Whether you’re working from home, or are looking to keep your kids entertained, here we list 20 things you can do at home – with and without the internet. From learning a new skill, to organising your home and even completing a jigsaw puzzle, these at home activities are sure to be both fun and productive.
Be extra productive and use your time wisely to learn something new. Always wanted to be a whizz with Photoshop or InDesign? How about learning to cut and edit your own videos? These skills are fun and can be learned at home - but are also great when it comes to adding value to your professional life. The basics of skills like coding can also be learned online. There are plenty of options available, but EdX is a higher education program governed by MIT and Harvard which offers high-caliber resources for free online learning.
2. Pick Up a New Hobby
If you want to try your hand at something new, there's no better time to finally give it a go. Be it learning a language, trying out a new instrument or even writing your name in calligraphy, don't shy away from the unknown. Platforms such as YouTube and Twitch have plenty of resources for picking up new hobbies in a matter of weeks, so stick with it and the sense of achievement you're bound to feel will be more than enough of a reward. Apps such as Duolingo are also perfect for tackling languages.
3. Practice Yoga
Calm your mind, body and soul by practising some at-home yoga. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or more of a beginner, get out that yoga mat and stretch. There are plenty of videos on YouTube for easy-to-follow classes if you're not sure where to start, or pick up some tips from these Hong Kong yogis.
4. Take The Time To Meditate
Use the extra time at home to quiet your mind and calm your senses. Meditation may not be for everyone but building it into your daily routine is proven to have positive effects - and remember, it takes 21 days for a habit to take, so be patient if you find it difficult at first. Need some help on getting started? Download one of these handy apps.
5. Set a Fitness Goal
Being cooped up at home doesn't mean your fitness goals need to fall by the wayside. Set yourself a target - whether that means doing 5 pushups a day or 50 - and stick to it. Minimal equipment is needed and you can be done in no time at all, so the activity can easily be slotted into your daily schedule. A good way to keep motivated is to take progress photos so you can see just how far you've come.
6. Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle
Go retro and use the extra time indoors to complete a jigsaw. If you don’t already have one at home, this 1,000-piece Hong Kong-themed (and double sided!) puzzle from The Lion Rock Press is a perfect way to pass the time. Guaranteed to keep you absorbed for at least a day or two, the colourful and beautifully designed city-centric scene makes for a great keepsake once completed.
7. Play a Boardgame
Another good one if you’re looking to stay offline. Everyone is sure to have a boardgame or two gathering dust at home, and there’s no time like the present to become reacquainted with old favourites. Classics like Monopoly may be notorious for family-feuds, but it's always fun to introduce games such as this, as well as the likes of Trivial Pursuits, Scattergories and more to younger generations. For kids, we're again turning to The Lion Rock Press and its collection of fun and educational games.
8. Read a Book
It may seem like an obvious one, but rather than turning on the TV, why not pick up a book to unwind; whether it’s an old favourite or an untouched novel that’s been sitting on the shelf for months. Turn to best-seller lists for some inspiration, or the Hong Kong Tatler team have given plenty of recommendations in the past on everything from coffee tables must-haves to Editor's picks.
See also: The Best Book Stores In Hong Kong
9. Bake or Learn To Cook a New Dish
Aim to make something new each week to build up your cooking repertoire. Whether you're baking cookies with the kids, prepping a three-course meal for that special someone, or just trying to master kitchen basics, cooking is an invaluable - and fun - skill to have.
If you're stuck with where to begin; we recommend the basics such as learning how to poach an egg, make meringue or even whip up a creamy hollandaise sauce. Use the internet as a resource or turn your attention to your neglected pile of cookbooks, there's sure to be something that takes your fancy.
10. Batch Cook Meals
If you're already well-versed in the kitchen, why not make the most of your time and batch cook. Family-favourites are always sure to be a hit, plus your future self will thank you once you have a fully stocked freezer of homemade dishes.
11. Write a Book or Start a Journal
Putting pen to paper is becoming a forgotten art, so try and take a step back from the screen and actually write down whatever words come. There's plenty of ways to get your thoughts down; whether you choose to bullet journal, list what you're grateful for each day, or even pen a short story.
12. Get Crafting
Adult colouring books were all the rage a few years ago with busy professionals reaching for them as a new way to unwind - and we're totally onboard. If meditation isn't for you, opt for this more creative approach to mindfulness. If you're looking to get a little more inventive, set up a still life in your apartment or turn your hand to the world of self-portraits.
When it comes to entertaining kids, Pinterest has almost limitless ideas for fun DIY projects.
13. Clean Out Your Closet
It's a job that no one looks forward to, but the sense of achievement once it's done is unrivalled. With the new season on the horizon, move your heavier layers into storage or to a spare closet to make room for your spring / summer wardrobe. Try to keep only pieces you really love, wear a lot or that that hold sentimental value, and donate anything that hasn't been worn in the last year.
14. Organise Your Home
Now that your closest is organised, why not turn your attention to the rest of your home? Tackle that out-of-control beauty collection, or sift through your food store cupboard to get ahead on your spring cleaning. A tidy and organised space leads to a more productive mind after all.
15. Feng Shui Your Home
Home already neat as a pin? Go one step further and look to the holistic philosophy of feng shui to revamp your home. Simple fixes like moving bulky furniture, adding green plants and even fixing squeaky door hinges can help to create good feng shui.
See also: 4 Feng Shui Masters To Know In Hong Kong
16. Teach Your Dog New Tricks
The saying goes "you can't teach an old dog new tricks", but really it just takes time. If you're a dog owner just remember that practice makes perfect and dogs will respond well to repetition. Take a little time each day - and be sure you're armed with some training treats - and you'll find your furry friend can lie down, give paw, or high-five in no time.
17. Pamper Yourself
Even though you're working from home, it doesn't mean that the pressures of daily life disappear. Throughout your working day be sure to take regular breaks to keep your mind from wondering, and plan a reward for when the hard work is done at the end of the day. Take the time to give yourself an at-home mani or pedi, or reach for that new face mask you haven't had time to try yet.
Don't have anything on hand? At home face masks can be whipped up with staple ingredients such as oats, oils, sugar and even avocados. It'll leave your skin feeling smooth and is something you can also get the kids involved in.
18. Master a Make-up Technique
Always wanted to nail the smokey eye or perfect winged eyeliner? Use the extra time to master a new technique. Platforms including Instagram and YouTube are again where to look for endless beauty inspiration and how-to videos.
19. Plan Your Next Adventure
Why wish the time away when you can use it to plan that next adventure? Tap into your wanderlust and get set to learn to surf in Siargao, explore Australia's Northern Territory, or eat your way around Mexico City. There's no time like the present to book those flights and tick that next destination off your list.
20. Put Together a Photo Album
Now that your next holiday is on the cards, take some time to re-visit paths already travelled. Almost everyone has a camera roll full of holiday snaps, so take the time to print them out and display them - whether that's in a family album or in frames. Holiday memories aren't only for Instagram after all.