Homeward Bound: 10 ideas for making the most of home time

Whether you’re working from home (check!), bunkering down between shifts or negotiating a complete family lock-down, these 10 ideas might foster a moment of calm in turbulent times.

1. Take a walk … in your garden

Photo: Tim Cooper, Unsplash

Even with the world turned upside down, you only need step outside to remember this is a glorious time of year. Queensland autumn is subtle perfection, with fresh breezes, sun-soaked days, and cosy evenings. Take your laptop to the garden, stretch on the lawn, unpack a picnic in your backyard and snip off some garden greenery for the kitchen table. In an apartment? Decorate liberally with plants and try morning yoga on the terrace or sundowners on the rooftop. Channel nature’s incredible ability to soothe an anxious heart.

2. Comfort bake

Photo: Lindsay Cotter, Unsplash

The simple ritual of measuring flour, mixing dough, and filling the kitchen with the warmth and smell of baking can do wonders to quieten a racing mind. Practice kindness with a tray of fresh-baked muffins for a house-bound neighbour or get your kids in on the action pressing biscuits and decorating cupcakes. Baking as therapy? Pass the whisk.

3. KonMari like you mean it

Photo: James Hollingworth, Unsplash

While we’ve all dabbled in this decluttering juggernaut, here’s a chance for a properly cleansing edit. For your wardrobe. Your beauty drawer. Your linen cupboard and your kitchen drawers. Even your inbox. Revel in the renewed sense of order. And while you’re at it, roll out the doonas, change up the cushions and throws, and winter-prep your living and sleeping spaces. Reconfiguring a room will get your body moving and likely lift your spirits too.

4. Explore your online options

Photo: Visuals, Unsplash

While falling down the rabbit hole of online shopping might have felt like a guilty pleasure in the past, now it’s a must. From gourmet meals and dance classes to office essentials and cheer-me-up pretties, you can keep life on track and support local businesses through home delivery and virtual services. And Christmas shopping? Seriously, now is the perfect time.

5. Establish new traditions & social routines

Photo: Dollar Gill, Unsplash

Your daily routine has likely been thrown into chaos and your social calendar scratched. Time to try new ways to connect. Working remotely requires its own discipline and revised scheduling but bridging the gap of social isolation is also a priority — even if you need to clue nana up on the finer details of Facetime. Send a letter. Call your mum. Skype your best friend. Oh, and here’s an idea: host a virtual dinner party. It’s kind of like your classic conference call — but everyone has a glass of wine in hand.

6. Games night, every night

Photo: Michal Parzuchowski, Unslash

Family fun is the name of the game, whether you dig out the Scrabble board, UNO cards or WiFit/Playstation/Xbox. Did somebody say Just Dance? Or find your Netflix binge of choice and settle in with popcorn and hot chocolate. Play up the ‘staycation’ angle and remember that hanging with the kids is always time well spent.

7. Action that project

Photo: Neslihan Gunaydin, Unsplash

You know the one, it’s probably fiddly and always ends up in the too-hard basket. Give it a go. Mend a cushion cover. Put up that shelf. Tackle an unloved corner. Repot a plant.

8. Bust out the good china

Photo: Nani Williams, Unsplash

And the good cutlery. And the fancy glasses. Set the table with linen and really savour the experience. Maybe even dress up for the occasion. You’ll find family dinner takes on added gravitas when it’s turned into an ‘event’.

9. Make a new furry friend

Photo: Roberto Nickson, Unsplash

Thinking of adopting? Bring a new pet into the family while you have the time to spend training, bonding, and uploading its cuteness to your socials. Fostering or adopting from the RSPCA or rescue shelters will save a life and help cut through the gloom.

10. Enjoy some quiet time

Photo: Gabrielle Henderson, Unsplash

Life at home doesn’t have to be busy to be beautiful. Often, it’s the quiet moments of reflection and the relaxed hours spent reading, pottering, or even napping that feel most enriching. Find solace in stillness and safety in the things you love.

In crazy, even heartbreaking, times, may your home be your sanctuary.