In the past, I’ve often thought to myself “If only the world could slow down for a little while!” A global pandemic was NOT the solution I had in mind. There is no downplaying how potentially serious this worldwide crisis is. Social distancing isn’t just for the introverted among us anymore – it’s a necessity to ensure the most vulnerable among us survive. That doesn’t mean that staying in quarantine is easy. Humans are social creatures who thrive on interaction. Whether you’re bored or just looking for a break from work or the news, here are several ideas for fun things to do while stuck at home.
Play With Your Pets – or Foster One (or More)!
I’ve seen jokes going around on the internet that dogs created Coronavirus. They seem to be immune to it and it’s resulted in all of their owners being forced to stay home with them! I can always spend more time with my cats, so I’m using quarantine as an excuse to do more of that.
If you don’t have a pet, consider fostering one. Lots of shelters and rescues are looking for people to temporarily house and care for critters of all kinds. They’re concerned that this pandemic will result in many people abandoning their pets. Foster pet parents can give an animal love and some stability while freeing up room in shelters to help more animals in need. A lot of rescues will give you all the supplies to care for the pet. You won’t have to spend much. Worst case scenario – you have someone to spend quarantine with. Best case – you become a “foster fail” find your new best friend. Just Google “pet rescue near me.”
Coffee/Dinner/Game Night Over Video Chat
If you’re missing people and wish you all could get out to a restaurant, there is a solution. Plan a date and have it over FaceTime/Skype/Google Hangouts. It can even be a group event, since most online video chats let you host more than one person. I saw a friend post that she and her pals played online games, like jackbox.tv (I think that may only be suitable for adults, btw), over Google Hangout! One person, the host, shared his/her screen and everyone had the website address and code to play along. They used the group Hangout to watch the game unfold. There are plenty of other online games people can play together without screen sharing, as long as you do a bit of planning.
Listen to Music
When was the last time you put on some music and ONLY listened to the music? Seems like something from a bygone era, when people used to listen to radio programs. Get your favorite or new-to-you album, pour a glass of your chosen beverage, and actually just listen to the music. Don’t scroll on Facebook, don’t clean, don’t organize your files (all things I frequently do while listening to music). Just enjoy yourself and appreciate the artist(s) who created it.
Forget Productivity – Just Be
While it’s perfectly fine to use this time to complete projects you’ve put off or ramp up your exercise routine, it is also okay to not be productive. Before this crisis, we put so much value on constantly being on the move in our careers and lives. It’s okay if all of us take little downtime. Some people think that boredom can actually inspire creativity. If anyone gives you a hard time for taking this time to recharge, just tell them you’re waiting for inspiration for your next great project!
As light hearted as this list might be, I sincerely hope that everyone can stay safe. Please find ways to reach out to others if you are struggling with the quarantine. We can get through this together. In most parts of the US, you can dial 211 from your phone to connect to human and social services in your area. If you’re religious, try reaching out to a clergy person from your faith. There are also online counseling services available that you can find through Google. Things seem bleak and we all need to take this seriously, but there are plenty fun things to do while you’re stuck at home.