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Cabin fever? Learn these 12 fun skills to stay busy, happy and healthy.


There are many words you can use to describe the COVID-19 shelter-in-place experience. Even as some restrictions are lifted, we’re still spending an enormous amount of time indoors — which can lead to some serious cabin fever.

One way to cope is to learn a new skill or hobby, practice healthy habits or just have some good old-fashioned fun. And with many pros on Thumbtack now offering remote services to help you accomplish new goals during quarantine, the possibilities are endless. 

Take care of yourself.

Taking care of your body and mind is vital to staying happy and healthy — especially during this pandemic. In addition to hiring a personal trainer who can offer remote training, here are some other ways you can get healthy thanks to remote services:

1. Yoga.

Yoga is among the healthiest things you can do for yourself. It doesn’t require much space (a 6-by-2 mat covers most of it) and it won’t disrupt your roommates.

Online yoga instructors often charge per lesson, and some may offer a deal if you sign up for a bulk set of lessons. Check Thumbtack to find a yoga teacher near you, and inquire to see if they’re teaching remotely at this time.

2. Massage therapy.

Massage therapy doesn’t have to disappear during COVID-19. Some massage therapists are expanding their businesses by teaching during this time. And if you have a willing partner or housemate, you can capitalize on this trend.

Search for massage therapists near you and ask if they’re offering remote lessons or service.

3. Self-defense.

Self-defense is about more than protection — it also teaches you coordination, improves fitness and challenges you physically and mentally.

Many self-defense instructors have moved to remote services while stay-at-home orders are in effect. Before you start punching and kicking, ensure that you have sufficient room, equipment and consent from others in your household.

Make music.

Making music is a win-win. It’s fun, creative and a complete brain workout, according to Hopkins Medicine. 

Whether you’re interested in playing an instrument or perfecting your singing, there’s a way to make music indoors. Just be sure to take the noise of making music into consideration by asking any roommates or neighbors if they’re okay with the sound.

Here are some popular choices:

4. Singing lessons.

Your voice is an instrument you already own. Singing lets you join in on songs, entertain people (and yourself) and spread a little joy. With video call technology, voice coaches are offering online lessons that can take you from amateur to experienced in a few short weeks. 

Search for private singing instructors near you. These pros may offer remote services — simply shoot them a message to find out. 

>>Give it a try: how to sing in 8 easy steps.

woman playing guitar

5. Guitar lessons.

Due to its mellow learning curve, guitar is one of the most popular instruments to learn. Almost anyone can play a few chords after one lesson — and plenty of guitar teachers are currently offering remote lessons.

Simply search online to find a guitar instructor who fits your budget. Most charge by the lesson or by the hour.

>>Learn: how to play guitar in 9 easy steps.

girl playing piano

6. Piano lessons.

Pianos are everywhere, and these days you can pick up an affordable electronic keyboard with a headphone jack, eliminating the noise problem.

Find a piano teacher near you who can offer remote lessons as you follow social distancing guidelines. Though not all may offer remote services in your area, a simple look at their profiles or a quick message will let you know who is.

>>Find out: how to play piano in 7 easy steps.

Learn a new language.

A new language is a fun skill to learn for several reasons: it expands your memory, sharpens your mind and broadens your global playground, according to Eton Institute.

Here are some valuable languages you might be able to learn remotely with the help of a pro:

7. Spanish.

With predictable conjugations, fairly simple grammar and a huge number of speakers, Spanish is one of the easiest and most useful foreign languages to learn.

Thumbtack lets you search for a private Spanish instructor near you who can help you dive into the language and develop your conversational skills. This is a great skill to learn with others, if they’re interested, too.

8. French.

French is the classic “romance language,” and it’s not too far of a stretch for anyone who’s studied Latin, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian.

Search for a private French instructor near you who is offering remote services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

9. Sign language.

Did you know that American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most popular language that college students are learning? That’s according to a report by the Modern Language Association. 

For many people who are deaf and hard of hearing, ASL is a crucial language for them to communicate. There are plentiful resources available to those looking for a nearby sign language teacher, and some may be offering remote services during this time. 

Have some fun.

You don’t have to spend your whole quarantine hunched over books or sweating it out. In fact, you don’t even need to develop a new skill or hobby. If all you want is to have fun, relieve some stress and get your mind off the pandemic, check out these fun activities: 

10. Have a dance-off.

Salsa, tango, hip-hop, breakdancing, swing, freestyle -- you name it, you can learn it. Many dance instructors have taken advantage of video calling software to provide virtual one-on-one or group dance lessons. Find a highly rated dance instructor near you, and ask about availability and pricing.

cooking vegetables

11. Cook up a storm.

Blow your friends away by emerging from the COVID-19 quarantine with the tastiest food around. This could be barbecue food, tandoori chicken, pastries — whatever you want. 

Because restaurants have temporarily reduced service, a new emphasis has been placed on cooking abilities. Fortunately, there’s a whole world of instruction out there ready to take you to the next level.

Search for cooking instructors near you and ask whether they offer remote services, such as meal kit delivery services or online classes. 

12. Challenge someone to a chess match.

Being a good chess player is one of the most universally respected skills out there. Chess teaches problem-solving and strategic thinking, which apply to virtually every part of life. 

Chess teachers near you may be offering remote instruction. Search their profiles on Thumbtack, and contact them to find out.

If you’re having fun and feeling stimulated, you’re spending your time well. If not, give these skills a try to make staying at home a memorable, stress-free and productive time.

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