pancakes and raspberry

Fun things to do at home alone

In STAYCATION by Isabella Biava2 Comments

With the spreading of the damn virus all over the world and the governments more and more requesting and imposing people to stay home, many of us almost panicked as if you could even die from boredom.

However some of us have been glued to their bed or already for other reasons, and we ignore them, just because the media don’t talk about them either.

Then many memes started to circulate reminding people that our grandfathers were called to war, so being forced to stay home and watch Netflix can’t be so bad after all.

I agree and I realized how my life before the crisis was exactly the same. The only difference was that I wasn’t forced to stay home. I just loved it. And even more, alone.

I also realized that I am a pro on staying at home, as I have a home-based job and a thousand other interests, courses, books and you name it. I only need a cat and I would be just complete 🙂

I am never bored, but I am always overwhelmed.

Therefore I thought I would put together a list of things that you can do when you are forced to stay at home even if you don’t like it.

I will update the list as I find more resources

I hope to offer you some good motivation to appreciate more your time with your own self without getting overwhelmed as I do.

EXERCISE AND YOGA (FREE CLASSES)

A good balance between body and soul is always the best recipe for a healthy life.

A month ago, I started running and I was so proud of myself for all my progress and I promised that I would have continued to do it and improve it.

Oh well. I was wrong.

This time it was not my will power to have a downfall, but the current world health situation which wants us all locked in.

Therefore I have decided that I will not certainly give up on my health and doing some exercise will help me control my belly muscles and my skin tone.

So I bought a Yoga mat first of all.

I normally know what to do on my own, but sometimes to keep myself motivated I love to follow specific programs that give you a routine. It works wonders with motivation but it will also give you a sense of community.

Not to mention that having a coach is certainly much more fun.

Here is what I am using:

You can find thousands of courses form yoga to meditation to full body or just abs. There is no set price, you can give them an offer, from 15 USD and it’s totally worth the price. I follow two exercise courses but there are many more on writing, art, home and garden, spirituality. You should check it out.

  • Nike Training Club App

I am using Nike training app but any brand has its own. I just love the exercises and they are super effective. It’s totally free and you can customize the kinds of exercise you wish to do.

Nike Training Club for Android

Nike Training Club for Apple

Otherwise, on youtube you can find anything you are looking for.

Or, if you live in a building you can do the service stairs up and down for a few times, hoping not to find anybody else. That’s good exercise too.

This is a website that offers 30 days of free work out program. And I am just revealing my weakness for Sam Heughan, better known as Jamie Frazer in Outlander. He’s the mind behind this site (Sam, not Jamie:)

I have just found out and I will start my challenge tomorrow!

Another resour

TAKE SOME ONLINE COURSES

This is my favorite topic. I admit that I have an addiction and that’s buying online courses, but that is making me an expert in that now so I am here to tell you my favorite ones hoping that you will find your inspiration as well.

Of course, I take specific courses about art and calligraphy and photography but there are tons of other amazing topics that you can chose from.

Here the list of the sites I use and my review.

Creative Live

This is one of the most professionals and complete platforms where to take courses of all sorts.

I took illustrator, art, photography courses and they were almost all very interesting and professionals.

Here is the link to their page and if you register to a course through this link you get a discount. (I get something to but I am not sure what) Watch out for their offers as well if you are not in a hurry. Sometimes they have great deals.

Before buying a course, make sure you listen to some demo classes so that you can understand if you like the teacher and his/her way of explaining. And also check out the class title to have an idea of whether the course is correct for you.

Udemy

Udemy is another interesting platform with thousands of courses of every sort. It’s not so selective as creative live, but it’s much cheaper and you will have many comments to browse through to help you understand whether the course is worth the money.

Also please note that the courses are so cheap that sometimes even if you get very little out of the course, it’s still a bargain for you 🙂

Check out Udemy courses promotional rates.

creativity art work

Domestika

Another platform I use is Domestika.  I love it because the teachers are really professional and they give you so much information and also tips on other sources and inspirational competitors of theirs. However, the courses in themselves are pretty basics.

Please note that the English version only has the English subtitles but the authors are all from Spanish speaking countries so they only speak their own language. If you are learning that’s also a great reason to buy a course.

Coursera

Coursera is an American online learning platform since 2012 that offers massive open online courses, specializations, and degrees. It’s normally free but if you wish to get your own certification or diploma, you will have to pay a fee. Courses are of any kind of topic. From writing to graphic design to photography, history, you name it. The courses are also complemented with awesome bibliographies for further studying.

Learn how to code

If you are uncertain about your current job and you wish to make yourself a new career you might want to consider learning how to code. It’s a long journey but you will never be left without a job. And the better you get the easier it will be to find employment or work as a freelancer. This site offers free courses from the basic.

procreate lettering project

Lettering course with Loveleighloops

I have recently started a new addiction to procreate, the iPad app to create amazing drawings and lettering. The amount of artwork that you can do with that is unimaginable and I love it so much that I  made myself believe that one day I will make such beautiful works that I will live on that. Crazy right? watch me! 😉 In any case, whether you want to become a pro or just kill time if you like drawing and coloring this is an amazing tool that you can use.

For those who don’t know, lettering is a kind of calligraphy but more creative and artistic.

If calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing, using only one stroke, lettering is like a sort of illustrative writing and it’s done using different strokes.

Also, the tools used are different. One of the multiple ways to create beautiful lettering is using the apple pen and Procreate App.

There you can create amazing lettering especially if you are traveling and don’t have the space to carry blocks of paper and colored brushes.

There are a lot of free courses on YouTube but my favorites are from Jillian and Jordan from Loveleighloops.com. 

They have a full course that comes at a cost but you can also check out their free video tutorials either on youtube or on their facebook group. They are great teachers and you learn a lot, besides the opportunity to share your work within the community and find more inspiration. 

Here below my very first work with Loveleighloops.com. 

let's celebrate art work

One of the works from Loveleighloops classes

Design Cuts free procreate classes

You can have access to free procreate classes by signing up here 

Especially if you are a beginner this will help you to familiarize with the app and understand all the many amazing features.

Skillshare

Skillshare is another amazing learning platform that offers any kinds of online courses, from digital art, to painting, social media management, coding, photography, you name it.

They are now offering 2 free months subscription where you can learn everything you want for FREE. I immediately grabbed it and I am already practicing Procreate art, my new passion.

Browse through the platform and see if there is anything that might interest you or inspire you to start a new hobby, by clicking here.

art works

Some works I did with skillshare classes – click on the picture to get your 2 months free class

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

Have you ever thought about learning a new language but never found the time?

Maybe this is the right time. And I found out a way that is FUN and FREE.

I used Duolingo for my Portuguese classes. The app is super funny and friendly.

I dropped out because I had so much on my table but whenever I am ready I will certainly pick it up again

Choose your language and let me know how it goes!

GROW SOME VEGETABLES IN YOUR OWN HOME

It sounds awkward but I just found out that it is indeed possible to have your own piece of a garden right inside your home.

Watch this video to find out which ones.

BURGER AND VEGGIES

Image by LC-click from Pixabay

BECOME A CHEF 🙂

Just kidding, but if you have time to spare it would be a great thing to learn new creative dishes for the joy of your palate and your eyes.

Also to help maintain your sanity and treat yourself well (see below)

It’s ok to snack while you are working but taking the time to prepare at least one meal per day, it’s a way to take care of yourself and your body.

There are so many available tutorials and cooking blogs.

Because I am 95% vegan I prefer to learn Vegan recipes. You can find the ones I have collected in my dedicated Pinterest board 

But you will find tones of different recipes either in Pinterest or Youtube.

I found this article about a British bakery that gives online classes and backing tutorials.

knitting

Image by TK McLean from Pixabay

LEARN HOW TO KNIT

I remember when I was a little girl to see my mum and my grandma produce amazing soft sweaters, scarves, and hats, colorful blankets and I wanted to learn as well. I loved the idea of creating things on my own.

Then when I grew up and the arrival of the internet and other distractions I have abandoned that passion of mine and focused on other hobbies and work.

A few months ago I was happy to see that my young cousins, the new generation have resumed the knitting practice which has become a trend also among young males.

I did love the idea very much because it takes you away from the smartphone obsession that was really becoming a compulsive disorder.

Besides, it will make you gather with your likeminded tribe and you can discuss anything while knitting.

Now that we are doomed to the isolation I believe it’s the time we can use it to create beautiful pieces of apparel (for when we’ll be able to go out again) while skyping with families or friends or listening to audiobooks.

If you have never done it before you can check out some free tutorials on Youtube

budda in the universe

JUST STOP! PAUSE FROM THE WEB AND LEARN HOW TO STAY WITH YOUR OWN SELF

I swear the title of this post was meant to be “read interesting articles on the web”, but while I was writing the headline, I paused for a moment and felt a sort of anxiety while my fingers were frenetically typing while thinking about the next post to write.

No, we don’t need to read any more online stuff to fill our minds and souls!

Why don’t we just stop for a while and connect with your own self?

Just for an hour, or two, if you like it.

I was talking to a dear friend, 5 of us actually were skyping and reconnecting and one of them told us that at the end of her working day (from home) where she is conference calling, typing, reading and finishing her tasks, she just shuts down everything and do her meditations and yoga exercises.

But you don’t have to do that if you are not into it.

You can just breathe and listen to music, dance, and daydream.

Try it! It’s a reset.

It works wonders 🙂

If you wish to do some meditation, instead there are some free app that help you doing so.

One is called insight timer.

Or you can follow my virtual friends and fellow bloggers, Stephen and Jane. Stephen is a certified and experienced yoga teacher, now based in Bali.

He was there to give classes as a permanent teacher in a Yoga center but due to the imposed isolation he’s now broadcasting his classes and this is his first video.

The classes are free but you are more than welcome to donate to help him support his classes. After all, it’s like going to a real class.

Let me know how it goes! 😉

DECLUTTER AND RESET YOUR HOUSE

Marie Kondo became famous with her book on The Art of Decluttering where she teaches us how to organize our wardrobe and, as a reflection, our life.

I started the book but I found it very slow so I left it after a few pages, but if it became a best-seller, she probably tells good advices.

It is indeed liberating to clean up your home from things that you have been thinking you would use but never touched for the past 10 years.

It is something I did when I left my home in Cancun and set up for my never-ending journey.

When I cleaned up my closets drawers and boxes I threw away about 3 big trash bags of stuff, sold some clothes and shoes and off I went towards my new life.

It felt so liberating and it was like I left the space for the new to come into my life.

There was no room for that before.

It also happens when you get rid of toxic people.

Do it, and see what happens. But this is the topic for another blog post.

USE TECHNOLOGY TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LOVED ONES

Isolation is great for many reasons, as I mentioned before, but it’s also good to keep your contacts with the loved ones, without being to obsessive.

There are many ways to do it.

If your family doesn’t really use the technology that much Skype or WhatsApp are the best way for conference calls, but on WhatsApp there is a maximum of 4 participants to the call.

Otherwise there is Zoom that is most commonly used for conferences and meetings

I just had a gathering with my family for my dad’s birthday and one with my friends.

I enjoyed it a lot and it was as if we were there altogether.

DON’T LOSE YOUR MIND

It might seem difficult to believe but if we were the ones who decided to stay home, we would have been just fine.

However, since this is an imposed (or self-imposed) situation some of us will freak out.

It’s normal.

But we need to be in control of our minds and not let them control us.

For some of you, it’s not about being bored because you have a family to take care of, a household to manage and work to be done because your company has requested (or allowed) you to work from home.

It’s very important that you organize yourself and your family and follow a routine as if you were going to the office.

But also you find time for personal care and mindset.

I wrote a post about working from home without losing your mind but it’s also helpful for those who don’t have a job but are alone in isolation. I hope it helps you cope with it.

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates on the new posts.

And make sure you comment or write if you have any questions or feel lonely and want to chat!

I’ll be happy to assist you.

MAKE TIME TO CHAT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

We have been called for social distances not social isolations.

American author and engineer Greg Braiden have spoken quite clearly about the difference.

If we need to avoid physical contact with other human beings at the same time we need now more than ever social interaction.

And we can achieve it with many different tools.

Skype, Zoom, or whatsapp videos are the first I can think off.

Make sure you schedule virtual hang-outs with your close friends or family member one or 2 times a week to catch up, laugh and spend some time.

We need to speak to our like-minded people to share thoughts and ideas and, especially in these difficult times of self-isolation, feel that we are not alone in this.

PLAN YOUR FUTURE TRIP

I find planning a trip as interesting and exciting as actually going on the trip itself.

This blog was born to inspire you to travel and to help you plan your trip.

I would have never thought that I one day I would have written about staycation as well. But I am enjoying it too.

And obviously, one of the things I love to do when I am at home is planning my future trips.

If you want to daydream about traveling I have put together a post with the most amazing travel youtube videos.

You are going to be blown away.

Or if you want to sit down and plan, of course, there is my blog.

I have tried to organized my posts like sorts of mini-guides with an index and links that are easy to browse for better user experience.

Here below some links to the destinations, I mainly write about for some travel inspiration

Mexico travel guide

Ecuador travel guides (Including the spectacular Galapagos Islands)

The Caribbean Islands: Antigua, St Barth, Jamaica, Bahamas

Peru’ Travel Guides

How to plan your trip in a smart and efficient way

Some shopping ideas for travel addicts

Travel hacks: What you need to know before booking your trip

TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR COUCH

Many museums and institutions offer virtual tours for you, I will share a  link to all of them soon.

Here is a great starting point to start traveling virtually  with Headout and comfortably from your couch, while waiting to book your next trip.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope this post will be useful, feel free to write in the comments below new ideas that you wish to share with your fellow readers.

Or even if you have a thought or any words of encouragements, it will be greatly appreciated.

BINGE WATCH NETFLIX

Ok, this is an easy one.

But you must confess, how many times you really didn’t want to see that movie or that documentary but you have never done so because you felt guilty of wasting your time?

Well now you have permission to do so. And I will add a cup of ice-cream to go with it. What you say?

Mind that Netflix is not only sentimental movies, you can also find interesting series and documentaries.

Here my favorite documentaries:

  • What the Health
  • Planet Earth
  • Cowspiracy
  • Tales of Light ( for photography lovers)
  • The Creative Brain

There are so many about many topics, biographies, food, nature, finance, fashion.

If you love watching shows rather than reading this is a great opportunity.

READ LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW

If you love books, this is your opportunity to use your time to do your favorite thing. Read.

On this link  you can find free books, audiobooks and other interesting resources.

This is the UNESCO digital library with lots of books free to download.

Otherwise, there is always Amazon.com for either ebooks or physical ones, depending on which one you feel more comfortable with. I can do both.

You may want to consider also Audiobooks if you love to listen while cleaning your home or doing some gardening, or just laying on the sofa. If you subscribe to the membership, you will get the first two audiobooks for free and one download per month. It can be an interesting deal if you are of course an active listener.

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HERE SOME COLORFUL PINS IF TO SHARE ON YOUR BOARDS

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