COVID-19 is a global pandemic, the stock market is extremely volatile, and they've shutdown the NBA. Things look pretty bad at the moment.
We are encouraged to do social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That leaves us with not many options besides staying in our homes. What other option is there than to watch the news, become super anxious, and hoard toilet paper?
Here are a few things we can do in our homes to help manage anxiety, despair, and boredom.
1. Play a Game.
Use this time to enjoy a board game or all your board games! Play games that take a while. Think Monopoly on steroids. Until Amazon stops making deliveries, check out Catan, Ticket to Ride, Harry Potter, Carcassonne, Risk, or even a different version of Monopoly.
Another game that’s really fun to play with others is something my family calls Open Solitaire. Everyone has a deck of cards and plays Solitaire like normal. But rather than playing aces just in your hand, play them in the middle of the table where everyone can play on it.
Let’s say Sam, Susan, and Steve are playing Open Solitaire. Sam puts an ace of clubs in the middle. Then Susan can put her 2 of clubs on top of the ace. Then Steve puts his 3 of clubs on top of the 2. Now, Susan and Sam both have a 4 of clubs. The first person to puts their 4 down on the 3 gets to keep it there. The other has to put their 4 back in their hand.
Open Solitaire is a fast-pace, collaborative, fun game to play with family and friends. The goal is not just to be the first one to win (or go out), but for everyone at the table to go out. Try playing some board games or Solitaire to pass the time and bond with your family.
2. Learn Something New
Use this time cooped up in your house to learn something new. Learn to code, cook something new, or speak a new language. Simply Google “how to (fill in the blank)” and you will have access to a ton of information.
Jump into a good book. Read to learn something new or to be entertained. Re-read a book you really enjoyed. EReaders like the Kindle make it easy to get any book without leaving your house. If you don’t have one already, check out these eReaders. Or simply order one from Amazon.
4. Watch Fast and Furious… All of Them!
Okay, so maybe not Fast and Furious, but there are some fantastic movie series out there. The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jason Bourne, X-Men, The Avengers, The Matrix, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and the Chroni(what)cles of Narnia are all great movie series. When we are stuck in the house for hours with no basketball, root for your favorite character in these epic films.
If we can’t go to our local gym, we can still stay physically active in our living room. There are many at-home exercises you can do. Here is a list of exercises to keep your heart rate up when we are in our homes.
6. Practice Yoga or Meditation
A great way to combat anxiety is through practicing mindfulness. Yoga and meditation are fantastic ways to reduce anxiety. If you have never done Yoga before, start here.
7. Play Some Video Games
Playing video games can bring people together and relieve stress. Enjoy a free multiplayer game you can play with your family. Enjoy the competition, strategy, and smack-talking that comes with playing on your phone with your family. Try these games to get started.
Drawing helps us in many ways. It helps us focus on our present moment, is fun, and rewarding. Find something in your house that looks interesting and draw it. Look in a magazine and draw something that catches your eye. Or make up something to draw. It doesn’t have to be of anything in particular. Just colors and shapes can be fun too. You can also utilize an adult coloring book. This one looks fun! It’s rewarding when you work on and finish a drawing or coloring project.
9. Deconstruct an Old Device
We all probably have at least one old device in our home. Maybe an iPhone 6, old laptop, or an old mouse. If you know you will never use it again, deconstructing a device can be a blast. See how it’s made. Try to take it apart and put it back together. Research online what the different parts are and learn about it. Again, only try this with devices already in the Goodwill pile.
One of the simplest things we can do to combat boredom at home is talk with our family. Explore your parent’s childhood stories. Learn about your child’s interests. Go around to each family member and answer fun questions like these.
If you could have a superpower, what would you have and why?
If you were stranded on an island, what are three things you would want with you?
If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change and why?