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 seven creative ways to stay entertained while social distancing.
Anything you’d like to add to the list? Share what you’re doing in the comments below!
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. 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!
4. 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!
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.