The rapid spread of the coronavirus and far-reaching implications around the world over the past several weeks have rattled individuals, communities, and the economy in ways most of us have never experienced. Things will almost certainly get better, but in the meantime, here are some ideas and inspiration to take a bit of the edge off and make life just a little bit better or easier to navigate. 

  1. Go for a zig-zagging walk, run, or bike ride on every street and alley in your neighborhood. 
  2. Enjoy doing yard work. 
  3. During these uncharted times, the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is providing a curated program of free festival films for free online. Watch them all. 
  4. Rip up your grass and plant native plants that use less water and support pollinating insects and other wildlife. (See this article on home landscaping and find other ideas in our Outdoor Living story archives.)
  5. Start work on an indoor climbing wall. 
  6. Clean and organize your house, basement, or garage. 
  7. Subscribe to the podcast “The Wild with Chris Morgan” that explores how nature survives and thrives alongside (and often despite) humans across the PNW and beyond. (Learn more about Chris Morgan here.)
  8. Don’t read “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy (or any of his books for that matter). 
  9. Make needed home repairs you’ve been putting off for years. 
  10. Re-read your all-time favorite book. 
  11. Make your house more energy efficient. 
  12. Listen to more music. 
  13. Google to watch live-stream videos of brown bears in Katmai National Park, sea otters at the Seattle Aquarium, or jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (recommended by Conservation Northwest). 
  14. Buy a bike trainer and start training to ride a century while binge watching nature TV. Or set it up in your yard and watch the birds. 
  15. If you’re already in century-riding shape, try hopping on your trainer at 11:59 p.m. and make it a midnight century. 
  16. Plant a garden and grow some of your own food. 
  17. Check out the National Wildlife Federation’s Ranger Rick webpage for tons of nature-related kids’ activities. The digital versions of the magazines are free for the next few months too. 
  18. If you’re working from home, make yourself a stand-up desk. 
  19. Refrain from sharing self-improvement tips you have for your significant other or roommate.  
  20. Learn to play a musical instrument. 
  21. Learn another language or improve your skills with a language app like Duolingo. 
  22. National Geographic Kids webpage will blow your mind with things to do with the kids of all ages you’re cooped up with. 
  23. Take things with you that you normally might not need on a short bike ride or walk, including extra warm clothes, food, water, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and a heavy-duty garbage bag for packing home any unplanned garbage or human waste. 
  24. Enjoy long phone conversations with family or friends that you can’t spend time with in person right now.
  25. Learn to cook new things from scratch.
  26. Have a dance party in your living room, kitchen, or on your front porch. 
  27. Make a photo album with the photos from your favorite outdoor adventures. 
  28. Create your own home or yard art installation out of recycled materials or other things you have around the house or garage.  
  29. Try a meditation app. 
  30. Check out KiwiCo for great resources for kids and their parents who are stuck at home. 
  31. Take online yoga classes. 
  32. Work on relationship challenges with the people you’re living with (find resources at Gottman.com). 
  33. Adopt a pet from a local rescue like the Double J Dog Ranch sanctuary and re-homing center for dogs with special needs. 
  34. Do push-ups, pull-ups, and/or sit-ups every day. 
  35. Check in on your elderly or low-income neighbors. 
  36. Be thankful for what you have every day when you wake up. 
Photo of arrowleaf balsamroot on Antoine Peak.
Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers on Antoine Peak. // Photo by Holly Weiler