Social distancing is incredibly important as Canadians try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. But that does mean we’ll all be spending a lot of time at home. It’s easy to get bored and feel lonely. To combat boredom and keep yourself entertained and happy, check out this list of ideas and activities.
Remember: you should do whatever makes you feel happy. Don’t forget to take breaks when you need to. And if you have family or friends with you, ask them to participate!
1. Go for a walk
Walking is completely fine during social distancing – just remember to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others.
2. Write letters
Not many people take the time to write letters anymore – but everyone loves receiving them. If you want to work on your fine motor skills or just do something a little old-fashioned, letter writing is a great activity.
In order to make sure we all do our part to keep everyone safe and healthy, you should only send letters if you’re not showing any symptoms. It is possible for COVID-19 to live on paper for a period of time. Alternatively, you could write your letters and send them at a later date.
People feel better when they get some physical activity in – even if it’s just a light walk. If you want more of a workout, there are plenty of online videos and apps that offer free workouts.
4. Yoga at home
If you have a small stretch of floor, you can do a little yoga. Yoga is an excellent way to relax and gently move your body. Love Your Brain has several videos specifically for people living with acquired brain injury.
Meditation is a lovely calming practice that works to clear your mind and help ease negative feelings. Love Your Brain has some guided meditations you can do.
6. Spring cleaning
There’s something satisfying about spring cleaning – many people use it as an opportunity to purge unused items and rearrange their home to create a fresh new space. Just make sure to take breaks and ask for help when you need it.
There are tons of ways to stay entertained thanks to digital media, games, and crafts.
7. Streaming services
There are tons of streaming services out there that can give you access to hundreds of movies, television shows and documentaries. All you need is an internet connection and an account. Prices for streaming services range, but many have free trial periods so you can test them out first. Some streaming services available in Canada include:
- CBC Gem (psst! This one is free)
- Amazon Prime
The great thing about streaming is you can pause whenever you want. You also don’t necessarily need a television – just a computer with Internet access.
8. Play board or card games
Board games and card games are a great way to pass the time, and can be incredibly helpful with memory as well.
9. Make your own board game
Have you mastered all your board games? It’s time to take it to the next level and make your own. This is a great craft idea you can spread out over the coming days and is a great group activity if you’re home with other people. Instructions on how to make a board game.
10. Complete some puzzles
Puzzles are interesting, take lots of time, and great for all ages! You can even do them online if you don’t have any in your house.
11. Check out library books online
Many libraries in Canada have online services where you can check out electronic books and audiobooks. Your local library will have information on available services.
12. Read from your own shelf
If you have a couple books you’ve been wanting to get to, now is the perfect time!
13. Video message your friends and family
Video messaging is a great way to stay connected to family and friends while respecting the social distancing rules. Here are some free video chat apps you can use.
14. Listen to music
Not many of us take the time to sit quietly and listen to music we enjoy. Now is the perfect time to do just that.
15. Listen to podcasts
Podcasts are a great alternative to television or reading. They’re easy to download and there are so many different podcasts from which to choose. There’s something for everyone!
16. Follow some YouTube tutorials for crafts
Painting, knitting, crocheting, sewing – there are so many crafts and skills you can learn. Being creative is a great way to boost your mood, and it can be incredibly relaxing as well.
17. Colour a masterpiece
Colouring is incredibly therapeutic and relaxing – and what better way to spend your time than colouring some works of art? Some museums and libraries have made colouring books that are free to download. You can find them here.
18. Try a free online university course
Universities in Canada and the United States sometimes offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These either have a dedicated start date or you can take them at your own pace. Courses often take a few weeks to complete, but only require a couple hours a week. This is ideal if you want to explore a subject that interests you.
Coursera.org hosts many of these online courses. For free courses offered by Canadian universities, check out this list. If you want to explore courses offered by Ivy League universities (U.S.A.), visit this link.
Tip: If you need to take a course at your own speed, look for courses that are self-paced.
19. Learn a new skill
What’s great about YouTube is that you can pause a video whenever you need to take a break and learn at your own pace! If there’s something you want to learn, chances are you can find it there.
20. Spend a few minutes a day learning a language
Duolingo is a free service designed to teach languages with quick daily lessons. You can choose from all kinds of languages and have some fun trying something new.
Take some of the world’s coolest tours – all from the comfort of your own home.
21. Museum tours around the world
Visit international museums and take in some of the world’s most celebrated art.
- The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto
- Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa
- The Louvre in Paris, France
- The British Museum in London, England
- The Guggenheim in New York, New York
- National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
- Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea
- Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany
- Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
- The Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) in São Paulo, Brazil
- The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, Mexico
Google Arts and Culture has plenty more virtual tours of museums and historical sites. You can relax and take your time exploring the sites.
22. Check out Mars
You can go to a whole other planet! Explore the surface of Mars with this digital 360° camera.
Thanks to live webcams and videos, it’s possible to see some pretty incredible animals we wouldn’t normally get to see.
23. Explore all kinds of animal life
24. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium has 4 live cams featuring some of their cutest critters. You can find them here.
25. Beluga whales
There’s a beluga whale webcam set up at the Georgia Aquarium – and they know how to work the camera! The Georgia Aquarium also has more live cams you can check out.
26. Watch the Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams
Monterey Bay Aquarium has multiple live cams that explore all kinds of marine life – including sea otters!
Africam offers people a live safari from the comfort of their own home. Find their cams here.
28. Have an indoor picnic
This is great for kids (or kids at heart). Find a space in your home to spread out a blanket and have your lunch or dinner picnic-style!
29. Pizza night
Homemade pizza night is fun for everyone. You can use premade dough and everyone can add their own toppings. It’s a fun, collaborative way to make dinner – and a great introduction to cooking for people who are just learning.
30. Check out some cooking tutorials
If you have some time on your hands, try out some new recipes or cooking tutorials, or practice your prep skills.
Stay safe and do things that make you happy
It’s normal to feel anxious about what’s going on – but you’re doing your part by respecting social distancing. It’s challenging, but these activities – and other things that make you happy – will keep you and your loved ones entertained and engaged.