We all know that voluntary social distancing is the key to flattening the coronavirus curve. But boredom is bound to creep in, even for the most content of homebodies. We may not be able to go on our excursions right now, but Journey has compiled some alternatives to our usual methods of exploration and enrichment to help keep your minds and bodies engaged during your quarantine efforts.
Activities for the tech-savvy
Got a smartphone or computer? Entertainment, enrichment, health and fitness, worship, even dining — it’s all just a few clicks away. Here are some favorite suggestions.
- Take FaceTime with your family beyond just a conversation. Is there something you’d love to teach a grandchild, or something they want to show you? Set up time for passion projects: baking, sewing, birdhouse building, the sky’s the limit. Start small and go big — together.
- Feeling outdoorsy? Visit a National Park through the National Park Foundation or Google Earth.
- Gaga over gardens? Botanical garden tours will have you surrounded by blooming beauty in no time. United States Botanic Garden and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh will get you started.
- Seeking culture? How about a Google Arts & Culture museum or Lincoln’s Sheldon Museum of Art tour.
- Are you crazy for quilting? Check out these videos from the International Quilt Museum.
- Move your body. UBT’s own Well-Being Advocate Sam Dolezal says it’s more important than ever to continue to exercise. Click here for a Strength and Stretch workout you can do at home.
- Check out a good book. Whether you download a book to read (or listen to) on your device or visit Lincoln City Libraries’ online ordering system and use their curbside pickup, books and other resources are literally at your fingertips.
- Download a game! Whether it’s Red Herring, Wordscapes, Trivia Crack, or something else, there are lots of options in your smartphone’s app store — and many of them are free to play. Apps aren’t just for games, either: You can learn an instrument or a language, plan your garden, hone your photography skills, and more.
- If you dig natural history, visit the Smithsonian Natural History Museum or Zoo.
- Take a “Virtual First Friday” tour of Lincoln’s Burkholder Project. Visit their Facebook page for details.
- Missing music? Livestream a performance through the Lied Live Online Facebook series, or view a concert, recital, or opera at Google Arts & Culture, Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts, or YouTube. Or, spend some time at the Lincoln Community Playhouse.
- Take a virtual tour of the Nebraska State Capitol.
- Download a birdwatching app and head outside — or to the window.
- Don’t forget fitness! Download an exercise app or work out to a free online video. We’ve included a sample Strength & Stretch routine from Sam Dolezal, UBT’s Wellness Advocate, to get you started.
- Attend a worship service via livestreaming on Facebook or your church’s website. If your church doesn’t have this option and it’s something you’d like to try, there are many services and prayer groups available for a temporary alternative.
- Order dinner from your favorite restaurant through online ordering or a meal delivery service like Door Dash — or, give a meal delivery kit a try, like HelloFresh.
Activities for the tech-free
Do you prefer a flip phone or landline to a smartphone? Is email as techie as you get? No worries! We have ideas for staying well, reaching out, doing good, and keeping busy.
- Pick up a new book. Lincoln City Libraries are currently offering curbside pickup — simply call to reserve a new book, movie, or the like, then set up an appointment time to pick up your selection.
- Invite neighbor kiddos or visiting grands to practice an instrument outside your window at a prearranged time for a private concert. Or, take advantage of opera, concerts, and other cultural events aired on PBS, A&E, and other network channels.
- Have a knack for sewing? Volunteer to sew masks for one of the many organizations that have expressed a need. Just be sure to check and see which pattern they would like you to use.
- Be a voice of support! Whether it’s a note of encouragement to a Matt Talbot guest as part of their “Bold Hope” campaign (send your notes to Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach, 2121 N 27th St., Lincoln, NE 68503), a care facility resident who’s feeling disconnected (Tabitha and Southlake Village are two communities who have been requesting cards), or a friend or family member who just needs some extra TLC, send a card or letter to show you care.
- Keep your body moving! You need look no further than your TV for solid exercise options. From tai chi to dynamic movement, you can catch a class on public access TV any weekday morning (check your local listings), or if you have a DVR, check out a fitness video from the library.
- This is a great time to learn to play an instrument or learn a needlecraft. Or, go global and learn a language via audiobook or DVD.
- Have a classic movie marathon and add a little Hollywood glamour to your social distancing.
- Binge-watch a favorite series — or get into something new — via cable, Netflix, a DVD box set… you get the picture.
- Play hide and seek. Display cutouts, figurines, or other fun objects in the window for neighbor children and other passers-by to find.
- Engage your neighbors! On a small chalk or dry erase board, start a game of tic-tac-toe or hangman, wipe down the marker or chalk, and set it outside for a neighbor to take a turn. Safer yet, just write a cheery message to place outside your door, or leave sidewalk chalk for the grands or neighbor kiddos to decorate your driveway.
- Clean out all those plastic grocery bags and recycle, upcycle, or donate to an organization that makes mats for the homeless (or try your hand at it).
- Get into DIY projects — give a tired chair or bench a coat of paint, switch out the knobs on a cabinet, change the shade on a lamp. Whatever home project you bought the supplies for and tired of before you started, there’s no time like the present.
- Whip up gifts of salad dressing, baking mix, or even bath scrub to give to neighbors or those who are running your errands.
- Try your hand at puzzles and games! Break out the old board games, like Battleship or Operation, or tackle some brainteasers: puzzles, crosswords, sudoku, and word searches are all great options to pass the time while also keeping your mind sharp.
- Sort through old photos and create a scrapbook or other photo archive that you can share with your family once you’re together again.
- Put together keepsake boxes for kids and grandkids with meaningful photos, treasured tchotchke, cherished books, or favorite recipes. Tuck in a heartfelt note — or a joke, if that’s more your style.
- Order dinner by phone from your favorite restaurant or takeout joint. Many are even offering delivery options.
No matter how you choose to pass your time while social distancing, please know that Journey will be right here waiting for you with more trips, experiences, and community once the risk has passed.