How to Live in Self-Isolation During the Coronavirus Pandemic: A Simple Resource

There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Note: This post is provided courtesy of Morning Brew (with a few extra suggestions of my own). Morning Brew is a newsletter delivered every morning and designed to give you an update on what is going on in the world today. To learn more, you can read my review of Morning Brew here.

In light of the current world situation and the many people who are quarantining themselves (and practicing “social distancing”), I thought I would share this list of valuable resources, to help you get through the next few weeks (or even months) while we're dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Let's get to it…

Prologue: Stay Informed

While you’re living out your best socially distanced life, you can always stay informed with the latest coronavirus news by visiting the CDC, the WHO, and JHU websites, and check which events are canceled here.

Chapter 1: Stay Productive While Working From Home

Shakespeare wrote King Lear while the plague shut down theaters. Here’s how you can accomplish something of similar value to humankind.

Setting up a proper workstation

Experts recommend setting aside a workspace to get you into “work” mode. If you have a beechwood standing desk with three monitors and a view of the ocean, well la de da. If you don’t, switch up where you’re working when you start to feel like you’re no longer being productive in your chosen spot.

The Mayo Clinic has a guide to setting up an ergonomic workstation.

  • Scent: You can use a candle, incense, or other scent diffuser that you associate with work. We recommend eucalyptus or mahogany.
  • Sound: Play certain music only while working and not while doing anything else, like Spotify’s Lo-fi Cafe playlist,, or Big Desk Energy.

Design: Here’s some inspo for your work from home setup

Habits: check out some habit change ideas you can work on during the quarantine. to improve your long-term work productivity.

Video Calls: How to not look like an idiot

Video calls are going to be a part of our work for many people living a quarantined lifestyle. Here are some great tips for looking your best in any upcoming videos and conference calls.

Appearance: Make sure you have good lighting, keep the angle at eye-level or slightly higher.

Set up a professional background. Even if it is just a light sheet hanging behind you. It might be time to take down the “Saturdays are for the boys” poster, anyways.

Etiquette: Be mindful of where you’re looking when you’re lost in thought or talking.

Mute yourself when you’re in large meetings, but don’t when you’re in small brainstorms.

Call in from a quiet place and keep everything you need close by so you don’t need to leave the screen. 

  • Write talking points and reminders on Post-It notes attached to your screen. 
  • Quit out of any apps you won’t be using prior to the meeting. 

Backgrounds: Try these fun ones for Zoom.


Create a time that you’re “in office” every day, and be prepared to start working at that time. Then, decide on a time that you “leave” for the day and mark both on your calendar. Also, schedule in…

  • Cooking and eating, so you don’t end up eating entire jars of pickles or taking frequent breaks to cook three-course meals. 

Morning Brew’s favorite time management tools: Calendly and Todoist (here's a complete guide on how to use Todoist.)

Leading a team

Simulate in-person contact: Set up virtual “coffee chats” and “happy hours” more often than you would normally in person. You can’t tap people on the shoulder virtually, and it’s better to save up your Slack ideas and feedback for an actual conversation.

  • You can also request employees check-in every morning at a certain time, and to block off their schedules when they plan to take a workout class or head off to lunch.

Harvard Business has a list of resources to help you effectively lead amid COVID-19.

Chapter 2: Things to Do When You’re Not Working

Learn new skills

The important takeaway here is to not view quarantine as a time of isolation but as a chance to grow without distractions.

Read long-form articles

When quarantined. I recommend reading. And then reading more.

I can't count the number of times I have put off reading because “too much was going on”. If you feel the same, isn't this a chance to catch up, or even get ahead on your reading?

  • Big Ideas
  • Business Strategy
  • More

Read books


Buy a few key pieces of equipment that you think you’ll use the most, like a yoga mat, kettlebells, and free weights. Then find some workouts you can follow from home. Some options:

Stay connected to others

The WHO released some tips on how to deal with anxiety. Here’s what you can do if you’re stuck at home, especially if you’re alone…



  • Homeschooling:
  • Scheduling: This one was shared around the internet 
  • General tips: WaPo 

Clean up your life

  • Digital: 
  • Delete old and duplicate pictures so that pesky iCloud storage reminder finally goes away
  • Clean your desktop (and build a separate folder so you can stop saving to desktop)
  • Delete unused apps, update your software
  • Physical: 
  • Clean out your closet and donate clothes you don’t wear anymore
  • Cancel unused subscriptions

Just Have Fun 


  • Business movies
  • Morning Brew favorites
  • Amazon’s Fleabag, HBO’s Succession, and Better Call Saul (old episodes now on Netflix)
  • A more general list
  • Lists of comforting TV shows you can stream:  list 1 and list 2
  • Not necessarily comforting, but a long list of spring 2020 TV shows
  • Westworld season 3 is back on HBO, Marc Maron has a new Netflix special, Frozen 2 is on Disney+, Dave is now on Hulu
  • Or if you want to revel in the apocalypse: I am Legend (Prime), Zombieland (Prime), World War  Z (Hulu, but read the book first), The Day After Tomorrow, Mad Max (Cinemax but who has that), This is the End (Prime)
  • How to watch Netflix with your friends
  • Cultural thingz


  • Podcasts
  • Music


  • Games
  • Corona Memes


I hope you enjoyed this guide to things you can do when quarantined due to coronavirus|covid-19.

Hopefully, you see that there are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself active, and in the long-term actually improve your life after quarantine/social distancing.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. And all of us here at Developgoodhabits hope for the best for you and yours in these trying times.

What should we add to this guide? Share your suggestions here

quarantined lifestyle coronavirus | coronavirus live updates | coronavirus self-quarantine
How to Live in Self-Isolation During the Coronavirus Pandemic: A Simple Resource