9 productive ways to pass time indoors while you're stuck because of coronavirus
Make your home an oasis of calm in these chaotic times
The ‘Work From Home’ memo may have seemed like an early birthday gift when it first hit your inbox, but like a two-hour massage, it turned out to be too much of a good thing. Now you’re struggling to pass time indoors and slipping further down the coronavirus rabbit hole with every Google alert.
Until the World Health Organisation calls time on the global pandemic, it’s probably safer to stay indoors and limit physical contact with other humans.
We feel your pain. Which is why we’ve thoughtfully curated a list of 9 engaging activities you can fill up those extra hours with. Stay safe, stay entertained.
How to pass time indoors without losing your sanity
1. Time to work your ass(ana) off
Now is when you have to begrudgingly put to rest your “Shavasana is also yoga, okay?” argument. Na-mah-staying in bed is not yoga, Neha.
Start with easy poses for beginners, and then maybe one day, you will be able to take the stairs without feeling like you’re going to regurgitate the biryani you had for lunch.
Hatha yoga instructor Apoorva Jayarajan says, “Restorative yoga is good for recovering from injuries. Hatha yoga is the foundation level that prepares you for the more intensive Iyengar and Vinyasa practises. It all depends on your dedication and patience.”
Among the poses she greenlights for reformed couch potatoes, are Trikonasana for better digestion, Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose) to open up the hips, Dhanurasana to relieve stress and anxiety and Pranayama (controlled breathing) to boost immunity. Follow her on Instagram for online motivation.
Other than helping you to pass time indoors, you no longer have to care about yoga pants not being work appropriate. Every day is casual Friday.
2. Get your finances in order
This is the time to send that one message you’ve typed, retyped, and deleted, a million times. Let go of all your inhibitions, pick up that phone, and fix a Skype date with the one person who will make you the happiest girl in the whole world – your financial advisor.
Money is tricky to navigate, especially since we are taught squat about it in school. And doing it alone feels a lot like the first time you attempt to give online dating a go – intimidating, exhilarating, and you feel like you’re doing all the right things until everything goes up in flames.
Except this time it’s not your emotional stability at stake, but all your life savings. Pass time indoors by getting help.
How do you find a financial advisor to decode all things finance for you?
“Ask people you trust for references. If that doesn’t help then look for well qualified advisors with legitimate expertise,” says Binoli Dodhiwala, co-founder and CEO of The Money Managers .
“Ask them the right questions – if they have invested in the plans they have recommended to you? How much money they are making off this suggestion? The field is quite transparent, and in most cases, the commissions are disclosed,” she adds.
3. Spend quality time with your little monster
Of course, you love your child with all your heart, at least till you take your first flight with them and write off travel blogger from your list of dream jobs.
Here are a few activities you and your little (or not-so-little) one can do to pass time indoors without tearing each other’s hair out.
Bond over books: Read to them (not problematic fairy tales, but books that teach them valuable lessons). Tweak India founder Twinkle Khanna highlights the household favourites that she and her daughter bond — and bet — over.
Have some fun with art: You never know, you might just be raising the next Amrita Sher-Gill. Help them understand the joy of creating art and then watch the little Picasso blossom.
Apart from helping you score bragging rights, teaching your child to appreciate art has a host of other benefits – it improves mathematical application, and helps them express their emotions better.
Have “the talk” with them (minus the awkwardness): Discussing sex ed with your child isn’t always as challenging as it is made out to be. Start early, know the dos, and more importantly the don’ts, and you should be just fine.
Sex educator Anju Kish helps you navigate the basics in this helpful video.
4. Cook your way through Corona
While COVID-19 is on world tour, it’s about time you took matters into your own hands, and hopped into the kitchen instead of Swiggy-ing your next meal. Given our luck, it’s likely Corona will reach the restaurant before the delivery guy can.
Take baby steps:
Conquer the art of making rice. Boil some veggies on the side. Mash those potatoes. Add ghee and salt. That is comfort served hot.
High-tech cooking: FaceTime your Mummy and cook with her. But don’t be embarrassed if she sneakily takes a screenshot and shames you on Facebook over your amateur skills later.
Or you could let Celerity chef Mohit Savargaonkar coach you through some of the easiest recipes beloved by his clients from Akshay kumar to Katrina Kaif.
Salad storm: If you aren’t adventurous enough to make masalas and curries, just chop the veggies, boil them, add your favourite leaves and seasoning, and that’s some healthy brownie points.
5. Exercise clean living
While Coronavirus isn’t sparking any joy, you might as well pass time indoors by tossing out the things where sparks don’t fly anymore.
Eliminate, motivate: Evict the 20 ballpoint pens that refuse to work from your pen stand. Get rid of the plants that you’ve unfortunately murdered but never performed the last rites for last year. Once you’ve deleted the extras, it will be easier to organise the remnants.
Store smart: Use empty boxes to pack away things you feel you may need later for nostalgia’s sake.
Please be grateful: Don’t be rude to your former belongings. Thank them before you let go of them.
6. Sign up for hobbies
While you’re working from home, you’re definitely saving on the commute time. That will leave you with a few extra hours to kill or feel more productive. It’s the perfect opportunity to sign up for those strange hobbies you’ve always wanted to indulge in.
Develop your handwriting analysis skills or simply learn graphology. Bonus points for being able to handwriting-shame your colleagues the next time you find their notebook unattended.
Pick up that ukulele you bought on a whim and then abandoned in the back of the closet. You might just be the next self-taught Mark Knofler. YouTube tutorials are a good place to start hitting the right notes.
All the knick-knacks you didn’t throw away while decluttering because of sentimental reasons can come handy if you start scrapbooking. Use those empty notebooks and build your memory bank there. It will comfort you in these testing times.
7. Make those phone calls
The only thing we’re avoiding with the same fervour as Coronavirus is phone calls. Now you have no excuse.
Make that phone call to your parents. Mummy may just share that family recipe she’s been guarding like it’s the map to the sunken city of Atlantis.
That friend you haven’t spoken to in weeks? You may have had an excuse to cancel all the plans you had no intention of attending anyway but there’s no dodging this.
Your grandparents need you now more than ever. You know they’re freaking out reading all those Whatsapp forwards, they need you to be the voice of reason.
8. Set up a compost bin at home
Don’t let a little fungus get to you. Composting at home is possible, even if you’re an urban-dwelling germaphobe. You don’t need a big garden and maali to do it.
Find a bin that works for you. From terracotta to multi-level bins, read up on the pros and cons of each depending on the amount of space you have available (we like this one from the Daily Dump).
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can convert an old garbage can into a compost bin by puncture holes and keep it covered.
Don’t forget to layer your waste – ‘green waste’ or wet waste from your kitchen and the drier ‘browns’ of leaves and husks, cocopeat and sawdust.
Not only are you doing your bit to save waste from landfills, but you’ll also be making fertiliser for your indoor plants and kitchen garden.
9. Designate a self-care day
You finally have the time for a multi-step skincare routine. Take your time and focus on each step. Think about the nutrients you’re feeding your skin.
Ask for forgiveness punishing it with walnut scrubs and skipping sunscreen. Different serums, under-eye gel patches, face mask et all.
Calmpose needs a prescription and punching people is frowned upon. Meditation will be your saving grace. Find a comfy spot in your house, you can position yourself sitting up, or even try it lying down.
You may think you’re going to fall asleep mid-way, but if you actively practice it, you can learn how to be more mindful in your thoughts and interactions. If you’re still doubting your abilities, try a guided meditation app to get you started.
Explore your body through masturbation. Before you close this window in shock, know that it’s a completely normal, even healthy, act. The rush of happy hormones relieves stress and anxiety better than any laughter therapy while you pass time indoors.
Explore your body, be your own guide. Caress yourself from the sides; go round and round, side to side or up and down. The clitoris’s 8,000 nerve endings are the easiest road to jannat.