Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone Make the Most of the Coronavirus Quarantine and You Should Too!

21 fun and productive activities to power through the lockdown.

Shraddha Varma

India has come to a standstill with the government-imposed 21-day lockdown, post the #JanataCurfew, to control the spread of novel Coronavirus also known as COVID-19. This has forced most of us, voluntarily or involuntarily, to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle of life and stay holed up at home with minimal activities to keep you occupied. With extra time at home despite the cleaning, cooking, cribbing, and catching up on the corona lingo, there's still ample time that can be used effectively to stay afloat and stay positive during the COVID-19 crisis.

For those, who need some inspiration to pick up a long lost hobby, or learn a new skill, we scoured through the gram and picked up some quick and easy ideas from our favourite 
celebrities and influencers across the world and how they have found ways to keep themselves motivated. Read on and make notes.

When it comes to our Bollywood divas, fitness rules the roost. Bollywood actor
Katrina Kaif has been posting #WorkoutFromHome on her Instagram handle. While her Phantom co-star Saif Ali Khan and industry mate Shraddha Kapoor reminds us to catch up on some reading and relax those nerves.

This lockdown-driven quiet time is a good opportunity to focus on self-development and make better choices in life. If you’re drawing a blank on how to go about it, you’ll find our suggestions to help make your time quarantined as fun and productive as possible.

1.     Try a New Recipe

When was the last time you cooked for pleasure and not to pack your dabba? Time to open the bookmarked recipes and boast about your cooking skills. While you make up your mind on the recipe of the day, check out these indulgent main course recipes by the likes of chefs Ranveer Brar, Ajay Chopra, and Shipra Khanna.

You must also checkout these world-famous chefs and celebrities on social media sharing cooking tips and their favourite recipes:

• Follow Top Chef host Padmalakshmi (@padmalakshmi) for a guide to pantry essentials,
• Actress Malaika Arora (@malaikaaroraofficial) for a sumptuous Malabari veg stew,

• Chef Rachael Ray (@rachaelray) for meals to make from pantry staples, and
• Chef Massimo Bottura for his new show on Instagram aptly named Kitchen Quarantine.

2.     Read for Fun

Let’s be honest, we’ve forgotten how to appreciate the art of reading a book aloud. This is the perfect time to change that! Pick a book that interests you and your loved one—an old favourite or a brand-new adventure—read it aloud turn by turn. Better still, let the kids at home take the lead, and discuss your favourite part of the story. For some new titles for children, check out Duckbill, an Indian publishing brand. They  recently announced the release of its Hook Book Series for children above the age of five. It features stories set in non-urban settings by popular authors such as Jerry Pinto, Paro Anand, Anushka Ravishankar, and Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar.

3.     Binge-watch

Warning: This activity can keep you glued for hours – we’re not kidding!

Social distancing won’t be so miserable, if you have a solid (and themed) series/film lineup to watch. Spend time re-watching your all-time favourites or search for a new one on your favourite OTT platform.

A theme that has been demanding our attention, at LF, is
pandemic movies. So much so, we even put together a few of our favourites to share with you. Here are some ther suggestions to make binge watching fun and include your girl gang in it.

• Watch the Oscar-winning Parasite (now on Amazon Prime) or
• Host a Netflix Party with loved ones
• You also must finish the Star Wars franchise before The Mandalorian releases on Hotstar as part of its association with Disney+.

Actor Arjun Kapoor has also shared a list of movies on Instagram with the aim to make the 21 days simpler. Have you checked out #ArjunRecommends yet?


Pamper Yourself

The 21 day lockdown has been a source of hairy-grooming memes. Personal grooming has taken a backseat, whatever the gender, but no one said no to a little DIY TLC. Plan an evening or afternoon where you do an at-home spa session. Aromatic candles and soothing music will set the mood right and the rest is for you to decide.

Use aloe vera gel as a hair mask like actress Roshni Chopra does, moisture your lips with milk cream or honey,
Follow Katrina’s secrets to a healthy skin, or
Make your skin glow with these granny-approved DIY ubtans.
Take cue from Deepika Padukone’s Instagram account and massage your face.



5.     Plant Seedlings

Research shows that interacting with indoor plants can reduce stress. While you’re at home, scour through the pantry and attic for empty containers and pots, and plant a seedling. Turn your window sill into a herb garden by planting coriander, dill, basil (Italian), curry leaves, and even, mint (because, hello summer!).

Recently, Kareena Kapoor Khan shared a couple of photos of Saif Ali Khan and their son Taimur planting a flower. “My boys doing their bit! Together, let's make the world a better place for us all,” read her caption.

And just in case you need some #plantspiration or tips and tricks, check out Bengaluru-based food blogger Nandita Iyer’s favourite YouTube channel Gardening is My Passion or Instagram’s Geeks of Green (@geeksofgreen).

6.     Host a Family Game Night

While Alia Bhatt’s busy acing Catan and Kartik Aaryan, Jenga; you can check your old games cabinet/drawer for the classics such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and Sequence. These games are still classics and do a good job to get the family together; you can opt for their online versions. Other games include Uno, Ludo, and Carrom Pool online in case you want to play with friends or relatives away.



Spend Time with Pets

And while you’re at home, don’t forget to spend time with your pets, reminds global sensation Priyanka Chopra by posting an adorable picture with her pet Gino.

Malaika, Disha Patni, Kriti Sanon, and Shraddha Kapoor too shared pictures of the fun they are having with their pets at home. 

8.     Make Way for Nostalgia

Shake off the dust on the old family albums and DVDs. Open the high-school slam books (pre-Millennials will get this one!) and birthday cards. Take time out to read old letters from your dear ones—maybe the one grandpa wrote to grandma or the first letter you ever wrote to your parents from nani’s house? You’ll be surprised how these cherished memories will warm your heart and give you some much-needed hope.

Here's Shraddha Kapoor going through old pictures because she's missing her mother. 

9.  Broaden your Horizons

Is your brain in the need of a workout? Enroll for one of the free online courses (certified and non-certified). Crochet, fine arts, graphic designing, new language, online marketing, web development—the internet has a long list of courses to choose from. Coursera, Linkedin Learning, and Udemy are a few of the e-learning platforms you can turn to. For cooking tutorials, scroll up to point 1.

Check out what Alia’s learning while she practices social distancing amid the 21-day lockdown.

10. Tidy-up your Home

Deep cleaning the house or decluttering your closet can be a cathartic task. No, we’re not talking about the standard cleaning that is done every week. This one will require hours and a lot of thinking. To ease you into this, we spoke to India’s first certified KonMari consultant and founder of Joy Factory, Gayatri Gandhi. The tidying-up expert shared with us her magic formula—C2S2—that’ll declutter and spark joy in your homes.

While we're still figuring out what to clean first, Deepika, who calls herself #WannabeMarieKondo, has already cleaned her closet!

11.  At Home Workouts

If nothing from the list above appeals to you, just put on your favourite workout playlist and get ready to burn some calories.

• If guided workouts are your thing, follow these five free fitness channels on YouTube or
• Equip your smartphone with a fitness application (check out our best picks).
• There are also a bunch of yoga asanas recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that you can’t miss.
• Katrina Kaif with her trainer Yasmin Karachiwala also took to Instagram to share the workout the actress is doing at home. 

12. Attend a Virtual Music Concert

With all events cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown, artistes and performers from across the globe are planning virtual concerts and online jam sessions. It all started with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and singers John Legend and Charlie Puth and is being continued by brands and publications. Some of the Indian virtual concerts to check out include:

• Online ticketing site BookMyShow’s (BMS) Live from HQ series (started March 25, 2020),
• Kommune India’s #HomeIsWhereTheArtIs, and
• Rolling Stone India’s #ArtistsWFH are a few popular campaigns in the country right now.



Bring the Theatre to your Living Room

Since you can’t visit the theatre, the theatre has found a way to reach you. Several theatre groups and institutions are screening, streaming, and sharing their best productions on TV and online platforms.

• Delhi-based Asmita Theatre Group hosted a Quarantine Theatre Festival from March 21 to March 31, 2020 on Facebook, while
 Zee Theatre is streaming its plays such as Agnipankh, Savita Damodar Paranjape and Shyaam ki Mummy on varied platforms such as Dish TV, TataSky, Vodafone Play, Zee5 and Airtel Spotlight.



Take Virtual Tours of World Class Museums

Staying in doesn’t mean you and the kids lose access to culture.

• Discover the decorative arts of the Galerie d’Apollon (Louvre, Paris),
• Explore modern art at the Museum of Modern Art (New York) or
• Witness the countless treasures housed in the Indian Museum (Kolkata) without leaving home.

Visit the respective museums’ website to know more.



Get Artsy

Take cue from stars Janhvi Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana and Salman Khan, and bring out your inner artist. While Janhvi and Ayushmann were seen trying their hands at painting, Salman stuck to what he loves: sketching.  You can learn calligraphy, candle-making, DIY décor, and fashion.


DIY Cocktail

Bring out the handful of ingredients and spirits you’ve got at home and put together a cocktail. And if you’re not in the mood to experiment, here are 10 tipples you can try during this 21-day lockdown.

17. Write a Poem/Short Story

You don’t have to be Rabindranath Tagore or Shakespeare. Just express yourself. Just as Ayushmann Khurrana has been motivating his fans and followers with his creative writing,  Kriti Sanon too has penned down a poem titled Thham jaa, Theher jaa. She shared it via an Instagram post.

18. Empty Your Phone!

You’ve been ignoring the ‘memory full’ pop up for a while. And why wouldn’t you, after all who has the time to sit and transfer photos and videos from the phone to an external hard drive? Complain no more, this 21-day lockdown is the perfect chance to get this task done!

19. Call. Your. Loved. Ones.

We understand that staying touch with friends and family can be tough given the hectic work schedule. But it’s finally time to catch up (well, virtually)—call the college buddy you’ve been meaning to connect with or bond with your parents-in-law. Look back in time and relive a couple of happy memories. Listen to each other’s individual experience of quarantine, share advice, and make plans for the future.


20. Meditate

You don’t have to be an ascetic atop a mountain meditating; the confines of your home work just as well. There are several meditation techniques including music and mantra. Download one of the many meditation apps such as Calm, Smiling Mind, and Headspace, try them out. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 21-day lockdown, actor Shahid Kapoor shared a few things to do at home with his fans and followers, meditation was one of them.

Here's Shilpa Shetty taking some time out to meditate at home:

21. Plan your Finances Better

Remember, money is going to get tighter as the economic repercussions of Coronavirus start affecting the country. So, planning your expenses and thinking about your financial health is critical. Focus on your savings, cut down unnecessary expenditures, get to know your health insurance better, and, if needed, consult an expert.

If self-quarantine doesn’t appeal to you, we’re sure one of these activities will definitely do that! Stay home and stay safe! These are your options, pick wisely and do let us know your favourites in the comments section below.

Banner image: Instagram/Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, and Kareena Kapoor Khan


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