10 Ways to Fight Boredom During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Pandemic

Corona Virus Epidemic Self Quarantine at Home

We live in unprecedented times. Not since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic has our country been faced with such difficult decisions. I’m proud of our ability to come together to protect the most vulnerable among us.

For instance, I started my first company nearly 20 years ago with a vision of improving people’s homes and their lives. Meanwhile we continue that tradition with Best Custom Screens & Blinds today, and we’re happy to do our part in this difficult time. 

So, you’re stuck at home. If you have kids, they’re stuck at home, too. Trying to keep everyone occupied can be a challenge. But you don’t have to give in to boredom. You don’t need to let sadness or fear rule your lives or home.

Above all, you can make the decision to do something good with your time every day. We all may be putting a stop to our normal activities, but we aren’t cut off from our lives. There is still plenty we can do while staying safe to keep our minds occupied, our bodies feeling good, and stay connected to the people we love. Here are 10 things you can do to keep your family’s spirits up while they hunker down.

Take a Walk

Around the country, we’ve been experiencing some unseasonably warm temperatures. Most importantly get out and enjoy it! Health professionals are saying that we can still safely socialize in small groups as long as we’re outside and we maintain at least six feet of separation.

Take a stroll around your community. My family and I have been getting out whenever we can. We noticed last weekend that many of our neighbors were doing the same thing. Walking the dog, jogging, riding bikes, and I even saw a Mom outside with her two kids playing with a frisbee.  I go out walking every morning, even before the pandemic and I never see anyone out, not even on the weekend.  Safely getting out of the house and interacting with other people can be very invigorating and will do wonders for your outlook. It will help you find some balance in your life. Plus, I bet the exercise will do you good.

You might also consider finding a trail in the woods and going for a hike. Take this opportunity to get out into the wilderness and reconnect with nature. You can’t get any more socially distant than the middle of the woods.

Getting out into nature is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the natural world. Talk about what you’re seeing. Look for animals and try to identify them. Turn over some rocks safely and look for bugs. (I won’t mention my experience when I was kids and we turned over a rock to a rattle snake.) Depending, on where you live, your kids may be out of school. Nature hikes are an excellent way to keep them learning.

Also, Apartment Therapy has an amazing article on What Happened When I Started Going on Walks Every Morning

Do a Little Spring Cleaning

If you’re going to be stuck in the house, why not get yourself organized? As I write this article it has been Spring for about a week, so spring cleaning is a perfectly appropriate item to add to your to-do list!

This one needs ALOT of WORK!

Meanwhile, take this opportunity to decide what you really need, and what you can get rid of. Subsequently, we all tend to hold on to junk that no longer serves a purpose. I know my family does. To sum up, start making some piles and chuck the stuff out that’s cluttering your life.

Decluttering your house and getting it clean and polished can make being stuck at home much more enjoyable. It’s hard to be comfortable when you feel crowded in by accumulated stuff and overwhelmed by a messy house. Open the windows and let in some of fresh air into your home. It’ll keep the bad germs out too. 

Since you’ve got the time now, don’t let yourself stress out. Go slowly and tackle one room at a time. If you break the job into smaller pieces, it won’t seem so overwhelming. Before you know it, you’ll be chilling out in a beautiful, well-organized house, and you’ll feel good to be there. For a more in depth article on Spring Cleaning, please read Good Housekeeping 33 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for a Sparkling Home.

Read a Book

Books. You remember those, right? You may know them as Kindles or iPads today. Whatever form you prefer, digital or paper, books are a great way to while the time away during your isolation.  I prefer the feel and smell of hard bound paper books.  It feels good to read on printed paper…It feels right. 

eBooks are also particularly convenient right now since you can buy them instantly and have them available on your eReader of choice without needing to go to the store or have a physical book shipped to you. If you have a tablet of any kind you can download the Amazon Kindle app and turn your device into a digital book.

Get your kids in on the action, too. If they’re old enough to read, provide them a bunch of options and let them choose the books that most interest them. If they’re still too young, reading books to them is a great way to expand their imaginations and it provides quality bonding time.
You can also try some interesting platforms for reading. Read interesting, shocking anonymous posts from strangers on some unconventional anonymous writing platforms like Vigyaa Anonymous.

Play a Game

Whether you choose a card game, a board game, or a video game, playing a game is a great family activity but an excellent workout for your mind.

For example, card and board games are old school activities that never get old. You can choose from classics like Monopoly, Clue, or Scrabble, or get adventurous and try some of the newer titles that have caught on all over the world, like Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Carcassonne (assuming of course that you can get them online right now).

Further, video games are a great way for individuals to kill time. And with the addition of a headset and microphone, they can be great social outlets. For instance, meet friends online and play Minecraft or Fortnite. In short, you don’t need to leave the house to save the world from an alien invasion. And there are plenty of games that you can play with your family.

Walk the Dog

If you need an excuse to get out of the house and take a stroll around the neighborhood, you certainly can enlist Fido. Or in my case Hercules and Bea.  Instead of letting them out in the backyard, grab a leash (and some plastic bags, if you know what I mean) and hit the pavement.

If you already take your dog or dogs for a walk, go a little further than you normally do. Your animals will certainly appreciate the extra outside time, and you’ll get extra exercise and fresh air. Even if you don’t talk to anyone as you stroll around your neighborhood, you’ll at least see other people, which will help remind you that you aren’t alone. We’re all going through this together.

I also have seen the trainers from Guide Dogs of America walking the dogs around San Fernando. They are continuing to train the mostly dogs to assist the blind. They have an amazing article on “Don’t Isolate Alone“, during this time of being home bound.

Tackle Your Honey-Do List

Firstly, If you’re like me, your significant other has helped you accumulate a sizable list of projects that need doing. And they tend to get bumped as other things take higher priority. Not anymore! With part of our lives put on hold, a lot of those other priorities have disappeared, at least temporarily. So now is the perfect time to start whittling down that honey-do list!  For example, I started with a new water filter on the sink and I replace the dishwasher.  Most noteworthy, is the fact that my son helped me with both projects.  I can only work on the honey do’s on the weekend, because I am still working during the week for the reason that construction is an essential business during the pandemic.

Hard at work playing in a box! Might as well be a cat.

There’s no reason not to take on projects around the house if you have all the tools and materials you need. For instance, if there are items you need to purchase, try getting them online first. If you need window blinds, shades, or screens and screen doors, I know somewhere you can get great deals on quality products. Ha ha! 😉

Home Improvement is awesome

Big box retailers and local hardware stores are also considered essential services, so more than likely they’ll be open even if the businesses in your area are shutdown. Be sure to follow appropriate practices when out in public and keep your distance from people in the store. Then get to work shrinking that list!

Home improvement projects are a great way to pass the time while potentially increasing the value of your property. And right now, with kid’s home from school, they can be a great teaching opportunity. Set them to work helping in whatever way they can. If they’re older, let them do some of the heavy lifting. These are life skills that will be invaluable to them as adults, and we rarely get the time to properly teach them. Take advantage of it while you have it! 

Video Chat with Family and Friends

We may need to distance ourselves physically, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spend time with the people we love. Technology now allows us to visit with each other as if we’re right there, even there’s an ocean between us.

Apps you can use

Applications like Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Zoom allow individuals and groups of people to video conference, for free, using cell phones, tablets, or computers. If you have the Facebook app installed, you already have access to Messenger. The other tools may require a download and set up, but they aren’t difficult to use.

Safe App for Kids

Parents that are saddened by the fact that their kids are missing playtime with their friends can use Facebook Messenger’s new tool Messenger Kids to keep them connected. It’s safe for kids of any age because parent’s control who their kids can chat with, and who can chat with them.

All you need to do is set up a Messenger Kids account for each of your children through your own Messenger account. Then you decide which adults they can contact, like grandparents, and which kids they’ll have direct access to. Then you can download the Messenger Kids app on a tablet you give your kids and they’ll be able to contact or be contacted by the people on their list whenever they’d like. It’s like virtual playdates, on-demand!

Exercise, then Exercise, & Exercise some more!

You might be stuck in the house, but you shouldn’t let that turn you into a couch potato, particularly since many states have ordered gyms to close. Getting some exercise will help you stay healthy, particularly as it becomes more difficult to consistently get healthy food from grocery delivery services.

As I mentioned before, walking around the neighborhood and going for hikes are great ways to get some exercise. You could also take up running. It’s getting warm again, and running outdoors is an excellent exercise that doesn’t cost you a dime. You also, can take online courses in martial arts. Our local Tae Kwon Do studio Power of the Arts is having virtual classes right now for their students.  Their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Power-of-the-Arts/201050673262526

Other types of exercise

If you have a treadmill, stationary bike, weightlifting unit or one of the other hundred different home workout devices, resolve to start using it. You also have calisthenics and stretching which will also keep your body strong and limber.  This could be the motivation you need to finally get in shape.

And the whole family can participate, particularly if walking is your exercise of choice. Just keep yourself active. It can be tempting to just sit home and watch movies all day, and while that would be a lot of fun, long term you might be missing out on other opportunities.

Binge a Television Series

You don’t want to watch TV all the time, but some is certainly a good idea! In short we live in the golden age of television. However, with cable, Netflix, Hulu, Prime and all of the other streaming services, there is a massive amount of great TV programming available. So, pick a series that interests you and binge!

Again, I’m not advocating that you plop on your couch and grow roots, but there are also thousands of movies available for streaming. You can even get new movies that would have been released in theaters, had theaters not been shut down by the virus. Movies like Emma, The Invisible Man, and Onward were scheduled for theatrical release but now can be purchased through various streaming services. So, enjoy a new movie in the comfort of your living room!

Plan for the Future

We aren’t going to be social distancing or sheltering at home forever. Eventually, things will return to normal, hopefully sooner rather than later if we all do what we need to do. So, while you’re sitting around the house, spending time with your family, your roommates, or whoever else you share your home with, take some time to plan what you’ll do when life returns.

Vacation?

For example, did you have a vacation planned that got ruined by coronavirus? Make sure to plan a new one! It’s fun to think about all the possible adventures you might go on. Plan to visit family you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe take your kids to an amusement park as a reward for not driving you completely crazy while they sheltered at home for two months.

For better or worse, you may also find your employment situation drastically changed by the fallout from the virus. Most importantly the sooner you start planning your next steps, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Recovery

Certainly, it’s an unfortunate reality that this pandemic has the potential to drastically, and permanently alter our lives. Likewise, now is a good time to take stock of what’s important to us and what we really want from our lives. If you’ve been wanting to make a change, now might be the perfect time to do it. Recovery will come, but it might take some time. If you position yourself for the things you really want out of life now, you might be able to find a path forward when the doors open, and we can all get back to living our lives.

We all need faith

Therefore, I would like to add that today is March 27, 2020 and Pope Francis at 6:00PM Rome time, led the world in prayer, for the COVID-19 Pandemic to end.  Especially to pray for the people of the world who are afraid.

A couple prayers stood in my mind.  The first, “Why are you afraid?  Have you no faith? Jesus said” and “Finding the courage during this time, to allow the spirit to work in us to find the creativity that needs to be let out” Pope Francis read. 

I wish you all the very best. May your families, friends, and businesses all find peace, love and happiness during these trying times. I pray that every one of you is filled with the Holy Spirit.  In conclusion, I pray that we all feel the healing power that only Jesus can bring to the world. May God bless you, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! Amen!