As more than a billion people hunker down to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus, many are struggling to find ways to occupy their time. There are only so many days you can spend on activities previously reserved for evenings and weekends, and with the uncertainty surrounding our economic and sociopolitical landscape, stress is easier to come by.

While routines are a good way to stay organized and find order in the current chaos, if they’re poorly balanced, you might be worse off at the end of this quarantine than when it started. Here are six ways I’ve been spending time during the lockdown that have had the biggest net positive effect on my skills and mental health.

  1. Learning a Language – With thousands of online resources backed by communities of native speakers, you can put together a lesson plan and jump right in. I’ve been learning Japanese through YouTube and Memrise, which could allow me to communicate with another 128 million people worldwide.
  2. Clearing my Watch-list – Movies and TV shows are a huge part of popular culture and can expose us to a range of new ideas. Usually, I wouldn’t have the time to go through what I’ve planned to watch, but these days my list is getting shorter.
  3. Make a Video Journal – This pandemic is a part of history and turning point in our lives. Apps like Giype are a great way to diary your current and post-quarantine experiences for posterity, and are much faster than writing.
  4. Take up Meditation – Quell your current anxieties and improve your mental health with this exercise. Just 30-minutes a day makes a huge difference.
  5. Play Mobile Games – From solitaire to RPG campaigns, games are a fun distraction for everyone. Use online games like Monopoly to stay connected with friends.
  6. Invest in Stocks – Stocks in some of the biggest companies worldwide are at an all-time low. Always wanted to invest? Now is the time to get acquainted with the market.

How have you been spending the lockdown?