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7 Obvious and Not-So-Obvious Ways To Beat Boredom (Quarantine Edition)

To understate it – this is a crazy time.

It’s more important than ever to slow down the spread of COVID-19, and, consequently, many of you may be in isolation, quarantining, or practicing social distancing. Such preventative measures result in a lot of time stuck at home, and, as a result, we’ve compiled this little list of ways to pass the time as you keep yourself and others healthy.


Let’s start with one of the more obvious – puzzles! And cards, and board games. Maybe even chess if you’re well-stocked. Such stay-at-home entertainment has been all but retired with the induction of Wi-Fi, but, with endless hours and the small attention span the prior has prompted, we’re all going to need some ways to mix it up. So, whether you’re solitary or with your family or roommates, open up that junk cupboard and dust off your games. Even Ellen gave it a try 


Ok, everyone. We’re taking it back to elementary school. How about trying some home crafts? We’re talking decorating, in particular. One of my friends recently bought a skateboard with the intention of learning how to ride it, but, unfortunately, that’s no longer an option. So, she’s decided to decorate it. You could try this with sneakers, walls, bags, clothes – so many options! Gather stickers, photos, a needle and thread, markers, any art supplies you have available and get creative.


We’re all desperately missing someone right now as we hole up in our homes, and, thank goodness, it’s never been easier to contact them remotely. There are so many apps you can use to see your favorite people – stay classic with FaceTime, get weird with Zoom, and play games on Houseparty. Setting virtual meetups with those in different time zones makes sure you see each other before it becomes 4 am for one of you. I’m currently in Sydney, Australia, and setting loose times has been a godsend when trying to catch up with friends who are flung everywhere from Delhi to London to New York.


If the lack of movement involved in being homebound is driving you crazy, it’s time to make use of work out apps and YouTube tutorials. Your usual work out place may even be holding online classes – Barre and Soul in Providence, for example, is bringing remote classes to their members. However, if you’re looking for a free option, check out FitOn, an app with classes from HIIT to Pilates that you can easily do at home, or look to DANCE TUTORIALS on YouTube to ready your skills for when we can party again.


After exhausting yourself and your abs with your workout, you may be in the mood to do nothing for a second. Enter, Netflix Party. Make sure you have Chrome, and then download this app which allows you to watch Netflix shows remotely with your family and friends. Just pick a film or a TV series, and you’ll be able to watch it at the same time whilst simultaneously using the chat function to discuss the drama. Love is Blind is my current pick, and Netflix Party means I don’t have to marvel at Jessica’s baby voice alone. Don’t forget to give yourself a nickname and pick an icon – I’m a cookie.


I planned to do lots of reading whilst in isolation, and then I quickly realized that endless books and nowhere to discuss them was going to get pretty dry pretty quickly. Therefore, some friends and I decided to create a virtual book club – emulating our grandparents and finding new ways to stay in touch. We’re reading controversial new novel American Dirt, also selected by Oprah for her book club, about a Mexican woman who escapes as an undocumented immigrant to the United States with her young son after being forced to leave her life in Mexico behind.


Depending on your entertainment inclinations, you may currently be dreaming of being able to hang out and share newly discovered songs and artists with your friends and family. But, you don’t need to lose hope just yet! Spend some time creating perfect playlists for your quarantining days, and make sure to spread the love and send them around to your loved ones. Think up fun names for different quarantining moods – one of my friends has coined ‘social (dis)dancing’ and ‘soft solidarity’. Think wordplay and get listening.

This list is by no means exhaustive – cooking and color-coding still spring to mind – but this is just a reminder that although the world is scary and uncertain at the moment, and we may not be feeling our best, it’s now, more than ever, of the utmost importance to take care of our mental health. Don’t lose sight of the things you love to do – just try and find new ways to do them!

Edie is a sophomore concentrating in Sociology at Brown.
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