6 Tips for Keeping Busy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As we discussed in the post Following Instructions During COVID-19, experts are giving us rules to keep everyone safe and healthy. 

You know you have to wash your hands often, avoid large groups, and . . . STAY INSIDE!

But even if you can’t go out, you can still have fun while you’re at home. 

Here’s how!

How to Keep Busy During a Pandemic

Plant a garden

If you have outdoor space, you should plant a garden! You could grow flowers if you like, but this would also be a great time to plant some vegetables. Gardening is a satisfying and healthy way to pass the time. If you don’t have any space outdoors, grow an indoor herb garden.

Plan video dates

Even though you can’t visit your friends, it’s important to stay in touch (communicate often). How about a video date? Have a beer or coffee with a friend, or even watch a movie together on Netflix. It’s not exactly the same as meeting in person, but it will definitely make you feel more connected!

Play games 

If you’re at home with other people, you could play a game! Playing a board game or a card game can be an enjoyable way to keep your brain active and pass the time. If you’re home alone, why don’t you try an online game? 

Try new recipes

Do you love cooking but never have the time? Or have you always wanted to learn to cook? You should use your time to cook some delicious dishes! This activity is a useful one: You’ll pass the time and learn new skills, and you’ll also have tasty food to enjoy. 

Take a virtual tour

Did you know you could visit museums and art galleries without leaving home? That’s right! Why don’t you visit some of the world’s most famous attractions by joining a virtual tour? Some, like The Natural History Museum in London, require you to download an app for your smart device. Others, like the Vatican Museums in Rome, offer tours directly on their website.  

Practice English

Remember when you said you wanted to improve your English skills? Now’s your chance! With fewer distractions, you’ll be able to focus on your language practice. Check out Gabby’s language coaching to bring your skills to the next level!

Making Suggestions

The above list offers fun ideas—or suggestions—to keep busy while you’re stuck at home.

Let’s look at the language that’s used for making suggestions.

You should

Use “you should” when you want to give strong advice or suggestions. It’s always followed by a base verb.

You should study English every day!

You could

This is very similar to “should” but its meaning is not as strong. It’s also followed by a base verb.

→ If you’re bored, you could watch a movie. 

Why don’t you

“Why don’t you” is another way to give suggestions. It looks like a question, but it’s actually not—you shouldn’t answer it with “because.” Use a base verb after this one, too.

Why don’t you play a game with your friends?

What about/How about 

These two also look like questions, but they aren’t. They don’t take a base verb. Instead, you use an “-ing” verb (a gerund). They can also take a noun. 

What about trying a new recipe? (gerund)

How about spaghetti for dinner? (noun)


Staying at home all the time can be pretty boring. Follow some of the above suggestions and make the most of your free time!

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.