The number of coronavirus cases is rapidly increasing in France and the country is now on lockdown. We’ve all been told to stay at home. But how do we stay inside our tiny Parisian apartments all day without going stir crazy? Here are some ideas to keep you occupied.
What better time to do a bit of spring cleaning? Use this as an opportunity to get around to those odd jobs that you’re always putting off, like cleaning your oven or extractor fan, wiping down the inside of your kitchen cupboards or shelves, or emptying out your fridge. Put on some upbeat music to help you feel motivated.
This is also the perfect time to sort through your closet. Mend anything that needs mending, donate what no longer fits or you no longer wear, make a dry cleaning bag (for when they’ve reopened). Get the leather cream out and treat your boots and handbags. That way, by the time we can leave our homes again, they’ll be good as new.
Speaking of looking your best, we might be stuck inside, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel our best (or at least pretty good). One of the best antidotes: exercise. There are plenty of free online workout videos available on YouTube to get your body moving. Check out Blogilates, POPSUGAR Fitness, BeFiT, Tone It Up, Alo Yoga, Yoga with Adriene, Fitness Blender, or Ballet Beautiful (by New York City Ballet professional Mary Helen Bowers, who trained Natalie Portman for the film Black Swan).
With all the cafes and restaurants closed in Paris, it’s time to get cooking. Dust off those cookbooks to get you going. We love Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local by Clotilde Dusoulier, Around My French Table: More than 300 Recipes from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes by Emily Dilling, and In the French Kitchen with Kids: Easy, Everyday Dishes for the Whole Family to Make and Enjoy by Mardi Michels.
Staying at home means you’re likely not conversing with Parisians every day. So take advantage of this time to do a little bit of self-study and practice your French. There’s Duolingo, of course, but personally I prefer Memrise. TV5Monde is also a great resource. Street French is an Instagram account that teaches conversational French and also offers a free French e-course. Talk in French and A Cup Of French are a couple of other great websites and Instagram accounts.
If you already speak fluent French, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a new skill. Have you always wanted to study history, literature, psychology, or marketing? Coursera provides free online education by partnering with many top universities, museums, and trusts around the world. You can take a wide range of in-depth courses and study many different topics from various universities and organizations. There’s also Khan Academy, Academic Earth, Alison, edX, and Udemy.
When it’s time to chill, get on Netflix, and watch some of our favorite French films or series. If you don’t have Netflix, but you have a TV and happen to be feeling a little homesick, there are actually some American series re-runs on every night from Monday to Friday. Friends is on TFX from 8-9 pm, The Big Bang Theory is on NRJ12 from 7:45-8:30 pm, Medium is on Cherie 25 from 7:20-9:05 pm, and my personal favorite, Grey’s Anatomy, is on TF1 Series Films from 7:10pm-8:55 pm.
Stay home, take care of yourselves, and be well!
- Read one writer’s experience in Paris under lockdown.
- If you’re not in Paris, find out how you can bring Paris to your home.
- Check out this urban farm which will hopefully open in Paris soon.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.