the disease to their co-workers and close friends and family. Hopefully you don’t fall into either one of these groups, and have been good about taking some precautions outlined by the CDC. But if you’ve done all that and you still find yourself being quarantined at your house for fourteen days, then you might as well make the most of it.
Here are fourteen ideas for things you can do to seize the day while you’re trapped at home for a fortnight.
1. Deep clean your living space
Spring is right around the corner. Since you’re stuck at home anyway, wouldn’t you rather live in a spotless, clean, good-smelling house? Try cleaning the hard-to-reach spots that you never usually get to. Dust the tops of the tallest furniture and fixtures in your home. Clean out your air vents. Move furniture around and get underneath the couch so you can finally stop seeing those fruity pebbles under there when you look for your lost Roku remote.
We don’t realize how much a clean home can help improve our moods. According to Healthline, cleaning your home is one of the most tangible things you can address to improve depression. Not only that – you’ll likely be less stressed because of all the things that need taken care of around the house and it can make you feel stronger and healthier all around. So give a gift to yourself and put some work into cleaning. It’ll be easier to maintain a clean home once you put the hard work into cleaning.
2. Gather up all your old clothes to donate
When was the last time you wore that shirt? Have you noticed it smells a bit like a dusty old book stuffed away in a back room at your grandparents’ house? What about those other clothes that you swear you will fit back into one day? Do you really think you’ll want to wear old clothes when you’ve got a brand new physique? Or, do you think you’ll want to treat yourself when you put in all the hard work to attain that new body of yours? I’m not saying the clothes are bad, but maybe you’ll want to look more “2020” and less “2002” when you get where you want to go. Go ahead, stuff those clothes in bags and get ready to donate those bad boys.
By cleaning out your closet, you will be rewarded by having more space for new clothes, and suddenly you might notice your clothes and your bedroom smell fresher just by doing so. Maybe you can even go shopping for a few new outfits when it’s safe to go out in public again? Just make sure to wash and fold the clothes you plan to donate; the kind folks at the local thrift store will certainly appreciate that you do.
3. Go through your kitchen cabinets
As much as you swear you’re going to use those old spices in your kitchen cabinet, maybe it’s time to say goodbye? If you’re like me, you have a hundred different spice containers in your cabinet at home. It’s a bit of an obsession for me to collect new herbs, spices and seasonings every time I go to a store that sells out-of-the-ordinary spices from far away places like India, Turkey, or the planet Arakis. I firmly believe he who controls the spice controls the universe, so to think of throwing anything out is a bit of a sin in my culinary world. But after about four years, all those robust flavors you’ve gathered have probably lost their boldness.
Sure, there’s plenty of other things found in the pantry, but spices are my weakness. What kinds of things can you find in your cabinets that have been stuffed away to expire? Cans of soup? Condiments? Beans? Old bags of flour? Now is the time to go through and straighten everything up and toss out anything that’s beyond its prime. You’ll be amazed at the space you have for all that new spice that you’ll surely collect.
4. Clean out your refrigerator
This goes right along with the last few points. Your fridge really needs to be cleaned about every three months or so. That means you should take out everything inside, throw away all the stuff that is expired and most definitely get rid of the science experiments you didn’t even know you were conducting. Obviously, you will need to gather all the bravery you can muster in order to face the worst of it, if it’s been a very long time since you have cleaned it out.
After you’ve thrown away anything that had no business being in the fridge, you should completely clean and disinfect all of the surfaces. I tend to pull out the trays and run them under hot water and soap before I disinfect them. If you haven’t replaced your air and water filters in your fridge, now is the time to do so. You can’t go wrong with a fresh-smelling and clean fridge. Just make sure to submit any new life form samples to the CDC, you might have unknowingly found a cure for the Coronavirus. At the very least, you’ll have thrown out that expired bottle of Corona beer from two New Years parties ago.
5. Rearrange your living room and bed room
There’s something oddly refreshing about rearranging furniture. Not only does it give you an opportunity to clean areas that are otherwise forgotten hiding spots for cookie crumbs and dust bunnies, it gives you a fresh perspective on your life. According to Psychology Today, research shows that doing so can elevate your mood. Combining that with freshly clean floors, you can really convince yourself that now is the time to start making some positive changes in your life.
It may seem like a small thing to rearrange your furniture, but just try it! You may be surprised by how it makes you feel like you’ve gotten something done when it only takes about five minutes.
6. Throw out junk food; improve your diet
You knew where I was heading with this. You’ve made all these other steps to improve your mood while you’re stuck indoors, so now it’s time to address one of the underlying contributors to depression. If it’s bad for you and easy to eat, you’re going to be more likely to eat it if you’re stuck indoors for fourteen days. But how do you know what’s bad for you?
Healthline compiled a good list of 20 items that are bad for your health. Take an inventory of your home. Do you see any of these items? Throw them out as soon as you can! Even if that means you won’t get that afternoon jolt of energy you always do with those sugary drinks.
So what do you do about food, then? Well, there are a number of options you can do in order to get groceries delivered to your home. Here’s a list of nine grocery delivery services to try, according to Good Housekeeping. If you live near a decent-sized city, there are almost definitely options for you.
Another way to go is to get meals delivered to you by food delivery companies like Home Chef or Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Not only will the meals be relatively healthy for you, they will make you feel inspired to eat cleanly and give you ideas for future meals. And they make you feel like a real chef, too.
Lastly, you will want to find a diet strategy that you can stick to. Whether it’s counting your calories, or a ketogenic diet, or intermittent fasting, or anything else that you think you will be able to do for a long time, you should pick one and stick to it. Do your research for what you think might be right for you, I do not endorse any one strategy in particular.
Once you’ve gotten everything else listed above locked down, then it’s time for the coup-de-grace. You don’t have to go to a gym to start working out. Just do as much as you can at your home once you are well enough to exercise. Even though exercise may not shorten the duration of your illness, you can still do it if you’re feeling well enough for it.
There are several ways you can go about exercising. My wife is a huge fan of Beachbody on Demand, and the workout programs she does has really been a blessing for her. She likes the fact that most of the programs on the streaming service have a set calendar for you to follow along with. Even if you aren’t ready to jump into a paid streaming service, some of the most effective workouts I’ve done are simple body weight workouts such as jumping jacks, push ups, crunches and squats. Even just doing three sets of each once a day can help you kick start a new routine. Plus, they will make you feel great once you’ve finished and showered.
Just because you’re stuck inside and feeling like crap doesn’t mean you can’t take this opportunity to have a re-birth of sorts. When you come out of your cocoon in two weeks, you might find that your life is in better order than it has been in a long time. A brand new you, ready to emerge just in time for Spring.