Looking for things to do in isolation, or for lockdown activities to keep yourself from getting bored in quarantine? From FREE access to hundreds of online classes (click here for a two week Skillshare trial for free!) to creative challenges to fitness ideas to scouring Amazon’s best Deals of the Day, here’s a huge list of things to do in self-isolation, quarantine or lockdown.

Edit: In New Zealand we’ve just been plunged back into a Level 4 lockdown after a cluster of Delta cases in the community. For all my Kiwi readers out there, kia kaha and stay safe and healthy!

At the end of February 2020 I was staying in an overwater bungalow in Vietnam, a week later I was quarantined on a tropical island in the Philippines not knowing when we’d be let off (check out my ‘Corona dramas’ highlight on Instagram to hear more about that insane story), and by March 16 I was back in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house, wondering what I can do in isolation to stop myself from going crazy.

A week after I arrived home, NZ went into a full lockdown. We’re all living in a very unexpected and unprecedented* reality. (*If ‘unprecedented’ isn’t the Word of the Decade, I’ll be disappointed).

Vietnam overwater bungalow in Phu Quoc
Throwback to when life looked like this!

I’ll be honest, I’ve found it tough to be level-headed and realistic about this whole situation.

We’re constantly bombarded with bad news, irresponsible reporting, updates of coronavirus case numbers, conspiracy theories, casual racism and unhelpful speculation.

Then on the other end of the scale we have kitchen dance parties, push up challenges and friends taking online courses to learn a language in the next 28 days *cough* overachievers *cough*. While these isolation activities are all coming from a good place, if you aren’t quite ready to see the ‘silver linings’ or to seize the day(s), that’s totally okay too.

After more than eight weeks in self-isolation, I’ve had a lotttttt of hours to come up with a long list of things to do during isolation and lockdown.

Some are quick and easy, some are free, some require a bigger commitment and some are probably a total waste of time, but hey, we’ve all got time to waste! Read on for loads of ideas for fun things to do in self-isolation.

Things to do during self-isolation jigsaw puzzle

Fun Things to Do During Self-Isolation

Career, skills and finance-related isolation ideas

Considering what to do in self-isolation that will help you long-term in your career? Here are some isolation activities for adults or students.

1. Take an online class

Want to level up your Instagram game with nice photos? Have loads of travel video footage that you want to turn into something decent? Reckon you might have a hidden talent as a web designer? Or perhaps you want to learn something more delicious, like cake decorating?

There are SO many online platforms with thousands of classes to choose from, and lots of small business owners have started offering online classes too as a way for them to still make income while on lockdown.

My top pick for a digital platform with a huge range of classes is Skillshare, and you can get a two week FREE trial of Skillshare if you sign up right here. You’ll need to submit your payment details in order to get the free trial, but you can cancel anytime before the two week trial ends to avoid being charged.

Skillshare’s classes have a big focus on creativity, like photography, editing, illustration and writing, but there’s also plenty of productivity, user experience, coding, languages, leadership and social media classes too, plus many, many more. I’ve taken seven of their classes so far (mostly photography and blog-related) and have about twenty others on my wishlist.

Here’s a selection of some of Skillshare’s most popular classes, you can search for these after signing up through the button above:

  • Getting Paid to Travel: Becoming a Professional Travel Photographer
  • Draw Your Life: Intro to Illustrated Journaling
  • Real Productivity: How to Build Habits That Last
  • Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro for Beginners
  • Adobe Photoshop CC – Essentials Training Course
  • Unlocking Your Potential: 5 Exercises to Build Creative Confidence

Learning new skills is one of the most fun things to do in isolation, and there’s an added bonus of feeling good about the fact you’ve done something genuinely useful with your time.

2. Reassess your job

Most people have been impacted in terms of their career, whether you’re at risk of losing your job, have had to start working from home, or are an essential worker.

In a time like this, where employers and employees are both stressed, it’s a good idea to take a step back and assess how you’ve been treated.

Has your employer been upfront, supportive and done what they can to mitigate their financial risks and risks to your health and safety? Or have they been tough, shady and made things even more stressful and confusing?

If it’s the former, make sure they’re aware of your gratitude, and if it’s the latter, it might be worth reconsidering your loyalty to them once this is all over.

3. Read an eBook

There are plenty of brilliant eBooks out there to teach you something new, here are a few worth checking out:

4. Learn a language

Hands up if you’ve ever tried to learn a new language in your downtime or before an overseas trip? If you have the mental capacity for it, there’s no better time to commit to it than when you’re spending the foreseeable future inside your own home!

I’m a big fan of the Duolingo and Babbel apps, and I’ve just discovered Drops which offers Te Reo Māori as an option.

Things to do during self-isolation podcast
Wondering what to do in isolation at home? Download a language app and get learning!

5. Learn sign language

You can learn NZ Sign Language online for free here.

6. Start a side hustle

Have you got a business idea that fills a gap or solves a problem? It might be a good time to start working on that as a side hustle, because when else are you forced to sit at home with no outside distractions?

This pandemic is going to significantly affect the economy which is super scary, but it’s also going to create gaps. The world is going to change and that means there’s space for solutions for brand new problems we haven’t faced before. It also means that unfortunately some businesses will fail, but that creates opportunities for others to begin.

7. Figure out how much money you’re saving by staying home, and put it away

Shout out to Emma from The Broke Generation for this one! There’s no doubt that we’re all worse off from a finance point of view, but it’s not all total doom and gloom.

Add up how much you’re saving from not eating out, not getting coffee, not taking transport or paying for petrol, then put this money somewhere safe or use it to pay off debt.

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8. Learn about the share market

While the share market has shown massive volatility over the past year, it’s still a growth opportunity that’s worth looking into for when you’re in a position to invest.

There are plenty of online resources to learn the basics (like this one for the NZX) and lots of different platforms to start out with. I have just discovered Hatch, part of Kiwibank which allows Kiwis to invest in US companies like Netflix, Amazon and Apple, and I was hoping to start playing around with that (until my income opportunities dried up completely haha). Sharesies in New Zealand is another entry-level stock market option, and you can get a $5 bonus if you sign up right here.

Please remember that you should never invest money that you need, because returns are definitely not guaranteed.

Things to do during quarantine share market

9. If you own a small business, work on your branding

Is your small business impacted by travel restrictions or the lockdown? Use this time to focus on your brand so you can keep your audience engaged, and connect with a new audience, once all this is over.

Branding can mean different things depending on your industry but you should consider things like your logo, tagline, physical store, packaging, social media and more.

There are loads of online resources to help teach you the basics of branding as well as platforms which can help with the tasks you aren’t clued up about. Canva is great for creating everything from logos to social media posts, TTLG Designs has some gorgeous ready-made logos available for purchase, or if you’ve got a bit more money then consider hiring a freelance designer.

And if you want to go all out and get the low down on all things social media, check out the Marketing Side’s DIY Social Media online course, highly recommended by past clients.

10. Start a blog

First of all, know that blog traffic as a whole is massively down right now (unless you work in something like cooking or crafts). Blogging is not something that will give you success overnight, or even after months or years of work, but it is a fantastic outlet if you think you have something to share.

I’m not a blog pro in any sense, I am completely self-taught from YouTube tutorials and a lot of trial and error. For an easier path to blogging than I took, check out this detailed guide by Kirsten from The Blonde Abroad.

Skyroam WiFi hot spot
Sometimes travel blogging looks like this, but sometimes it looks like sitting in your childhood bedroom with no income opportunities at all.

Mental and physical wellbeing

Isolation is exactly that, isolating. It’s imperative that you take some time to think about the impact this is having on your body and your mind, and make sure you’re looking after yourself, whether that’s with movement, meditation or just a warm bubble bath.

If you’re thinking about what to do when self isolating, read on for some healthy ideas.

11. Feel your feelings

Everyone is dealing with this craziness right now, and it’s okay if you’re feeling crappy. Even if you’re in a secure job, a safe country, with minimal financial impact, it’s still okay to feel frustrated that you’re stuck inside for the next month or longer.

This sucks, for everyone involved (which is literally everyone), and it’s normal to feel sorry for yourself, be angry about your cancelled travel plans, worry about family and friends who are high risk or frontliners, and be anxious about the future.

BUT it’s important to not let the negative take over from the positive. Feel your feelings, have a cry, wallow in self-pity for a short while, and then aim to pull yourself out of the darkness. And if you have bad days or bad hours within days throughout the coming weeks, that’s fine too.

If you want to chat to or help others who are struggling, you could join this Facebook group that has been set up for those who need help to cope with the lockdown.

And if you require professional help, please reach out immediately. In NZ you can call or text 1737 to speak to a counsellor for free 24/7, or call Lifeline on 0800 LIFELINE. In Australia you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, and in the UK you can call the Samaritans on 116 123.

12. Meditate

Confession: I SUCK at meditating. I have tried many times, with various programmes and apps, but my brain is always on and I struggle to slow my thoughts down.

In saying that though, the two apps I’ve found the most helpful are Headspace (a classic) and Ten Percent Happier (founded by another unsuccessful meditator so that gives me hope).

Registered counsellor Gabriella de Mori has just released a free reflective meditation specifically focused on COVID-19 stress to download here. And if you really want to take meditation and breathing seriously and work through the mental barrier, you could book a private breathwork session online with the legendary Michelle Baker.

Meditation is one of the few things that top athletes, business people and entertainers all over the globe credit for their success, so it must work!

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13. Yoga and stretching

The mental benefits of meditation coupled with the physical benefits of stretching make yoga another common activity found on daily routines the world over.

This YouTube playlist has loads of free yoga classes.

If you just want to stretch out your body, there are lots of online resources for you. Download Stretching and Flexibility on the App Store or Google Play, purchase a Get Bendy or Get Split eBook from Elle Fit with a range of stretches you can do daily, or join FitOn (free) to start a stretching and home workout routine.

14. Work out

Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy! Channel Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods and get sweaty and happy at the same time, all from the comfort of your lounge for one of the healthiest things to do in self-isolation.

NZ’s most well-known gym chain, Les Mills, is broadcasting daily workouts on TV1 at 9am, plus a special version aimed at kids and teens at 3pm on TV2, and all workouts will be available on TVNZ OnDemand.

Want more? Les Mills also has an app, Les Mills On Demand, with enough workouts to keep you occupied no matter how long this lockdown lasts. It costs $29.99 per month but there’s a free 14 day trial and you can cancel at any time.

If you’re keen to take this time to get really serious about your fitness, there are many personal trainers out there who are available for virtual classes or online programmes, like Precision Performance Coaching, or join in on a free weekly Pilates class online with CGB Physio.

If you’re wondering what to do in isolation that will keep you healthy, home workouts are a great option.

15. Do an online wellbeing class for mums and mums-to-be

The Mama Monthly Collective is running a pay-what-you-want online programme with workouts, Pilates, coaching and expert-run masterclasses specifically for busy mums and pregnant women.

16. Dance party

If you prefer your exercise in the form of dancing like a madman around your house with music blaring, this one’s for you! I’m a big fan of a one-woman dance party when I stay at fancy hotels, I’ll always throw on a couple of my favourite bangers and belt them out while jumping around.

Do a DIY dance party, use fellow travel blogger Beth Sandland’s social distancing kitchen party playlist for inspo, or join UK influencer Chessie King’s daily Instagram Live for dis-dancing with hundreds of other self-isolators.

17. Ted Talks

Show your brain some love by listening to or watching a through-provoking Ted Talk.

Some of my favourites are Simon Sinek’s ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Great Action‘, Jill Bolte Taylor’s ‘My Stroke of Insight‘ and Dan Gilbert’s ‘The Surprising Science of Happiness‘.

18. Go for a walk, run or bike ride

Even during the NZ lockdown, you’re still allowed to go for a walk or bike ride provided you stay local and keep your distance from others. Go out and get some fresh air, I guarantee you’ll feel better for it.

Things to do during a lockdown bike ride

19. Reorganise the apps on your phone

I’m a mega nerd and have all my apps colour-coded but most normal people (ha) will use folders. Organise your apps however suits your brain best, it is surprisingly therapeutic!

20. Pamper yourself

If you normally treat yourself to hair and beauty treatments, why not do a DIY spa day at home? Add some bubble bath to your next essentials grocery shop, light a candle, have a soak in the tub before doing a hair mask, face mask, your nails and so on.

Not so good at doing it yourself but want to support your local salon? Consider buying a voucher online or contacting them to see if you can prepay for a service that you’ll use in the future, to give them a bit of financial security over this lockdown period.

Travel inspiration

We all miss travel, but there are some unique ways to travel during self-isolation without even leaving your house. Seriously! Here are some of my top tips for travel-related things to do when isolating at home.

21. Read travel blogs

I’m obviously biased here, but even though we can’t travel right now, you can learn all about exotic locations and plan future travels by reading travel blogs from your favourite creators.

Clicking, reading and sharing these blogs also means that the blogger reaches more people, which is massively helpful when advertising revenue from travel blogs has dropped to zero.

If you want to catch up on my adventures, some of my top blog posts are:

And if you want to discover other travel bloggers that I’ve been using to plan my own trips, check out these guys and gals:

Hoi An things to do
I’ve just published loads of Vietnam blogs if anyone wants to visit there!

22. Check out Armchair Adventures

Aussie-based travel start up Travis was gearing up to launch when COVID-19 halted their plans, so instead they’ve set up Armchair Adventures, an online platform for people to share their favourite travel memories for other armchair travellers to experience digitally!

Check out all the adventures you can go on or upload your own collection of travel memories right here.

23. Scrapbook your past travels

If you’ve got a box full of souvenirs, ticket stubs, boarding passes and postcards, spend a day working on making them look pretty!

If you don’t want a full scrapbook, try out a travel pin board instead.

Things to do during lockdown scrapbook

24. Make a bucket list

Start scouring Pinterest, Instagram, travel blogs, Lonely Planet guides and any other travel resource you can find, and note down all the must-dos and must-sees that you want to experience for yourself. I’m working on my bucket list blog right now but it’s already 150 things long… oops!

The world will open up again one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, and the travel industry will need us more than ever.

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25. Do virtual museum tours

History and art buffs will love this one! See the masterpieces, antiques and artifacts in the British Museum, the Louvre, the Guggenheim and the Rijksmuseum, to name a few, all through your phone or computer. This is a good list of the best museums offering digital tours.

Natural History Museum in London things to do in self-isolation

26. Plan adventures around your own country

It’s highly likely that NZ’s international borders will stay closed until at least the end of 2021 (sob), so while an international adventure is off the cards, some travel around your own backyard could do wonders for the local tourism industry.

When restrictions are lifted for you and it’s okay to travel domestically, consider taking a staycation, a weekend away or even an extended road trip around the country.

Go and visit your friends in other cities, discover hidden gems, and support local businesses.

27. Plan an overseas adventure

Dreaming of being abroad? Me too, I feel your pain. While we obviously can’t up and go just yet, we will be able to one day, so there’s no harm in pulling together some plans for future exploring.

When you’re trying to figure out where to go and what to do, consider adding in some of the destinations that rely hugely on tourism and therefore have been most affected by the travel restrictions currently in place.

If you’re looking for a tropical paradise, go for places like the Maldives, the Bahamas or Fiji. For a Southeast Asia jaunt, the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia all rely on tourism to make up almost 10% of their GDP. And the most heavily-hit countries like China, Italy and Spain will all be desperate to welcome visitors as soon as it’s safe to go.

If you are considering booking any overseas travel, make sure any booking is fully refundable just in case travel restrictions are extended. Book direct with airlines or in person with a travel agent, avoid online travel agencies as customer service for them can be impossible to deal with in case of any issues.

And be aware that insurance is highly, highly unlikely to cover you for anything related to coronavirus (including cancellation or healthcare), unless you purchase a Cancel For Any Reason policy.

Dreaming of planning a trip is one way to keep your worries at bay when you’re thinking about what to do while self isolating.

Girl in front of the Treasury in Petra, Jordan

What to do during self isolation around the home

If you want to know what to do when self isolating at home, here are some fun isolation that you can get amongst while stuck inside your own four walls.

28. Plant a veggie garden

Put on some gumboots and overalls and start working on your very own vegetable garden.

29. Spring clean

Time to wipe, dust and spruce up every corner of your home. If you’ve got messy cupboards, unkempt desks or stacks of boxes in your attic or garage, why not spend a few days working through each of them.

30. Rearrange your furniture

Rearranging your furniture can make your house feel new and exciting, which would be ideal during a four week lockdown.

Watch some interior design Netflix shows or YouTube videos for inspo, learn about feng shui, and get rearranging.

31. Make some art for your walls

If you’ve got paints, pastels, watercolours, dye or any other art supplies, getting creative is one of the most fun things to do in isolation!

Skillshare has loads of classes on painting and other forms of art, you can get a two week free trial here.

There’s also a huge trend for paint by numbers right now, check out some of the best kits on Amazon.

32. Clear out your wardrobe

Time for your inner Marie Kondo to shine. Get all of your clothes out of your wardrobe, drawers, ‘that chair’, the laundry basket and anywhere else they’re hiding, throw them into a pile on the floor, and figure out which items truly spark joy.

Make sure you keep any clothes you don’t want, wash them, and donate them to a local charity once the lockdown has lifted.

Woman folding washing

33. Make something new out of something old

If you’ve got old ceramics, frames or furniture that could do with a touch up, a repaint or a total overhaul, try and rehash them into something new and pretty.

You might need to improvise with this one if you can’t visit the hardware store for tools and materials, but that makes the process even more fun!

34. Prepare for a garage sale

Finding lots of bits and pieces you reckon you could sell? Start putting things aside for a garage sale you can hold after restrictions have lifted.

35. Do some baking

Grab an apron and start baking some sugary treats.

Want to throw some competition into the mix? Why not hold a ‘Without a Recipe’ comp between you and your bubble, inspired by the YouTubers The Try Guys.

Have a judge get out the ingredients you need (and a few extras to throw you off) and try and figure out the amounts, the order and the process to bake cookies, cake or anything else.

36. Test out your barista skills

If you’ve got a coffee machine, start working on your fancy coffees. Whether you want to impress with your foam art or go all out by trying a dalgona coffee (or matcha or milo).

This one was inspired by Sam is Home, a Hong Kong-based content creator who’s been self-isolating for months, forcing her to redirect her travel photography creativity into coffee art instead! Check out her Instagram highlights to see more of her quarantine adventures.

Hot cup of tea on plate on white linen

37. Look for ways you could live more sustainably

Go through your pantry, bathroom and wardrobe and assess your footprint in terms of plastic use and ethical consumption.

Do you have a lot of plastic-wrapped food? Are you buying lots of single items vs. bulk-buying which would have less waste? Do you own clothes that you’ve only worn once or still have the tag on?

Take some time to consider switching products and changing habits once we all get back to normal life.

Some easy changes you could make are using Ethique zero-waste toiletries instead of ones in plastic bottles, recycling and composting where possible, and repurposing any old clothes that you might otherwise throw out.

38. My Kitchen Rules

Give each person in your bubble a night of the week and get them to choose a fancy cookbook meal to prepare and serve. Rate each meal in terms of taste, creativity and presentation.

This is one of my favourite things to do in self-isolation if you’re living with family or flatmates.

Self-isolation activity ideas cooking
Looking for things to do while self isolating? How about an online cooking class!

39. Order something exciting if your country is still allowing deliveries

If you live somewhere where online deliveries are available, allocate a budget and each person in your bubble has to find something epic or exciting that fits into the budget.

Some ideas:

  • Alcohol, obviously
  • Puzzles and board games
  • Water guns and sports gear
  • Yummy treats or ingredients for baking

Isolation ideas about relationships

Keep your friendships and family relationships strong with these fun things to do while isolating. Whether you’re isolating with friends or flatmates, or isolating alone and need some social contact, these ideas will keep you and your mates busy.

40. Happy hour

Have a set time for a daily happy hour with your family or flatmates, where everyone has to sit down together and have a bevvie and a yarn.

You could even open this up to other bubbles of friends and family with Skype or Zoom online meetings!

Pink smoothies with lime and blueberries

41. Morning coffee dates

If you normally catch up with your friends over a coffee or a stroll, continue this routine over the phone or video call.

42. Check in with friends who might need help

If you have friends who live alone, who are stuck at home with young kids, or who are struggling mentally with the lockdown, stay in touch often. Maybe even send them some of your best ideas of things to do while in isolation from this list!

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43. Play with your pet

Doggos all over the globe are living their best lives with their humans around 24/7, and cats are probably hating it!

Multiple studies indicate that pets are helpful for stress relief so give your furry friends a pat and a play.

Things to do during self-isolation play with a pet

44. Make something for upcoming birthdays

If you’ve got friends or family with birthdays coming up in the coming weeks or months, get creative and DIY a present to pass time in self-isolation.

And if anyone in your bubble is celebrating during lockdown, hold an old-fashioned birthday party with children’s games like pass the parcel, the chocolate game, party snacks and more, but with adult drinks instead of juice boxes.

What to do in self isolation when you need downtime

Exhausted? Upset? Just need a break? If you’re wondering what to do in self-isolation that won’t tire you out even more, here are some ideas on things that will let your brain rest and recharge.

45. Netflix

Can we all just say a collective THANK YOU to the internet for existing? Because imagine if we had to deal with a four week (minimum) lockdown without WiFi…

Netflix streaming has increased globally for obvious reasons, to the point where the company has had to restrict streaming quality in multiple regions to reduce pressure on bandwidth. Yes, you read that right.

As a full-time solo traveller I’m pretty familiar with Netflix’s catalogue and have had many, many hours to explore it myself, so here are some of my top picks for various genres. (Please note that some shows may not be available depending on what country you live in).

For feel good vibes and laughs:

  • The Good Place
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Jane the Virgin
  • Workin’ Moms
  • Atypical
  • Grace and Frankie
  • Special

Messed up or thought-provoking docos:

  • Wild Wild Country
  • Tiger King
  • The Staircase
  • Pandemic (how relevant)
  • Miss Americana (Taylor Swift’s new doco, I’m not a huge fan of her but the doc is really good!)
  • The Pharmacist
  • Don’t F**k With Cats
  • Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

For a bit of drama, crime or mystery:

  • The Blacklist
  • Line of Duty
  • Riverdale
  • You
  • Ozark
  • Suits
  • Designated Survivor
  • Shooter
  • Dynasty
  • Spinning Out
  • Gossip Girl
  • Good Girls
  • How To Get Away With Murder
  • The Sinner
  • Bodyguard
  • Mindhunter

Hilarious comedy specials:

  • Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra
  • Iliza Shlesinger’s Elder Millennial
  • Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King
  • Katherine Ryan’s Glitter Room
  • Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette
  • Dave Chapelle’s Sticks and Stones

Addictive reality TV shows or talk shows:

  • Ru Paul’s Drag Race
  • Love is Blind
  • Cheer
  • My Next Guest with David Letterman
  • Patriot Act
  • Queer Eye
  • Jack Whitehall’s Travels with my Father

Trashy movies:

  • Someone Great
  • Always Be My Maybe
  • Murder Mystery
  • Sierra Burgess is a Loser
  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • Set It Up
  • When We First Met
  • Ibiza
Neon sign saying 'breathe'

46. Podcasts

I’m a big fan of podcasts on my travels because I can listen to them on the go while I’m exploring. Some of my favourites are:

  • ZM’s Fletch, Vaughan and Megan
  • The first season of Serial
  • Ted Talks
  • Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
  • My Favourite Murder
  • Criminal
  • Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Comments by Celebs

47. Read a book

An oldie but a goodie. Head to the book shelf and re-read an old favourite, or download Audible to choose from thousands of audiobooks.

You can get a free trial of Audible right here which includes one free audiobook for you to keep even if you cancel.

Map with camera and magazine on top flat lay

48. Board games

Dig out Monopoly, Bananagrams, Risk or whatever else normally causes fights in your household, it’s time to start a board game tournament! In terms of isolation activities for adults, board games is right up there.

49. Video games

When else is it acceptable for grown ass adults to sit down and play video games for hours on end?

If you’ve got a Playstation or an Xbox in the house then lucky you, otherwise jump onto your PC and see what you can download or play online. Use your time in self-isolation to throw it back to your childhood.

50. Puzzles

I’m predicting that this pandemic is going to kick off a comeback for jigsaw puzzles amongst all age groups. Unfortunately we have none in our house, and there’s no point in getting one because our cat would definitely destroy it anyway.

Already done all the puzzles in your house? Get one made with one of your favourite family or travel photos! Then when you’re wondering what to do when bored in isolation, you can bring out your personal jigsaw puzzle and dream about your past adventures at the same time.

Puzzle pieces things to do in self-isolation
Putting together your own jigsaw puzzle is one of the most fun things to do while isolating!

51. Download the Sims

90s kids, this is the time we’ve subconsciously been waiting for. If we can’t live our own lives, let’s live vicariously through our Sims instead.

You can download Sims 4 here and right now it’s on sale for only $15 (I think that’s USD), 75% off!

52. YouTube

Another gem of the internet, YouTube is packed to the brim with funny videos, interesting deep dives, talk show features, conspiracy theories and more to help you find things to do while self-isolating.

Here are some things to search on YouTube:

  • Patriot Act Deep Cuts – Comedian and talk show host Hasan Minhaj answers audience questions about anything and everything
  • The Try Guys – Four guys try a bunch of different stuff, from beauty treatments to science experiments to eating every single thing off a fast food menu
  • Talk shows like Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen and James Corden
  • Wired Autocomplete Interviews – Celebrities answering the most-asked questions about themselves on Google
  • Gary Vee – NYC-based entrepreneur and motivational speaker who speaks 100% truth, great for anyone with an interest in business and/or social media
  • Hot Ones – An interview format where the celebrity is forced to eat super hot wings while being interviewed
  • Military reunions – Great if you need to release some tears!
  • Seth Meyers Day Drinking – A hilarious segment of Late Night with Seth Meyers where he gets drunk with celebs and talks loads of shit

53. Paintvine

Kiwi company Paintvine normally holds weeknight painting events around the country, where you can have a nice glass of wine in one hand and a paintbrush in the other.

And to keep Kiwis’ creative juices flowing, Paintvine is about to launch live streamed painting sessions instead! You can book in your spot at a virtual paint session here, and make sure to BYO wine to your at-home art station.

Fun Things to Do in Self-Isolation with Kids

Self-isolation with kids must be daunting and exhausting, and my heart goes out to all the parents who have had to home-school for such a long time while working themselves. The juggling skills are just crazy!

But if you need some isolation activities for the little ones, read on to learn about some epic things to do while isolating with kids.

54. Teddy bear hunt

Stressful times like this can bring out the best and worst in people, and luckily this is a product of the best!

Families in neighbourhoods all around New Zealand (and other countries) have put teddy bears in their windows, so that kids who are out on their daily fresh air walk have something to look for. How cute is that!

If you don’t have kids but you live in a residential neighbourhood, please consider putting a soft toy in a street-facing window, you might make a local kid’s day.

55. Plant some flowers or veggies

Spark a love of gardening with your kiddos and let their green fingers make some magic, they might even help put food on the table!

Kid walking outside on farm
Wondering what to do during isolation with kids? Outdoor fun in the backyard is a great option for a sunny day.

56. Do an outdoor play class

Nature Play Every Day is an Aussie-based company that’s releasing daily ideas for outdoor-based learning and fun for kids, for only $1AUD a day. Ideal for keeping your young ones busy, active and outside during self-isolation, and gives you some time out too.

57. Watch a live online childrens’ theatre show

UK-based childrens’ theatre company, Onceupona, is holding five daily sessions of live storytelling online here. Spots only cost £2 and they have one free spot a day for families who are unable to pay.

58. Make cleaning fun

Get the kids involved in a spring clean! Keep a star chart or chore tracker throughout the lockdown and give them something to work towards and rewards to aim for once this is all over.

59. Watch a documentary

There’s only so much Paw Patrol you can watch before you go crazy. Throw on one of these kid-friendly documentaries that are a worthwhile watch for all ages.

60. Dedicated screen nights or movie marathons

Set a routine for the screen with set times for TV and movies, or hold a movie marathon like Disney, Lord of the Rings, Marvel or Harry Potter, where you can watch one movie each night or every few nights.

61. Join a virtual school holiday programme or try some homeschooling tips

Kids Unlimited is an awesome Aussie-based childcare supplier that runs six lessons a day to keep kids occupied. Lessons range from science to cooking to board games, and cost between $7.20 and $9 a session.

And if you want to give homeschooling a go, this incredible Ultimate Homeschooling Bundle from the legends at Ultimate Bundles is a gamechanger. You’ll get access to more than $1200USD worth of eBooks, printables and online courses for less than $40!

Flatlay of glasses, book, pen and paper clips
We’re all living in a crazy reality right now but I hope this list is helping you find some ideas of what to do in isolation

62. Backyard athletics day

If your kids need to let off some energy and you’ve got space in the backyard, set up an at-home athletics day for a unique thing to do during self-isolation. You could do shot put with any ball, long jump on the grass, javelin with a paper plane and so on.

63. Scavenger hunt

A great idea for keeping kids entertained both indoors or outdoors, there are loads of scavenger hunt ideas online.

64. Have some fun with clay

Ceramic studio-owner Carys has started a Facebook group with loads of creative clay ideas for both kids and adults! You can check out the group here.

Don’t have any clay at home? No worries, you can make your own clay-ish dough with just flour, salt, vegetable oil and water using this recipe.

Adult hands playing with clay

Isolation ideas to support others

Want to spend your time helping those who need it the most? There are plenty of things to do when self isolating that can help support others in your community.

65. Volunteer

There are plenty of NGOs and charities out there that could use some help and support right now. Lockdowns make it tough because volunteers obviously can’t help physically but if you’re in NZ I’d recommend you check out HelpTank, an online platform where volunteers can list their experience and skills, and then be matched with a charity that needs you.

If you’re in the UK you can apply to volunteer for the NHS by helping out with patient transport, medicine delivery and phone support right here.

66. Reach out to high risk or frontliners

If you have friends or family that are either high risk (immuno-compromised or elderly) or working on the frontline (medical workers, supermarket staff, bus drivers etc.), check in with them and see how they’re doing or if they need anything you could help with.

67. Foster a kitten or puppy

It looks like all of SPCA’s foster opportunities have been filled but if you’re outside of NZ, check with your local animal welfare charities to see if there are any animals that need looking after during lockdown.

White kitten

68. Donate blood

Donating blood is an essential service! This means that driving to your nearest donation centre to donate is an acceptable (and commendable!) reason to leave your house.

The New Zealand Blood Service needs blood just as much as they always do, and because of the lockdown their donations have dropped significantly. If you are healthy and able, please consider donating. You can check the requirements, including restrictions on recent travels, right here.


And there you go, a HUGE list of fun things to do during self-isolation and quarantine activities! I hope this helps with isolation ideas to keep you and your bubble occupied, and I also hope it helps some small businesses who have been financially affected by the lockdown and travel restrictions.

If you have any isolation activities for adults or kids to add to this list please comment below, and let me know if you’re going to try any of these recommendations!

Stay safe and healthy my friends, much love xx

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Infinity pool Marina Bay Sands
Dreaming about the day I’ll be writing about infinity pools again instead of things to do in isolation

10 Comments

  1. This is such a great list!! Brb printing this out for my fridge to tick off every one! X

    • Thanks so much for making it available 🙂 such a scary time for everyone, so important to have ways to ground ourselves and relax!

  2. Such a LOVELY place to find out what you could do, if you feel stuck and short for ideas….
    And who isn’t right at this uncertain times….
    Lovely INSTAGRAM too, ALEX. Well done 🙂

    What I would suggest from my end is Do something that you have never DONE BEFORE.
    It works like crasy. PROMISE!

    It refreshes your brain and soul, rewires you for the new life.

    The virus hit me too, as the rest of the world.
    I had million of “what if” questions…. and couldn’t focus….on my Digital Marketing Business or anything else.

    So got soooo much into interior design. Repainted my house, started decorations, changed a LOT.
    not even this…
    even tried acrylic pouring.

    Just even looking the art to be born-is SOOOOOOOOOOO therapeutic 🙂

    I was like not even myself…
    Mix of feelings…constantly watching the news and even found a site, where you can track the new cases,deaths worldwide. Just looking at them a few times a day and seeing them rise like hell, makes you crasy..

    Wishing everybody to stay safe an look after yourself.
    Our well-being is the first priority 😉 🙂 😉

  3. Im only 12 but i just asked my mom if i can do a harry potter mvie marathon from nine and she might let me

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