The announcement of stage three restrictions here in Victoria mean there should only be four purposes for work: for food and supplies, for exercise, for medical care, and for work and education if necessary.
Staying inside is the best way to safeguard yourself from COVID-19, and more importantly others who might be more susceptible to the virus. It is an essential step to “flatten the curve” and eventually support us to feel safe to leave the house again. But you know what self-isolation can also lead to? Boredom, monotony, restlessness and cabin fever!
But have no fear, there are lots of different activities you can do while stuck inside your house. I’ve made a compilation of suggestions that can help you get through this quarantine and hopefully afterwards you’ll feel like there was a silver lining to the COVID-19 madness after all.
It’s time to learn that thing you always wanted to learn or pick up an old hobby
Right now is the perfect time to pick up that skill or hobby you lost track of.
You can pick up that instrument again and try to play some songs. You can start painting, knitting, baking, juggling, dancing, watching movies and any other activity, which you enjoy!
- Youtube is an invaluable resource with millions of videos to learn anything and everything! Just type: “How to <insert hobby or skill>”.
- DuoLingo is a fun and free way to start learning a new language. Each lesson uses a variety of visual and engaging activities to learn vocabulary. It’s available on your desktop or on your favourite App store.
- Khan Academy is a free education website with hundreds of courses available in school subjects such as English, Maths and Science, but also other important topics such as Finance, Geography, Coding and Entrepreneurship!
- LinkedIn Learning is a great place to pick up your skills on something related to business. Want to write better? Learn how to use Photoshop? How to create more meaningful connections? This is the place for you. If you have a local library membership, it’s possible that you can access all of the courses for free.
- If you're unsure of what hobby to take, you can take this Buzzfeed quiz, or read this ABC Life article on hobbies you can take up during COVID-19
Yes I said it, you should learn how to code!
Knowing a programming language is beneficial in an increasingly technological advanced world, so I highly recommend you try it out! There are a number of websites with free coding courses.
- Coursera is providing coding-based courses, tutorials and resources from some of the world’s leading universities, and in multiple programming languages.
- Code Academy has many introductory coding courses and an interactive learning approach that helps you go from beginner to expert!
- Free Code Camp helps you learn code by giving you various challenges and has an amazing community
- Dash can teach you all the basics of web development and help you make a creative and beautiful website
- Code.org has over a million people using it to further their programming skills and knowledge. There’s a range of courses broken down by different age ranges!
Read e-books & listen to audiobooks
‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’ Addison wrote this many, many years ago and it’s still true! There’s a number of online platforms which have released free ebooks and audiobooks to help you get through self-isolation.
- Audible is offering free audiobooks to get you through self-isolation! There’s 100s of audiobooks in multiple languages.
- Librivox is a community of volunteers who record public domain texts; poetry, short stories and books!
- Libby by Overdrive is a fun little app that lets you listen to audiobooks and read ebooks based on a public library card! It’s usually free to get a library card from a public library! You can find it on your app store or through
- Open Library is an easy to navigate website with over a million books on it!
- Project Gutenburg is the oldest ebook collection online.
Look after your body by exercising and eating well
All the gyms and outdoor sporting venues might be closed, but that doesn’t mean you should lie on the couch all day (but don’t we all want to!). Your physical health is really important in supporting your mental health.
- Exercise! You can do some early morning exercises like arm swings and side bends. Youtube has so many workout videos, if you are out of ideas.
- Yoga! There’s innumerable online yoga communities aimed at helping you stay fit with only a wi-fi connection and a yoga mat! Best part is, you don’t need all the bulky gym equipment since Yoga mainly consists of stretches. Most of the best ones are on Youtube but you can just search for yoga and many good ones will pop up!
- Go for a walk or a bike ride outside – Exercising is one of the four reasons during COVID-19 stage three restrictions for leaving the house, so going for a walk outside is great to get some fresh air, a change of scenery and for some self-love!
- Eat well – it’s so easy to get in the habit of takeaway and UberEats, but cooking and eating well is important in staying well during COVID-19 lockdowns. BudgetBytes is a great website of nutritious meals which don’t break the bank.
Visit your Iconic Museums and Concerts from the security and comfort of home
While most museums are closed, you can now do a virtual tour/concert instead! Lots of cultural hubs have decided to unveil virtual tours in the place of in-person ones.
- State Library Victoria have made their online collections and resources completely free. You can even explore State Library Victoria in this 3D experience
- “Museum at Home” by Museums Victoria allows you to engage and explore Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and the Immigration Museum online.
- Take a Virtual NGV Tour of NGV Melbourne, with tours led by a curator so you can see the exhibitions in a new light
- The Louvre, one of the world’s largest art museums, offers free online tours of its most important and popular exhibits, such as its Egyptian Antiquities and works from Michaelangelo!
- London’s British Museum has made over a million objects in their collection available to view online.
- Another option for virtual tours is The Google Art Project which showcases art from a variety of places, like the White House in the US, to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, to even street art from around the world!
There’s many, many options for virtual concerts! Many of Australia’s greatest artists are performing live on Instagram with Isol-Aid under the hashtag #isolaid to help us get through self-isolation. Diplo’s Corona World Tour which is available every Thursday-Sunday & Tuesday on his Twitch, Youtube and Instagram pages and NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts which are live performances recorded from, you guessed it, a tiny desk in NPR’s office.
Make the most of your quarantine and look after yourself. Look after each other, too and help those who you can help. Most importantly of all, stay safe!
Nitul is a graduate from the University of Melbourne who likes bees, staying at home and reading about statistics and economics. You can find him on Facebook, where he religiously posts pictures of cute cats every single day.