It makes sense that in the wake of the pandemic, people are choosing educational pursuits, family activities, new workout ideas or even decluttering to fill their extra downtime. 

If you're stuck in a rut or looking for something to do in your extra time that was once filled with commuting, shopping and social activities, we have you covered:

Go back to school

Kim Jory, GoodLife Personal Trainer and her wife have five children at home. While Jory took online guitar lessons, one of her stepdaughters decided to learn a new language. Others are upgrading skills for work, or starting a new degree.

“There are so many free resources online,” Jory says. “Anything you want to learn, you pretty much can, so she's been teaching herself Spanish.”

Spend more time with family

With more time at home, people reconnected with their families.

“We've played a ton of board games and Twister and teaching the kids different card games,” Jory says. “If you're not living with other people, you can do all of those things over Zoom. Most people are pretty proficient at using it now.”

Now would be a good time to call some older relatives and ask them about your family’s history. You could record the conversations and transcribe their answers to share with other family members.

“All of a sudden you have the gift of time for a lot of people that you never had before. Using it for something like that is really cool,” Jory says.

Feel-good endeavors

Doing something good for others can make you feel better too. Organizations in your community might need volunteers to support their clients and deliver services and programs.

“If you’re feeling a bit down or disconnected, the best cure is to do something for another person,” Jory says. “Helping the humane society, homeless shelters, donating food and books or talking to people who are more isolated and people who are incredibly lonely can be fulfilling,” Jory says.

Fresh air and fitness

Getting outside is a great way to spend time each day. Whether you’re walking your dog, gardening, or doing an outdoor workout, fresh air and exercise will boost your mood, improve your sleep and improve your physical health.

“You don't have to run a marathon, but if you've always wanted to this would be a good time to train,” Jory says. “Or just going outside for a walk and finding something that you enjoy and do it.”

Doing nothing is OK, too

Some people haven't been able to work, some are working overtime, some have kids doing home schooling, and others haven’t seen another person for months.

“It's so unique, so it's very difficult to say, 'If you haven't done this in the pandemic, you failed it’.” Jory says. “If you survived, you won, basically.”

Evaluating life

The pandemic is also a good time for reflection. “I encourage people to try meditation, which is essentially doing nothing and just kind of watching what thoughts come up and letting them pass,” Jory says.

“I think people realize how bad they are at doing nothing. People are starting to evaluate how they used to live, how busy and distracted they used to be. I think that’s one of the reasons why a lot of people have switched careers or maybe they decided to go back to school.”