girl baking cookies, licking the spoon
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things to do when you’re stuck at home

Whether it’s a weather event, pandemic, or something else, sometimes you’re just stuck at home (or close to home). I’m a natural homebody, so this actually doesn’t scare me–it’s more like a challenge to come up with creative ideas so I never get bored. Sure, we could binge-watch our favorite Netflix shows, but there’s so much more than that! I’m sharing some of my favorite “stuck at home” ideas with you.

Improve your mind

  • Read a book that is on your shelf that you haven’t actually read.
  • Listen to a classical music piece. If you’re new to classical music, watch a few performances on YouTube. Here is one of YoYo Ma playing one of my favorite Bach pieces, and Andre Rieu’s concerts always have a little extra something.
  • Speaking of music, why don’t you practice that instrument you’ve been neglecting?
  • Duolingo is an amazing resource for learning a new language.
woman at home reading book by fireplace with dog sitting next to her
I haven’t read this yet, but it sounds good!

Connect with people

  • Write a letter (yes, a real one!) to a relative or friend far away. (Remember to mail it!)
  • Play a board game with your family members– choose a game you haven’t played in awhile, and laugh over the memories of last time. Another idea is hide-and-seek! That was my favorite game to play with my parents growing up, and I thought they were the coolest parents ever for playing it with us!
  • Invite a couple of neighbors over for dinner. (Not recommended during a pandemic, but during a snowstorm, go ahead!) If you don’t have a lot of food, make it a potluck!
  • Have afternoon tea! Pull out those fancy teacups your Grandma left you, brew a pot of tea, and set a plate of cookies or sliced banana bread on the table. In this book by one of my favorite authors, Jennifer L. Scott describes the elegance of afternoon tea. It is both calming and relaxing!
tea cup with cookies and a plant in the background
The elegance of afternoon tea calms the spirit!

Exercise!

  • Put on some music and have a family dance party!
  • Take a walk in your neighborhood, and smile and say hi to everyone you pass.
  • Try out a new Pilates or Yoga video–there are so many out there, I’m not even going to link one–just find one on YouTube!
Runner!  One of the things to do when you're stuck at home is exercise!

Get creative

  • Rearrange the furniture in a room, and move decor items from one room to another. It will look like you went shopping when you actually didn’t!
  • Try a new recipe! How about Barbecue Cups? (Kids love these!)
  • Bake cookies… I loved Joanna Gaines recent instagram video… you just have to watch it.
  • Craft something! (Note: I don’t consider myself a crafter– in fact, I’m terrible at crafts! But if you ARE a crafter, craft away.)
young woman using a mixer
Baking cookies is one of our favorite family pastimes!

Get to work!

  • Deep clean one area. If you still feel like cleaning, move to another! You’ll have the satisfaction of a cleaner house.
  • Got a DIY project you’ve been putting off? Now’s the time to get it done!
  • Organize a closet or drawer. Move to another as above, for as long as you feel like it.
  • Sew on that button! (I have a coat that’s been missing a button all winter… I am finally going to sew it on, now that it’s warmer! Oh well, there’s always next year… )
  • Start a Poshmark or Mercari account and sell some of that old stuff that’s lying around. Bonus: you’ll make some extra cash, and someone who can’t go out can shop your virtual store!
Cleaning supplies arranged near a bathtub

Get outside

  • Clean up the yard– it’s spring!
  • Plant some flowers.
  • Wash first-floor windows and replace window screens that have been out for the winter.
  • Survey and make a list for those upcoming projects.
  • Read a book in a hammock on warm days..let the kids dig in the dirt and get really dirty.. followed by a bath of course.
Girl standing in front of garden, holding white dog

Take some time for yourself

  • Give yourself an at-home mani and pedi
  • Take a warm bubble bath with candles and a magazine
  • Drink your morning coffee in bed… such a luxury!
  • Just look out the window and daydream!
girl looking out of window
When did you last stare out the window and daydream?

Note to Moms of young children

Some of these things, especially the “take time for yourself” ones, will be hard for moms of young children. That’s why I recommend a one-hour daily rest, or “room time” for everyone. We transitioned to room time when my eldest outgrew her nap. If possible, each child spent room time in a separate room, entertaining himself or herself with books, art supplies, or quiet toys. This is time for Mom to rest, not deep clean or do projects. Sit down, put your feet up, and drink an iced coffee or cup of tea. It may be hard to get this going if it hasn’t been a practice, but it’s so energizing to have that one hour of quiet.

What are your ideas for when you’re stuck at home? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.