Image: bernardbodo - Adobestock
As everyone tries to practice social distancing, our daily routines have been shattered. Restaurants and stores are closed. Gyms, movie theaters, and schools are shut down. But cabin fever isn't inevitable―there are plenty of ways to keep busy and enjoy your self-isolation.
1. Start a Garden
According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, gardening is beneficial and therapeutic. Starting a garden of your own may help relieve pandemic stress. If you don't naturally have a green thumb, start by planting easy-to-grow picks―like sunflowers or marigolds―in a sunny corner of your backyard. Expert gardeners can experiment by ordering new varieties of seeds online. If you live in a small space with no room for a garden, pick up some herbs to grow in a container in your kitchen.
2. Family Game Night
Dust off some classic board games. If you can't tolerate another argument over the proper way to play Monopoly, have everyone make up new rules. And with the World Health Organization recently giving their seal of approval to video games, don't be afraid to pick up a game controller. Your kids will love feeling like an expert as they teach you how to play their favorite games.
3. Stay Connected Online
Social distancing doesn't have to mean social deprivation. Apps like Zoom and FaceTime can help you continue to spend quality time with your friends and loved ones. If you usually meet your friend for coffee every Monday, keep up the tradition; brew a cup at home and catch up via FaceTime. If you love hosting dinner parties in person, host a virtual one instead. Invite everyone to your "home" through Zoom. Ask them to prepare their favorite meals in their own homes, then dine together.
4. Learn a New Skill or Teach One
If you always wanted to learn how to paint or speak a new language but never had the time, now is your chance. There are hundreds of virtual online classes that teach subjects such as painting, writing, and dance. Several apps can help you learn a new language, such as Duolingo, which is reputable and offered for free. Seek out local schools or studios charging for online classes in drawing or fitness―your support could help keep them in business. If you have a hidden talent, consider filming yourself and posting the content online to teach the world the art of origami or wood whittling.
5. Stay in Shape
If you can, safely leave the confines of your home for a walk, or run in your neighborhood or nearby park―just remember social distancing rules. If you'd rather exercise indoors, download a fitness app or find free YouTube workout videos; there are options for both beginners and experts. Keep yourself motivated by trying a new workout routine each week.
6. Get Gourmet
Instead of watching cooking shows on TV, try to make some of those recipes yourself. Pull five ingredients out of your pantry and see what you can make for dinner; try recreating your favorite restaurant meal at home; or find a new type of cuisine on a YouTube cooking channel and follow along. Younger kids can help with mixing and stirring, while older ones can help with chopping.
The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually be behind us. Until then, get creative to make the most of your time at home. For the latest information on symptoms and prevention measures, visit the CDC website.