Ideas for Staying Busy During Self-Isolation

This post is for those seeking ideas to stay busy during the day, but I want to add really quick that you don't have to do all of these things to feel like you're being productive. Not doing them doesn't mean you're wasting away in the depths of quarantine. You do you. You don't have to learn a second language, build a six pack, or start a side hustle. If the internet is going to tell you to do one thing, it better be to relax. Breathe. We're in this together.

On March 16th the Bay Area was ordered to “shelter-in-place,” meaning that residents including myself must stay home and only leave for essential purposes such as doctors appointments, work (if that work was deemed essential), or to walk a dog. My part time job as a bartender came to a very abrupt halt because of this and the University of Alabama (where I’m completing an online Bachelors degree in Food and Nutrition) extended their spring break an additional week. This all meant that for two weeks I haven’t had much to do.

I found myself defaulting to Twitter throughout the days for news updates. I guess I was hoping that on one of my million refreshes, the platform would answer all my questions. Instead it was news story after news story about cases of COVID-19, medical supply shortages, and deaths. I’d end up on Instagram and see people hurting and fearing the future because of the uncertainty surrounding their employment status.

Ignoring what’s happening isn’t the answer. Staying informed and educated on the truth of the matter is actually really important to fighting the virus and keeping one another safe. But there comes a point when the news articles become repetitive and will only drive you deeper into a hole of negativity.

There’s a lot more you can do in the day so I want to share with you what I’ve been doing but also what other members of the Diabetic Online Community have been doing. I asked everyone to share what they’ve been working on to keep their spirits afloat and I’ll be sharing their answers at the bottom of this post.

Online Workout Classes

Keeping my routine as consistent as possible has been key to making my days more productive. I have never been much of a routine person but this transition to stay-at-home life was made easier by finding ways to stay active and start my days on the right foot.

Barre3 is offering a 15 day free trial for their online workout classes and there are SO many to choose from. There is an option to filter out classes based off how much time you have or feel like doing and which workout equipment you have with you. There are 10, 30, 45, 60 minute classes and some classes recommend weights or a band and for some, just a yoga mat will do. Another favorite thing about these online workouts (and this might seem silly, but when I discovered it I was stoked) is that you can turn off the background music they use. I turn it off and just put on classic 70’s rock while the instructor talks you through the moves!

If you need something a little bit faster paced than Barre3, I recently started doing Rachael from Rachaels’ Good Eats IGTV workouts that she’s been doing with her fiancé! They really help you build muscle and include some intricate sets that work muscles that I don’t use with Barre3 (for example, lots of abs).

Other resources to keep you moving:

Melissa Wood Health - This program offers a 7-day free trial. I really liked Melissa's program because you can do a quick 20 minute class where she guides you from her NYC studio and it's like having an instructor right there with you. Her voice is also very calming, making the whole experience worthwhile.

Peloton is offering a 90-day free trial, which will hopefully cover more than the time of this order to shelter-in-place. Peloton has multi-week programs that help you build-up strength, work on your flexibility or whatever your goal might be! I really like the app for Peloton and being able to customize your workout plan is awesome!

FitOn - an app for your iPad or iPhone that has FREE workout programs. This app also helps you customize your workout plan by asking you questions about your lifestyle and goals. Before you start your workout plan, you can invite friends to join you!


As soon as I heard we’d be in shelter-in-place for at least a few weeks (two of those weeks being my spring break), I headed online to Amazon and bought three 750 piece puzzles to keep me entertained. Besides hurting your back while leaning over the table, puzzles have been super good for keeping my mind from racing about the world ending.

Skin Care

Okay this is the time to really focus on our skin. We might have a busy life outside of this quarantine where we are layering on makeup to feel presentable, breaking a sweat with said makeup on (guilty) or maybe even being too lazy to take it off at the end of the day (also guilty). I’ve been thankful for this time to not wear makeup and shower myself in face masks and quality skin care.

Zoom Dates

Nothing romantic (unless that’s the vibe you’re going for) but just sending out a link and gathering friends for lunch, a drink at happy hour, or a movie can really lighten your spirits. We’re not alone in this and a good way to be reminded of that is by bonding with others who are also at home!

Dance Party

Each time I’ve put on a favorite playlist and danced like a weirdo around my room, I feel so positive after. Dua Lipa came out with a new album during this quarantine called Future Nostalgia and it has the sounds of the 80’s with modern pop, making it perfect for dropping it low and spinning in circles.

I asked Instagram what they’ve been doing to find stillness and positivity right now and here are their answers along with their Instagram handles:

BAKING and not things I normally make…trying new/challenging things


Deleting the Facebook app, therapy, sims, exercise, applying to new jobs


My pups! They make me exercise by going on walks and love to snuggle




Rereading old favorite books, watching Starkid, and painting omnipods


80s-90s music/karaoke everyday and dancing like there is no tomorrow


Realizing & documenting the positive! I keep a running list, and meditate on it! @lindsaychanna

Late night zoom calls with friends :)


I’ve been going through all my old live music dvd/blu rays and singing by myself


Planting seeds and knitting


Puzzles and decluttering


Getting to create a fun dinner and game nights at home


Playing ukulele, chalk art and yoga


Sitting down & playing with my daughter even if the house is a mess


Things that make me focus like drawing reading baking painting


Animal crossing


Connecting with groups of friends all over the country I normally wouldn’t be able to @cheyannefa

Watercolor painting! I truly lose myself in painting - it’s wonderful. And TV


I wish I had all the answers or a magic potion that could make the worry go away. I feel like it’s been a constant effort to fight anxious feelings about an end of the world, but it’s a fight worth fighting. I hope these ideas will offer you tools to fight any fear that creeps into your life while staying home.

#quarantine #onlineworkouts