Tuesday. 31.03.2020
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Quarantined at home and bored? Read our suggestions for entertainment

Being stuck at home might get annoying and tiring, so check out our tips on what you can do to help pass the time. Whether you're going through this with family, friends or alone, no matter how old you are.

Quarantined at home and bored? Read our suggestions for entertainment

These are scary and confusing times and if you are taking this pandemic seriously and your job allows you to work from home, you have been self isolating for the past few days.

Now, in other circumstances, having to stay at home when you were supposed to go to work or school may sound like a great unexpected vacation. Until you realize that, except for grocery shopping or runs to the pharmacy, you can not (or should not) leave the house until the government tells you it is safe.

Obviously this does not apply to health, supermarket, logistics or cleaning workers, who are essential to keep society running.

But for everyone that does not have to or can not go to work, for whatever reason, and have to stay at home, things can get boring, irritating or chaotic quick. Especially if you have kids.

On the bright side of things, we never seem to have enough time for the people or things we love, so this can be the perfect opportunity to spend more quality time with loved ones and catch up on multiple hobbies.

There is life apart from Netflix

But if you ran out of ideas, watched all your Netflix list already or you are just too tired and anxious to come with something, we decided to gather a collection of tips and suggestions of things you can do while social distancing or self isolating. 

  1. Read books, whether in paper or online: if you have read all your books at home and do not want to buy new ones online, why not try to read something from websites like the following here? You can read selected books from Freebooksy or pick which ever one you want from Helmet.fi (you need Finnish ID and a Helmet card). In case you do not want to read or you don't have that much time, why not try Stories Audible?  You can listen to the book while cooking, ironing or exercising, for example.
  2. If you do not feel like reading, you can always do a Sudoku or a crossword puzzle in the websites Web Sudoku or Best Crosswords. There are many to choose.
  3. For those who want to exercise a little bit but do not know where to start or because they can not go to the gym right now but need to keep training, here are a couple of gyms that can help you work out, for free, online. Those are Planet Fitness and Make Your Body Work But you can also find training apps in your AppStore or Google Play, like the Loose Weight in 30 Days app, for example.
  4. If you feel like you should use this time to learn something new and helpful, you will be happy to know that several Ivy League Colleges have 380 online courses you can take. From computer science to programming to art design and business, among others, with Free Code Camp you can find something interesting to know a little bit more about.

Movies-video-films-by-Barbara-StojanovicPhoto: Barbara Stojanovic.

Gaming, cooking and other options

If none of these are for you then you can also try these:

  • Board or video games. Almost all of us have, at least, one of these at home and there are games for all ages and interests. If you want to play with the family or friends you are in self isolation with and board games is more to your taste, you have classics like Uno, Monopoly, Twister, Guess Who? or Trivial Pursuit; but if you like computers and consoles more, then, depending on your age group, you can enjoy, whether alone or with people online, games like Resident Evil, Hellblade, The Last of Us, Battlefield, COD, NHL, FIFA, NBA, Fortnight, Luigi's Mansion 3 and many others.
  • Another gaming option are gaming apps on your phone: apps like Charades (that you can play with other people), Guess The Movie, Guess The Person, Mr. Bullet, Tiny Room, Crunch Times, Dumb Ways, Quizzland, Block Puzzle, Happy Glass, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire or What's The Logo are some of the entertaining and time consuming gaming apps you can find in AppStore or Google Play.
  • Puzzles: from 500 to 5000 pieces there are some for every age group, difficulty level and it is a good way to spend time with the kids. Make it more interesting by giving a prize to the person who connects the hard pieces together. The prize can be a snack, getting to choose the next family movie or whatever you think can get your loved ones attention.
  • If you have a backyard or big enough balcony, you can play catch, some sports or just set up a teepee or tent and go 'camping'. Makkaras and s'mores are optional.
  • Cook something new or that dish you love but usually you don't because it takes time to prepare.
  • Decorating or reorganizing your house: maybe there are a few picture frames you have been meaning to put up on the wall; or maybe there are those drawers full of stuff you have been wanting to clean and organize; or you just want to do some gardening or handcrafting like book scraping or knitting. These tasks can have quite the calming effect and help deal with that anxiety.
  • Spring cleaning is nearly here, so why not go through your closet(s) and see what you do not need anymore? Now you can take the pictures necessary and post on many pages online. And as way to be safe(r) you can mail the items to the interested buyers instead of meeting face to face.
  • If you have a baby or an infant, especially if you are a first time parent, and you do not really know how to keep them entertained between feedings and naps, try reading stories or make up stories to them on the spot. Experts say babies learn and absorb more information and faster during their first year than their entire lives. If you do not have child appropriate books yet you can look up stories online but you can also create your own stories using your child's toys. Give them names, make different voices and weird faces and let them interact if they can and want to. You can also dance with or sing to them.
  • Create a bucket list specifically for things you want to do -and who you want to do them with- for when this is over. It might cheer you up having something to look forward to other than going back to work, school or just your regular routine. Maybe things you took for granted until now.
  • Create: you can write what you feel about this situation on a journal or write a short story or a play; you can paint or draw a picture; create and or rehearse a song; just about anything your creative mind tells you to.

doll-teddy-by-Barbara-StojanovicPhoto: Barbara Stojanovic.

Difficulties to choose what to do?

If you can not decide or can not agree which one of these to choose from, why not try writing each suggestion on a piece of paper, cut each one separately, close them, put them on a bowl and have each family member or friend close their eyes and take a piece of paper.

You then do the option on the paper in the order that the papers were chosen. For example: the youngest or the oldest in the house can be the first to take a paper. (See Chrissy Teigen's photos below).

There are also, of course, multiple streaming services to be enjoyed by all, no matter your age or taste. From Netflix to HBO to Hulu, Viaplay or Amazon, there are all kinds of movies, documentaries and binge worthy television shows to occupy ourselves with during this time.

Whichever options you choose just do not forget to enjoy, at least, some of them with the people around you or online and check on your family and friends often.

WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime can help many of us deal with the anxiety and loneliness this pandemic is bringing and often you can even play games with them using these communication tools.

If you have any suggestions of yourself feel free to add them on the comment section.