Millions of Americans are now living under stay-at-home orders being issued by an increasing number of states as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to erupt. People suddenly have a lot of free time on their hands, so here are a few things people can do to stop from going stir-crazy.
1. Learn Something New
Kids aren’t the only ones who can be educated while sitting around the house. Adults can expand their horizons, too. And it doesn’t have to be a full-on college course. Some examples include:
Pick up a new language. There are plenty of online sources and programs one can download, or you can buy CD versions. A person can learn one of the old stand-bys like French or Spanish, or something more unusual like Vietnamese or Hindi.
Develop some culinary chops. YouTube is chock full of videos teaching everything from basic knife skills to how to prepare a gourmet meal. Another option would be something like the Food Network app where celebrity chefs like Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and Rachael Ray demonstrate ways to prepare recipes.
2. Binge Watch Some TV Shows
With streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu available, people can sit back and enjoy one of America’s favorite pastimes, television. Why wait through 20+ weeks to watch a whole season of a show when it can be done in just a couple of days?
Remember hearing all the chatter at work about the latest episode of Game of Thrones? What about a classic show that aired in the 1960s or ‘70s like Star Trek? They’re out there ready to make their way to a nearby TV or personal device.
3. Family Game Nights
Here in the 21st Century, people seem to be constantly running to and fro at warp speed. With so many states issuing stay-at-home orders, it’s a good time to reconnect with family.
One way to accomplish that is to sit down and play a game. It gives parents a chance to interact with the kids without all the day-to-day distractions. And someone can grab some bragging rights as the best detective in Clue or the ultimate wheeler-and-dealer in Monopoly.
Some enterprising people have loaded YouTube with videos they took during rides on attractions at one of the Disney Parks. It’s nowhere near the real thing, but then again, children have vivid imaginations, so it’s another tool to help parents cope.
4. Stay-In Date Nights
After spending all that time sharpening cooking skills, the results must be shared. What better way than to dazzle a significant other with a sumptuous meal?
Take the time to set the scene like it’s a night on the town. Skip the sweats and slippers, and do it right. Get out the “good dishes” and table cloths like Grandma is coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. Make it something different, get away from the outside world.
5. Virtual Group Meetings
One of the most difficult parts of being at home is the loss of social interaction with family and friends. But even here, the internet can help bridge that gap. And it fulfills any and all social distancing rules.
The plethora of video chat programs are great for working from home, but why stop there? Use one to keep the kids in touch with Grandma and Grampa. Don’t let book-club slide away, fire up the program of choice and keep that weekly discussion going.
Places of worship have had to close their doors in order to avoid gatherings of large groups. However, many of them are live streaming weekly services. It may take some getting used to without being in the midst of a congregation, but at least it’s there. Also, small group meetings can go on the same way book-club can.
Adapting to the New Real
When it comes down to it, nobody knows how long the measures to slow the coronavirus’ spread will last. However, it’s vitally important to remember that separation no longer means isolation. Keep those ties to family and friends strong no matter what else happens.
Thank you to our friends at United Voice for contributing this piece!