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28 Things to Do When You Self Isolate

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published March 19th 2020
Our world may have shrunk but there's still options
coronavirus quarantine
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

'No news is good news' they say. I now understand that saying as at the moment we are inundated with bad news. So, if you are back from overseas and self-isolating or locking yourself in because the world seems pretty scary at the moment then don't spend all your time glued to the set where the bad news just keeps rolling in.

Instead use this wonderful chance of being home to get your life in order and stay positive, active and connected. Here are 28 suggestions (that's at least four weeks' worth) of things you could be doing.

1. Don't bury yourself instead ramp up your social connections. Make a list of all those people you have been meaning to contact such as overseas relatives and old friends. Ensure you connect with at least one of these people each day.

2. Continue your group activities but online. My daughter's book club is meeting over the internet. My aqua group has formed a mutual support group on What's App. They post pictures of the interesting things they are doing until classes and socialising resumes.

3. Clean out your closet and coordinate a whole lot of outfits for when work starts again. It will save you heaps of time in the future.

4. Cook and freeze meals. Another time-saver for the future. And if you do have to stay home for a long period, you will be eating healthier foods.

coronavirus quarantine
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt


5. Re-organise your pantry and list what's in there. You will probably find you have more meals at your disposal than you thought. Now is not the time to be doing complicated recipes when you can't get out and shop. A lot can be made from staples. Recommend Googling 'recipes to use up pantry staples' and you will be amazed at what comes up.



5. Get your life in order. Get a head start on your tax. Search online for possible presents for people if their birthdays are coming up.

6. Organise cupboards and drawers. Everyone will be doing this if they are home. So if you want to organise collection agencies to come and take items off your hands get in early. Brotherhood of St Laurence , Diabetes Australia phone 1300 256 844 (note these goods go to Savers shops. )

7. Set up the spare room as a home exercise room. Perhaps a yoga mat on the floor. A source of music might be nice. Weights? Whatever you need for the things you are into.

8. If you do end up watching lots of screens, try to do something at the same times such as jigsaw puzzles, sewing or even filing your nails. You will simply feel less stressed and more in control.

9. Get fresh air. Now is the time to start that vegetable garden you always dreamed of. Read a book outside. Have a picnic or set up an afternoon tea under a tree. Or if in a flat, then plant your balcony pots out for next season's flowers. Breath and enjoy the sunshine and just simply enjoy being.

10. Start a blog or a journal. This is history. You are living it. Future generations are going to want to know about what it was like during 2020 when the world stopped on its axis.

11. Pamper yourself. This is the perfect time to indulge in face masks, hair conditioning treatments and manicures. Don't forget to have a bubble bath with a glass of bubbles. It's your time now.

12. Walk around your home. Make a list of those tasks such as fixing that broken doorknob or cleaning marks off walls. Do what you can with what you have in the house and keep that list for future reference.

13. Wash the curtains.

14 Sort through your old makeup. Much of it has possibly solidified in the bottle or past its use-by date.

15. Go through your clogged up computer and finally get rid of duplicate files and photos. Go through your camera roll, pick your favourite pics and order a photo book online.

16. Stay positive. Get your life in perspective. Make a list of things and the people you are grateful for.

17. Keep the economy going. Order online from the areas that need it most such as small businesses or wineries impacted by the bushfires.

18. Pair up your socks. Yes really!

19. Wash the dog.

20. Instead of staring at your furniture all day. Rearrange it.

21. Organize your spice rack

22. Get your LinkedIn account happening and use the time to apply for new jobs.

23. Get a free trial of a streaming service or perhaps audiobooks such as Audible and binge till it expires.

24. Go through you liquor supply and see what cocktails you can concoct. Make sure to post your creations on social media so everyone else is envious.

25. Now more than ever you need structure. Work through the list of things you want to do. And get sh** done.

26. Make a list of all the annoying appointments you should schedule such as checkups for moles, breast screens or dentist appointments.

27. Start your family tree. Also, phone an elderly relative and interview them for some information to go on that tree.

28. Make sure you call your mother.

coronavirus quarantine
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt


Strange as it may seem, we have been given a gift. How often have we thought, 'stop the world I want to get off." Well, here is your once in a 100 years chance. So tune out of the worrying news. You are home, so you might as well switch your mindset and make the best of it.
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Why? Covid-19
When: At least two weeks
Where: At home
Cost: Mostly free
Your Comment
Lots of things to do and great ideas however the veggie garden and balcony pots maybe difficult as you would have to go and and buy them. There is a way with some veggies, use the cut bottoms and place in a glass of water. When they start to sprout place them in pots or in the garden.
by sarah (score: 1|29) 16 days ago
All good options - but the one that stands out is - Go through you liquor supply and see what cocktails you can concoct. I am happy to step up to the plate on that one. Thanks for the article Nadine.
by Jenny Esots (score: 3|1357) 15 days ago
I'm glad that you didn't tell me to clean out my handbag as things aren't that bad yet....
by May Cross (score: 3|6074) 15 days ago
Good article and ideas! 👍
by Seafarrwide (score: 3|1898) 17 days ago
Really ??? I was told by 2 medical professionals to stay inside to lower the risk of catching it......and you are telling people to go out in their gardens
by r.eng (score: 2|460) 16 days ago
Definitely contact people (whether close or far) in a caring way. You will find that the majority will reply back to you and you get some excellent conversations / bonding going.
by kolol (score: 2|109) 13 days ago
An alternative for no 23, is download ebooks from your library's website.
by kpetc (score: 0|7) 15 days ago
Its fine to go in your own garden and even walk the dog as long as you maintain social distancing... we all need fresh air and exercise and so do our pets for that matter... these are difficult trying times and we are all feeling it but we just have to use common sense and stay connected to all of our family and friends via technology so we don't feel so isolated... take care everyone and be kind to one another <3
by andre (score: 0|5) 11 days ago
Very good positive ideas for being at home.llthank you...
by Berna (score: 0|5) 17 days ago
Great article, very positive. I have about 50 craft projects to work on, so I may have to make time to sort out my life!
by kevin (score: 0|7) 17 days ago
1-9 are going to be quite hard if you live in a shared house and do not have much space. I'm just in day 4 of social distancing at home and already gaining 3kg. Guess I'm gonna be stressed out at the weight gain and rent/bills before the virus gets me. Same with my friend who's suffering from depression.
From what the govt is doing I guess it's only getting worse tho :(
by hienlt (score: 0|7) 17 days ago
Very practical, Nadine. All good advice.
by sally (score: 0|5) 19 days ago
Thanks Nadine. I have started doing some of these already. No 11 is my favourite!
by May Cross (score: 3|6074) 15 days ago
Great suggestions, Nadine. What an inspiring and constructive article!
by Sue Williams (score: 2|842) 19 days ago
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