Why Don’t You….The Coronavirus Chronicles

We have some ideas (inspired by Diana Vreeland's "Why Don't You" column) about things to try while you're hunkered down at home.
Books, Coffee mug on desk

Until events resume, we have some ideas (inspired by Diana Vreeland’s “Why Don’t You” column) about things to try while you’re hunkered down at home.

Mrs. Vreeland was known for her extravagant and sometimes outrageous ideas for the modern woman and you’ll certainly find some of those here, among plenty of easy and basic things you can do to brighten your world and that of other’s during this crazy time.


– Take an inventory of your baking supplies. We see many cookies in your future.

– Get a landline and only give the number to your three favorite people.

– Teach your kids the art of bobbing for apples.

– Make tissue paper ghosts over the tops of lollipops.

– Take some beautiful glass containers and fill them up at Onatah General’s refillable laundry station.

– Take a mental health day from work.

– Make a plan for your fall COVID garden planting.

– Identify items in your closet that need to be repaired, refreshed, or repurposed.

– Surprise a friend by having lunch delivered to them on a random weekday.

– Winterize all the things that need it: Shoes, pipes, that unhealthy relationship…

– Set up a luxe tailgate in your driveway with your coziest blankets, best dishes, and delicious eats. Go Colts!

– Perfect the art of the charcuterie board made with local meats and cheeses.

– Pour your own signature candle scent at a local shop like Unplug Soy Candles or Penn & Beech Candle Co.

– Stock up on your favorite nostalgic Halloween candy—even if you don’t expect trick-or-treaters this year.

– Do an at-home work out with your BFF over Zoom.

– Splurge on a luxury yarn for your fall knitting project.

– Schedule an outdoor photoshoot for your family–or yourself.

– Prepare your cold-weather wardrobe for its big debut.

– Host an outdoor blind cider or wine tasting.

– Pick your new signature fall nail color.

– Don’t wait until your birthday—organize a fundraiser now for the cause you’re most passionate about.

– Find the ugliest pumpkin possible and give it a good home.

– Invest in a proper pair of winter boots. Your feet will thank you later.

– Put on a cute apron. Bake a pie from scratch.

– Sign up for a virtual wine tasting course.

– Spend a weekend making delicious soups, stocks, and stews to freeze for chillier weather.

– Make a list of DIY gift projects to start now for the holiday season ahead.

– Organize your phone’s camera roll and order prints of your favorites for friends and family.

– Commit to spend exclusively local for one full week.

– Sign up for a continuing education course in something you’ve yet to master, like gardening or bookkeeping.

– Take a day to tackle all of the things you’ve been procrastinating doing.

– Set up a proper Zoom station with a nice background, good lighting, and a few grooming products.

– Do a paint by number. Hang it up proudly in your home.

– Take advantage of the low prices on lobster and enjoy a white tablecloth dinner at home.

– Mail a friend a mask with a fun pattern and a cheeky note.

– Find a piece of poetry you like. Memorize a favorite line.

– Bring back flower pressing. Pick a few wildflowers. Iron them between wax paper.

– Start a meal train with a group of friends for no reason other than it saves a night of cooking.

– Start a compost pile.

– Get a lab desk for handling correspondence (see emails and Insta DMs) in bed.

– Select a news organization to support with a subscription or membership.

– Write a time-capsule letter to yourself. Open it exactly one year from now.

– Take up roller skating.

– Pamper your eyes with cooling cucumbers, eye cream, and a brow clean up.

– Reach out and make a conversation with a woman you’ve admired from afar.

– Seek out a mentor – or consider becoming one.

– Roast gourmet s’mores with fancy dark chocolate and other grown up toppings.

– Rent a convertible for the day, put on a headscarf and your most fabulous sunglasses, and explore somewhere new-to-you.

– Replace one item in your life with an eco-friendly alternative. Might we suggest reusable cotton rounds.

– Find a local foster mom to help support, or consider fostering yourself.

– Do something for someone who’s having a tough time. Don’t offer. Don’t ask. Just do.

– Fashion a “dressing area” in your home, whether it’s a spruced up corner of your bedroom or an entire room transferred into a closet.

– Introduce a kid in your life to candy necklaces, wax lips, pop rocks, and other nostalgia candy.

– Start your holiday shopping – delivery windows are getting longer after all.

– Pick a female author. Read every piece of their work you can get your hands on.

– Reach out to the “friend that got away.”

– Implement one Ayurvedic practice into your daily routine.

– Spend Saturday morning watching cartoons with a box of your favorite childhood cereal.

– Brew up a batch of homemade sun tea.

– Figure out the most flattering sunglasses for your face once and for all.

– Set up a projector in your backyard or living room to watch movies on, even if for an audience of one.

– Create a wet bar in your home and appreciate the art of a proper happy hour.

– Make homemade mayonnaise. Use some on your hair and the rest on a delicious egg salad.

– Make a goal of visiting some local gardens such as Holcomb Gardens on the Butler Campus or the Sunken Garden at Garfield Park. When it’s not 100 degrees, that is.

– Plant a garden for our bee, butterfly, and hummingbird friends.

– Plant a cutting garden for indoor arrangements so you’ll always have fresh flowers in your home.

– Bake the original Girl Scout Cookie (but never turn your back on Thin Mints and Samoas).

– Take a road trip to see Indiana’s covered bridges. So romantic.

– Carry a handheld fan around to cool yourself.

– Celebrate summer with a good old fashioned clam bake.

– Start a diary for your deepest, darkest secrets. Does anyone have those anymore?

– Adopt an elderly pet and show them the best years of their lives.

– Take a big drink of water—your skin will thank you later.

– Teach yourself a useful skill like sewing a button or changing a flat tire. YouTube will show you the way.

– Order a loved one a gift from a local business, just because.

– Trade in your iPhone for a Polaroid camera (at least for a weekend)

– Make a cold fruit soup for lunch

– Track down a 1985 Nitendo NES console and work it into your entertainment routine. Super Mario Bros. anyone?

– Introduce a screen-loving kid in your life to the joy of paper dolls…or paper anything, really.

– Work hula hooping into your cardio workout routine. Or, just count it as your workout.

– Start a Covid-19 garden—even if it only consists of two herbs on your windowsill.

– Create a cause calendar with a new organization or nonprofit to donate to for every month left in the year.

– Perfect your own custom spin on a classic cocktail.

– Take an evening stroll after dinner. Make it a part of your nightly routine.

– Buy or make a guest book for your house so you’ll never take visitors for granted again.

– Schedule a virtual therapy session, even if you’ve never been before. Especially if you’ve never been before.

– Hang sheer curtains around your bed for a luxe feeling on a dime.

– Order a custom bookplate, sticker, or stamp to give your books a history for the next reader (or to remind a borrowing friend of where to return).

– Decide on a summer wardrobe staple—caftans, house dresses, overalls—this is the year anything goes.

– Try your hand at a champagne jelly mold. You perfected Jell-O shots ages ago anyway.

– Write a long love letter to your favorite local business and post it somewhere online for the world to see.

– Splurge on some simple summer childhood pleasures like driveway chalk, bubbles, and popsicles–whether you have kids or not.

– Give your bicycle game a facelift with a new basket, bell, or helmet.

– Master the art of riding said bicycle in a dress (if they’re your thing).

– Select a notable woman in history, living or dead. Study her as much as you can over the course of the next month.

– Update your Coronavirus wardrobe and order some cute face masks, luxurious loungewear, and really fabulous house slippers.

– Order and cook up the most unique seafood you can find in your next grocery delivery—fish is the new meat after all.

– Pick a friend. Create a Spotify playlist of all the songs that remind you of them and your fun times together. Share. Repeat.

– Reach out someone on Mother’s Day who isn’t necessarily a mom to let them know you’re thinking of them—for whatever reason.

– Relive your youth by sending a flirty text, sunbathing in your backyard even if it’s not quite warm enough, or drinking a Zima—they still make those, right?

– Have an international dinner and a movie theme night. Might we suggest a bowl of cacio de pepe, a glass of Pinot Grigio, and Roman Holiday.

– Tap into those psychic abilities you’ve always sworn you have with a virtual psychic development class at New Age People.

– Turn on some spa music, slip into your coziest robe, lay on top of a heating pad, and treat yourself to a face massage.

– Watch Mrs. America on Hulu and learn about aspects of the initial fight to ratify the ERA you might not have known before. Cate Blanchett’s Phyllis Schlafly is a fascinating and complex character study, as are the other real-life feminists portrayed in the show like Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Betty Freidan.

– Write a note or draw a picture for a child in need to let them know someone is thinking of them via The Patachou Foundation’s Lunchbox Letters program.

– Tie-dye is everywhere right now…Why not source yourself a kit and then go crazy tie-dying anything and everything that inspires you—a COVID mask, kitchen towels, socks, your baby’s onesie…

– Make yourself a very special bag of popcorn (Truffle butter? Pink Himalyan salt? M&Ms from your kid’s Easter Basket?) and watch a classic movie you’ve never seen before.

– Create a list of all the places you dream of traveling when this is over and as if cost will be no object. It can’t hurt to dream….Morocco, anyone?

– Pack a picnic and have it on the floor of the most infrequently used room of your house.

– Swap out those ratty old pajamas for your cutest workout gear, take a Club Pilates class on our Facebook page, and treat yourself to a fabulous fruit smoothie when you’re done.

– Whip up a batch of margaritas and hop on Zoom with your college girlfriends for a much-needed laughfest over whatever ridiculous things your kids did today.

– Learn a TikTok dance—even if you never post it.

– Wear blue today (Thursday) as part of Indy’s effort to #LightItBlue to honor health care workers and first responders. 

– Go through your bathroom drawers/cabinets and make use of all those exfoliants, masks, etc and have a spa night in—plus toss expired stuff you find! Save anything unopened you don’t plan to use and donate it to a local organization.

– Prep your guest (or bed) room for a stay-cation, complete with dinner on a tray in bed, sweets on your pillows at turndown, and all the TV you can binge-watch.

– Live with your lover? Put on a lingerie fashion show (and stealthy use it as an opportunity to see which bras no longer fit and donate them to I Support the Girls—hello, multitasking!)

– Invite your friends to a virtual brunch using your nicest stationery. Have bubbly delivered to their door the morning of.

– Buy a nice set of notecards from a local shop that delivers or ships and then send friends snail mail to let them know you’re thinking of them.

– Let your children paint a mural such as a rainforest on their bedroom or playroom walls. You can always paint over it when this is over.

– Challenge yourself to doctor up the fanciest bowl of cheap ramen and drink it with the most expensive bottle of wine (or most delightful non-alcoholic beverage) you have.

– Move your favorite piece of art somewhere unexpected but a place that you frequent—above your washing machine or commode, perhaps.

– Remove the lacquer/gel/whatever else you have on your nails (toes included) and let. them. breathe.

– Grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea, download Houseparty app, and play a raunchy game with your girlfriends.

– Connect with a local hospital about ordering a meal for overworked staff. Gather a group of friends to chip in.

– Let your child (children) loose in the shower with a can of whipped cream, shaving cream or the like.

– Give your dog a spa day using your fancy salon shampoo, complete with a blow out and perhaps a light spritz of your favorite fragrance.

Looking for even more things to do with your time? Check out our new Indy Maven event calendar

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