How to Stay Productive While Under Quarantine During a Pandemic

It looks like covid-19 is putting the world to a halt — from travel bans to businesses shutting down indefinitely. Distance learning and working from home are becoming the new normal.

While we’re waiting for news on a possible vaccine and as countries are trying to slow down the spread, towns and cities are either on lockdown or under community quarantines.

If this is you right now, it’s worth noting that staying home for extended periods will likely prompt feelings of loneliness and isolation (even the most introverted of all introverts can feel isolated when there’s no social interaction for a long time!).

Plus, being quarantined can have serious mental health repercussions such as feelings of helplessness and uncertainty about the future. In most cases, one may feel unproductive, even those working from home.

5 ways to stay productive and sane during a shelter-in-place

If you’re currently under quarantine or self-isolating at home for extended periods, here are 5 things you can do to feel productive and accomplished at the same time.

Get some exercise

Pencil in time for exercise while under quarantine to take your mind off the uncertainties. A growing body of research shows that exercise alleviate anxiety and depression.

However, social distancing may also mean skipping the gym or your favorite yoga studio.

The good news is you can do bodyweight and HIIT workouts at home. With bodyweight workouts, you are relying on your own bodyweight rather than a piece of exercise equipment for strength training. If you’d like to do some cardio,  high-intensity interval training at home is possible. There are a wide variety of exercise videos online — from 7-minute workouts to 7-day programs.

If you’d like to try yoga or would like to get back to your yoga routine at home, this infographic about yoga and its benefits may motivate you to get on your mat!

Infographic about yoga, its practioners, and its benefits
see more yoga infographics in this visual case study on yoga for chronic pain relief

Polish your resume

You’ve probably added this to your to-do list in the past but never got the time to do it. Updating your resume is one of the productive things you can do while you’re under quarantine, whether you’re still employed or currently in between jobs.

If you’re in an industry that is at risk from the damaged economy of the coronavirus crisis, all the more reason to make yourself stand out from other job seekers.

In the tourism industry alone, the coronavirus epidemic is putting up to 50 million jobs in the tourism and travel sector at risk.

When updating your resume, keep in mind that hiring managers and employers tend to skim resumes in seconds.

An infographic resume is an effective way to get more employers engaged and intrigued by the value you have to offer. Research reveals that people tend to remember media with strong visual images than their plain counterparts.

Use these resources to help polish your resume:

You will learn how to outline and present your career information in an engaging, easy-to-understand format.

This short tutorial is for you if you want to make an infographic resume via Easelly.

Learn a new skill or master a new tool

Another great way of being productive during a quarantine is to learn something new.

Apart from making you feel accomplished, learning a new language, or mastering a new tool can be a career advantage for you in the long run. Plus, you will be delighted to know that continuing education can help prevent dementia or cognitive impairment in late life.

Here are some free, short courses on design and marketing to keep yourself busy and productive while in self-isolation or under quarantine:


If you’ve been meaning to declutter your room or entire home, this is the best time to do it.  Clean out your garage, pantry, wardrobe, or home library.  Use Good Housekeeping’s guide on how to declutter the Marie Kondo way to get started.

Once you’re done with your physical declutter, you might want to consider a digital declutter as well.

Take the time to connect

Finally, taking the time to connect with family members and friends is as important when you’re under self-isolation.

Touch base with people whom you haven’t heard from in a while. Talk to them over the phone or send a private message.

Organize an online meetup and engage with distant family members, co-workers, and friends. Scientific American has more recommendations here – How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing.

Cultivating calm and kindness while under quarantine

Finally, remember that the pandemic crisis impacts almost everyone. Many are anxious. Someone you know may have found out that they’re positive of the infection or they could be taking care of someone who is infected. Perhaps they missed their flight home or lost their job because of the pandemic.

Be more understanding of other people and be kind whenever you can. This Tim Ferris podcast episode on cultivating calm in chaos is a gem.

For official guidelines and health recommendations on covid-19, visit the CDC Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the Coronavirus page.

We’re going to get through this!

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