Suggestions for staying at home

Published 6:34 pm Friday, March 20, 2020

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By now we’re all aware that we’ll be spending a lot more time at home in the foreseeable future because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve got to continue to take this seriously going forward, so that means things like social distancing, working from home, and canceling all large gatherings.

If you’re already a homebody like me, the idea of staying at your house for longer periods of time isn’t that daunting. But for others, it may wear on your mental health and breed boredom and restlessness.

With that in mind, I’ve put together some suggestions (both personal ones and ones I’ve seen from various parts of the internet) of how to spend time at home so you don’t go crazy.

Firstly, if you’re working from home, try to make a space designated specifically for work. That helps cut down on distractions. When you’re in that space, you know you’re there to work just like you would be in the office. Secondly, if there’s more than one person in your house, make sure you have your own space to get away for a bit if everyone starts grating on each other’s nerves. Sometimes a break is necessary.

In my own experience, active hobbies are much better than passive hobbies when it comes to driving away boredom. As much as I love to lie around and read a book or binge-watch my favorite TV shows, they’re not very engaging activities. You’re just taking in the information, enjoying the emotions, but not really doing much else with it. So they might be fun for a while, but eventually your mind will want to be doing more, and that’s when restlessness or boredom sets in. (Notable exception: watching TV in a small group, such as your family while sitting at a safe distance from one another, where you can actively discuss what’s going on.)

Active hobbies can be anything that gets your brain and/or your body moving. Now’s the time for you to start writing the novel that’s been lingering in your head for years. Maybe you can dust off a musical instrument you haven’t touched in a while and see if muscle memory helps you remember how to carry a tune. Ever wanted to learn how to knit or crochet? Here’s the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill you didn’t think you had the time for before. (Pro-tip: if you’ve got good internet access, Youtube has plenty of how-to tutorial videos for just about any skill you’ve ever wanted to pick up.) If you’ve got kids at home, try crafting together or playing board games and card games.

Don’t be afraid to try new things! Memorize your favorite scene from a movie and recite it on top of your coffee table. Try learning a completely new language, or even better, try to create your own unique language. Pull out the Swiffer and deep clean the cobwebs by the ceiling that you’ve never noticed before. Sort the clothes in your closet alphabetically by color.

If you’re feeling really ambitious, now’s a great time to finally figure out how to properly fold a fitted sheet.

Don’t forget that this isn’t like a hurricane or other natural disaster that has shut off our electricity and messed up our infrastructure. You’re still free to pick up the phone and call your friends and family if you’re feeling too isolated at home. There’s nothing stopping you from sitting outside and enjoying fresh air in this nice weather. (But beware of pollen!) Just avoid being in contact with other people while we wait for this to blow over.

And if all else fails, maybe you can just catch up on all the sleep you’ve been trying to catch up on for years.

The key to getting through difficult situations is to stay positive and stay supportive. So let’s help each other out virtually until it’s safe enough for us to reach out with comforting hugs in person again.

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or 252-332-7206.