How to Keep Busy During a Quarantine

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Do you have a plan to keep busy during the COVID-19 Quarantine? Remaining mentally stimulated is key to surviving this experience we are facing.

Everyday reality has changed dramatically for nearly everyone in the last couple of weeks.

It’s vitally important that we seek out ways to not just survive but to thrive in the face of chaos and overwhelm. We need to take extra care of ourselves, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally, too.

how to keep your brain active during a quarantine, hand using pencil

Keeping Your Brain Active While Staying at Home

In this strange and unprecedented time of quarantine, we are all settling into our “new normal” of living mostly inside our own four walls.  Many of us (perhaps all of us, at some point in time) will find ourselves giving in to our frustration or depression.

We may end up spending far too many hours on the couch staring at HGTV reruns or randomly surfing the internet. 

Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humor.

Stephen Hawking

While an occasional day of couch surfing is understandable (and perfectly ok!), making a habit of it is neither appropriate nor healthy.  We need to find ways to challenge ourselves mentally while coping with the physical restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, times have never been better to seek out mental challenge, particularly given that the vast majority of us have easy internet access. 

We also have a treasure trove of resources within our homes, things we have ignored or overlooked during our busy, “normal” lives. 

I myself have at least a dozen books on the bookshelves upstairs that I have never even read!  They hadn’t been at the forefront of my priorities before, but now that my life has slowed and gotten more confined, I am looking forward to the opportunity to read them all.

What kinds of things can you do at home, on your own, to keep your mind stimulated and not fall into the black hole of tv syndication?

keep your brain active during the quarantine list of 9 ways

Activities to Keep Busy During the COVID-19 Quarantine

Read Books

As I’ve already mentioned, reading is a fantastic way to keep your brain active. Plus, it has the added bonus of transporting you mentally to another world, far from your home. 

I tend to divide books into two categories – easy, fast reads (usually fiction – the kind of books you can pick up and put down over many days without losing your place or forgetting details), and more complex reads that require a bit more mental focus (non-fiction, historical novels, etc.) It’s likely we will have longer blocks of time for reading, so it may be the perfect opportunity to read some of those more complex books you wouldn’t normally crack open.

For an added incentive to do some reading, as you complete each book you read, decide – right then – if it’s something you will want to reread in the future.  If the answer is no, place that book in your donation box, not back on the shelf. Now you are decluttering as you read!

Related Post: Great Novels with Unforgettable Main Characters

Read Blogs

What are some topics that interest you, but you haven’t had time to really learn about it? Perhaps this is the time you’d like to educate yourself on zero waste living, capsule wardrobes, personal finance, square foot gardening – you name it, there are blogs and online communities out there about your topic.  Google the subject that interests you and the word “blog”, and see what comes up. You’ll not only learn about your topic, but you’ll make connections with new friends as well.

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Visit a Museum (Virtually, of course)

Do you think you can’t go to museums, zoos, or cultural sites because everything has closed down?  Do a virtual tour! has a list of museums providing virtual tours.

CNNStyle goes a step farther to include all the virtual concerts, plays, museums and other cultural events you can enjoy from home. 

The online database offers professionally filmed Broadway and West End theater productions.

Practice Yoga and Meditation

You may categorize yoga as exercise, but there is a very definite mental component to it, as well. is launching a free virtual yoga and meditation studio that will enable you to keep your practice going (or get started) and connect with a global community of like-minded people featuring daily all-level yoga practices, daily meditation, breathwork and tapping sessions.

Related Post:

how to keep your mind active during a quarantine woman writing in journal

Write in a Journal

Perhaps you are already a consistent journaler, or maybe you’ve just considered giving it a try.  Now is a perfect time to journal. 

Experiment with a New Hobby, Craft, or Recipe

Learning something new is a wonderful way to stimulate your brain, and it is also proven to help alleviate depression. 

Is there a hobby or craft you’ve been meaning to try, but it hasn’t fit into your busy life? Explore your options on or, or get ideas from Pinterest. You can have everything you need delivered to your doorstep.

This fun macrame kit arrived at my house yesterday, and I am excited to learn a new skill set as well as add a new decor piece to my home.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

Play Games and Do Puzzles

Crosswords, solitaire, Trivial Pursuit – absolutely anything involving games and puzzles will stimulate your brain. Many can be done solo, or you can engage family members for a fun way to pass the time.

My all-time favorite game that can be played solo OR as a group of any size is Bananagrams – I’m warning you, it’s addictive!


Stimulate the right side of your brain with a dose of creativity.  You can revert back to childhood fun by printing out some free coloring pages, grabbing crayons or colored pencils, and coloring. It’s a relaxing activity that will also light your brain up. I’ve made three FREE coloring pages you can download and print to get you started.

Related Posts:

Final Thoughts on How to Keep Busy During a Quarantine

By no means is this a complete list of mentally stimulating activities. I certainly hope it gives you some ideas of things you can do to keep your mind active during this unusual time we are experiencing. If you have additional suggestions, please let me know in the comments!

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