Staying at home for long days on end during lockdown is no one’s idea of a good time. Pretty soon cabin fever sets in and the only thing you want to do is go outside, no matter how miserable the weather out there may be. The feeling of being isolated is also hard to shake. But it doesn’t have to be all miserable; there are great ways to have fun while indoors and stay connected with friends and family at the same time!
1. Watch Parties
Quarantine is a great time to catch up on films and television that you didn’t have time for previously. But why not step it up and watch together with friends! There are various ways to do this–either Rabbit, which lets you stream and chat together, or a Netflix watch party or watch parties via Facebook. For those who want to keep it low-tech, Pick a time to watch a movie or TV season with a friend. As soon as the time arrives, both of you will press play and then call each other–either via audio or video call–and enjoy together!
2. Pen Pals
This practice has largely fallen to the wayside in recent years, but with email it is super easy to dust off and put to good use again. There are millions of people locked in their homes right now, looking for fun and human connection, and pen pals provide both! Choose a friend or even a stranger (but safely) to connect with and send letters back and forth, about life and topics of interest. You’ll be surprised what you can learn about a friend you’ve been connected with for ages, and all the more so about a stranger.
3. Live Classes
Thousands of people–from local artisans and gurus to celebrity personalities–are offering up online classes to learn new skills. Many of these classes are one hundred percent free, and others are offered at a deep discount. Without much else to do, now is a great time to browse online for free classes in skills you’ve always wanted to pick up, but never seemed to find the time for.
4. Live Readings
Both books and plays are being read online to entertain and connect with everyone in quarantine. From picture books for children, to chapter books for teens and pre-teens, to classics and more mature reading for adults, the internet is filled with options! Whether you enjoy fiction, non-fiction, thrillers, romance, adventure, and even Shakespeare (click here to hear Shakespeare read by the wonderful Sir Patrick stewart!) This is a great way to tune in and enjoy your favorite literature along with people from all over the world.
5. See a Museum
Museums have closed their physical doors, but their virtual doors have never been as open as now. Tours of art, history, whatever suits your fancy are available all over the internet, waiting to be scoped out and enjoyed. In addition to museums, many zoos have put up cameras so you can watch the animals, and one aquarium has even let the penguins out of their cages to explore!
6. Living Room Concerts
Social media is the place to look for these. Your favorite singers are hosting concerts via Zoom and Facebook Live, allowing you an intimate one-on-one experience, where they are sitting in their homes and bringing entertainment to you in your home. Singers like John Legend, Elton John, and even Broadway productions have posted videos online, singing your favorites in a far more intimate, non-formal environment.
7. Stay In Touch
Find a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and pick up again via phone and video call. Organize times to “meet up” with friends and family and keep up on each other’s lives (and stocks of toilet paper!) If chatting by phone isn’t your favorite thing in the world, here are some ways to structure the time so it isn’t the empty void that must be filled with conversation: read for the grandkids, tell them a story, have them read for you, and/or host a watch party!
It’s easy in these times to feel uncertain, worried and even isolated. The best way to offset these feelings is to stay informed and connected. With the above tips, restructure your day to include things you haven’t had the time to enjoy previously, and come out the other side of this virus feeling (aside from ready to travel the ENTIRE planet) refreshed and accomplished.