Bored While In Quarantine? Try These 6 Activities During Self-Isolation! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Bored While In Quarantine? Try These 6 Activities During Self-Isolation!

By Guidable Authors Mar 12, 2021

It’s been more than a year since the pandemic started. And despite some international flights being resumed, the situation is still serious and self-isolation is required upon arrival. Did we get used to living in a pandemic? Yes, but it still might be difficult to quarantine alone or self-isolate if you are travelling abroad or coming back home. Whether you are a student, worker or a tourist, 14 days that you have to spend in self-isolation may get extremely boring and depressing if you don’t come up with a plan of things you could do beforehand. You’re saying you don’t know what to do yet? In this article, we will share our top pick fun activities to keep you busy during your quarantine.

What Are Some Activities People Have Been Engaged in During Quarantine?

People around the world spent their time trying new skills, cooking, chatting online with friends or simply binge-watching their favourite soap opera. Those who still had a job switched to remote working, and students, like me, studied online. However, some of us got plenty of time and are puzzled not knowing what else to do at home. For example, upon arrival in Japan, I had to spend 14 days at home and tried (but failed) to stay productive. Then I Googled and found some activities that would be fun to try. In order to find the one that suits you best, I classified them into two sections: Academic activities & Creative activities, both coming with their benefits. Let’s have a look together!

Academic Activities

These are activities that are related to some paperwork, studying and/or using books. 

Benefits of Academic Activities:

  1. Enhance problem-solving skills
  2. Improve memory function (long term and short term)
  3. Help you gain new perspectives

1. Take Free Online Courses

Online Courses, Studying From Home

Learning new things is always a good way of spending time, especially if it brings you financial profit later on. This time might be a perfect chance for you to discover new courses or courses of your preference that you can take online for free. Worth noting is that well-known high ranking universities and organizations also provide free online classes, however, payment is still required if you’d like to receive a certificate of completion. Watching Youtube educational channels could be another option.

  You can visit these websites to take online courses:

2. Use Your Language Skills

If you are a bilingual or a polyglot stuck at home, you might be interested in what we’re gonna tell you next. Teach online or become a translator/interpreter and earn some money while in quarantine. Who knows, maybe you can save enough money and start travelling after the pandemic ends! 

There are many language teaching websites, where you will need to register first, and some may ask for a subscription. And there are sites where you exchange your language skills (you teach the language you speak and get taught a new language in return, or in other words – conversation partners). 

Translation/interpretation websites usually require membership and initial payment, but it is a good investment that will definitely pay off later. 

Our suggestions are:

3. Read A Book

Reading at Home, Reading a Book

Have you been busy all day long and unable to read the books you’ve bought or saved? Well, now you can spend as much time reading as you wish. You can make online meetings like an “online book club” with friends, relatives or even with strangers and talk about your favourite books. People say it takes you 1-2 weeks to finish a book. It takes me longer than that, but it also depends on the book, right? 

Check out these books suggested by Bill Gates:

2. Creative Activities

These could be anything that requires your imagination and creative thinking, like decorating, dressing up, colouring and so on. 

Benefits of Creative Activities:

  1. Allows you to express yourself
  2. Promotes thinking and problem solving
  3. Reduces stress and anxiety
  4. Allows you to enter your happy zone and have fun
  5. Can lead to feelings of accomplishment and pride
  6. Improves your ability to focus

1. Make Daily Challenges

Creative Activities, Daily Challenges, Activities to Stay Busy

If you live alone and can’t see your friends because of restrictions/lockdown/isolation, try daily challenges. You can either find daily challenge ideas on the Internet or come up with your own. This activity becomes more interesting and motivating if you do it with friends or family members (remotely) or share your results online. Doing challenges on a daily basis helps you stay active, and prevents emotional changes that may occur frequently during these difficult times.

Our ideas for daily challenges are:

2. Try New Recipes

Cooking at Home, Trying New Recipes, Cooking in Quarantine

Unsurprisingly, cooking has become one of the most engaged activities for people during the lockdown. I eat more often when I stay home. Does this happen to you too? Or is that only me? Anyway, people have been mastering cooking, trying new recipes or learning how to cook during the pandemic. Why don’t you try that too?! If you’re spending 14 days in isolation and have your shelves stocked full, make a meal plan (including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and have extra snacks ready, in case you don’t succeed in a new recipe

Here are some easy recipes if you’re not good at cooking:

3. Try Some Arts

Brush, Painting, Creative Activities

Doing some arts, or drawing doodles always helps to reduce stress. And it relates to everybody no matter if you are good at it or not. Maybe you can’t sell your artwork, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create one. If you decide to try, there are all sorts of arts you can choose from: painting, drawing mandalas, sketching, photography, creating cartoons etc.  Draw an autoportrait and ask your loved ones to do the same. Then, you’ll have a hand-drawn family portrait.  And believe me, some arts are easier than you may think. Like this mandala below, which I thought was really hard to make before I actually tried. It turned out that you only need to be patient and draw endless lines until you get the final result.

Mandala, Arts at Home, Creative Activities

Credits: photo by the author

Are You Bored Spending Time in Quarantine?

Give these 6 Activities a try and see how your days become more interesting and joyful!



Are you learning Japanese while in quarantine? If yes, check out this article below to get some tips to learn Japanese:

Japanese Tips 5: Learn Japanese By Watching Anime