As Americans are being asked to stay home during the coronavirus outbreak, many are learning first hand the definition of stir crazy:  “feeling distraught because of prolonged confinement.” Don’t worry - you’re not alone here.

You don’t have to use this time to write the next great American novel; indeed, there’s a lot to worry about and do. But if you are looking for some structure in your day, here are some new activities you can do at home during the COVID-19 quarantine. Who knows.. maybe you’ll develop a new passion or skill that you’ll hold on to long after the quarantine has ended!

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1. Develop your green thumb 

No matter if you live in a house with a yard or garden, or in an apartment with no outdoor area, it’s possible to create a leafy oasis indoors or outdoors. Get out in the garden and start that long-planned veggie garden, or have some house plants delivered by an online retailer and transform your home into a tranquil, green escape. Gardening is good for the mind and soul, and can be a handy little workout as well

2. Journal for your mental health 

Journaling is a cheap and effective way to get your thoughts out of your brain and onto paper, and starting off your day with a set journaling time has been proven to be extremely beneficial to mental health. Invest in a good quality notebook and pour your thoughts out over a coffee each morning. Now’s as good a time as any. 

3. The great American bake off

Since lockdown laws came into place across the world, there’s been an incredible explosion of home cooks showing off their quarantine culinary skills across social media. From delicious bread to mouth watering pasta dishes, we are loving what we are seeing! Get involved and show off your cooking skills

4. Finally finish that scrapbook

Has it been five years since your European trip and you still haven’t made the scrapbook of souvenirs and holiday snaps? No matter the occasion, now's the time to spend some quality arts and crafts time creating a beautiful scrapbook you will treasure for years to come. 

5. Start a niche blog 

Have some wisdom to share on a certain topic? A blog is a fun way to showcase your own interests to the masses, and long-term can turn into a profitable little side business if you stick with it. Narrow down a niche you’re obsessed with - be it Spanish food, home organisation hacks or current events - and start writing and posting some great content for the world to enjoy. 

6. Set yourself a daily fitness goal 

You may not be able to visit your gym at the moment or go for long walks along the beach, but that doesn’t mean your fitness has to suffer. YouTube has an endless treasure trove of fitness videos to follow along with at home - many that you don’t require any equipment for at all. In addition, many fitness experts are offering up online classes - some free of charge - to keep people active while staying at home. Do some research, make a YouTube fitness playlist and get your sweat on. And hey - at least the shower is only a few steps away! 

7. Do a free online course 

With many of us losing our jobs and struggling during the COVID-19 epidemic, a number of training institutions have stepped up to the mark, offering a range of their paid courses for free for those that meet requirements. Top universities from around the world such as Carnegie Mellon and Duke University are offering free online college classes that include recordings of lectures to interactive courses with assignments and final projects

8. Rediscover the joy of reading 

Remember when we read books - before the internet consumed so much of our downtime? Now’s the perfect opportunity to rediscover the boundless benefits of reading. Scour your bookshelf for books you haven’t read yet or to enjoy all over again. Make yourself a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, curl up with a blanket on the couch and transport yourself somewhere else for a little while. 

9. Go to a virtual Museum 

Going into a self-quarantine can have many complex issues and complications beyond having enough food and supplies for two weeks. In terms of entertainment, it also probably means you’re in for a lot of boredom, a lot of Netflix, and a lot of browsing the internet. But there is a way to get a little culture and education while you’re confined to your home. Instead of binging the best of what Netflix has to offer for the second time, it's time to broaden your horizons with some virtual tours! "Walk" through some of the world's most prestigious cultural institutions like the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid

10. Make your own natural beauty products 

Many of us are keeping a strict eye on our spending at the moment, and beauty staples are one item that isn’t an essential for a lot of us. But when times are tough, your skin and hair can still shine - just look to the pantry. Its brimming with natural food products that make terrific beauty ingredients, including our favourite - olive oil! Whip up a batch of the best body scrub you’ve even used with some olive oil, coconut oil, brown sugar and oats. Your skin will be nourished and soft as a baby’s. Antioxidant rich olive oil is also a brilliant answer to dry skin and hair, broken cuticles, a dry scalp and even as a wax residue remover. Pick up your bottle of the best Spanish olive oil, La Española, online at Amazon.