Let’s say it together, “being stuck at home sucks.” For some people it means endless screen time (between work and social media), you’ve completed all of Netflix and Amazon Prime and Disney+, for others it’s working from home while juggling kids. Maybe you’re not concerned with social distancing but your kids are struggling with the isolation.
Either way if you’re looking for ideas other than the ones you’ve defaulted to or staring at the wall, here’s a list complied by colleagues in specializing in mental health that may have solutions for you.
Offline Activities (K = kid friendly)
- Read a book or magazine
- Listen to music
- Start a puzzle (K)
- Call a friend
- Write a letter to a loved one (K)
- Draw (K)
- Look at old photos (K)
- Marie Kondo your stuff
- Have a bubble bath
- Give yourself a manicure or pedicure. This is more “fun” if you are inexperienced
- Let your kids do a makeover on you (K)
- Spend time in your yard/balcony and enjoy the fresh air & sunshine
- Time to give the windows a wash, reorganize the pantry, clean the oven, wash the blinds, reorganize the furniture for a new layout. Wash the car. Wash your favourite neighbour’s car
- Clean/redecorate your home
- Tackle projects that you’ve been meaning to get to – vacuum behind the fridge, wash out the fruit & veg bins in the fridge.
- Create a tickle trunk and play dress up (K)
- Play twister (K)
- Re-organize your books/CDs/DVDs (yes some of us still have CDs and DVDs…no judgement!)
- If you’re handy, re-grout the bathroom tiles, patch the wall & ceiling cracks, paint a wall. Getting productive can lead to satisfaction and a sense of self-efficacy.
- Kayak (K)
- Fly a kite (K)
- Take your gym routine outdoors – jog around the park, do step ups or pushups on a bench (K)
- Sit and practice mindfulness – Watch the clouds, watch the birds or at night do some stargazing. Engaging each of your senses, take note of what you see, hear, smell or feel in the moment. Breathe.
- Cooking or Baking (K)
- Try a new hobby or learn a new language (K)
- Start some spring gardening, plant some seeds (K)
Offline Activities that you might need Internet to get the ball rolling:
- Try a new recipe or use up ingredients you already have with https://fridgetotable.com/
- Write letters to strangers: With visitation limited at senior living communities, it may be nice for residents to hear from strangers. Love for the Elderly and Write On are great organizations that connect friendly letter writers (you!) with people who would love to receive them.
- Listen to a podcast, try a new podcast!
- Download some Adult colouring pages
Online Activity Resources
- Chatterpack – list of online resources for music, entertainment, spiritual, geography, courses, online tours
- Open Culture – Take courses, watch movies, or read books, all for free
- Mindshift app – Has various tools to help with anxiety
Live Animal/nature webcams
- Explore – bear cams, ocean cams, zen cams, sanctuaries, etc
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Vancouver Aquarium – click on “live cams”
Entertainment (music, movies, books)
- Your Public Library – Access audio books, e-books, magazines through the local library; free online account registration by using your library card number
- Free virtual concerts
- Stream Ann Arbor Film Festival films for free (starting March 24)
- Free National Film Board films, documentaries, animation
- Social Distancing Festival – online events including concerts, storytelling, theatre
- Do an online exercise class for free from the YMCA (yoga, tai chi, active older adult classes, etc)
- Heck, while you’re online, check out Le Physique’s exercise breakdowns and challenges:
Tour the World, or the Galaxy
- Google Earth – Take a tour of a national park
- 33 different national park tours
- Explore the NASA media library
- Take a virtual tour of historic buildings
Education – Free Online Classes
- …from an Ivy League school
- at the Khan Academy
- A huge list of education resources that are currently free (mostly grade school-oriented): http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com/
Museums / Arts & Culture
- Google Arts & Culture
- Virtually volunteer at a museum. You can still be helpful while staying at home. If you have good typing skills, consider volunteering with the Smithsonian Institute, which is always in need of volunteers to help transcribe important documents
- Museums around the world that offer virtual tours
- Opera broadcasts https://www.metopera.org/
This list could probably go on for days, but let us know if we missed any great ideas that you love in the comments below!