If you’ve been following the news the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen or heard the term “social distancing” thrown around when discussing coronavirus cases, but what does it mean? While NPR can give you a more in-depth explanation, social distancing is trying to avoid large gatherings and keeping a safe distance (6+ feet) when you do come into contact with others. By keeping a safe distance, you can help prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19.
There’s a good chance we’ll all be spending a lot of time at home over the next month, so how should we fill our days? Well, we’ve got some ideas to get us started. Here are nine creative ways to stay entertained while social distancing.
1. Streaming Movies & TV Shows
Netflix. Disney+. Amazon. Hulu. HBO Now. Old-Fashioned Cable. We could keep listing out all the different ways to watch your favorite TV shows and movies, but you get the picture. With so many different streaming services available, there’s enough content to keep you entertained for a seemingly endless amount of time.
One of the best aspects of streaming is that it can connect us even when we’re asked to spend time apart. Chrome extensions like Netflix Party allow you to watch shows and movies in sync with your friends, and they give you a group chat option. When you’re finished watching, you can post your thoughts on Facebook or write a review on your blog to open up hours of discussion and debate.
While so many of us are quick to stream our favorite show when we don’t know what to do, reading is a wonderful way to pass time, and it’s highly beneficial. In fact, Healthline has written about how reading can strengthen the brain, increase empathy, build your vocabulary, and much more!
In other words, reading really is the perfect activity during an uncertain time. If you want a quick escape, dive into a sci-fi or fantasy world. If you’re confused or curious, pick up a nonfiction book and gain new insight. Want to talk about it? Join an online book club and join in the discussion!
3. Eating and cooking
After the initial panic to the grocery stores where many were buying out toilet paper, canned foods and nuts — it seems we’ve finally found our stride on what to buy on our essential trips to the grocery store. Taking the time to try a new recipe can be a fun way to spend time with your family. Make biscuits from scratch, bake that layered cake or get to know your slow cooker a little bit more – can be a relaxing way to spend your time. Millennials, well, it’s time to learn how to cook! Use google for recipes and get to know the difference between a skillet and a frying pan. Make it fun and you may discover a new love for cooking.
As it is still of good planning to buy nonperishable items, keeping your pantry filled with items like black beans, chicken or vegetable stock, rice, pasta, oats will set you up for easy meals during these quarantine times. Not sure what to make? There are handy websites that can help with that! Simply click the items that you have in your pantry on hand, and these sites can give a list of recipes to whip up.
Restaurants have been hit hard during this pandemic, many have switched models to delivery and pick-up options. Check your local restaurants for what is still open for delivery or to-go hours.
4. Puzzles & Games
Sometimes you just need to do something fun. Pick out a few puzzles and work on them intermittently while you’re social distancing. Every time you gather at the table with your family or roommates, watch the completed picture get closer and closer to becoming a reality. If you’re looking for something more competitive, get out your favorite board games or a deck of cards. After all, Monopoly games take a long time to finish, and any playful disputes will provide a nice distraction.
Want to play a game with friends you’re staying away from for the time being? Look for online games than can help you connect!
5. Video Chatting Friends and Family
Social distancing can feel pretty strange on a social dynamic level. We are used to celebrating our family and friends’ birthdays together, going to events and socializing on a normal basis. Finding ways to maintain connections is easy with today’s technology. Stay in contact with your friends and family by using one of the many video chatting platforms.
Plan a virtual hang out with those near to you with these apps. They are fairly easy to use and most of them are free. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean disconnecting, enjoy a face-to-face video call to stay connected.
6. Arts & Crafts
If you have kids, you’ll need everything in your arsenal to keep them entertained. Arts and crafts are a lifesaver in this regard. There are plenty of resources out there, like thebestideasforkids.com, with hundreds of ideas for indoor fun. They’ll teach you how to turn the paper plates you probably already have into a lily pad for a construction paper frog. And, if you get really desperate, they have plenty of recipes for slime.
Also, we want to remind you that arts & crafts aren’t just for kids. If you’re a creative, dedicate time to painting, writing, or practicing your favorite instrument. The arts are for everyone!
7. At-Home Projects & Chores
If you’re like us, you probably have a list of projects or chores you’ve been putting off, and if you’re social distancing at home, now is the time to cross them off! Been staring at a bucket of paint that’s meant for one of your walls? Get a brush and get busy! Still haven’t filed your taxes? Take a couple hours and get them turned in. Laundry piling up? Today can be the day you catch up. Chores never seem fun, but there’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment when they’re done. If you space out the projects you have while you’re social distancing, you’ll stay busy, and when everything’s back to business as usual, you’ll be proud of all you’ve achieved.
8. Spending Time Outside
Many people hear the words “social distancing” and immediately think they have to stay locked up inside their houses, but that isn’t necessarily true. While you do want to follow the CDC’s guidance for COVID-19 and avoid large groups, it’s okay to go outside as long as you’re listening to government officials. If you love to run, go for a run. If you need a break, take a stroll down the street. It’s not wrong to seek sunshine and fresh air for at least a few minutes each day.
9. Learning New Knowledge
There’s a wealth of knowledge to be gained in this world and much of it is available for free! Have you always wondered how you can change your car’s oil all by yourself? Open up YouTube and find a great tutorial. Maybe you desire a better grasp of world geography. If so, take a quiz and learn countries or bodies of water around the world. This is the perfect time to set learning goals for yourself and your family. Whether you want to teach yourself to read music or want your child to know state capitals, social distancing is an ideal time to learn.
Please make sure to follow the CDC for updates and ways to stay safe, and if you ever need us, we’re always available. Give us a call at 855-548-0727 or visit VelaPoint Marketplace for more information.