by Jessica Prince

Here are ideas for home-based activities if you’re social-distancing (not sick, not been exposed to anyone), isolated (sick with suspected or confirmed COVID-19), or quarantined (have been exposed to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19). Different localities have different rules regarding what the quarantined or isolated are allowed to do; most say not to go outside. Please strictly observe the guidelines! I’ve tried to include plenty of suggestions for both inside and outside your home!

Jessica Prince has a Bachelor in Science in Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Virginia. Her dual degree in Public Health and Business at Emory University is underway. She is a Ninja warrior, loves healthy living, and has a knack at keeping children entertained and happy even in the most challenging circumstances.

Inside Your Home:

Communication/Education

Entertainment

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Exercise/Staying Active

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

  • Do you have any home improvement projects you’ve been putting off, such as painting, planting an indoor garden, changing your air filters? Spring cleaning? Wanted to try the Konmari Method for tidying? Now is a great time to get those projects done, and it’ll get you moving, too! (Use the resources in the communication system if you don’t have all the materials you need at home.)
  • Walk around inside your home. This can be boring compared to walking outside, but just do a few laps at a time more frequently (e.g., walk for 5-10 minutes every hour). Depending on the size and design of your home, you could even run laps inside.
  • Have a dance party. Put on your favorite music and dance like no one is watching!
  • You can find free exercise programs on Youtube, Twitch, Netflix, or even your library. Yoga, tai chi, “boot camp,” aerobics, kickboxing, whatever you like… Just search. (If you have physical limitations, try searching “seniors” or “chair” or “seated,” depending on your limitations.) Your library might have Universal Class or Hoopla. This article has a decent list of circuit-training exercises you can do for various fitness levels: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/at-home-workouts. This site lets you select exercises based on the equipment you have: https://workoutlabs.com/exercise-guide/. For those looking for an effective home-based strength-training circuit, elite trainer Jeff Cavaliere has designed a routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc1E5CfRfos
  • You don’t need specific equipment to exercise at home. If you don’t have weights, you can improvise with canned goods, old milk jugs (fill with an appropriate amount of water for you – these will be harder because the water will move around inside; 1 gallon = 8 pounds), books (inside bags), etc. For pull-ups, you can use a sturdy door with strong hinges (place a towel on top, wedged near the hinges so it can’t move) or substitute let-me-ins using strong doorknobs on a sturdy door, a strong vertical pole, etc. Your body can provide plenty of resistance for things like push-ups. (If regular push-ups are too hard, rest your hands on the wall or sturdy furniture. If you have stairs, choose a stair that makes it challenging to complete ten, and as you grow stronger, work your day down the stairs. If regular push-ups are too easy, try harder varieties. You can use a kid as extra resistance on pull-ups or push-ups.) If you want to train at home, a pull-up bar, adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, and a TRX-style pulley system take minimal space and can be cheaper than a single month of gym membership.
  • Forage for food while you’re walking (keep safety foremost in mind: http://www.eattheweeds.com/foraging/)

Religious/Spiritual/Mindfulness

  • Many religions offer streamed versions of worship services. Just Google your denomination + “online service/mass/etc.” (Check your own church’s/synagogue’s/mosque’s/etc.’s site; even if they don’t stream everything, they might have audio from the sermon, and they’ll have important news for members.)
  • Meditate (https://choosemuse.com/blog/ultimate-list-of-free-meditation-resources/)
  • There are apps that can connect you with prayer partners, provide daily devotionals, etc.

Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash

Activities for Children

Outside Your Home (for socially distancing folks, NOT quarantined/isolated):

Communication/Education

Entertainment

  • Watch the sunrise or sunset.
  • Grab a pair of binoculars and watch some animals. Apps such as iNaturalist help you identify and share information about the species living near you.
  • Collect flowers from your garden/yard. Make an arrangement, dry them, or press them.
  • If you’re going stir-crazy inside but aren’t able to go for a walk, go for a drive instead.

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Exercise/Staying Active

  • Go for a walk, hike, run, or bike alone or with household members. Just make sure you’re staying a safe distance away from others who are out doing the same (at least 6 feet). Be careful about touching things like handrails. There are plenty of sites that can help you find new places to walk. https://www.atlantatrails.com/ and https://www.alltrails.com/ allow you to find trails near you; you can even search by distance and level of difficulty. But Google Maps is a great way to find “secret” trails near you. Or ask neighborhood Facebook groups or on Next Door where you can explore nature near you. (I’ve managed to find nature trails within easy walking distance of every place I’ve ever lived, and I don’t actually search for them before moving. I find this is especially true in the Atlanta metro area.)
  • Kayak or canoe (with your own boat).
  • If you live with others, get outside and play an active game: tag, catch, soccer, frisbee, etc.
  • Have a family “field day” with egg-and-spoon races, sack-hops, three-legged races, water balloon toss, etc. You can do this either in your background or at a park, assuming there aren’t a ton of other people around.
  • Plant a garden. Do other yard work.
  • Start a compost pile. Rake up the rest of those fall leaves, and start adding food scraps and coffee grounds. (Keep it away from buildings. If you have the materials, build an area to contain it. You want to make it tall, not too spread out. Turn it with a rake and dampen it (until it’s like a wrung-out sponge) a couple of times a week.
  • With caution: play on the playground, do parkour, etc. It’s easy to make a strength-training circuit by creatively using what you find in your environment (hill sprints, push-ups, burpees, monkey bars, hanging leg raises, squats, etc.) Bring hand sanitizer and sanitize very thoroughly before and after playing, and wash your hands as soon as you get home. Don’t touch your face! And keep your distance from others!
  • With caution: There’s no evidence that Covid-19 virus can be spread by pools or hot tubs, but make sure you’re keeping your distance from others, and keep in mind that other surfaces around the pool (handrails to get in and out, door handles, etc.) can all be contaminated (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html).

Religious/Spiritual/Mindfulness

  • With caution: some houses of worship are open for prayer during the week, with appropriate social distancing. Use hand sanitizer, be mindful of what you touch, and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Find an outdoor chapel (either one so designated, or any space where you feel connected spiritually)
  • Do mindful meditation or deep breathing for at least 10 minutes while sitting on your porch, on a blanket or yoga mat in your yard, or at a park (if allowed).

 

Do you have other suggestions for surviving the coronavirus home quarantine while staying healthy, sane, and connected? Please share below!