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  • Joelle Otterstedt

11 Things To Do While Self-Quarantined

Updated: Mar 29

1. Exercise

I honestly have not been very good at exercising regularly this year, however, now I can’t use the excuse of not having enough time. I ran the same 2ish mile loop near my house every day of my quarantine. It is the only time I leave my house each day, and it feels so good to get outside and get some fresh air. Besides running, I have also been playing a lot of badminton in the backyard to get outside and be a little active. I was surprised by how much I improved in just 14 days. Below are screenshots from my first and last runs during my 14 day self-quarantine.


2. Read A Book For Fun

As a student I am constantly reading, but I never just pick up a book and read it for fun. Normally, by the time I finish reading for all my classes I don’t even want to think about picking up another book. It’s been nice to get to choose what I read, and have time to do it. If you are looking for a book to read, I highly recommend “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and the sequel “Cilka’s Journey”.


3. Learn How To Knit

I have knit a few hats in the past, but didn’t really know what I was doing. So far since I got back from England, I have learned how to make scarves as well. I personally like knitting because I’m really bad at sitting still, and it gives me something to do while I watch tv or am just sitting around. I’d love to start making a lot and selling them. Contact me if you want a handmade scarf or hat. (I’m looking for a way to make a little money while I’m stuck at home. Coming home from England early was VERY expensive.)


4. Organize Something

You know I’ve run out of things to do when I start cleaning my room. Between what is normally in this bedroom, everything I am (hopefully) taking to my new apartment, and everything I brought home from England my room is a mess. I started trying to sort through some boxes and get rid of the things I don’t need anymore. Everyone has a place in their house (apartment, room, etc.) that needs organizing. It’s something most people put off for ages, but it feels good to finally sort through it. If you don’t have a junk drawer (or junk room) somewhere, I’m impressed. These are all of the boxes I am planning to take to my apartment when I get one.


5. Complete A Puzzle

The first puzzle we tried to do was so hard that I thought puzzles weren’t fun. Nope. That puzzle just sucks. I gave up on that one, and since then I have done 3 other puzzles. Depending on the puzzle, it can entertain you for hours. It can be a little boring at the beginning, but once you see it start to come together it is more fun. There’s something really satisfying about putting the last couple pieces into a puzzle.


6. Start A Journal

I started journaling more this year because I knew it was going to be a big year for me. It’s definitely going to be a year that brings a lot of change, just not in the ways that I was expecting. I enjoy writing down what is happening. It helps me process all of it and gives me something to look back at later. This is such a crazy time that I think journaling would be a good project for anyone. It will be a good thing to look back on and remember how weird the world was. This is my new favorite journal that I got from one of the Harry Potter shops in York.


7. Binge Watch a T.V. Show

Of course, when I’m stuck in my house this is going to be one of the things I do to stay entertained. Right now, I’m loving the show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. My favorite show though is still Survivor. Sadly, there’s only one episode a week so I can’t binge watch it. If you are looking for something new to watch, here are some other things I have enjoyed:

- TV shows

o Love is Blind

o The Circle

o The Crown

o Cheer

- Youtubers

o The Bucketlist Family

o Kara and Nate


8. Learn To Cook

To be completely honest, I have mainly just been eating my parents cooking since I got home. I have taken this time at home to have them teach me how to make some new things. I tend to just make the same meals over and over again because I don’t want to take the time to learn how to make something new. It has been great to have a lot of time to learn how to make some new things and be able to ask people questions while I learn. Even if you are an experienced cook, you could take this extra free time to try out some new recipes. Last summer I decided to compile all of my families favorite recipes and make a cookbook.


9. DIY Projects

The main DIY project I have done was in the first couple days of my self-quarantine. I sanded down and repainted an old coat rack that I got from a garage sale years ago. It was originally painted white, but it was chipping and you could see the wood through it. After a few coats of blue paint, I think it looks a lot better.


10. Game Nights

My family has pulled out the cards and boardgames to try to stay entertained some nights. My favorite game so far has been figure 8 monopoly. This is where you overlap 2 monopoly boards, and there are twice as many properties and it takes even longer than a normal game. I’m very lucky to have other people in my house to play games with, but even if you’re quarantined alone you can still have game nights. I’ve started playing uno with some people on GamePigeon. You could also play games like banana-grams on facetime with other people that have the game.


11. Connect With Friends and Family

There has never been a better time to pick up your phone and call people you care about. So many people are going through hard times right now, and it’s important to be there for the people you love. If nothing else, it’s important to just entertain each other and stay distracted from what’s happening in the world. Just because we can’t be with each other physically doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected.

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