In these strange times, many of us are finding ourselves caught in a strange dichotomy – with so much time stuck at home, are you running out of things to do? Or maybe you can’t seem to catch up no matter how hard you try. Perhaps you are able to continue working remotely, but adjusting to being home all the time. Perhaps you are struggling to balance the needs of your partner and children, while still making it to Zoom meetings on time. Maybe you are out of work, and tackling all those projects around the house that can no longer be postponed “until we have time.” Whatever your situation is right now, we are willing to bet it’s far from normal. We hope you are finding ways to take care of your body and mind during these stressful and uncertain times. Below, we have curated a list of some of our favorite activities that can all be enjoyed at home, and maybe offer you a break from the news or endless scrolling on social media.
Escape with a Book
A friend told me yesterday, “I’ve finished Netflix.” I laughed, but understood the sentiment. If you have caught up on all your watch lists but you’re still looking for some relaxing entertainment, check out some of these new releases that have critics raving.
How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C. Pam Zhang
An epic adventure story set in the Old West, told from the point of view of two Chinese American orphans confronting the romantic legacy of the Gold Rush in the wake of their father’s death.
Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller
From the host of one of our favorite podcasts, Invisibilia, comes the story of an obscure 19th century scientist who made it his mission to catalog as many of the world’s fish as he could — and whose collection was shattered in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Part biography, part memoir, and part meditation on resilience.
Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
The true story of the Galvins, a mid-century American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease. One of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health, this epic biography sheds light on how the study, diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia developed in the second half of the 20th century.
Conjure Women by Afia Atakora
In this emotional debut about three extraordinary women navigating life in the post-Civil War South, an emancipated slave, who is a reluctant midwife and healer, spooks the community when many fall prey to a mysterious illness. A story about the great lengths these women go to save those they love along with themselves.
Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
A striking exploration of race, class, and what it means to be “woke” in today’s world, this is the story of white, wealthy feminist Alix Chamberlain and her nanny, Emira Tucker. After an incident with the police, Emira struggles to figure out what she wants to do with her life, as Alix reacts and tries to move on from the life that’s followed her since high school. The two stories collide in a way that will have you reading in the bath until the water is cold.
For more book recommendations, check out these lists:12 Great New Books to Read this April10 New Books Amazon’s Editors Say You’ll Want to Read this AprilThe 35 Best Books of 2020 to Add to Your Reading List ASAP
Blast some Tunes
Need some motivation to get your chores done? Or how about a mini dance party to shake off all that pent-up energy and existential dread? Spotify has a few great playlists that track the top trending songs in the US as well as around the world. You can even take a musical trip around the world and see what the top tracks are in other countries around the world. Check out these playlists and more on Spotify.
Try a New Recipe
More time at home means more cooking at home – for some, this is heaven, for others, a seemingly insurmountable burden. No matter where you stand on the spectrum, we found easy, delicious recipes that won’t require you to brave the supermarket again.
Epicurious Recipe Builder – This amazing tool allows you to filter 1322 recipes depending on what is already in your pantry, what you have that’s fresh, and any dietary restrictions.
Cooking Through It – If you’re more of a planner, try this ten day meal plan that offers flexible substitutes and a shopping list so you only have to go to the store once. Every meal has a generic title, with plenty of minor adjustments and recommended recipes to follow if you are so inspired.
Cooking for Kids – With kids at home all day, you might be struggling to come up with healthy meals that they will actually eat 3 times a day. Here are some great tips for getting them involved and perhaps turning cooking into a home-school lesson they’ll enjoy.
Best Banana Bread – Did you buy too many bananas, too? Turn those brown ones into a delicious banana bread you can enjoy for breakfast.
Recipes for Procrastibaking – What to bake when you should be doing something else. If you are in need of a full escape, try one of these exquisite cakes, cookies, or baked goods to indulge in.
Break a Sweat
Since many of us rely on a routine to keep us getting to those gym sessions or early morning workouts, it can be challenging to hold yourself to the same standards when schedules have shifted or you don’t have the same equipment at home. Lucky for us, there are plenty of online classes, live streams, and apps that are offering at-home workouts, and many are free of charge, so you can beat the “quarantine 15” with any style workout you like.
Peloton – Even if you don’t have a spin bike, the Peloton app offers bodyweight and core strength, yoga, stretching, boot camp and cardio workouts, as well as meditation exercises and outdoor running coaching, which don’t require any expensive equipment. They are extending their free trial offer to 90 days if you sign up by April 30th.
Nike – The Training Club app has waived its monthly fee indefinitely, so users can now access more than 185 free workouts which last from 15 to 45 minutes, as well as targeted running training programs, nutrition and wellness guidance.
Down Dog – A collection of apps that offer tailor made classes in yoga, HIIT, Barre, and 7 minute workouts, Down Dog is offered all their apps for free until May 1st – and if you are a teacher, student, or health care professional, they are extending that until July 1st.
Core Power Yoga – Offering free access to selected classes on demand, with new classes weekly, as well as guided meditation sessions to help you clear your head.
Barry’s Boot Camp – Free classes on Instagram Live. Tune in for workouts from Barry’s instructors all over the world. Their schedule is posted weekly.
Support Local North Lake Tahoe Restaurants
If you’ve had enough cooking and need an excuse to stop doing the dishes, all while supporting local business, check out this list of restaurants still offering takeout and taking extra safety precautions: North Lake Tahoe Restaurants.