Finding Fun During Social Distancing

1. Exercise Indoors

Feeling stuffed up inside your house? Practicing healthy social distancing at this time will keep you from visiting with friends or lingering at Village Tea Shop, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting some fresh air.  Embrace that cardio day your gym teacher might have assigned and go for a run or walk. If you’re not a runner, consider biking or skateboarding. Tired of your neighborhood? Head over to the local duck ponds or Dunkerhook Park.  Consider inviting someone from your home who may also be feeling confined.

2. Bring out your inner artist

Whether you are a visionary painter or prefer to draw stick figures exclusively, this is a great time to get creative. Photograph interesting perspectives or pretty views as you stroll the ’hood. If you aren’t a fan of photography, get out all those pencils you don’t need for digital school and sketch your parents’ wine bottles. 

3. Panic

That was a test. Don’t panic. If you are keeping up to date with the news and doing your part to keep yourself and others safe, there’s no need to. But if you have been a little on edge lately, try yoga or meditation. There are an abundance of yoga videos you can follow online to get your muscles going and your chakras aligned. If you don’t know how to get started with meditation, there are some apps you can try out like Calm, Headspace, and my personal favorite – Music Zen. All of these apps have great free features to explore. 

4. Bake cookies


5. Give your pet some love

Now that you have some time, don’t forget to give some of it to your pet. Take them for a walk or pull out their favorite toy. If you have a dog, you can make homemade treats. And if you can’t play with your beloved companion, try writing a poem as a testament to your love: “Ode à Ma Gerbille.”

6. Clean up your space

Unlike Marie Condo’s famous “Does this item spark joy?” you may want to ask yourself, “Do I keep tripping over it?” and “Does it prevent me from seeing my desk?” A messy room, basement, or living room may make you feel even more cramped or trapped throughout this time. You would be surprised how much of an impact ten minutes of tidying up can have on your happiness throughout the day.

7. Lean into music

This might be a good time to pick up that guitar or ukulele in your room and sit down at the old piano. There are thousands of online tutorials for getting started, and once you have a handle of basic chords check out to apply them to your favorite songs. If you aren’t into playing instruments, use an application like Garageband to make your own songs with premade loops. And if making music really isn’t your thing, try creating Spotify or Apple Music playlists for friends and family members to send a little love to somebody else who might be feeling bored or lonely.

8. Spend quality time with your family

Don’t forget that this is a great opportunity to spend quality time with family members you might not get to in between homework, hanging out with friends, and sports practices. Pull out a board game and try to get everyone involved or make some popcorn and suggest a family movie night. This is an especially good idea for seniors who will be living away at college in the fall.

9. Read a book that isn’t assigned for school

Turns out, there are more books than just “Frankenstein” and “The Jungle.” Though the public library isn’t open, you can still use your card on to access millions of books digitally. Books are not only great for learning new things, but also for traveling somewhere new through the eyes of a character or having a nice laugh. Who knows, you might discover new series that you find more addictive than “Love is Blind” or “Orange is the New Black.”

10. Find new ways to hang out with your friends

Proper social distancing should keep you away from hanging out with your friends in person for now, but we live in a world where FaceTime, Houseparty, and Zoom still allow us to see and talk to each other. Try out a game night with apps like Photo Roulette, Evil Apples, or Psych, and get your friends on a video conferencing app while you play to hear their reactions. Unlike other historical periods of isolation to stop the spread of disease, social distancing shouldn’t stop the world from having fun together.

Emily Ertle
staff writer 

Graphic: Hannah Kim

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