Quarantine Bucket List

Don’t Waste Your Isolation: A Quarantine Bucket List

In Advice and Encouragement by Debra Fileta

Did you hear us talking about the Quarantine Bucket List? I had my friend, Lisa Anderson, on the podcast with me recently talking about a Single’s Guide to Surviving Quarantine.

In that episode, we talked about the value of infusing meaning and purpose in each day, and she mentioned some of the ways she’s been doing that. I asked her to write a follow up blog post for TrueLoveDates.com, about ways to make the most of quarantine. If you want to make the most of this time, give this article a read and comment below with what you come up with! We’d love to hear what you’re doing!


Confession: I’m an obsessive goal-setter and list-maker. Also, confession: I’m a consummate time-waster and procrastinator.

Take equal servings of both and mix with life in isolation. Add a heaping amount of Zoom meetings, emails and an ergonomically horrific kitchen-table workstation. Stir in a family-sized bag of Cadbury mini eggs and a half-eaten donut. Finish with a pinch (OK, more than a pinch…who am I kidding?) of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Optional: Add games on smartphone alternated with pacing around the house like a caged animal.

You see where I’m going here. And if you’re honest, you’re probably right there with me.

We’re in quarantine. Our schedules as we once knew them are upended. We don’t have places to be or people to meet. We can’t go out and do stuff because we shouldn’t be going out, period. Sometimes we’re super-productive (I answered my boss’ email! I put away four pieces of clothing!), and sometimes we stare out the window and wonder if we’ll ever again breathe on people or touch dirty door handles just because we can

Not to brag, but I saw this coming. On day two of isolation (When was that? Four weeks ago? Four years ago?), I was in my third hour of scrolling through coronavirus memes, and I had to stop myself. Like, actually put my phone down. This is not OK, I thought. I can’t do this indefinitely. I needed a plan.

Enter my controlling nature and goal-setting prowess. The one thing I knew I didn’t want was to look back on this season (whenever it ends…please, Jesus) as a wasteland of missed time and opportunity. Even as I pray for those who are ill, grieving and fearful in this unprecedented time…

I want to infuse my days with meaning, structure and care.

To accomplish this, I started a “bucket list” of sorts — things to do when the days get long and tedious. When I’m tempted to fritter away my free time with mindless pursuits. When I realize that I have stuff I’ve put off forever because I’m too busy, distracted or lazy to get it done. Well, now’s the time.

And because I’m both bossy and love company, I want you to join me. I got a head start with my crowd over at Boundless. We’re doing the Boundless Quarantine Challenge, which you can still join and get in on the fun. All my ideas are meant to stretch us creatively, intellectually, physically, in productivity or service — or in any of a bunch of other ways. Here’s my current list, including some fresh ones I’m throwing in just for you:

Quarantine Bucket List

  • Write a card to an elderly neighbor or church member and send it. Bonus: include flowers or candy
  • Memorize a Bible verse about trusting God
  • Read a book you’ve been putting off reading
  • Clean out a closet
  • Find 5 things at home to donate to someone in need
  • Learn 5 words or phrases in another language
  • Walk your neighborhood and pray for some of the homes, businesses, hospitals and schools as you pass by
  • Drink eight glasses of water in one day
  • Eat a piece of fresh fruit
  • Take a nap
  • Call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Actually talk to them on the phone (or via video)
  • Spend 15 minutes stretching
  • Read a missionary biography
  • Watch a documentary on something that interests you
  • Share a favorite sermon or article on social media
  • Schedule a Zoom (FaceTime, Skype, etc.) “date” with a child you know. Talk to them, read them a story, have them perform something wacky for you…and give their parents a much-needed break.
  • Google the answer to a question you’ve had for a while
  • Make dinner out of a few random (but not expired) items you have in your fridge and pantry
  • Organize your photos (digital or print — both count!)
  • Study a fruit of the Spirit that you would like to see more of in your life

This list is just a start. What would you add? Throw your ideas in the comments below. We don’t have to get weird, judgy or self-condemning about how we’re spending our days. And I’ll be the first to say that sometimes a solid binge-watch of my fav show is exactly what I need.

But I also know that variety is good. Growth is good. Getting outside of myself and my selfish wants is good. We have the opportunity to emerge from isolation stronger, smarter and more spiritually in-tune with God and others. Friends, let’s get after it. Because that’s a goal worth striving for in any season.   

Lisa Anderson is the director of Boundless, the young adult branch of the Focus on the Family ministry. Connect with her and the entire ministry at Boundless.com.

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DEBRA FILETA is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates, and Love In Every Season. She’s also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. Connect with her on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter or book an online session with her today!