We are living in crazy times right now. I am sure this is not how most of us envisioned our 2020 would be, but COVID-19 has hit the world hard and we are all adjusting to a new (and hopefully very temporary!) normal as we all stay home and fight the spread of this virus. While none of us would choose this “Shelter In Place” life, it is our current reality and I hope you are all keeping a positive outlook during these circumstances. I have been social distancing for 2 weeks and self quarantined for 1 week now and I am at the point where I need some more things to keep me occupied. Here is what I found interesting while researching free things to do at home during our Coronavirus lockdown.
There are the obvious answers like, read a book, watch a new series on Netflix, or organize your closet, of course, and I think we should all be taking the extra time to do some of those things, but personally, those options just aren’t cutting it for me right now.
Some FREE things I have found that I am adding to my to-do list are as follows:
Learn Something New With…
Brit + Co
Brit + Co are offering all of their online courses for free through 3/31! There are so many cute and fun lifestyle and art courses including, Cake Decorating, Photoshop For Bloggers, Handlettering, Digital Illustrating, and so many more! Just use the promo code SELFCARE at “checkout” for your free access!
Shaw Academy has a free month membership and you can take courses where you can earn certificates. I am interested in the Digital Marketing course and my sister also just went through the course and said it was great!
Free Ivy League Courses
I found another article from The Muse with a whole list of free Ivy league college classes that you can take online for free. There are a lot of interesting options and saying you took a class at Harvard sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
Skillshare has thousands of online classes and workshops that can help you learn a new skill. There are classes on photography, creative writing, web development, and so much more! You can sign up today and get your first two months free.
Free Coding Classes
If you have been thinking about learning to code, this is the perfect time to get started! I found another article that I will link here from Digital Defynd where they suggest 10 free online coding classes.
Learn a language with Duolingo
I personally have always wanted to get better at speaking Spanish. I love the Duolingo app because it makes learning a new language fun. You can even make it a competition with your friends if you want to make a game out of it. Duolingo is a good way to brush up on old language skills or just start completely from scratch!
Facetime Happy Hour
During this time of social distancing, it is important for our well being to make sure it’s only a physical distance that we are creating and that we keep in touch with loved ones. We all need to be checking in on our friends and family right now and staying as connected as we can. That’s why I love this idea of a virtual happy hour! You can do a larger group hang with the House Party app or Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and even Instagram.
Give your video chat sessions a fun twist and choose a theme (e.g. fiesta, Hawaiian, fancy) and dress up and make themed drinks. Make a firm plan and put it on the calendar – trust me it feels good to have something to look forward to and make a plan with friends right now! (I just did one last night…so much fun!)
Free Live Yoga or Exercise Classes
Support your local gym or yoga studio by following them on social media. Many of the local yoga instructors are leading free Live classes on social media right now so check out your local social pages for more info. Even though it is free, you can ask them if they have Venmo or Paypal and send them a little thank you money to thank them if you want to!
Free Live Dance Classes
My friend Lauren has been sharing about how she’s been participating in free live dance classes through CLI Studios. If you love dancing or want the chance to take a free class in the comfort of your own home (I would embarrass myself if I went to a real dance class!) you can check out their schedule here. They look like fun!
Free Audiobooks and Ebooks
Free Virtual Concerts
Many orchestras and artists are offering free streaming for virtual concerts. Check out this list by NPR for all kinds of free daily virtual concerts from The Met and many others!
Chris Martin of Coldplay also started a new trend the other day (and can I just say, wow, it made my freaking day!) to do a live Instagram concert and pass it on to another artist every day in partnership with Global Citizen and they’ve called the concert series “Together at Home.” Each artist challenges another singer each day to perform the next concert and it is super fun!
Stream Free Broadway Shows
Broadway HD is offering free 7-day trials for streaming all of your favorite Broadway shows and musicals! Subscribe here if you love Broadway!
Have a Picnic in your Living Room
I know it is Spring and we are all itching to get outside right now, but we need to stay home for a while longer. If you don’t have good weather or yard/garden then why not just set up a picnic in your living room? It can be super fun and cute.
Get dressed up in your cute picnic sundress and pretend you are sitting along the Sienne looking at the Eiffel Tower. Talk about all the fun places you want to visit when quarantine is over and you can travel again.
Free Virtual Museum Tours
If you are a big traveler like I am, and you wish you could be out seeing the world right now I am right there with you! The only thing we can really do right now is to look for inspiration for future trips at the moment, but there are many famous museums that offer virtual tours! Travel + Leisure put together a list of 10 free museum tours all over the world, including the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence! Transport yourself to another place for a little while by touring some of the world’s most fantastic museums.
Start a Blog
Something else you can do during your extra time at home is to start a blog! It can be such a great creative outlet especially in times like these. It helps you connect with others and share your unique experiences. Do a little research on what it takes to start blogging before you commit, because it does take some time and hard work to create, but it is so worth it. I have written a step by step post on How To Start Your Dream Blog in 8 Easy Steps.
My good friend, Ana, is the creator of the blog The She Approach. She has so many great and helpful resources and many of them are free, like her How To Start A Money Making Blog course. (Full disclosure: if you buy anything through this link, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. I would share this link even if there was no chance to make money because her stuff is just that good!)
Another friend of mine, Helene, of Helene In Between, has some of the best advice out there about how to start a blog with step by step directions on how to make it happen. I will link her Blogging resource page here.
You could spend hours and hours just reading and getting ideas from these two amazing ladies. This is technically a post about FREE ideas for things to do and you can start a blog for free and upgrade it later or you can put a little bit of money into it upfront if you want to have more customizability with it.
Finish Those Home Projects
If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of ideas to make nice improvements to your home, but you always run out of time to make it happen. I have the supplies for quite a few DIY projects already and I will be trying to focus on using those things up before buying anything new!
My goal is to finish re-doing my Dining Room set. It is going to be very pretty eventually, but it has been a pain in my butt! I cannot wait to finish it and finally see the end product. Get your home projects done too during this extra time at home. 🙂
Say Thank You And Be Kind
Our friends in the medical community are working their hardest right now. They are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to make sure that people get the medical attention they need and to keep the rest of us safe. Be respectful of them when they tell us to stay home! They know better than you and I do and we need to do as they say.
Be kind to grocery store employees and other “essential” workers. This is a stressful time and they don’t have the option to stay home like so many of us do. They are helping to keep the world going during this crazy time and deserve to be treated the absolute best! (And they always deserve this, not just now!)
Use All The Free Streaming Trials
The obvious thing to do is stream some new shows and movies during this time and I will definitely be doing this. Now, I know this is a little bit cheap, but if you don’t already have all of the long lists of streaming services that are available now, then space out the free trial periods and binge-watch the shows you’re interested in. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu all have free 30 day trials or try Disney+ free for 7 days (which includes Hulu and ESPN+).
Support Local Business
Not everyone can just do a big online order at their favorite local shops and/or order takeout every day or even every week. That is okay! Don’t feel guilty about that even with all of the “Support Local” stuff going around online. If you can, then I hope you will shop locally online or buy a gift card for future use. Our local friends need us during this time.
But buying isn’t the only way to help. It doesn’t cost a thing to give your favorites a shout out online. Follow them on social media, give them a 5-star review online, share a photo of you in your fave local t-shirt and tag the designer. There are so many things you can do that will take only a few minutes and will mean so much to those businesses without spending a dime.
Participate In THD Shoppe’s #FormalFridays Soirée
Speaking of local businesses, one of my local Instagram friends, Stella, is hosting a virtual “soirée” on Friday, April 3 at 6 PM EST. Stella just recently started a new business called THD Shoppe with the loveliest collection of clothing. She is a blogger at The Hearts Dlite and stylist. She’s encouraging ladies to dress up in fancy clothes, pour a drink, and share a photo on IG with #formalfridays and tag @thdshoppe.
She will also be giving away a $50 gift card to one of the participants too! I think this is a great idea as someone who hasn’t gotten dressed in real clothes more than once during the quarantine. It will be fun, so join me in this fun “event” and thanks to Stella for coming up with such a great idea!
Try Not To Complain!
Hopefully, you find something helpful in this list to prevent boredom during your time at home. Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to stay home during this time need to remember that its a blessing to be home and safe and have all the things we need. Let’s all try to keep a positive mindset during this time and check in on our friends and family to make sure they’re doing okay. Your extroverted friends are probably struggling so give them a call!
We are going to get through this together – apart! If you need someone to talk to let me know. You can comment on this post, email me at email@example.com, or DM me on Instagram @laurelwilson!
If you still want more ideas, my friend Alyssa just wrote a blog post on the same topic with different ideas! You should check out her blog either way if you love to read about travel, dating, and/or health. I met Alyssa on a group trip to Italy with Trova Trip and Helene, who I mentioned earlier!
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