We all have been so used to going out for work, meeting friends, running errands and for entertainment that when we have suddenly been told to stay at home, many of us don’t know what to do.
Luckily, I’m always full of ideas. I have a problem trying to shut down my brain in the limited time I have as there’s always so much that I want to do. I have been asked by friends and followers to write a list of ideas to do during the Covid19 global pandemic.
Before I start, let me just say that I’m praying with all my heart for all those who are suffering with this illness all over the world. For all those who have lost their lives to it, may their souls rest in peace. May the situation calm down soon and we see a decline in cases ASAP. Of course, we all need to play our role and listen to the rules as stated by our respective governments.
Ideas for Social distancing
My strategy in life is to always look at the glass half full. According to this theory, this stressful time can be a blessing in disguise. During this time of global pandemic, we can look at the bright side and make the most of the following:
- Do all the things we’ve been wanting to do all our lives but we didn’t have time for
- Spend quality time with our loved ones as were finally together most of the day unlike the rest of our lives
- Enjoy the freedom and liberty you have to do what you like by avoiding unnecessary outings/events/socializing
- Contemplating and re-prioritizing our life (setting our priorities right)
- Slowing down in life is a great chance for us to focus on what’s important for us in life and rethink how we have chosen to spend our time in life. Here is a great podcast on slowing down by Jay Shetty and its blog post here.
This is really the perfect time for us to indulge in all activities that we normally do not have time for. Following are some ideas:
It basically means putting things back in their place and removing things you don’t need in the following aspects of your life:
- Photos. Google Photos is a perfect way to organize/back up your photos
- Hard disks
- Laptop (desktop, drives). Here’s how you can sort out your phone, laptop & office
- Home (Kitchen, bathroom, closets, wardrobe, store, bedrooms, lounge). Here are my links to articles for organizing your home
- Car. Here is my article on how to organize your car
- Organize your Watch Later list on YouTube, My List on Netflix Watch List on Amazon Prime movies
- Organize your playlists on YouTube (Music, entertainment, studying, work, DIY etc)
- Create and organize boards on your Pinterest account. It’s an amazing tool to get inspired about anything you like in life
- Organize your phone’s home screen. Keep only those apps there which you use every day. Delete all apps you don’t use. Here are my favorite apps
- Organize your online Notes application. I recommend using MobisleNotes which is synced online
- If you have a website, go into your media library and delete all extra files (videos, photos, audios etc) which you added but don’t need any more. This can save you so much money in the long run and increase loading speed for your website
- Apply face masks. Here is my blog series on natural skin-care
- Cut & file nails
- File the heels of your feet. You’ll feel great as they remove dead skin and stop the itch
- Learn different hairstyles
- Do your own Mani & Pedi
- Moisturize your body. After a shower, give yourself an oil massage. Your body will thank you and you’ll notice all aches and pains fade away
- Learn and practice mindfulness, meditation, yoga, reiki, reflexology, massage etc
- Groom yourself (eyebrows, waxing, epilation, threading etc)
- Give yourself a warm oil head massage
- Automate routine tasks in your life (set up yearly bday reminders of important people in your life, grocery list, update online calendar)
- Automate your work (invoicing software, create email templates etc)
- Scan all your important legal documents (like driving license, CNIC, Passport, PP Picture, Marriage certificate etc) and upload them on your personal online drive. This will save you too much hassle for the rest of your life. Every time you need it, you have all your information at your fingertips.
Following is my most important article on legal documents and how to back them up on your personal cloud
- Create systems that reduce your daily effort on repetitive tasks
- Do online research and find online apps/softwares/websites which could help you save time
- Following is my video on the importance of automation in life
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⌚📲Let’s talk about automation in life and at work💻:⠀ ⠀ My sister @nataliyakhanphotography and I are really passionate about automation. Basically it’s about creating a system for anything that we have to do repetitively. It’s about sitting down and creating standards for such tasks once-and-for-all so we don’t waste time on routine processes. ⠀ ⠀ At work, there may be some FAQs, price quotes, questionnaires, queries, invoicing, receipts and emails which can be standardized to save time, effort and thus money! We can create sharable links, templates, canned responses so they can be forwarded on a click whenever required. There are great free/paid softwares available today which make automation very easy. ⠀ ⠀ In life, there can be automation in many everyday activities like recording lullaby’s (lori’s) for baby on phone to be played on repeat while baby is trying to sleep. Yearly reminders for important birthdays, syncing calendars with your partner for upcoming events, set up quick replies on Insta DMs, grocery list system. ⠀ ⠀ Automation is a great way to be efficient, professional and organized. ⌛⠀ ⠀ I would love to know which tasks/processes you have automated to make your life simpler? ⠀ ⠀ #automate #automation #pakistaniblogger #canadianblogger ⠀ ⠀
4. Virtually socialize
- Call family or friends
- Send audio notes to your friends
- Text all your close friends whom you haven’t talked to in ages. This virus is a great excuse to ask all your good friends how they’re doing
- Whatsapp allows video calls to up to 4 people. Zoom & Ovoo allow more people to join in at once. Zoom allows 45 mins calls on free accounts. You can arrange group chats and even play dates, pot lucks etc all virtually online. Send all friends’ invitation and set a day and time for it. Enjoy
Following are some great tips to connect with friends virtually and activities that can be done virtually with them.
- Read a book. Here are my book recommendations
- Listen to podcasts. Here are my podcast recommendations
- Learn a new skill online. Graphic design, Web development, SEO, Big data, … The sky is the limit. The following are some online resources for courses: Khan Academy, Data Camp, Edx, Udemy, Coursera, Udacity, MIT open source. Many companies are offering free courses during this time as a gesture of goodwill. It’s a great opportunity to avail them as there’s lots of time and price is none or little
- Watch motivational videos on YouTube. Here is a list of my favorite shows on YouTube
- Watch tutorial videos on YouTube about anything you want to learn
- Set up your own blog/website/business
- Attend webinars. I have attended quite a lot & theres always something to learn
- Brainstorm about a business idea you’d like to start. Discuss with a partner, a friend who can motivate you
- Write a poem/article. Here are some of my poems for inspiration
- Book an online mentoring session and learn what you always wanted. Here’s more about the mentoring sessions I provide to clients all over the world.
- Watch dramas. Here is my recommended list of Pakistani dramas
- Watch movies. Here is a list of recommended Netflix movies we might not have seen
- Window shop on Amazon
- Enjoy working from home by setting up a cool home-office
- Backup your data online and on external HD
- File your taxes (Perfect time for this as they’re very time consuming yet very important)
- Check all your bank statements and make sure you recognize all transactions. If something looks fishy, call bank for confirmation
- Manage your monthly budgeting & saving by making income and expense sheets.
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Talking about monthly budgeting/hisab. How you can do it easily every month in the simplest way. Here’s why: Know where you stand in terms of income and expenses Plan to increase your savings Save up for a rainy day Avoid begging others at time of need Be in charge of your financial situation Protect yourself against fraud Keep a record of what happens in your life Following are the articles I’ve written on this subject: https://www.nadiyanajib.com/monthly-budgeting-saving/ https://www.nadiyanajib.com/organizing-chaos-finance-asset-management/ What is your current relationship with money? I would love to know. Right now for some months, my money motto is: Earn less and spend less! 😀 As I want to enjoy the precious moments with my newborn and not hustle.
8. Boost Happiness
- See old family pictures
- Change your room setting
- Get inspiration ideas for anything you like on Pinterest including the following
- Make a journal. Here are my journals for you to get inspired
- Make your family tree. Trace your missing family. Here’s how I traced mine
- Paint. Here are my paintings for some inspiration
- Cook something new
- Bake. Here is a playlist to get you started
This is a perfect time to deep-clean all aspects of our body, home, life & relationships. We need to take out everything toxic from all aspects of our life. Keep only those that spark positivity.
- Detox your body by having 10 glasses of water a day. Try with lemon & cucumber
- Disinfect different parts of your home. Here is the recipe of my home-made DIY spray for cleaning kitchen and bathroom
- Fans in house
- Wash ur makeup brushes
Yes, it is preferable to stay inside your house during this pandemic. But sometimes we really need an outing for our mental and physical sanity.
Do check with your local area government rules. But in our area, it’s not forbidden to go outside. The only thing is to stay away from people and avoid public places. There is no restriction on going outside for a walk esp if you live in an area where there aren’t a lot of people on the roads. But yes, we must be careful and take precautions. We must also avoid too many unnecessary outings:
- Go for a jog/walk (it’s the best thing to lose weight & feel good) in isolated areas near your house. If you have a dog, take him along
- Go out on a drive
- Go to the grocery store (Don’t forget to sanitize trolley handles and items that you bring home)
- Put on Bollywood dance songs on TV and dance with them. Its the perfect exercise and a full workout while you have fun. Here is my playlist you can use
- Play exercise channels on YouTube and workout with them
- Install workout apps on your phone and exercise with them at home
11. Quality family time
- Ask each other questions about childhood, family, passions, dreams, ideas,
- Talk to family
The following are some fun conversation starters with your family.
- Play board games with family. I’ve recommended some in this post
- Candle-lit dinner with family
- Romantic dinner with husband
- Quality home-cooked meal
- Write cards for your loved ones. Tell them what you love about them the most and why they mean the world to you
- Catch up on your namaz and those you have missed recently
- Say prayers and extra Nafals for Covid-19
- Make a list of all important people in your life and what dua you want to say to them
- Read Dua e Hajat and Dua e Istakhara a lot
- Research on important aspects of your religion which are not clear to you
- Watch videos of Nauman Ali Khan, Zakir Naik & Farhat Hashmi to know more about Islam
- Attend Quran classes on zoom, or any other online platform. You can ask your friends or search online for the classes that suit you best
- Listen to English Quranic Tafseer by Amina Elahi (from Al-Huda) as linked here. I did her whole course on Quran (on audio cassettes before I got married and it was definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. I love her narration and how well she explains the Quranic verses.
13. Be Kind
- Think of ways to make your parent’s life easier. Help them with their challenges
- Send a gift to your siblings/niece
- Write positive reviews online for books, products, bloggers etc
- Send donations online
- Send a text on an online forum to ask if there are any elderly people in your neighborhood for whom you could get groceries
- Question why you do what you do in life. Question if all the tasks you do are necessary? or if something important is missing from your routine?
- Think of what you regret the most in life & write sorry letters to those you hurt badly in life
- On a piece of paper, write down all the roles in life which you play. e.g. mother, sister, citizen, friend, pet owner, grandmother, business partner, daughter etc. Then ask yourself if you are playing a good role in each one of them or not? How can you improve? Make SMART goals of what you can do to become a better human being
- Think about your current relationship with money
- Think about your purpose in life
- Imagine if you only had one day to live as a healthy person. How would you spend your time, money and effort?
- Think of who is your most valued person in life. Let them know
List of things to do for kids
My 8-year-old niece Anya from Seattle made a simple little guide for your kids if they’re running out of things to do at home. Download her handwritten list of 11 activity ideas. It’s completely free and all you need to do is sign up using the button below. It’s really cute. I promise you.
Let’s make the most of this time while it lasts.
How are you spending your days during this time? What are your takeaways from Covid-19. What have you learned and changed in life?
I will be waiting to hear from you. Were these tips helpful? I’d love to know.