As we approach the two month mark of quarantine, it is undeniable that avoiding boredom while stuck at home has been incredibly difficult. Although Massachusetts is now beginning its plan to reopen, this process will take time and we will still need to entertain ourselves at home. By now, most of us have already tried reorganizing our room, going for a walk, and binge watching T.V., so what next? As we all reach the bottom of our quarantine to-do lists, here are ten new activities to pass the time and a few extra tips to help you avoid boredom.
Pick ONE area in your house to clean
Although cleaning is not a traditionally “fun” activity, it is a good way to pass time, and often leaves you with a sense of productivity and accomplishment when you are done. This does not mean deep cleaning your entire house, but could be as simple as going through a junk drawer.
*Pro Tip* The key to cleaning is making your tasks manageable. Instead of cleaning your entire basement all day, split the process into smaller pieces and spread the jobs out over multiple days. Cleaning is good entertainment in doses, but clean for too long and you will simply become bored again!
Seek out virtual events
While many of us have received the dreadful news of events we have looked forward to being cancelled, many organizations have transitioned these events onto online platforms. Take a few minutes to see if your event has been transformed into a virtual format. For example, many artists have taken their musical talents to social media live streams or youtube videos to compensate for cancelled concerts. Although virtual events can not produce the same experience as a real event, they are much better than no experience at all.
Try out Podcasts
To keep up with school work, we often spend all week glued to a computer. Instead of spending your free time doing other activities requiring a screen, search for interesting podcasts! There are thousands of podcasts out in the world that can be equally as entertaining as television without having to stare at a screen.
Read a book
Similarly to podcasts, books are entertaining and provide a break from screen time. In the craziness of our usual high school schedules, reading as a leisure activity has become much less common for many of us. Now with the world on pause, we have a perfect opportunity to redevelop this positive hobby.
*Pro Tip* Although New England weather is completely unpredictable and ranges from snow storms to heat waves, when the weather permits, reading outside is a great chance to escape the confinement of your house.
Try a new hobby or practice one you wish to improve
Seek out a new hobby, even if it challenges you, or think of a skill you wish you had, and practice it! If you have never been a talented chef or baker, search for beginner recipes and practice making dishes a bit more complicated than cereal or toast. If you have never thought of yourself as a talented artist, look up tutorials and practice! If you already enjoy art, cooking, or another hobby search for something new or more advanced to try, like a new artistic skill or a new recipe. The options are infinite!
Often coloring is associated with younger children, but it can truly be beneficial for all ages. When you feel overwhelmed with school work or our situation in general, coloring is a peaceful activity that can help relieve stress. This activity is especially helpful for those who feel they lack artistic talent as there is no judgement and your creativity can run free.
*Pro Tip* You can find coloring pages of almost any object, person, pattern, or other outline you would like! Find pages to print out by searching for something you are interested in followed by “coloring page” on google, or search for “mandalas” to find a wide range of stress relieving patterns.
Write letters to friends and family
Do you remember as a kid how excited you were to find something in the mail addressed to you? While we can easily text or video chat with our friends and family, it is nice to receive a physical message every once in a while as well! Get creative and try out fancy lettering, or add a picture or drawing to the note. Just remember to always follow state and federal social distancing guidelines if you mail your letters through the post office. If possible, place the letters in your mailbox to avoid a potentially complicated situation completely.
Organize a family movie or game night
At this point in quarantine, you may be thinking you are tired of seeing only your family all day long, but we have to remember it is also a benefit to be quarantined with others. Use this to your advantage and create a family game night or movie night. You can get as creative as you want with these basic ideas. For a family game night, you could start a competition, maybe award prizes to winners. For family movie night, look up local cinemas and support these local businesses by purchasing concessions to bring back to your home theater. Again, remember to research and follow all state, federal, and company guidelines when you go out to local businesses.
Discover new music
There are numerous digital music services, such explore millions of songs in a variety of genres. Dig around and try to find some new songs either from artists you like, genres you often listen to, or something completely new! You can also create new playlists, or collaborate with your friends!
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Although it is easy to feel isolated right now, try to remember to make a conscious effort to talk to friends, family, peers, and even teachers that you haven’t seen in a while. Take advantage of the many video chat platforms available and stay in touch virtually with those you wish you could see in person. Maybe set a day each week for a video check in with your extended family, or even just a normal phone call to a friend or family member every once in a while. It may be cheesy, but we truly are all in this together and maintaining connections to each other is crucial to getting through this difficult and unprecedented time!
*Pro Tip* Some entertainment platforms allow you to sync with others and watch videos, T.V shows, or movies at the same time. For example, if you have Netflix try downloading Netflix Party on your computer to watch with friends and family!