20 Productive Things To Do At Home During Self-Isolation

With an increasing number of people around the world practicing self isolation and social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, you may be feeling a little stir crazy.

For many of us, a day relaxing at home, free from busy work schedules, and social commitments would have once been a dream.

Yet as day to day life slowly falls apart and contact with family, friends, and colleagues diminishes, feelings of boredom, anxiety, and depression may have started kicking in.

While it can be easy to fall into a slump, thinking positively and establishing a routine is important.

What Is Self Isolation and Social Distancing?

The rule for self isolating and social distancing will vary for countries and states, so it is important to check on your official Government website . It is important to bear in mind that there is a difference between the two terms.

Self isoaltion

If you show symptoms of coronavirus – such as a dry cough and high temperature – you must stay at home and if possible, not leave it for any reason. This is known as self-isolation.

If possible, you should try to get essentials delivered and avoid going outside to make purchases. If you do have to leave the house, you should limit as much social contact as possible.

Social distancing

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. This is important as coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets into the air.

These can be breathed in, or can cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, and then touch your face with unwashed hands.

Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.

20 Productive Things To Do At Home During Self-Isolation

We may be confined to our homes, but with a little creativity and improvisation, staying in can be fun.

Here is our list of 20 activities to do while in self-isolation. If you have any of your own ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!

1) Read

Have you got a stack of books in the corner that you’ve been meaning to get around to? Now’s the time to start. If you are self isolating in a household or flat share, you can begin book club, choosing a book each, and having a weekly discussion. You might share some interesting insights and strike up new conversations.

2) Write a Book/ Screenplay/ Music/

If you enjoy writing, this could be the chance to hone in on your skills. Many of us have aspirations that we strive to achieve, but never seem to due to a lack of time.

Well, we have time in spades at the moment, so why not write that short story or novel you have always dreamed of? For those with a passion for film or theater, that screenplay that never quite got finished. If you are lyrical, it could be a piece of music or poetry.

3) Gardening

If you are fortunate to have a garden, you may want to start paying special attention to it. As of yet, parks and green spaces remain open, but with rules changing daily, outdoor space could be restricted.

Sprucing up your garden with flowers and decorations and planting fruit and vegetables will turn it into an area that you can enjoy. Being outdoors is essential for our mental health. Planting a garden can be a great way to relieve stress, as well as to fit in some exercise.

If you don’t have a garden, adding plants to your home, or growing a herb garden by the window sill can still be an effective way of surrounding yourself with nature.

4) Learn a language

Around 40% of the world’s population speaks one language, so if you are in social isolation why not try learning a new language. There is a massive variety of online language courses and classes available. While some require payment, there are also plenty of free resources available, such as Duolingo, open culture, and YouTube video.

5) DIY

If you are spending plenty of time in the house, you may have started noticing a few cracks, botched paint jobs, and other unfinished projects. If that is the case, now is your chance to get started.

6) Board games

Back to basics with this one, but what better way to pass the time than with a board game. If you are in isolation with friends or family, it can be easy to drift to separate rooms, so this is a great way to bond and spend time together. Have a rummage to find what you have available and set up a board game night, accompanied by snacks!

7) Arts and crafts

If you are the creative type, you might need an outlet. This could be pottery, painting, or paper mache, whatever piques your interest. Order the materials you need and let your creativity loose. You can use your best pieces to decorate your home. Adult coloring books and mindful coloring have also become a popular means of de-stressing.

8) Learn/practice instrument

If you play an instrument, you may have already found yourself practicing more than usual. If you don’t play an instrument but have always wanted to learn, you can try now. Music is very therapeutic, and learning a new skill, rewarding, so why not combine the two?

There are plenty of online music courses available, as well as YouTube videos to start self-teaching yourself. (Just bear in mind being a considerate neighbor, no one wants an angry knock on the door)!

9) Bake

Cooking or baking has become a universal cure for stress. Many people find baking (and eating) a cake very therapeutic. But there might be some science behind it.

According to one study, a little creativity each day can go a long way towards happiness and satisfaction. If you have ingredients, baking with your family can be a lot of fun, and you can even challenge each other to a bake-off.

10) Themed movie nights

Following in with the cooking theme, why not have a ‘themed night.’ For example, you can enjoy an Italian, Chinese, Mexican, or French-themed meal, accompanied by music and a film. Although travel is currently out of the question, you can still immerse yourself in culture.

11) Indoor/ Outdoor picnic

Long, lazy sunny days are made for picnics. Although gatherings outdoors are no longer allowed for public health, you can still enjoy a picnic within the confines of your home. If you have a backyard, great, you can set up there, but even if you don’t, you can still lay out a rug and have one indoors. (On the plus side, you won’t have to fight off the ants!)

12) Set up a workout routine

With gyms closing, many people are finding their exercise regime withering away. But it is essential, now more than ever, to safeguard your health, which means trying to fit in exercise as best you can.

There are a variety of training videos available online, for all levels of fitness and ability. It is worth reviewing a few and finding what works for you.

Yoga is also a popular means of exercise, and is low impact, making it beneficial for older adults. It helps to increase flexibility, improves muscle strength and tone, and boosts energy and vitality.

13) Meditation

As a result of the pandemic, understandably, you may be feeling stressed and anxious. One of the main benefits of meditation is stress reduction. In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammatory response caused by stress.

Meditation can be practiced at any time of the day, but some people find it the most beneficial beginning or ending their day with a session.

14) Ping Pong

If you are searching for a source of entertainment other than binge-watching TV sets, ping pong is the one for you. Playing improves hand-eye coordination and stimulates mental alertness and concentration. It also improves reflexes and is easy on the joints, making it ideal for those who can’t do high impact exercises.

15) Indoor golf

For those of you missing the golfing range, why not bring it to you? Indoor golf sets are available online and are a great way to practice your swing.

16) Listen to a podcast

Podcasts have become an upcoming trend, with many people finding them a convenient way of digesting information. Whether you want to learn about the stock market, applied sciences, ancient Greece, or any number of other things, there’s a podcast out there to teach you.

17) Clear your emails

When was the last time you cleared your emails? This is a common irk for most people and one we tend to avoid for a later date. Yet, simply decluttering your inbox can leave you with a sense of achievement and productivity.

18) Catch up with family and friends

Now more than ever, you are probably missing family and friends. As self-isolation means that we are contained in one household, only able to interact with household members, the number of people you can see is limited.

Despite this, you may be experiencing a newfound appreciation for relationships that were otherwise taken for granted. The good thing about the internet is that we are still all interconnected during the coronavirus outbreak.

Call up your family members, especially those who are self-isolated alone, or are a vulnerable person Drop friends a Facebook message or text. Keeping in contact with people can lift your mood and help to feel connected during this challenging time.

19) Join a facebook group

If you are self-isolating by yourself and separated from friends and family, it can be a lonely time. But it is unlikely that you’re the only one. If you follow pages, most will have a group where you can strike up a conversation with people who have similar interests to you.

Our Facebook page has a large number of active members, so please feel free to start up a conversation and share information.

20) Write a letter

In an era where communication is instant, the art of letter writing has faded away. Yet writing a letter has its perks.

It can be very therapeutic to write what you are feeling on paper and can be a more personal and intimate means of communicating. Even if you are not able to send them due to quarantine, get out your stationery and start writing letters for your family and friends.

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Self-isolation means staying home and avoiding situations where you could come in contact with others. Hopefully, by doing this, the spread of the coronavirus (COVD19) will be slowed down.

While this will be a stressful and worrying time for everyone, keeping healthy, both physically and mentally, is very important. If you find that the days are merging into one and boredom is hitting you, try out some of our fun and productive suggestions.

Let us know what you think, and if you have any of your own ideas, please share them in the comment section below! Keep safe everyone.


Thoma MV, La Marca R, Brönnimann R, Finkel L, Ehlert U, Nater UM. The effect of music on the human stress response. PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e70156. Published 2013 Aug 5. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070156


Thompson R. Gardening for health: a regular dose of gardening. Clin Med (Lond). 2018;18(3):201–205. doi:10.7861/clinmedicine.18-3-201


Woodyard C. Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. Int J Yoga. 2011;4(2):49–54. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.85485






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