None of us expected that we’d still be self-isolating into June, but here we are—about to enter the summer season while still stuck inside our homes. Aside from binging on Netflix and scrolling through endless animal memes, there are plenty of things we could be doing when we’re not homeschooling the kids or working at our desks; it just requires a little effort and some old-school imagination. Here are some fun and productive ways to pass the time at home.

1. Declutter the house

Did you know that the process of getting rid of old stuff is actually a proven stress-reliever? With every unwanted item you toss, donate, or hand off to someone else, the tension in your shoulders literally melts away. Think about all the clothes, trinkets and boxes of old keepsakes stashed in the closet from years ago. Now’s the time to pull it all out and take stock of what you do and don’t need. It feels good to free up space—and by donating quality items to charity, others will benefit too.

2. Explore nature (inside or out)

Pre-COVID-19, our lives were far too busy to “relax and smell the roses.” Now, with nowhere else to go, and as the noise and chaos of the city become distant memories of our “old” lives, why not delve in to the beauty of nature? Get out and hike in the nearest ravine, or stay close to home and plant a veggie garden. Stuck in a high-rise apartment building? Try your hand at flower arranging. With no rush, and flowers blooming to life all around us, let colour and nature be your friend.

3. Learn to paint

Whether you’re artistically talented or not, there’s something about painting that soothes the soul. When’s the last time you sat down, with or without the kids and made a painting on canvas? Not only will it be an activity everyone will enjoy, but you’ll have a keepsake of this unprecedented time together—and hey, if it ends up in your newly decluttered closet, you’ll have it to dig out during the next global pandemic.

4. Cook up something new

With Father’s Day around the corner and online shopping orders backed-up several weeks, the best way to his heart is through food. Learn a new recipe, or make a special menu out of his favourite dishes. If you can’t be with him this year due to COVID-19 restrictions (or for any reason), send him your menu and remind him that soon you’ll be together again, and an evening of culinary joy will be his.

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