Sheltering In Place Means Finding New Fun Activities

If you’ve been inside for days on end amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be getting a little stir-crazy — or at the very least, feeling bored. You don’t have to use this time to write the next great American novel; indeed, there’s a lot to worry about and do. But if you are looking for some structure in your day, here are some relaxing activities you can do at home during the COVID-19 quarantine.  Whether alone or with family (or even friends via Zoom), these activities will lighten your proverbial load and give you something to look forward to!

Games

There’s never been a better time to break out Monopoly, Scrabble, Jenga or Clue! There are also video games on consoles and computers. And if you’re entertaining children, there are old favorites like charades, hide and seek, and Simon says.  Many of these can even be played electronically against each other through apps so you can play from your home with your friends while they are in theirs.  And, if you’re doing this with kids, it’s a great time to think about ordering some Walkie Talkies to make it even more fun!

Virtual Tours

You may have had to cancel a trip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the world from your home. It can be as simple as using Google maps to “walk” around the world. Visit national parks, amusement parks, museums, zoos, and famous landmarks, all virtually.  Even the world’s top museums are online now!

Cooking

Getting tired of eating the same things over and over? Find some cooking inspiration on MrOwl and try cooking something different! Fix an old family recipe. Take a tour around the world through food. Make regional dishes from all over the planet. Try a new recipe to bake bread.

There are lots of great resources on MrOwl to help get you started and when you find something you like, grab it to save it for later or share it with friends and family.  A user-curated a great list of the top YouTube food influencers where you’ll find recipes, cooking demonstrations, and more.  Or if your kids are looking to learn more about cooking, there’s a fun round-up of chef cooking classes on Instagram for kids, and not only will your kids have fun with it, but you’ll get a meal out of it which makes it a win-win for everyone.

Learn New Things

Ever wanted to learn a new language? How about picking up some new skills for work? Or maybe you have been wanting to know more about a certain historical figure? Now there’s plenty of time to tackle any or all of those!  And if you look at things like Rosetta Stone, many are offering free memberships during COVID-19 to get you started.

Read

Take advantage of the downtime and read some new books. Slot some family reading time into your schedule. If you have kids who aren’t quite ready for chapter books, pick a series to start together as a family.  Look to the MrOwl community for book recommendations for kids, adults, business books, self-improvement books, and so much more.

For older children and adults try a new novel, a collection of short stories, a poetry book, or even a non-fiction book about one of your interests.  Don’t have the books on hand but have an iPad?  Put the Nook app on and download virtually any book you want!  And if you are more of a listener to books, there are apps aplenty to do this as well.

Go Outside

Get outside and soak up some sun. Walking not only counts as physical activity but also provides some mental health benefits. If you can get outside to walk, studies have shown that a brisk walk can make you feel more creative. Or kick it up a notch and take a jog. How about doing some overdue yard work, or planting a garden?  Take a bike ride.  You may not have used that bike in your garage for a while but it’s time to put air in the tires and ride around your neighborhood.

Exercise

Feeling stiff from sitting at your work from your home office? Consider doing some yoga.

Not only does it count as physical activity, but studies have shown that yoga can boost your mood, lower stress, and anxiety and boost your self-esteem. There are many other types of exercises that you can also do from home, including bodyweight exercises where you don’t need any equipment. And, if you want something a bit more active, there are lots of health and fitness influencers who have shared their workouts on YouTube so you can enjoy a virtual class from the comfort of your living room.

Binge Watch

Now is the perfect time to binge-watch movies and TV shows. You can take advantage of no playdates, no parties, no extra-curricular activities, and just chill.  Between Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and with early released films for both young kids and older kids and adults, the options are endless.  And here’s a hint: if you’re a Trolls fan, the movie is skipping the theater and coming right to your home tv.  So are many other top Hollywood premieres.

Get Creative

Studies have shown that “structured coloring of a reasonably complex geometric pattern,” such as asymmetrical mandala pattern or coloring book, can lead to a meditative state that helps reduce anxiety. Consider breaking out coloring books or drawing your very own pattern. Or try your hand at painting or drawing. You can even learn to draw from famous illustrators.  Give scrapbooking, knitting, or needlepoint a go. Try out anything that gets your creative juices flowing.

Stay Social

Call, text, email or video chat with your friends and family. Just because you’re socially distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t connect. Research has shown that social support can make you more resilient to stress. Attend virtual religious services. Go old-school and write letters to your friends and family. And on social media why not share something positive, like a video of people showing solidarity during this pandemic or a good news story that you found online. You can also help limit the spread of misinformation online by only sharing advice from experts and reliable sources, like the World Health Organization. This will help stop people around you from panicking.

Practice Self-care

Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Give yourself an at-home spa treatment, complete with candles, face masks, and a luxurious bubble bath. Listen to calming music or sing along to your favorite tunes. Singing has been shown to improve people’s mental health and a sense of belonging. Try meditation to calm your nerves and boost your mood.  Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.  You won’t believe how good it feels.