We Crowdsourced the Best Activities to Stave Off Cabin Fever
From mini makeovers to dinner parties for one.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:37 AM
You rearranged the furniture. You spent a full afternoon indulging in slow cooking—likely involving a Dutch oven and a recipe from Alison Roman’s latest cookbook. You may even have succumbed to peer pressure and made a TikTok account (no judgment; we’ve been there). Staying at home means it’s easy for the days to start blending together and for cabin fever to set in—but it’s also a good opportunity to tackle some home projects and try fun new activities.
These could be to-do list items you’ve been putting off for months. Or they could simply be a way to stay occupied and make the most of life indoors. We took to Instagram to see what our community was sharing and—no surprise—came away with more than a few inspiring ideas.
Make a Wellness Corner
If you’re someone whose nighttime (or morning) routine is integral to being able to relax, Justina Blakeney has an idea for you: Carve out a self-care spot. The designer transformed a previously underused corner of her bedroom into a dedicated space for her vanity, which now holds all her favorite lotions and potions, perfect for unwinding. This can take many forms: a window ledge–turned–beauty-product holder, for example, or even a tray set up on your nightstand if you’re short on square footage.
Streamline Your Storage
Why not take this time to organize an underserved part of your home? Geneva Vanderzeil’s picture-perfect pantry rack is the stuff of type A dreams. She decanted bulk spices and dry staples into matching glass jars and gave each one a sleek label. Order some reusable bottles and containers online and transform your own cupboards.
Keep Your Little Ones Entertained
Get your kids in on a virtual read-along. Author and artist Oliver Jeffers hosts “Stay at Home Storytime” every day at 2 p.m. EST on Instagram Live; tune in to keep your children occupied while you finish up that work deadline or just take a few minutes for yourself—yes, that can include trying a meditative solo puzzle. We all have different definitions of chilling out.
Dress Up the Table
Whether it’s a dinner party for one or a random weekday family meal, there’s no reason that eating in has to feel quotidian. Laura Jackson shared a snapshot of her own table setting, the contents of which include coral twisted candles (“Low lighting is great for setting the mood,” she writes) and vintage doilies—she found hers on eBay and Etsy. Even if you’re eating frozen pizza, small luxuries like a dolled-up tablescape can really make a world of difference in boosting morale.
Forage for Your Centerpiece
If you live in a more rural area, you can likely still go outside (with precautions!). Take advantage of the fresh air, and see what flowers or leafy odds and ends you can find on your walks. Photographer Carley Page Summers picked up a gorgeous pink blooming branch and put it in a sleek clear vase in her dining room. Who needs fancy floral bouquets?
Fashion a Mini Greenhouse
It’s officially spring, which means it’s time to dust off those empty pots and get around to starting that herb garden. Ellen Van Dusen shared a peek at hers, which lives in her kitchen in a vertical-stacked planter from Design Within Reach.
Reorganize Your Travel Tidbits
Until we have the all-clear to book a trip again, we’ll be taking a page from Yolanda Edwards and reliving past adventures via our souvenirs. For proof that even the most humble items can be beautiful, look to her curation: She made little collections out of shells and rocks, pieced together in colorful boxes that could easily brighten up an empty coffee table or mantel.
Give Your Cabinets a Refresh
Peel-and-stick wallpaper is perfect for revamping rental kitchen cupboards. If you have leftover scraps from a larger project, cover the backs of your cabinetry (or if you have a smaller surface to cover, order a sample size; Chasing Paper sells them for only $5 a sheet). There’s no need to settle for scratched-up drywall.
See more activities you can do at home: What to Watch Right Now, Depending on Your Mood You Don’t Need to Leave Your House to Get Fresh Flowers Paint Your Bookcase This Weekend—But Do It Selectively