Two weekends ago, on a particularly frigid Saturday night, I found myself trapped inside my 460-square-foot apartment. I had somehow managed to jam the lock on my door, and the locksmith wasn’t answering his phone, so I had no idea how long my isolation would last. If a fire had broken out, I would have been pretty screwed, but I was also pleased to have such a solid excuse to cancel plans and stay in. (As luck would have it, I had just returned from the grocery store with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.) Here are 10 tips that carried me through my weekend of apartment solitude. (Ed. note: You can also employ these tips when you actually have the ability to go outside, but just don’t want to.)
Dance around partially (or fully) naked.
Hands down, the best part of living alone is the opportunity to dance in the nude whenever you feel like it. It’s a surprisingly good workout, and it feels pretty liberating. As for the soundtrack, you can’t go wrong with Songza. My top three favourite playlists (in descending order) are: Mom-Jean Jams, Girls’ Night In and What Would Beyoncé Do?
Cook an almost-effortless hot meal.
My slow cooker is easily my most-cherished kitchen appliance, and it proves especially useful during the winter when you’re craving warm, hearty dishes. This steel-cut oatmeal is the best breakfast for a cold morning, and it keeps for almost a week. My go-to weekend dinner is Moroccan Vegetable Stew — full of fragrant spices, winter veggies and quick couscous, this dish is the perfect stew for a sit-in.
Skype your Mom.
Or your best friend. Anyone who can remind you that you are not, in fact, the last person on Earth. Snapchat is also a fun way to keep in touch with other snowed-in friends. Document your stir-craziness and share it with close pals.
Escape to the beach. In your mind.
A spur-of-the-moment, two-day trip to the Caribbean isn’t exactly in most single girls’ budgets. These lageritas are easy to whip up, and conjure up memories of sun-soaked patios.
Make an epic (and easy) snack.
Some triple- (now quadruple-) tested crunchy munchies from the Chatelaine archives: five-minute microwave potato chips, sweet-and-salty chocolate-covered chips, Brussels sprout crisps and crispy chickpeas.
Get your binge-watch on.
Being a bit of a television connoisseur, my interests run the gamut from prime-time soap operas (Empire) to buddy comedies (Broad City) to historical dramas (Downton Abbey). Dim the lights and settle down for some solid screen time. Tip: Poll friends and coworkers on what they’re currently watching — it’s always fun to have someone to dissect episodes with.
Give yourself a manicure.
Multi-task during your TV marathon by treating your tips to a fresh coat of polish. Get a professional look with these three steps courtesy of an actual aesthetician.
Build a fort.
Lora here with a message from your childhood: forts are awesome. I was inspired by my best friend, who regularly sends me Snapchats from her inside her son’s blanket creations. Flank your couch with pillows, drape a blanket across the top, grab your laptop and snacks and lounge like a kid while you can.
Clean out your makeup bag.
Take a half-hour to organize your medicine cabinet and cosmetic bags, toss out old mascaras and powders, and take stock of any repeat products — like the three red lipsticks in your purse. Hang onto any duplicates for a product swap with friends another weekend. Feeling ambitious? Tackle your closet.
Do a 10-minute workout.
After all that slow-cooking and snacking, you’ll need to get up and get your blood pumping. I love doing this low-impact yoga routine before bed. If you need a boost (and tip number one isn’t your thing), these cardio moves are a great bet.