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Five activity ideas to make the most of your extra time at home

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Gaming Trustpilot

Since the beginning of stay at home orders globally, consumers have grappled with how to handle staying at home and adapt to new schedules. At Trustpilot, we’ve been looking at data from our categories to identity different consumer trends.

Notably, the first few weeks saw an uptick in searches for furniture stores, likely pointing to people trying to quickly set up home offices, and toiletries stores, as grocery stores begin running out of staples like hand sanitizer and toilet paper. These were followed by spikes in searches for financial consultants and banks, signaling fear of economic instability.

But now that home offices are set, essentials are stocked and people have implemented financial management plans, many of us are finding a significant amount of extra time on our hands. You’ve cleaned out every closet in your home. Every lightbulb has been changed. You’ve already finished the jigsaw puzzle (twice) and your Netflix queue is dwindling. With the extra hours you’re saving by not commuting, running errands, and dropping off kids, there are plenty of activities you can try to fill your extra time and keep from going crazy while staying at home.

Trustpilot has tons of categories to peruse for ideas and inspiration, or you can take a look at the list we’ve curated below to make the most of your time.

Admit it, you’ve always wanted to know a bit more about the French Revolution. And you know mastering pivot tables in Excel would really make your resume stand out. There has never been a better time to take online classes to develop skills and knowledge, and there are lots of education resources with various topics and ideas.

If your inner history buff or science nerd is looking to flex some educational muscle, there are thousands of free podcasts covering everything from politics, history, science, and business with lengthy back catalogues of content. If you’re interested in learning more about a specific topic, The Great Courses is subscription service with original content from National Geographic, The Smithsonian and other prestigious cultural institutions with comprehensive courses in economics, history, literature, philosophy, art and more.

What you're looking for and more!

If you’re looking to polish your resume skills, or master a new software technique, websites like Future Learn, Lynda, and Skill Share offer online programs and classes that help you improve your business and design skills. Both offer premium paid classes, but also have free or trial versions to get you started.

With so much extra time at home, you can commit to emerge from lockdown a little more educated. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

In a time of social distancing, finding ways to maintain social relationships with friends and family is critical. Video games are a great opportunity for social interaction and a bit of fun during these stressful and anti-social times. If you own a video game console, online subscription services such as Xbox Live, Playstation Network (PSN), and Nintendo Online offer a whole host of online games you can play with friends and family who have similar networks. Some games are more competitive and great to play with friends afar, such as Overwatch or Rocket League (because who doesn’t love playing soccer in a car?). A major breakout hit of COVID-19 has been Nintedo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was released in mid-March. It has become a virtual escapist paradise haven where real people meet up with their real friends to plan virtual social outings, weddings and even participate in political demonstrations.

Great job with creating Animal Crossing...

If you're looking for games to play with kids, Nintendo Online has a broad selection of family friendly games including Nintendo classics like Super Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong.

If you don’t own a console, there are still plenty of games you can play online on your computer white socializing with others. Many of them are free or have trial periods to help you get your feet wet. Some of the free (albeit with in-app purchases...) games available online are League of Legends and Runescape.

As far as activity ideas go, gaming offers much needed socializing without needing to leave the couch.

It’s no secret that the travel industry is hurting right now. Airlines are seeing historically low bookings and museums and galleries are shuttered indefinitely, making the outlook for tourism bleak. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for your next vacation now. Independent language learning is an activity that lets your mind wander to a café in Paris or the streets of Madrid, while actually sitting at your kitchen table.

If you’re new to language learning and want to test the waters, Duolingo is free on a computer or mobile app and has different lessons and activities to help get you speaking a new language fast. Using this app you can expect to ask basic questions and have simple conversations in your next adventure abroad.

A great way to spend your mandatory…

If you’re committed to learning a language and want comprehensive speaking skills, Rosetta Stone is a subscription based service that has an immersive teaching method and builds a solid grammatical and vocabulary foundation. Fluency will take years, but if that’s your goal then Rosetta Stone had the complex lessons and learning tools needed to get you started.

If you want to practice your new language, websites like Speaky let you find native speakers around the world and chat or make audio or video calls to practice your respective languages. In the time of social distancing, talking to a real person outside of your home might be the social boost you need.

So grab a cappuccino, pick a language, and say Ciao!

As we all try to avoid packing on unwanted quarantine weight, home workouts have become immensely popular and there are many workout tools to get you moving right from your living room...or bedroom, or kitchen, or patio, or basement (or wherever your yoga mat fits).

For those working out at home for the first time, many fitness apps have free or trial access to equipment-less classes including Nike Training Club and Peloton Digital. There are also many YouTube channels that offer free in-home workouts.

My quarantine savior!

If you’re looking to exercise physically and mentally, there are many online yoga and meditation studios leading remote classes so you can practice your oms from your living room floor. If you’re at home with kids, the Cosmic Kids Yoga channel on YouTube takes kids on virtual yoga adventures with lovable hosts like Squish the Fish and Betsey the Banana.

And if you’ve already decided to commit to working out at home long-term, check our ideas on six pieces of wellness tech to create a new routine at home.

Creative outlets and activities are more important than ever when stuck inside, and now is a great time to dust off those artistic skills that have been sequestered for years, or take on a brand new project. There are many online resources to get you started on your next artistic idea.

MasterClass is exactly that...classes taught by masters in their respective creative disciplines. MasterClass is a subscription service offering classes across creative fields including film, culinary arts, writing, musical instruments, interior design and makeup artistry. It’s ideal for people who want to be the next Martin Scorcese or James Patterson (or just learn from them).

Happy with my master class

For the aspiring Picassos of the world, YouTube has a large library of painting and sculpture classes. And while brick and mortar stores are shuttered, there are plenty of art supply stores online that can get you the tools you need to get started.

If your interests lie more with art theory instead of practical application, Class Central has free art history courses with accompanying coursework including classes like The Psychology of Art and Creativity and Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology. With this knowledge, you’ll be perfectly primed to appreciate local cultural institutions and museums once they reopen.

There are endless ways we can fill the extra hours we’ve suddenly found in our schedule and now more than ever, companies offering remote activities and ideas to help maximize our extra time at home. You can tell these companies that they are offering meaningful services, or let know how they can upgrade these virtual experiences by leaving a review on Trustpilot.

Trustpilot is a review platform that is open to all. The companies and profile pages referenced in this article are provided for informational purposes only and are not recommended, endorsed by, or representative of the views of Trustpilot. The Trustpilot companies linked in this post are expected to abide by Trustpilot’s Guidelines, but have not been reviewed for compliance.

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