With people learning to social distance themselves from the outside world, here is a list of 19 things (playing off of COVID-19) to do while at home.
Learn a craft. Ever wanted to knit, crochet or learn how to do woodburning? YouTube will keep you busy with plenty of videos to choose from.
Visit the National Aquarium. The Baltimore aquarium is closed but will live stream three exhibits during the COVID-19 shutdown. The exhibits are Blacktip Reef, Jellies Invasion and Pacific Coral Reef. Go to https://www.aqua.org.
Virtually visit a beach. Ocean City has a video cam that you can watch the waves roll in at https://oceancitylive.com/ocean-city-webcams/ocean-city-beach-cam/. Want to go to the South? Florida has live feeds for all of their famous beaches at https://www.livebeaches.com/. Meditate to the crashing of the waves. Or mentally transport yourself to the beach. (Hopefully, they’re empty)
Learn a language. Dream about the next time you can travel to a foreign country? Find programs like Babble https://my.babbel.com/ to sign up for online lessons for a fee.
Pretend you’re at Disney. Disneyland is offering virtual tours of your favorite Disney rides. Search for “Disney ride-through” and you’ll be offered several videos, mostly on YouTube, of being on a ride. All the fun and none of the fear.
Play with Alexa. Sure, you know she can give you music or the news. But she can also act as the host for several games including “Jeopardy!” There’s a wide range of games for kids and adults. You can even ask “Alexa open Escape Room” and your whole house becomes an escape room.
Clean your home and donate. Sure, you watched all of the videos of Marie Kondo, the Japanese tidying professional, months ago. But have you said goodbye to anything? Now’s the time. Just remember to thank your belongings before letting them go.
Spotify your life. Spotify is free and easy to navigate. You can make entire lists of songs that speak to you. Want something to help with your workout? How about a great mix of songs to clean to? Romancing your partner? It’s a lot easier to do than a mix tape.
Get in shape. There are plenty of free YouTube videos or even subscriptions for such things as Beachbody, which also offers kids workout videos, that can help you start on your fitness journey.
Start seedlings. With empty grocery shelves, the Mother Earth movement from the ‘70s might be on its way back. Start now by planning out a garden space and begin some seeds indoors.
Take a class with a celebrity. Actress and critically acclaimed choreographer Debbie Allen is offering dance classes online through her Instagram @therealdebbielallen. How’s that for a master class? And please don’t recite the “Fame” monologue to her while you’re dancing.
Start the great American novel. Although National Writing Novel Month is November, we suggest, if you have the time, start now. Maybe by the time all of this has been lifted, you’ll be finished.
Learn to braid hair. This one is especially for all those single dads of daughters who want to make sure their princesses look pretty. There are tons of YouTube videos that can help walk you through this.
Increase your work skills. Maybe you can’t actually work from home, but this allows you time to strengthen any skills that might be lacking for your next promotion. LinkedIn has several tests to show your skills on your account. Or go to Lynda.com for tutorials.
Learn to be zen. Now more than ever you need to learn to find your inner strength. There are plenty of videos available online as well as apps for your smartphone.
Learn to cook with celebrities. Food Network now has an option where you can watch videos of famous chefs who walk you through a meal. It’s free for 30 days at https://kitchen.foodnetwork.com/
Be in the moment. You have been complaining for years you don’t get to see your kids that much. Now you’re stuck at home so take the time to really get to know them. Play question-and-answer games where they can learn as much about you as you can learn about them.
Finally put together that scrapbook/family album. You can even put together one virtually to share with family and friends. Photos are the one thing that after a fire or other disaster that people are devastated the most to lose. Learn how to use the cloud. Or if you have the ink, print them off and make a collage.
Be grateful and pay it forward. If you don’t have the means to give groceries to all your senior neighbors, you can still call them and make them feel less alone. Social distancing doesn’t mean cutting off the rest of the world. And if you can and you’re well, try to offer any help you can to your friends, family or neighbors.
Do you have any ideas to keep busy? Send them to Crystal Schelle at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a photo of your activity, sent it along.