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HOME | Quarantine Bucket List: How to Be Productive or Cure Boredom While Self-Isolating

Quarantine Bucket List

Self-isolation has left (some of) us with extra time to learn something new or take time to explore a passion or interest that we previously didn’t have time for. I surveyed some of my family and friends to find out what they’re finding time to do during the quarantine. I’m including what’s on their list, as well as what I’m planning to accomplish in the next few weeks.

Here’s the quarantine bucket list, with resources to help you get started and check them off.

1. Stay on a normal routine

I wrote about this a few weeks ago in my post about making the most of working from home here

I’d venture to guess this might need to be top on your list if you’re planning to get any of the other things on your own quarantine bucket list done. Here are some ideas for getting on a routine while self-distancing. This one from twitter user @plntbasedcutie is easily-adaptable if you have kiddos at home. If you need a laugh, go look at the thread on this comment for how others are modifying this schedule.

quarantine daily routine schedule Photo credit @plntbasedcutie

2. Reconnect with old friends

For me, I’m finding the silver lining in this whole deal with the fact that I’ve got so much more time to connect, facetime, and zoom with the people I love. This seems to be the sentiment with everyone I surveyed. Setting up coffee talks and happy hour chats with a group of high school friends and my teacher friends in NYC has been the highlight of my time under quarantine. Even my mom has a weekly happy hour zoom call with a group of her friends from college. I’m hoping this sticks when everything goes back to normal.

3. Cook more

The empty aisles of baking flour should be a testament to the fact that people are baking more. Since this started, we’ve baked some old favorites, like Christmas butter cookies and pound cake, and some new recipes, including pizza with homemade dough. I’ve also been checking off recipes I had bookmarked to try, including fast pickles, this chili mac ‘n cheese, homemade naan bread, this mushroom stroganoff, and these no flour cookies.

Cooking School, Chiang Mai, Thailand

4. Meatless Mondays (or more!)

Speaking of trying new recipes, now might be the time to give Meatless Mondays a try (I rave about Nisha all the time. Go to for some easy and delicious veggie recipes). I eat mostly plant-based now, but before that, I started out by going meatless one day a week. I fell down a treasure-trove of recipes that had me making more and more meals without meat before realizing that I really didn’t even miss it. And for those of you who know my meat-eating husband, yes he is on board with this new way of eating!

mushroom stroganoff rainbowplantlife
Photo by Nisha - @Rainbowplantlife

5. Start a garden

This one I mentioned in last week’s blog post about home projects to get working on. Read more about it here

Bourough Market UK
Borough Market, London

Valparaiso, Chile
Valparaiso, Chile

6. Learn a musical instrument

This one has actually been on my list since long before the quarantine. Now I don't have an excuse to get learning! I’ve been finding lots of great teachers on YouTube to guide me through guitar learning! Andy Guitar has been one of my favorites. 

7. Get crafty

Start an art project or try your art skills, especially if you haven’t picked up a pencil in twenty years. A friend mentioned SkillShare, a site with a wealth of exciting online classes where you can explore new skills and existing passions, and get lost in creativity. They’re offering two months of free classes right now.

arts and crafts

8. Catch up on TV shows, podcasts, and books

I came across this list of the Best 30 New York Times international TV shows. I’m especially fond of “The Crown”, “Killing Eve,” “Fleabag,” and “Money Heist.” “The Returned” is on my list; my students had watched it for extra French practice and raved about it.

I’ve also been knocking out my overflowing podcast library. I’ve been putting them on at speed and a half and plugging myself in as I circle the block and get some fresh air. I talked about our favorite podcasts series in this blog post about road trips.

Book of the month club was recommended by a friend whose bucket list goal is to read two books a month. As the title suggests, they'll send you a book that you choose our of their five pre-vetted titles every month. 

Libreria Acqua Alta Venice ItalyLibreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy

9. Take time for self-care

Refinery29 put together some great tips for skincare when you stop wearing makeup.

This roundup of self-care routines from women quarantined around the world might also give you some ideas. 

10. Get fit and get in shape

The people I surveyed, listed this one the most. I’m making a point to exercise daily and have had some luck staying in a routine with some of these resources:

Downdog app, a fantastic yoga app that lets you personalize every practice, is allowing free access to all of their apps, Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout, free until May 1st. Students and teachers with a school email address can get access for free until July 1st.

Pilatesology is posting free pilates workouts throughout the quarantine period.

Class pass has a variety of on-demand and live streaming classes with a huge library of free videos, as well.

Yoga with Adriene on YouTube has an amazing 30-day yoga challenge that can keep you on track. 

Dana Landgren posts all of her at-home, equipment-free workouts on her Instagram page. You won’t feel it during the exercise, but I promise you’ll be sore everywhere the next day. 

If you haven’t jumped on the Peloton bandwagon yet, they’re offering a 90 day trial period for access to their on-demand and live classes, from running and cycling, to strength training, yoga, and meditation. There’s even an option to set up your workout routine for the week or month as extra accountability.

Mccarren Park BrooklynMcCarren Park, Brooklyn

11. Be your own hairdresser 

I’m not sure if I’d be brave enough to cut my own hair, but luckily I’m not there yet. I had just gotten my hair cut before the quarantine started. If you’re in a pickle, here are some things to think about before you make the first cut. 

And, as I told my friend who listed this on her own bucket list, we’ll probably have plenty of time for hair to grow out if you make a wrong snip!

12. Re-think your job/work/practice

Getting out of the office might be just the motivation you need to re-think and re-organize your job or practice. As a teacher, maybe you can digitize your classroom in a way that will lead to fewer trips to the copy machine when classes resume in school buildings. Maybe counselors and therapists can move their sessions to teletherapy sessions and give up or share their space in an office space, thus cutting down on rent. In the world of zoom conference calls and Slack groups, perhaps you can move your meetings and business trips to a virtual space so that you can work from home a few days a week. Or, maybe this is a perfect opportunity for you to jump into that side hustle that you’ve been thinking about starting on your own. 

13. Learn a new job-related skill or get an additional license or certificate 

Speaking of starting your new thing, learn those skills or work on that extra license or certificate to put yourself in a more marketable place, either within your current job or not.

For me, starting Souks du Monde required a crash-course in website building, online marketing, social media, photography and photo editing, among other things. Once school was out of session, I used my summer vacations and spring breaks to learn everything I could before launching my online shop. Now, I’m using the extra time during quarantine to go deeper into some of these areas.

I’ve found that Udemy has a wealth of classes that have been helpful to me. I’ve also got a few Masterclasses that I’m hoping to get to, as well. More about those here

14.  Breathe some life into your home 

Last week I posted an interview I had with the home stylist and blogger extraordinaire, Tina from Eclectic Twist. Tina talked all about how she keeps things fresh in her house by re-purposing and re-organizing furniture, rugs, and accessories in her home. Get some inspiration to make your home work best for you, especially now that we are spending so much time in it! Read all about it here.


Photo by Tina Bousu @EclecticTwist

15. Learn to sew and make some face masks

According to this New York Times article, numerous studies have shown “that widespread mask-wearing might be a very effective complement to hand-washing, social-distancing and other measures to mitigate the pandemic.” There’s a pattern and how-to guide included in the article. My friend’s mom has taken it upon herself to make cute facemasks with leftover fabric that has been kicking around and sharing her creations with her friends and family. 

Are any of these on your quarantine bucket list? What did I miss? Please share in the comments below! Even better, if you’ve got a good resource to give us some guidance! 

As always, thank you for reading and sharing! I hope that you and your family are staying healthy and safe!


1 comment

  • love this. i needed these tips! best blog.


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