7 Ways To Stay Entertained At Home
Here are 7 ways to stay entertained and have more fun during Social Distancing, whether it's corralling a gaggle of little ones, spring cleaning, or exploring a new hobby or two.
Since Social Distancing is only effective for flattening the curve and returning our lives to normal when all participate, it's a good idea for us all to hunker down where we are and avoid stores, restaurants and crowds. But how to do this without going stir-crazy? As someone who works remotely (as does my husband) and spends a considerable amount of time at home entertaining myself, and as a survivor of Hurricane Harvey, here are some tips for surviving a crisis and enjoying being housebound that I've tried along the way.
Self Quarantine Entertainment Ideas For Anyone
1. Start A New Hobby or Learn A New Skill
If you're feeling emotionally exhausted, starting a new hobby or developing a new interest can revitalize and energize your mind (and give you something to do other than stress out).
Ever wanted to learn French? Want to advance your career or education? What about building a birdhouse? The internet is a treasure trove of knowledge. Here just a few links to explore and get started.
Wikihow - Illustrated steps for anything (Try random!)
YouTube How-To - Practical life advice and how-tos
Duolingo - Fun Free Language App for all ages
Play Kalimba - I bought one with a book on Amazon - it's small and easy to learn
2. Organize Your Space
Being stuck at home is a great time to make your space somewhere you want to be! There are so many resources (including my blog right here) to help you pare down your items, organize a closet or your pantry, or rearrange things to your liking. I admit I love a good purge cleaning, and this spring I'm using these great resources to help me. The bonus is you can use items you already have or order them online - no need to leave the house.
The Happy Housie - Inspiring, down-to-earth blog with organizing tips
The Container Store - check out their online sale for kitchen items right now!
Thred Up - I used this last month to send in items. It has mixed reviews; the closet clean-out bag I sent in offered a 70% acceptance rate which was high. I'm not sure how sales will be, though! NOTE: As it is right now unknown how long COVID-19 can live on surfaces, I would only consider buying items you feel SUPER confident about being able to wash. I would also sanitize anything you send in and avoid items (shoes bags hats) that cannot be sanitized.
The biggest game-changers for me were the Konmari folding method (maximized my space and minimized search time - plus folding laundry is now fun!?), installing lights like these in our closets and pantry, and putting items in my closets, drawers and pantry into bins.
3. Enjoy A Spa Session at Home
No, essential oils will not kill COVID-19. But they can help alleviate stress or elevate your mood! Take some of your extra minutes to relax. Tune into an ambient or soundscape station (Soma FM has stations which run on all platforms), dim the lights and enjoy one of these treatments:
Dampen a hand towel, put in glass container and microwave for 45 seconds. Let cool for 10 -15 seconds. When hot to the touch but not scalding, apply to the face and /or hands. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to elevate the experience.
Enjoy a DIY skin polish. Combine a carrier oil (such as almond or olive) and a drop of essential oil with granulated sugar or salt (avoiding blemishes, eyes, nostrils and broken skin). Scrub skin lightly, then rinse.
Add a few drops of essential oil to your shower or bath (being careful not to slip!) for an elevated bathing experience. Add a drop or two to your shampoo or hair mask and take a few extra minutes to massage your scalp.
Create a signature scent for your hand sanitizer. Add 2-3 drops of essential oil to your store-bought, or combine 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (per the CDC your sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol), 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel and 7-10 drops of your favorite oil.
My favorite scent combos: eucalyptus + spearmint, peppermint + lavender, lemon + peppermint, sweet orange or bergamot + vanilla - I also add Egyptian Musk oil to this one sometimes.
4. Support The Community While Staying Put
We're all anxious to make sure our local coffee shop or go-to happy hour bar survive this crisis. While you can't be there in person, call, social follow or message your favorite haunts to find out how you can help. Purchasing delivery or takeout, gift cards, merchandise, or even just sending a note of support can help out during social distancing. If your community has local ways to help out such as Go Fund Me pages, contribute if you can.
Self Quarantine Entertainment Ideas For Families
5. Connect With Community Through Treasure Hunts and Window Walks
In my neighborhood, families with little ones are hiding painted rocks, army men and messages in bottles for other children to find, then posting about it on our collective Facebook message board. It's good exercise and it helps the community bond together. If you participate, sanitize your hands and the items you hide and find - and encourage others to do the same...or do a 'virtual hunt' and take photos of your finds. There are also "window walks", where each week, families put themed pictures in the windows for others to find on walks. Families can also make and display large hearts on their front doors to show support for our medical community.
6. Family Menu Night
Choosing your battles during a crisis helps cut the stress level. If your child is a picky eater, now is a great time to roll with it a little instead of fighting it. Let your child explore the pantry and fridge and come up with and help prepare a menu for the family to enjoy for dinner... even if that turns out to be spaghetti and sugar cereal. This experience can give your child a feeling of control and community and that he or she has a say in a rapidly-changing environment...and it also teaches them how to cook and the work that goes into preparing a meal for a family.
7. Reward Work With Fun
If your children are learning at home with a curriculum, reward progress on their assigned work with"free time" - meaning screen time, creating a costume or other art project, video calls or virtual "play dates" with friends, talking a walk or free play outside, a dance-off, or playing a game together.
Start slowly, with 30 minutes of work followed by 10 minutes of free time, and gradually work your way up to 45/15 or an hour/ 20, depending on your children's' ages and abilities. These mini-goals can break up the day and create an environment for success, while teaching everyone patience, self-reliance and self-discipline – which are all good life skills!