By now, we’ve all heard of social distancing and how we can use it to help flatten the curve during cold and flu season in the U.S. Social distancing consists of canceling events or activities that are likely to draw crowds, staying six feet away from other people, and limiting time in crowded places to reduce risk of exposure and spread. Other examples of social distancing include:
- Avoiding contact with people who are sick
- Staying at home if sick
- Visiting loved ones by electronic devices
- Avoiding gatherings larger than groups of 10 when possible
- Working from home
- Cancelling or postponing conferences, meetings, and discretionary travel
For many of us, social distancing may leave us largely stuck in the house or apartment. Here are 20 healthy ideas for fun activities to incorporate into your daily routine while social distancing to help keep minds and bodies healthy and active.
1. Start a New Routine
For most of us, being confined to home means our routines as we know it have been upended. It’s important for both adults and kids to keep a routine to stay motivated. Set your alarm as you normally would, get dressed for the day and have breakfast before making a list of what you’d like to accomplish for your day. If you’re working from home, designate a separate area of the house for work (work from home, not from bed!) to help keep you motivated. For those with little ones, create a time-block schedule for kids to incorporate learning and recreational time.
2. Learn Something New
While it may be easy to use our newfound free time to catch up on our favorite TV series or browse social media, we can be more proactive with our time and use it to learn something new. Try downloading a language app to learn a new language, or pick up a hobby like photography or sewing or painting. With many companies still delivering products, you don’t have to leave the house to pick up a new skill.
3. Organize the house
You’re going to be spending a lot of time at home. Organizing your physical space can help clear your mind of mental clutter. Start with one room and tackle a portion of your house daily.
4. Try Your Hand at Natural Household Cleaners
In these unprecedented times, many of us may find a shortage of household cleaners and other supplies at our local supermarkets. Try your hand at some natural household cleaners (like the ones found here) to keep your home fresh and spotless! This productive activity can be engaging and can bring the whole family together to work towards a common goal.
5. DIY Home Improvement
Similar to organizing, now is a great time to get around to tackling your to-do list and fix things around the house. By accomplishing these tasks on your own you’re both avoiding risk of exposure and saving money.
6. Learn How to Cook
Cooking can be a fun activity that can bring the whole family together. With the closure of many restaurants many of us must resort to cooking. Try your hand at some simple recipes as a family and see what you can make with the ingredients in your house. Click here to see a list of free cooking apps to get you started.
7. Write a Book
Try your hand at writing a book, or give your kids a subject and encourage them to write a short story. You’ll be amazed at what a little creativity can add to your day.
8. Start a Daily Journal
Journaling daily can be a great way to organize thoughts and feelings. Grab a pen and paper and aim to write at least one page when you wake up or one page before going to bed (hint: keep your journal next to your bed so you don’t forget!).
9. Take Pictures
Document your struggle against boredom and take pictures every hour. You can use this as an opportunity to hone in on your photography skills. Have everyone in the house take one picture every hour and be amazed at the different ways everyone expresses themselves. At the end, you can compile all your pictures into an album.
10. Play Board Games
Classic board games are a great way to pass some time. If you don’t have access to any at home or can’t order your favorites online, try a DIY approach to these 8 classic board games.
11. Play Some Music
Blast some music on your speakers! Music has psychological benefits and can easily be enjoyed while focusing on other tasks. Take the time to discover new artists and genres you may have otherwise ignored.
The majority of gym chains have closed their doors this week. Now is a great time to stay active and keep moving with at-home exercises that you can do any time. Gyms such as Planet Fitness are live streaming “work-ins” at 7pm E.T. every day on Facebook, Gold’s Gym is offering a variety of free digital workouts, and Peloton is offering its app filled with bodyweight cardio exercises for free to new users. Looking for yoga? CorePower Yoga is offering free access to online yoga with studios are closed.
13. Get Some Vitamin D
Even though we’re staying at home and keeping distance, it’s still important to get some sunshine and breathe some fresh air. If you have a backyard or a patio try having your morning coffee outside, or read a book on your deck in the afternoon. Spring is still a beautiful time of year and it’s important to get some rays to promote happy mood and keep vitamin D levels healthy.
With all the chaos in the world, it’s an important time to slow down and tune into our thoughts. Try some free meditation to quiet the mind and ease tension when emotions are running high or you need to unwind.
15. Talk to Friends and Family
Now is the perfect time to disconnect from the outside world and work on strengthening relationships. Stop texting and stay connected with family and loved ones through traditional phone calls or even video calling.
16. Tell Them How You Feel
Make homemade cards and write notes to family members and friends. There’s something to be said about a handwritten personal touch- and your loved ones will appreciate the gesture!
17. Visit the Zoo… Virtually
With the majority of zoos closed, many zoos are offering the ability to visit your favorite animals virtually! Click here for a list of zoos that are offering live webcams.
18. Watch Free Broadway Performances
Broadway is shut down, but you can still catch the actors online. Theater performers are streaming daily at the traditional theater times of 2pm and 8pm ET. Catch them on their YouTube channel here.
19. Tour Museums Online
With many famous museums temporarily closed, you can now visit your favorite works of art from the comfort of your own couch. Click here to see what museums are offering free virtual tours. Looking for even more arts and culture? Google Arts & Culture lets you learn about famous painting in-depth and even offers street views of famous landmarks and monuments.
20. Share, Care, and be Aware
It is vital that we all work to take care of ourselves, our family, friends and neighbors to make sure we all get through this together. Reach out to those who may be in need or may be unable to get things that they need and think of ways you and your family can help. Be kind to one another, and we can get through this together.