We’ve been on our screens way too much during quarantine. While definitely good in some ways, it’s also good to take some time and disconnect. 

We’ve rounded up 15 ways to unplug, disconnect, and reconnect with ourselves during COVID-19.

Image via @mo_macel

Go Outside

Get outside into the fresh air without your phone. Sure a walk around the block can do in a pinch, but to really refresh consider heading to one of our area’s local hiking trails or state parks. If you aren’t a nature-type there’s also an urban option for you – why not step trek along our many city steps? If you prefer to explore on two wheels then go ride a bike! We even have a North Shore Walking Tour for you. 

Read a Good Book… Or a Bad One

Yes we mean a physical book. One where you smell the pages and can feel the weight of the book smack you in the face when you fall asleep while reading it. If your personal book shelves are running thin consider asking a friend to borrow one of their favorite books. Looking for more suggestions? How about reading one based in Pittsburgh

Color. Puzzle. Play Cards. Get Board.

Coloring books, puzzles, and board games are not just for summer camps or rainy days. Dust off your old collection and play. Live alone? Find that deck of cards and show solitaire who’s boss. 

Clean Something New

You’ve likely already done this like 100 times by now, but look around and find something you haven’t yet tackled. If you need some company we find that putting some googly eyes and a fake mustache on your robot vacuum then naming him Pierre goes a long way. You and Pierre will be in for some good clean fun! 

Bake Something New

We know, we know – seems like everyone this quarantine is saying “try a new recipe”. But if you have an actual cook book open it up and bake something not suggested by the internet. 

Drink Something New

Step away from your “go to” beer, wine, or cocktail. Branch out and try something completely, I’d-never-drink-that-in-a-million-years-well-okay-maybe-I’ll-have-a-sip new. Best case: You like it! Worst case: You hate it and can give any bottled-up leftovers to a friend who will thank you profusely for helping them restock their own supplies. Also, no posting a picture of it to Instagram. This one is entirely between you and the glass. 

Write Something New

Write something, anything with a pen or pencil and on actual paper. You might just be the next big thing. If words aren’t your specialty a doodle will do. 

Meditate

Even if it’s only for 5 minutes why not try to meditate? Stare at your cup of coffee. Stare out a window. Sit outside and stare at a tree. Stare at Pierre. Think no thoughts. 

Look at Old Photos

This may be as nostalgic as ones from last year or from some nice, old, dust-covered albums. Either way make sure they are printed photographs. If you don’t have any yet then cheat and re-plug for a few minutes to order some online then when they arrive sit back and thumb your way thru the stack of memories. 

Rearrange Your Furniture

Keep Pierre on his toes and change up your furniture layout. Organize your home office if you haven’t yet done that at least 5 times. “Shop your house” and move things in/out to freshen it up. Sick of the color of something? Brush up on your paint brushing or spray painting skills and give some furniture a homemade makeover. 

Plant a Garden

Make one large enough for a yard or small enough for a window sill. Your choice. Just add some greenery to your life. A few green leaves can really brighten up a quarantine day! And the best part is you can eventually eat your new hobby. (P.S. If you’re feeling lonely and Pierre isn’t cutting it then googly eyes on planters also work wonders.)

“Dance like no one is watching”

…mainly because no one is watching. Put on a CD or a record and host a dance party in your living room. Dance parties for 1 are totally okay. People always say “Dance like no one is watching” well now is the time to really bust out your too-cool-for-the-public-dance-floor moves. (Just don’t step on Pierre.)

Home Safety Check

Well dang this one is just practical. When was the last time you updated the batteries in your smoke detectors? Do that now. Do you have a fire escape route? Mentally review your plans. What other home safety checklist items can you cross off?

Slim Down Your Wardrobe

Go into the closet and then come out again with a slimmer wardrobe. Really review your clothes and if you love it keep it, if you don’t then donate it. And if something you love doesn’t quite fit right now we say keep it anyways – some day post-quarantine you’ll get back to your fine, fitter self and wear real clothes again. 

Surprise A Friend

Surprise a friend by making them or buying them something and dropping it off at their house. Optional: Stay and give a socially distant hello and enjoy some actual facetime. 

Now get out there and get your “Me Time. Screen-Free Time.” to get yourself thru these COVID-19 days. (Oh, and say “Hi” to Pierre for us.)

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Mo Macel

Mo is a pun-loving Pittsburgher who likes to take photos and write. She blogs at givegodyouryes.com and fullhipster.com.

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