The Best Ways to Conquer Boredom During Social Distancing
Social Distancing seems to be the buzz word of the moment as the country hesitantly embraces a new form of quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools have shut down and moved to online platforms. Companies that can have their employees work from home are encouraging everyone to do just that. And boredom during social distancing seems to be rampant amongst the masses (in addition to obviously much bigger issues, but that’s an article for another day).
But it doesn’t have to be.
It’s so easy to fall into the negativity that is prevalent across social media right now. Fear mongering and scare tactics are causing some people to fall into despair. And don’t get me wrong – this is a very scary virus!
We’ve Got To Stay Positive!
If you’re being safe and staying home, you are doing the right thing to protect your family, and you need to remain positive during this time. The last thing this country needs is to have a mental health crisis coming out of our current pandemic.
So I’ve compiled this list of the top ways to conquer boredom during social distancing to help you all through the next however many days we find ourselves confined to our homes.
I’ve also taken the liberty of breaking it up into two lists: Things you can do WITH the kids and things that moms and dads can do to maintain our own sanity. Bon appetit, y’all!
Fun Ways to Conquer Boredom During Social Distancing WITH THE KIDS:
1) Set up a Scavenger Hunt for the Kids
Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt, complete with a treasure map? The best part of this project is that it’s totally customizable for any age AND it may even get your kids to work TOGETHER (Imagine that!).
This can even be a fun project for the parents if you enjoy being crafty like I do.
If you’re looking for some great ideas on how to get started or fun rhymes for clues, check out this article on TheSpruce.com.
You can even find some free printable treasure maps if you have a color printer at home by searching Pinterest or download a cheap one at Etsy.com.
2) Take a Virtual Tour of an Art or Historical Museum Together
I am a big proponent of the adage that seeing is believing, especially when it comes to education. Reading about art or history in a book is one thing, but actually SEEING it is another. And while we can’t exactly travel the world right now, virtual tours provide us with the next best thing.
Use your imagination with the kids, get dressed as if you’re going to the museum for the day and take a virtual tour of The Louvre, The Smithsonian, or even the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. There are so many more museums with virtual tours as well. Knowledge is at our fingertips!
3) Have a Crafting Day!
Ok, ok… so I am still on the “art train”, but I love being creative and I love what art does for the minds of children. I won’t get into the science behind it, but seriously Google it if you have ANY doubt in your mind!
Either way, crafting can run the range from finger painting to building an indoor castle out of old cardboard boxes. Have fun, get creative and don’t be afraid to let those crayons get down to those small pieces we used to see in kindergarten when we were kids!
4) Have a Virtual Amusement Park Day
Yes – you heard that right! Round the kiddos up for a (virtual) day at the amusement parks! YouTube has SO MANY on ride experiences where you can feel as though you are actually on the ride.
For example, we LOVE Disney World, so we would get dressed in our park gear (Mickey tees and fanny packs!) and make a list of our must-rides and find those rides on YouTube.
If you focus on one park, you can truly get the “day at the parks” experience without ever leaving your home! (Note: I KNOW it’s not the same, but we’ve got to get creative here, people!)
5) Have a Family Vision Board Party
Who better to teach our children to follow their dreams than their parents? As a born performer and creative-type, I can’t tell you how important it was for me to have parents that supported my dreams! I am certain that any kind of dream that a child has will thrive so much more when their parents are there to help them see it and achieve it.
Building a Vision Board is not only a great way to help your kids realize their dreams, but it also provides a great opportunity for you to have a deep conversation with them about what their dreams are and why. Need I say more? This is a must-do.
6) Tackle a Puzzle Together
Another important life skill that kids really need is problem-solving and what better way to enhance those skills than to tackle a puzzle together?
For the little ones, you obviously don’t want to go for one of those 500-piece puzzles. Find one that’s age appropriate, yet still a bit challenging. You want them to have to work for it, but still be able to solve the puzzle. Completing projects with a bit of a challenge are so amazing for confidence-boosting. Take that, boredom during social distancing!
7) Schedule a Movie Marathon
I am not the biggest proponent of screen time – as a matter of fact, I would urge parents not to shove tablets or phones in front of their children’s faces, but that’s a whole separate article. I do, however, make exceptions for fun movie nights full of buttered popcorn and a comfy pillows and blankets.
The best kind of movie marathons are those that are made up of series. Doing a two night Toy Story marathon could be so much fun (two movies a night), or have a multi-night event with the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars movies for the older kids. We may not be able to go to the movies, but we can bring the movies to us – minus the uncomfortable chairs, sticky floors and obnoxious teenagers screaming in the back of the theater, of course.
8) Have a Family Board Game Night
Who doesn’t love a good board game? While Monopoly always ends up with a coffee table being flipped over in someone’s house (probably mine), there are board games out there that are perfect for every family.
Scattegories, Scrabble and Pictionary are so much fun for the cerebral types. Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land are classics for the little ones. Connect 4, Guess Who and Villanous are some of my other favorites.
And when the kids fall asleep, Cards Against Humanity for Mom and Dad sounds like a blast, doesn’t it?
9) Family Dance Parties
I don’t know about you, but we love to dance in my house. Clear everything out of the middle of the living room and tell Alexa to “play something fun.” Then get to grooving!
10) Make Some Family Tik Tok Videos
Do you think your crew has some serious skills on the (home) dance floor? Or are your kids especially hilarious? Tik Tok videos are all the rage during this quarantine! Create a family account and let the blooper reels begin. You may even end up going viral!
Mom (and Dad) Indulgent Ways to Conquer Boredom During Social Distancing
Mom and Dad are totally allowed to conquer boredom during social distancing and have some fun for themselves! These tips are for you, my newfound home school teaching warriors. You’ve earned it.
1) Start an Online Book Club
Not having an outlet to get together with your girlfriends for a wine night or a bi-weekly dinner date can be rough nowadays. Who knew our little venting sessions were so integral to our well being?
But why not start an online book club with your circle of friends? You can indulge in those yummy beach reads and have a Zoom call twice a week (wine in hand, of course) to talk about the last few chapters. Or maybe your crew is a little more ambitious and you decide you want to go for something a little more cerebral. It’s all up to you!
And if books aren’t your thing, just use that Zoom call to drink wine together and gossip, but hey – books are fun!
2) Plan Out Itineraries For Future Trips
This one is for my fellow travel addicts! I know I can’t be the only one who had a cancelled or postponed trip. I was supposed to be roadtripping out to Austin, TX as we speak for a live podcast of Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum (of ‘Smallville’ fame) with special guest Zachary Levi (from ‘Chuck’ and ‘Shazam’), and my little nerd heart was broken to find out it has been postponed until July!
But, of course, this was the best decision for everyone’s health and well-being, so I had to put my positive spin on it. This just gave me more time to plan out the ULTIMATE Texas roadtrip down to the very last detail. And that’s just what I did and now our trip in July is going to be AMAZING!
And then I got to thinking…
…Why not plan out lots of perfect itineraries, even if they are just daydreams of mine? They say if you put something out there in the Universe, visualize it and believe in it, then it will come true.
So I started planning a ton of dream trips throughout the United States – a Napa wine trip, horseback riding in Montana, the perfect beach trip to Hawaii, and, of course, I further perfected our next Disney trip.
I challenge you to do the same. Plan out a good 5 trips and even create a vision board for each of them. Who knows? You may just dream them into existence!
3) Break a Sweat!
One of the biggest objections people have to exercise is that they don’t have the time. Well, if not now, then when? We have suddenly been gifted with that precious commodity that they call time. So now it’s time to stop making excuses and get to work.
Working out from home is something that I’ve been excited about the last few years, and especially since becoming a new mom. It just never made chronological sense to me to drive 20 minutes to the gym, park, wait for Sven to get the hell off the treadmill and then (eww!) have to clean his sweat off of the machine, only to get a 30 minute workout in and drive 20 minutes back home. Not when I can spend an hour in my (much cleaner!) house getting a great workout in.
Some great resources that I’ve found are Beachbody.com and my newest favorite, YogaDownload.com. Let me tell you, yoga is not for the faint of heart. YogaDownload has programs for weight loss, back pain, pregnancy and so much more. Not to mention how much it helps with mental health. Starting at $10 a month, I’d say it’s worth giving it a whirl!
4) Start Practicing Meditation
Speaking of mental health, one of the things that we can best do for ourselves during a slowdown is to get into healthier mental habits. I’ve truly found that daily meditation is very helpful for me in that endeavor.
When it comes to meditation, it only takes about 10 minutes a day to get into a better head space. You won’t see the results immediately, but give it 30 days and the shift will be apparent.
Look up some great free meditations on YouTube or download the Calm app to your smart phone. I use the Calm app for both meditation and sleep stories and have been seeing great differences. There are meditations for gratitude, anxiety relief, happiness and more. I believe they have a free trial as well to make sure you love it!
How many parents are guilty of collecting all of those little mementos from your kiddos’ lives, but never organizing them? Um, me for one! I still have yet to put those little hospital mementos into my scrapbook – ugh!
And so I’ve decided that one of the projects that I am personally working during social distancing on is putting all of those beautiful little pieces of my son’s childhood thus far into a scrapbook. One day, he’s going to be a grown man and I am going to be so glad to have all of the memories of this precious time in one place.
Amazon has some great options for scrapbook materials that you can order without ever leaving your house. Check these out!
6) YouTube Tutorials
Let me preface this section with this statement: I love YouTube (if you haven’t noticed by now)! While it can be a source of massive time-wasting or a tool for evil, it is also a limitless source of knowledge from others.
We talked about scrapbooking in the last section, but what if you have NO IDEA how to start, but you’ve always wanted to learn? Well, the good news is that you can just hop on YouTube and search for “scrapbooking for beginners” and find a plethora of knowledge!
So what is it that you’ve always wanted to learn? Do you want to learn how to apply some new makeup tricks or how to play that guitar you’ve had lying around for the last couple years? Yep. YouTube can help with that.
Here are some more great ideas for new things you can learn on YouTube:
- Editing Videos
- Home Improvement Projects
- Cooking Lessons
- Self-Defense (to fight off the toilet paper thieves, obviously)
- Learn a New Language
7) Take an Online Course
Are you looking to do a little bit more than just dabbling in some new skills? Perhaps looking to launch a new career? Try an online course.
Online courses are a movement of the future. And I’m not talking about the kind that you have to take for years in order to gain some credits to use at a later date. I am talking about courses that give you hands on knowledge that you can use in a very practical way pretty much right away. You can find courses in everything from photography to SEO to blogging to self-help and motivation and then some.
This may be the very break from the day-in and day-out that you needed to advance your career to the next level or start a brand new career.
8) Start a Business
Speaking of furthering your career, what better way to have the career that you want than to work for yourself? A little bit of time away from Corporate America was all that it took for me to start my own business on my terms.
And while owning your own business takes a lot of self-discipline and essentially means you don’t ever get a total vacation from your responsibilities, it also means that you don’t get a predetermined (and limited) amount of sick and vacation days either.
It’s not for everyone, but if owning your own business has ever been a dream of yours, the gift of time that you’ve just received may be just the opportunity that you needed.
9) Hunt A Killer
Well, not literally. What I’m referring to is the ultimate date night game that you get to play at home.
Hunt A Killer is a murder mystery subscription box that comes straight to your door once a month. It takes a total of 6 boxes, or episodes, to solve the mystery and is such a fun project to dive into. When you’re stuck at home with no big steakhouse date nights to look forward to, this could be your new “go to” date night to help you conquer boredom during social distancing.
10) Have a Gourmet Dinner Date Night Right At Home
If murder mysteries aren’t your thing, you and your hubby can take turns preparing candlelit dinners for one another. Schedule them for each Friday night and while one of you is putting the kiddos to bed, the other one prepares a culinary delight. It’s a great opportunity to get creative in the kitchen. Who knows? You may discover a new love for cooking!
And there you have it.
I hope this helps you find a little bit of fun and light in this uncertain time. Boredom during social distancing is a real thing, but at least this we CAN conquer! As the old adage goes – this too shall pass. And if we can make it pass with a little bit of positivity, well that will truly solidify our Rockstar Status.