The Joy of Missing Out: 30 Activities That Make Staying In Fun

With COVID-19 cases surging once again, now is not the time to try to do more.  And haven't we learned that when we're rushed and stressed by trying to do it all, we don't do anything well, and we miss out on the little moments that bring us joy?  So really, COVID or no COVID, we need to respect the fact that our time and energy are finite.

staying home together

Make the most of doing less.

The Joy of Missing Out is defined by as "a feeling of contentment with one's own pursuits and activities, without worrying over the possibility of missing out on what others may be doing."

The concept of JOMO is liberating.  It makes life more peaceful.  It frees you from the hold that social media, advertising, and celebrity lifestyles might have.  It allows you to feel positive and secure about yourself, your choices, and your beliefs. 

When you stop worrying about missing out, you can concentrate on making home more fun.  And that's a great thing to do when choices are limited by lockdown, social distancing, or finances.

30 great stay-at-home activities

1.  Look at old photos, reminisce, and laugh about your bad hair.

2.  Play a favorite board game.

3.  Camp in your backyard (don't forget the s'mores).

4.  Enjoy a relaxing lavender bath.

5.  Make your favorite comfort food.

6.  Plan a Pixar movie festival with films such as Toy Story, Up, Inside Out, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E.

7.  Stargaze.  Go outside on a clear evening, preferably away from city lights, and look up.  Use an app such as SkyView Free if you don't know what you're looking at.  Spread some blankets, lay on your back, and be amazed by the universe.

8.  Take a virtual museum tour (both kids and adults will love these).

9.  Have a 90s romantic comedy movie marathon.

10.  Make lemonade.

11.  Start a container garden.  Try herbs (such as mint, rosemary, basil, thyme), veggies (such as tomatoes, peas, radishes, salad greens), or flowers (try impatiens, petunias, geraniums, or miniature roses).

12.  Remove breakables and have a Nerf battle in your living room.  Use tables or cardboard boxes as bunkers.

13.  Make a scrapbook.  Possible themes include "Baby's First Year," "Family Holidays Through the Years," even "2020: Life With Coronavirus."  Print photos and place them on fancy scrapbook paper; add stickers, drawings, and journal entries.  Keep the book for yourself or give it as a gift.

14.  Join an online game like Words with Friends.

15.  Dance like no one's watching.

16.  Watch a classic musical and sing along.  Try The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof, Mary Poppins, Les Misérables, or La La Land.

17.  Calm your mind and body by sitting quietly outside and using all of your senses.  What do you see, hear, and smell?  What can you feel with your hands and on your skin?  Try new herbs and spices, and pay attention to the flavors of food.

18.  Choose a new game and learn to play.

19.  Tackle some small home improvement projects, such as replacing a showerhead or the drawer pulls on your kitchen cabinets.  Paint an accent wall or your front door.  Even something as simple as moving the furniture can freshen your rooms.

20.  Write a letter to your future self.  One year, five years, or ten years from now, what do you want to remember?  What do you want to have done?  Hand write, or create a digital version to be emailed on a specific future date.

21.  Hang a hummingbird feeder from an eave near a window.  Flowers such as zinnias and salvia are easy to grow and will also appeal to hummingbirds.

22.  Have a water gun fight on a hot day.

23.  Set up a make-your-own-sundae bar.

24.  Listen to some of your favorite music from high school, and sing along.

25.  Choose an actor or actress and create a film festival of his or her work to enjoy over several evenings or on a lazy Sunday.  For a truly wide variety of entertainment, consider performers such as Ralph Fiennes, Meryl Streep, Christian Bale, Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Joaquin Phoenix.

26.  Do the 36 Questions.  In 2015, Mandy Len Catron published an essay in the New York Times about a study that successfully used these questions to increase romantic feelings and intimacy between two people.

27.  Watch an informative, inspirational TED talk.

28.  Get coloring!  There are many intricate adult coloring books, but why not try a Disney or superheroes coloring book to revisit a pastime you loved as a kid?

29.  Lie on a blanket in the grass and watch the clouds.

30.  Write a list of things for which you are thankful.  Try to get to 100 or more.


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