How to Beat the Quarantine Blues

Friday, 20 March 2020
With most countries around the world starting to go into lockdown, it wouldn't be unreasonable for people to feel anxious and apprehensive. The lack of control, the fear, it can get to anyone. So what happens if you're in one of the countries who has placed a "shelter in place" order? What in gods green earth are you supposed to do to pass the time? I mean, it's one thing to choose to remain indoors for 14 days. It's an entirely different ball game when you're forced to stay indoors for 14 days. Don't worry, we've come up with 31 ways to help pass the time and beat the quarantine blues. 

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission from each purchase at no additional cost to you. All opinions are 100% my own**

Create Your Mad Max Gang
The world has lost its bloody mind. Toilet paper is nowhere to be seen. Supermarkets are sold out of everything. Footy players are playing to empty stadiums. But don't you worry, Aussies have been prepping for this day since 1979. If you live in a sharehouse, it's time to start working on your gang attire. Prep for the impending apocalypse in style. Will your house be more like the Toecutters? The War Boys? The Buzzards? Or are you going to create something entirely new to protect your turf and little supplies of toilet paper?!

Read a Book
If you're anything like me, reading a book has become next to impossible. The only time I get to enjoy a good book is via Audible on my drive to work. Forced lockdown means that I can actually read a book. If your home is lacking a library, some local libraries are delivering books to people during isolation periods. It's a great excuse to binge read the Harry Potter series for the umpteenth time.

Book a Session with a Therapist Online
Just because you're in isolation doesn't mean mental health struggles immediately go out the window. Many counselling and therapeutic centres are closed for face-to-face sessions. However, that doesn't mean that you cannot still have a session. If your therapist is not offering online therapeutic services, check out apps like headspace or BetterHelp. Both offer affordable therapeutic services and allow you access to online counselling from the comfort of your own home. 

If you are in crisis and need to speak to someone immediately (within Australia), try:

This line offers confidential information, counselling and support services 24hrs to support people impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, or abuse.
Carers Australia at 1800 242 636
Offers short term counselling and emotional support for carers and their families.
Headspace 1800 650 890
Offers free online and telephone counselling services for people aged 12-25 and their families. 
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Offers free online and telephone counselling services for people aged 5-25. 
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Offers telephone and online support for men. 
MindSpot Clinic 1800 61 44  34
Offers online and telephone assessments and treatments for adults with anxiety and depression
QLife 1800 184 527
Offers online and telephone supports for members of the LGBTQ+ community. 
SANE Australia 1800 18 7263
Offers information about where to go for supports if you're unsure where to turn. 

Mari Kondo the Heck Out of Your House
Don't lie, you've been putting off cleaning your house since 1994. Being stuck at home, in a messy home, can do bad things for your overall wellbeing. Take the now copious amounts of time you have to clean the house. Don't want to tackle everything in one day? Schedule one room per day to clean. This way, by the end of the week, your home will be sparkling. That or you'll have to start all over with the first room you cleaned!

Create Your Own Tasting Room
Supermarkets have been limited, to say the least. This might mean that you've had to get different foods than you usually eat because the hoarders took all the dang food! Even if you did get your normal stash, this doesn't mean that you have to give up the fancier things in life. 

Create a romantic date for you and your partner with a charcuterie board and some beverages. The bottle shops still have heaps of wine so grab a few you've never tried and create a beautiful, romantic tasting. Just don't hold us responsible if 9 months from now you have a new lil' quarantined. 

Utilise Your Creative Side
Do you like painting? Writing? Drawing? Underwater basket weaving? Your quarantine time is perfect for getting in touch with your creative side. Spend this time being productive. Who knows, you might even be able to turn your artistic creations into a nice little side hustle. Which who doesn't need a little extra money with the shutdowns right now!?

Have a Netflix Binge Session
Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Stan, all of the lovely stream services are there for our binging pleasures. It is ok to have a lazy day. With all the craziness and the constant bombardment of bad news, it is ok to want to dissociate for a little bit. Schedule yourself a binge day, grab a good blanket and some yummy comfort food and binge your favourite series. 

Create a Workout for the Netflix Series You're Binging
Ok so maybe your binge day turned into a binge few days. That's ok too. But how do we make sure you're staying active and not putting yourself at risk for any of the sedentary health complications? Create a small workout challenge for the series you're binge! You could even share it online and get your friends to join in. Think stuff like "do 10 situps every time Jim pranks Dwight". 

Join an Online Fitness Challenge
You'd think with workplaces closing it would give you more time to get to the gym... wrong! Gyms too are affected by this here virus. But that's totally ok. There are a ton of online fitness challenges going on. Find one that's right for you. There are some like One Moore Rep's fitness challenge that is offering some cool arse prizes. Other challenges are free and provide a range of workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home. 

Clean Your Oven
No one ever cleans their oven until its time to move house. And let me tell you, it's probably feral as. Use this time to clean that baby, you've got nothing else to do. 

Try Out New Recipes 
Shelter in place warnings means no eating out. Which unless you have disposable income, UberEats will get old super quick. There are a ton of simple to follow recipes on different blogs and on YouTube. I personally LOVE the Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey videos. Use this time to experiment with new recipes. Your cooking skills will become next level after this shutdown. 

Give Yourself a Spa Day
Pour yourself a nice bubble bath, add some bath bombs or Epsom salts, cleans that face and add a sheet mask and relax. Utilise this time to treat yourself. Heck, utilise this time to master your skincare routine. We're going at least 14 with minimal sun exposure. It will do the aging process some good. 

Become a Master Makeup Artist
There are some incredibly talented makeup artists on YouTube. Spend some time mastering the art that is makeup. Try some of the cool makeup challenges going around TikTok. You'll be able to unleash your creative side and help pass the time. 

Become a Master Masseuses
If you're lucky enough to be quarantined with another human, utilise this time to work on your massage game. That way, when we're all released back into the wild, we'll be relaxed and ready to fight for what's ours. 

Work on Your Flexibility
Look, we're all going to be less mobile during this quarantine. We don't want to increase muscle aches and pains. Spend 30 minutes a day stretching or doing an online yoga class. This will help keep you moving and who knows maybe you'll master your long time goal of doing the splits. 

Have a Facetime Dinner Party
Just because we're sequestered does not mean we cannot interact with one another. Create a virtual dinner party where you and your friends can chat over a meal and some wine. It might not be in person, but at least you don't have to eat your microwaved mac and cheese alone. 

Spread Some Kindness on Instagram or Other Social Platforms
With all the uncertainty and craziness going around, why not shed a bit of positivity and kindness. Find one of the kindness Instagram templates and spread some love. It's a great way to shoutout some awesome people and just generally remind the people you care about that they're hella cool. 

Beat That Video Game You Haven't Had Time to Play
Let your inner gamer be free this quarantine season. Whilst I'm new to the gaming world, I fully intend on mastering Final Fantasy and possibly replaying Fallen Order. Whether you only have games on your smartphone, computer, or a gaming station, let your inner gamer unleash. Who knows maybe you'll become one of the top players. 

Play (and Attempt to Beat) Pandemic
Board games are a great way to pass the time. Why not take the piss out of the situation and give Pandemic a crack. It's definitely one of the more challenging board games I've ever played. If you're isolated by yourself, some games such as Catan are offering online versions so that you're able to play with your friends virtually. 

Do Online Professional Development Classes
Does your profession require you to do PD? This may be the perfect time to get it all done. Several online sites allow credited PD courses for professionals. Who knows, since you're technically working you may even be able to utilise PD's as billable hours! 

Start a Side Hustle
A lot of people are getting laid off from their jobs because of the isolation process. If you're not privileged enough to have annual leave, sick leave, or even some savings, this is going to hit incredibly hard. Look into starting an online side hustle. 

Do you have a bachelors degree? Maybe teaching English online is the side hustle for you. Are you good at photo editing? Try and put up postings to get editing work. Have you managed to stay healthy throughout this process? Maybe look into food delivery positions. Places like Woolies and Coles are hiring a TON of extra stock people because of how quickly stock is flying off the shelves. There are other ways! 

Do Your Taxes
Y'all taxes are due soon. Might as well get them done. If you're eligible for a refund, your wallet will thank you. 

Take a Virtual Trip
So you can't leave the house, no problem. Take a virtual trip! Places like the Melbourne Zoo are offering live stream videos of their animals. It will help you start to figure out where you want to go on holiday once this all levels back out. 

Start Planning Your Next Holiday
Better yet, while you're virtually touring the world, start planning your next holiday. There are so many incredible travel bloggers that detail heaps of useful information for holiday travels. If you want to travel to Australia, we've got you covered! Chances are, flights will be incredibly discounted to make up for the lack of sales. Take advantage of that!

But not right now... seriously. Don't put people at risk for a holiday. Wait until we have a better understanding of how long this is all gonna last. 

Support Small Businesses
While major corporations might have the means to survive a prolonged shutdown, small businesses do not. Instead of ordering online from Amazon or any of the big supermarket chains, reach out to local and small business and see if they're offering delivery during this craziness. If you had contracts booked with freelancers or independent contractors, please still pay them or see if they can provide other services. They're hurting bad atm. 

Practice Some Mindfulness and Meditation
Too much stress is bad for the body. Utilise this time to practice some guided meditation and mindfulness. There is still heaps to be thankful for. 

Take a Class Online
Time to upskill baby. Did you know that some major Universities offer free online classes? Why not enrol in one? It's a great way to pass the time and expand upon your skills. 

Learn a New Language
In addition to taking a class online, why not learn a new language. Did you know that most companies offer higher salaries for individuals who can speak multiple languages? Download an app like Duolingo or, better yet, hire someone to teach you another language remotely! You'll be supporting a freelance worker and upskilling yourself! Win-win baby!

Send Postcards to Your Friends and Family
Yes, we have Facetime and Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch but why not have a little fun. AusPost has a postcard app (and I know there are others out there) where you can create and send your own postcards from images on your phone. Take some crazy isolation photos and send them to your friends and family. You could even create little games and secret agent postcards. It will definitely help pass the time. 

Do a Puzzle
Puzzles are a great way to pass the time. Make it some crazy impossible one, and you'll be entertained for hours. 

Remember We're All in This Together! 
Please, PLEASE, remember this is a crazy time. We've never really experienced anything like this before. Please be kind to one another. Stop being selfish. Think of others besides yourself. Give back in whatever means possible. Share one small act of kindness each day. It will help. 

It is a little easy to go stir crazy when stuck inside, but remember, we will get through this. Utilise your time to upskill yourself, reach out to friends and family, and stay active. If you have friends or family who struggle with mental health or physical health challenges, make sure you're keeping in touch. It's easy to become socially isolated when we have to...well physically socially isolate ourselves. What are you doing to help beat the isolation blues? Share it in the comments below!

And until next time...
Stay curious!

31 Tips for Surviving Shelter in Place

31 Activities to Keep You Entertained While You Self Isolate


  1. True. The most complex thing about this quarantine is the psychological aspect that must be absolutely supported in order not to give in to sadness and depression. Excellent guide.

  2. I have been trying to get in some more reading, painting, piano, and exercise. But because I work and school my kids from home, I'm still not finding a lot of extra time, lol. Life is almost too normal here. And fortunately, before this all broke out we had just stocked up on groceries and supplies, so the crazy hoarding hasn't really affected us either--for now. We'll see how long it lasts. This is an awesome list, though, and I love that you added phone numbers for those that need help in this difficult time.

  3. I saw a karaoke group on Facebook in which members are recording karaoke from their homes and sending. It is a fun manner to spend the time in quarantine. This is the time to get all pending works done, spend quality time with your loves ones and do some retrospection.

  4. I plan on being flexible as all heck once this is over with the amount of yoga I'm going to do. That and have the prettiest island on Animal Crossing!

  5. These are great ways to pass the time. I have plenty of things to do and have kept busy during this isolation

  6. My week was incredibly stressful, so I told myself I could have the weekend to decompress in whatever way I wanted. As of tomorrow it's back to business as usual.

  7. these are all great ideas. as for me, i am trying to cook my own food and try out new recipes! <3

  8. I absolutely LOVE the factime dinner party idea! I will be implementing this this week. Well I'm going to try to anyway. No one should have an excuse lol

  9. These are such wonderful options you have listed. I am trying to explore my creative streak during the lockdown in Mumbai. Thanks for sharing this post.

  10. These are great ideas. I am actually doing some of them and are looking for something else to do. Thanks and stay safe.

  11. I am dong several of these. I am taking the time to read some books that have been sitting on my TBR list for a long time, I am working on improving my Norwegian and so much more! I am enjoying this time at home with my family.

  12. These are all great suggestions. For some reason, I thought we Americans were the only weirdo TP hoarders. It's good to know we're not alone in our lack of toilet paper, lol. I will definitely be Marie Kondoing the heck out of my house.