By Thomas Brennan

In the difficult times we all face going forward with “social distancing,” it can get to the point where certain activities run tiresome and the streaming service runs low on fun accessible content. It never hurts to take a step outside one’s comfort zone. It might even be possible to find something to keep going even after this phase the world is going through moves on.

READING: There’s nothing more basic and enjoyable than a good book. Whether it’s something wholly new or revisiting an old favorite, every book is a world of its own. Reading essential pastime that can be occasionally overlooked in modern times. A bit of a plot twist considering its possible to read anything now with e-books and access to various online libraries. There’s plenty of great new releases of any genre, from literary classics like Moby Dick to the newest Stephen King novel, almost anything is readily available to enjoy at your own leisure. 

BOARD GAMES: A childish pastime to some, but that just means it’s a further opportunity for fun if you have a couple of restless kids in the house. Puzzles as well as traditional fare – Jenga, Candy Land, Clue – are all fun and lightly competitive games that can help whittle away time easily. Having a little competition is an easy way to fill the hours with rich fun, You can even for more intellectual strategic games in chess, checkers, scrabble and backgammon. Try taking a crack at Monopoly and the whole weekend is likely to disappear down Park Place. Say a person doesn’t have any material games available, you can access many games online through social media. It’s possible to play a game of Scrabble with a friend on the other side of the planet. 

BRAIN PUZZLES: This one is a little tied into the previous point, but is still relevant enough to have its own spot. Unlike boardgames plenty of puzzles run at the pace of the single person playing it. Games like Sudoku or crosswords puzzles can be a great challenge for the mind. The brain is always seeking things to preoccupy time and there’s plenty of Sudoku and crosswords in the newspaper and online. There’s even the option to turn the brain puzzles competitive; competing with family or roommates to see who can complete certain puzzle sets before the other. It’s possible to spend months on these activities, striving to improve thinking and problem-solving skills.

EXERCISE ROUTINE: A must in the times with a health crisis. Exercise is something everyone should be trying to find a way to practice. This can be rather simple or complicated depending on access to resources and equipment. If you have access to weights or a treadmill it’s a perfect way to work out in simple ways even with gyms closed. Even without equipment there’s workouts like sit-ups, push-ups, air kicks, or even just stretching. If you want to be especially ingenuitive there’s also the option of lifting like large containers of water in arm lifts. Any day spent moving is time well spent.

YOGA OR MEDITATION: A practice that requires patience, but is capable of yielding total serenity. For those dealing with heightened anxiety over the current state of the world outside their home, meditating can be a great option to center themselves. It doesn’t require anything besides a little space, enough quiet to focus and the willingness to look inward. For a lot of people slowing down can be a difficulty, but that just makes it a greater challenge and all that more of an accomplishment when overcoming it. It can be a great feeling to just seek a deeper sense of calm and inner peace.

MUSIC PRACTICE: This one more so requires access to a physical instrument. Working on honing the skills of guitar, piano, violin, drums or even chimes can take years of rigorous practice to master. Though with all the free time many have on their hands, now is as good a time to start. It’s doubtful anyone will stumble into being the next Freddie Mercury, though you might discover a talent, or even more rare than that, a passion. Sometimes there is merely fun to be found in merely trying to practice and creating a sound for the sake of the music itself.

SEWING AND CROCHET: An activity that requires supplies, but can still offer you something for your time that will last beyond the joy of the time spent on the activity itself. Sewing and crochet can be a great skill to hone. It’s a difficult ability to pick up as it relies on repetitive patterns, keen focus, consuming large amounts of time, but these exact factors can be great in yielding something to utilize one’s energy. It’s possible to make something small like a doily to as big as a couch cover. There can be a great sense of pride in seeing the products of labor, revisiting that sense of accomplishment in time spent finding focus through patience.

ORIGAMI: Folding paper might seem a ‘lil’ boring, but it’s actually quite a difficult skill to nail. It’s possible to fashion next to anything as simple as a paper airplane to as complicated as a unique structure. Colored paper is often a more fun choice, but it’s not a requirement by any margin. There are numerous shapes to work, creatures to make. Instructions for different designs are quite easy to access through online instructional videos. The only real risk in this activity is a papercut.

DRAWING: Illustrating can often be a skill where there is seemingly never any time to practice; thankfully there’s time to spare. The only question is if you have supplies available, and there are many instructional videos to start with for ways to develop the skill and a personal sense of artistic style. Even if pencil and paper aren’t in immediate supply there are online drawing and artistic programs to experiment with. It could range from something simple to mere edits of pre-existing pictures, to something wholly original.

WRITING: A pastime with endless possibilities. If you have an old notebook laying around or access to something to type, writing can be the best escape possible. Whether it’s just journaling and musing about things you miss or want to do in the future, either can be quite easing on the nerves. Having the time to spend alone to explore your own voice might be a little scary, but it’s a truly great way of looking inward and exploring yourself through journaling. There’s also the option to create an original story all your own; whether it’s just an everyday fiction or a whole fantasy universe, the only limits are what the individual person’s imagination sets.

ONLINE VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES: One thing that’s certain is that even in these difficult times there are people willing to step up and provide things to do and explore online. Various musicians are doing online concerts daily via Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube live. If music isn’t quite one’s forte, there’s various live tours being offered through various museums, art exhibits, animal farms and national parks. It’s possible through these means to see the full beauty of a national park or the entire closed off collection of a European historical museum. A lot of full explorations of sites most people wouldn’t be able to reach are being offered readily to everyone. It’s a great show of the capability of technology to be able to bring the world to people even when stuck at home.

 

2 Responses to Pastimes to Pass the Time of Social Distancing

  1. Irma says:

    One-shoulder dress.

  2. Freddie says:

    I have an electric guitar collecting dust. Time to bust it out

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