At this point, the majority of us have been self-isolating, either by choice or by state mandate. Self-isolating is, at best, boring and, at worst lonely. Many of us are struggling to find ways to pass the time, especially those of us with children at home. This week, OTELCO is here to help, with 35 things you can do from home.
Five Solo Ways to Stay Busy
- Catch up on your reading. An excellent sustainable source for inexpensive books is thriftbooks.com. They even have free shipping!
- Watch all the shows sitting in your queue, or download a free trial of a new streaming service and binge a ton of content.
- Start an at-home workout routine and circulate some of that nervous energy you might have pumping through you right now.
- Start journaling, it can be anything from your current feelings on self-isolating to a short story you thought up but never put to paper.
- Listen to happy music. Alexa has some great recommendations! Just say, “Alexa, play happy music.”
Five Activities for the Whole Family
- Build an awesome fort in your living room, filled with pillows and blankets. It can become a fun place for kids to work on their remote learning.
- Write a family story where you each pick a character and decide what they do.
- Plan an indoor scavenger hunt and make prizes from supplies in your house.
- Put on a game tournament! If you don’t have any games on hand, you can make one up together!
- Have a movie marathon and let the tournament winner pick first.
Five Things to Do with Your Significant Other
- Create an at-home date night. You can dress up, make a fancy meal, and watch a film together. Try taking it virtually if you are self-isolating separately.
- Learn a new dance together online. If you guys are terrible at it, no one has to know but you!
- Start a new TV show. It is the perfect time because you won’t have to worry about anyone sneaking ahead by themselves.
- Do a project together, like a puzzle or some DIY crafts.
- Talk! Everyone has a lot of feelings about the current state of society, so now is the perfect time to dig deep and practice your active listening skills.
Five Ways to Lift Your Spirits
- Write a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life. It is an easy way to focus on the positive.
- Stay calm with a free online yoga class or meditation app.
- Treat yourself to a home spa day, complete with Facemasks, sugar scrubs, and a hot bath.
- Look online for teletherapy from sites like Talkspace or BetterHelp.
- Catch up with friends and family over video chat.
Five Easy Steps to Give Back to Your Community
- Continue to boost your local economy by buying from local businesses online, purchasing gift cards, and ordering take out or delivery.
- Foster or adopt a pet from a local shelter. Fostering is an especially great idea for people self-isolating alone. A little pup or kitty might be just what you need to keep your spirits up.
- Support your local food banks and homeless shelters. The less fortunate, especially the homeless, are the most vulnerable right now because they cannot afford to access the supplies we are scrambling for during the pandemic. If you don’t want to leave the house or give up your canned goods, you can always make monetary donations.
- Many other charitable organizations are in over-drive responding to COVID-19. You can find ways to help by visiting them online and by encouraging others to give back as well.
- Call your older relatives or neighbors who may not be accustomed to video chat and talk over the phone. Self-isolating is particularly vital to the elderly, but it is also incredibly lonely for them. Just a short phone call can make all the difference.
If you are healthy and comfortable with leaving the house, consider giving blood as well. The red cross in desperate need right now.
Five Productive Things You Can Do from Home
- Do some spring cleaning and make some donation piles for when you can go to your local Goodwill again.
- Finish your taxes online with FreeTaxUSA, TurboTax, Credit Karma, or H&R Block. Just because you can wait doesn’t mean you should!
- Update your resume with your new telecommuting experience!
- Learn a new skill, like the piano or a second language. Personally, I have been working on my baking.
- Work on your goal setting and take stock of how far you have come.
Five Things You Can do To Stay Social
- Host a happy hour with your friends where you make cocktails from the ingredients you have at home.
- Write your loved ones letters like the good old days. You can buy stamps and envelopes online.
- Organize an online class or social hour where people can call in and join. You can share the link with your Facebook friends or open it up to more people by sharing on your community Facebook page.
- Throw an online film festival or book club where you and your invitees watch the same films or read the same book and discuss them together.
- If you are working from home, schedule online coffee or lunch breaks on Microsoft Teams with your coworkers to stay connected. We have been doing that at OTELCO, and we are loving it.
Make Sure You Have the Speed You Need for Self-Isolating
Being connected online makes all the difference when you are self-isolating, but having more people and devices accessing your home network can drive your speeds way down. Make sure you have the speed you need by downloading OTELCO’s Bandwidth Calculator. It is easy to use and can help you accurately decipher your home’s Internet.